If we wish to free ourselves from enslavement, we must choose freedom and the responsibility this entails.
But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
Where did I get it from? Was it by reason that I attained to the knowledge that I must love my neighbour and not throttle him? They told me so when I was a child, and I gladly believed it, because they told me what was already in my soul. But who discovered it? Not reason! Reason has discovered the struggle for existence and the law that I must throttle all those who hinder the satisfaction of my desires. That is the deduction reason makes. But the law of loving others could not be discovered by reason, because it is unreasonable.
It was the end of the October term of my sophomore year, and everything was petty normal, except for Social Studies, which was no big surprise. Mr. Dimas, who taught the class, had a reputation for unconventional teaching methods. For midterms he had blindfolded us, then had us each stick a pin in a map of the world and we got to write essays on wherever the pin stuck. I got Decatur, Illinois. Some of the guys complained because they drew places like Ulan Bator or Zimbabwe. They were lucky. YOU try writing ten thousand words on Decatur, Illinois.
A wide and vague impression exists that so-called Eastern religion is more contemplative, innocuous, and humane than the proselytizing monotheisms of the West. Don't believe a word of this: try asking the children of Indochina who were dumped by their parents for inherited deformities that were attributed to sins in a previous 'life.
Nothing you do in the White House matters. You know why not? Because as far as the mass of voting morons is concerned, while you're in office, you'll still be the worst single president they've ever had until you stop. Then it's some other poor bastard's turn. And even that doesn't matter, because ten, twenty years later, they'll look back on you, and wonder why they didn't appreciate you when they had you...You don't get to make a difference. You don't get to do jack shit. You know what you get?...You get an entry in the history book, and every 15 minutes, every day at Disneyworld, an animatronic puppet wearing your face will wave or nod when the spotlight hits it.
I have heard of a man lost in the woods and dying of famine and exhaustion at the foot of a tree, whose loneliness was relieved by the grotesque visions with which, owing to bodily weakness, his diseased imagination surrounded him, and which he believed to be real. So also, owing to bodily and mental health and strength, we may be continually cheered by a like but more normal and natural society, and come to know that we are never alone.