I write in order to attain that feeling of tension relieved and function achieved which a cow enjoys on giving milk.
The adherents of the old order have a powerful ally in the natural law of inertia inherent in humanity which is, as it were, a natural defense against change. Thus pacifism faces no easy struggle. The question of whether violence or law shall prevail between states is the most vital of the problems of our eventful era, and the most serious in its repercussions. The beneficial results of a secure world peace are almost inconceivable, but even more inconceivable are the consequences of the threatening world war which many misguided people are prepared to precipitate. The advocates of pacifism are well aware how meager are their resources of personal influence and power. They know that they are still few in number and weak in authority, but when they realistically consider themselves and the ideal they serve, they see themselves as the servants of the greatest of all causes.
We should, I believe, beware of the pitfalls described by Taine: 'Imagine a man who sets out on a voyage equipped with a pair of spectacles that magnify things to an extraordinary degree. A hair on his hand, a spot on the tablecloth, the shifting fold of a coat, all will attract his attention; at this rate, he will not go far, he will spend his day taking six steps and will never get out of his room.' We have to get out of this room.
It is not difficult to get away into retirement; and there live upon your own convictions; nor is it difficult to mix with men and follow their convictions; but to enter into the world; and there live firmly and fearlessly according to your own conscience; that is Christian greatness.
There is an old saying that, you can't kill a frog by dropping him into hot water. As you drop him into the hot water, he reacts so quickly that he immediately jumps out unharmed. But if you put him in cold water and gradually warm it up until it is scalding hot, you have him cooked before he knows it. The encroachment of bad habits in our lives is very much like this.
It's just as easy to form the habit of succeeding as it is to succumb to the habit of failure. Habits aren't instincts; they're acquired reactions. They don't just happen; they are caused. Once you determine the original cause of a habit, it is within your power either to accept or reject it.