Partiality

Partiality in a parent is unlucky; for fondling are in danger to be made fools.

Partiality is generally supplemented by prejudice, and is most objectionable in family government.

As there is a partiality to opinions, which is apt to mislead the understanding, so there is also a partiality to studies, which is prejudicial to knowledge.

Supreme Being is as impartial as the sun. If one flower bud opens when the run arise and another does not, it is due to its own preparedness and not to any partiality of the sun. Similarly, Divine Grace flows everywhere, always; it is only man’s willingness and ability to respond to it that varies. Supreme Being cannot be propitiated. Being all benevolence, it can not be induced to become more benevolent to one than to another or in one instance than in another. All things manifest Supreme Being in its innumerable aspects; all things issue forth from it and return to it.

How often are we forced to charge fortune with partiality towards the unjust!

Discernment is a power of the understanding in which few excel. Is not that owing to its connection with impartiality and truth? for are not prejudice and partiality blind?

I am Milarepa, the yogi from Tibet. There is a great purpose to not having possessions." He then explained this in a spiritual song: "I have no desire for wealth or possessions, and so I have nothing. I do not experience the initial suffering of having to accumulate possessions, the intermediate suffering of having to guard and keep up possessions, nor the final suffering of loosing the possessions. This is a wonderful thing. I have no desire for friends or relations. I do not experience the initial suffering of forming an attachment, the intermediate suffering of having disagreements with friends and family, nor the final suffering of parting with them. Therefore it is good to be without friends and relations. I have no desire for pleasant conversation. I do not experience the initial suffering of beginning conversation, the intermediate suffering of wondering whether to continue the conversation, nor the final suffering of the conversation deteriorating. Therefore I do not delight in pleasant conversation. I have no desire for a home land and have no fixed residence. I do not experience the initial suffering of partiality of thinking that 'this is my land and that place isn't.' I do not experience the intermediate suffering of yearning for my land. And I do not experience the final suffering of having to protect my land. Therefore I do not have a fixed abode.

It is proper to observe, that even in this sense of our country, that love of it which is our duty, does not imply any conviction of the superior value of it to other countries, or any particular preference of its laws and constitution of government. Were this implied, the love of their country would be the duty of only a very small part of mankind; for there are few countries that enjoy the advantage of laws and governments which deserve to be preferred. To found, therefore, this duty on such a preference, would be to found it on error and delusion. It is however a common delusion. There is the same partiality in countries, to themselves, that there is in individuals. All our attachments should be accompanied, as far as possible, with right opinions. We are too apt to confine wisdom and virtue within the circle of our own acquaintance and party. Our friends, our country, and, in short, everything related to us, we are disposed to overvalue. A wise man will guard himself against this delusion. He will study to think of all things as they are, and not suffer any partial effections to blind his understanding. In other families there may be as much worth as in our own. In other circles of friends there may be as much wisdom; and in other countries as much of all that deserves esteem; but, notwithstanding this, our obligation to love our own families, friends, and country, and to seek, in the first place, their good, will remain the same.

It is proper I should desire you particularly to distinguish between the love of our country and that spirit of rivalship and ambition which has been common among nations. What has the love of their country hitherto been among mankind? What has it been but a love of domination; a desire of conquest, and a thirst for grandeur and glory, by extending territory, and enslaving surrounding countries? What has it been but a blind and narrow principle, producing in every country a contempt of other countries, and forming men into combinations and factions against their common rights and liberties? This is the principle that has been too often cried up as a virtue of the first rank: a principle of the same kind with that which governs clans of Indians, or tribes of Arabs, and leads them out to plunder and massacre. As most of the evils which have taken place in private life, and among individuals, have been occasioned by the desire of private interest overcoming the public affections; so most of the evils which have taken place among bodies of men have been occasioned by the desire of their own interest overcoming the principle of universal benevolence: and leading them to attack one another’s territories, to encroach on one another’s rights, and to endeavor to build their own advancement on the degradation of all within the reach of their power? What was the love of their country among the Jews, but a wretched partiality to themselves, and a proud contempt of all other nations? What was the love of their country among the old Romans? We have heard much of it; but I cannot hesitate in saying that, however great it appeared in some of its exertions, it was, in general, no better than a principle holding together a band of robbers in their attempts to crush all liberty but their own. What is now the love of his country in a Spaniard, a Turk, or a Russian? Can it be considered as anything better than a passion for slavery, or a blind attachment to a spot where he enjoys no rights, and is disposed of as if he was a beast?

It is literally true that the toleration of banks of paper discount costs the United States one-half their war taxes; or, in other words, doubles the expenses of every war. Now think but for a moment, what a change of condition that would be, which should save half our war expenses, require but half the taxes, and enthral us in debt but half the time.

We took the liberty to make some enquiries concerning the ground of their pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation. The Ambassador [of Tripoli] answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.

You are like the rocks on the seashore that unflinchingly face the beating of the waves. The rock does not move; the wave will not stop. This predicament should end. Awake and avail yourselves of this unique chance.

Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question, inaptness to act on any. Frantic violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting, a justifiable means of self-defense. The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected. To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot a still shrewder; but to try to provide against having to do either was to break up your party and to be afraid of your adversaries.

So far war has been the only force that can discipline a whole community, and until an equivalent discipline is organized, I believe that war must have its way.