It is motive alone that gives real value to the actions of men, and disinterestedness puts the cap to it.
A brilliant achievement may win for you the favor of a people at one stroke; but to earn the love and respect of the population that surrounds you, a long succession of little services rendered and of obscure good deeds, a constant habit of kindness and an established reputation for disinterestedness will be required.
Not only should we be unashamed of grief, confident that its expression will not permanently hurt us, but we should also possess the wisdom to talk about our loss and through that creative conversation with friends and companions begin to reconstruct the broken fragments of our lives... should not resist the sympathy and stimulation of social interaction. We should learn not to grow impatient with the slow healing process of time . . . We should anticipate these stages in our emotional convalescence: unbearable pain, poignant grief, empty days, resistance to consolation, disinterestedness in life, gradually giving way under the healing sunlight of love,friendship, social challange, to the new weaving of a pattern of action and the acceptance of the irresistible challenge of life.
We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization. We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about a particular degree of interest and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimatized.
Intrepidity is an extraordinary strength of mind, which raises it above the troubles, disorders, and emotions, which the sight of great perils is calculated to excite; it is by this strength that heroes maintain themselves in a tranquil state of mind, and preserve the free use of their reason under the most surprising and terrible circumstances.