Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you. And in this materialistic age, a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.
A success that has outlived its usefulness may, in the end, be more damaging than failure.
Yesterday contains all the battlefields in which freedom was
gradually wrought out from many threads all dipped in blood.
Yesterday contains the experiment and the failure of all despotisms. Yesterday con tains the onset and defeat of every form
of sin and vice. Yesterday holds the ashes of all beauty, and
of all life except that of the soul with God. Yesterday is full of
past usefulness and of its ways and means, full of tears and
their causes and cures. In that shadowy domain there stands
the cross, and there is the Saviour dying for the vast myriads
of a race. God has not without reason thrown such an immense history behind His children of to-day. It must be that
out of the world that has been there is always flowing down
to those who are living a stream of wisdom and character that
bears onward to a sacred destiny.
A public man must never forget that he loses his usefulness when he as an individual, rather than his policy, becomes the issue.
Thus, authoritative action will tend to reduce stress, while inaction will increase it. This may be true regardless of the content of the action.
The interval between a cold expectation and a warm desire may be filled by expectations of varying degrees of warmth or by desires of varying degrees of coldness.
Anyone who emerges in the midst of mankind as a herald who knows how to employ the gift of poetry to inspire the human mind with enthusiasm for all that is pure and true and godly, anyone who knows how to make man proud to be human and to enable him to recognize his God in every breath of his existence, anyone who can snatch man from the dust to have him stand upright in all his dignity and nobility, is, in the view of Judaism, a messenger of God on earth.
Class is no assurance of genius, ability or wisdom. No man is fit to control the lives of his fellows. The trade unions are the agencies through which wage-earners are working out their destinies and interposing a check upon the arbitrary power in industry.
Can he explained that certain individuals, who do not even know how to swim, try to jump from the top of a bridge to save someone who is drowning? These individuals simply move to a magical force pulses, a force impels them before they have time to realize is foolishly reckless, and just like that, without thinking, without conscious thought, I kept to that unfortunate from the living Casino game lobby and from the lobby to the terrace.
Above all, in this speech, as in so many others, he taught a lesson in wise kindliness and charity; an indispensable lesson to us of to-day, for if we approach the work of reform in a spirit of vindictiveness-in a spirit of reckless disregard for the rights of others, or of hatred for men because they are better off than ourselves—we are sure in the end to do not good but damage to all mankind, and especially to those whose especial champions we pro-fess ourselves to be.
Fundamentally, our chief problem may be summed up as the effort to make men as nearly as they can be made, both free and equal; the freedom and equality necessarily resting on a basis of justice and brotherhood. It is not possible, with the imperfections of mankind, ever wholly to achieve such an ideal, if only for the reason that the shortcomings of men are such that complete and unrestricted individual liberty would mean the negation of even approximate equality, while a rigid and absolute equality would imply the destruction of every shred of liberty. Our business is to secure a practical working combination between the two. This combination should aim, on the one hand to secure to each man the largest measure of individual liberty that is compatible with his fellows getting from life a just share of the good things to which they are legitimately entitled; while, on the other hand, it should aim to bring about among well-behaved, hardworking people a measure of equality which shall be substantial, and which shall yet permit to the individual the personal liberty of achievement and reward without which life would not be worth living, without which all progress would stop, and civilization ?rst stagnate and then go backwards. Such a combination cannot be completely realized. It can be realized at all only by the application of the spirit of fraternity, the spirit of brotherhood. This spirit demands that each man shall learn and apply the principle that his liberty must be used not only for his own bene?t but for the interest of the community as a whole, while the community in its turn, acting as a whole, shall understand that while it must insist on its own rights as against the individual, it must also scrupulously safeguard these same rights of the individual.
Our country has been populated by pioneers, and therefore it has in it more energy, more enterprise, more expansive power than any other in the wide world... They have shown the qualities of daring, endurance, and far-sightedness, of eager desire for victory and stubborn refusal to accept defeat, which go to make up the essential manliness of the American character. Above all, they have recognized in practical form the fundamental law of success in American life—the law of worthy work, the law of high, resolute endeavor. We have but little room among our people for the timid, the irresolute, and the idle; and it is no less true that there is scant room in the world at large for the nation with mighty thews that dares not to be great.
Businesses, are, in reality, quasi-religious sects. When you go to work in one, you embrace A New Faith. And if they are really big businesses, you progress from faith to a kind of mystique. Belief in the product, preaching the product, in the end the product becomes the focus of a transcendental experience. Through “the product” one communes with the vast forces of life, nature, and history that are expressed in business.
The various systems of doctrine that have held dominion over man have been demonstrated to be true beyond all question by rationalists of such power—to name only a few—as Aquinas and Calvin and Hegel and Marx. Guided by these master hands the intellect has shown itself more deadly than cholera or bubonic plague and far more cruel. The incompatibility with one another of all the great systems of doctrine might surely be have expected to provoke some curiosity about their nature.
What fearful shapes and shadows beset his path, amidst the dim and ghastly glare of a snowy night! With what wistful look did he eye every trembling ray of light streaming across the waste fields from some distant window! How often was he appalled by some shrub covered with snow, which, like a sheeted specter, beset his very path! How often did he shrink with curdling awe at the sound of his own steps on the frosty crust beneath his feet; and dread to look over his shoulder, lest he should behold some uncouth being tramping close behind him! and how often was he thrown into complete dismay by some rushing blast, howling among the trees, in the idea that it was the Galloping Hessian on one of his nightly scouring!
He had nothing he could do with is life's work now except leave it to a man who thought nothing of it.
No wonder so many sermons are devoted exclusively to spiritual subjects. If one is living by the tithes of history's most destructive economy, then the disembodiment of the soul becomes the chief of worldly conveniences.
Now what is the effect on a man or a nation when it comes passionately to believe such an extraordinary dictum as this? That nations are coming to believe it is manifest daily. Wave on wave, each with increasing virulence, is dashing this new religion of whiteness on the shores of our time. Its first effects are funny: the strut of the Southerner, the arrogance of the Englishman amuck, the whoop of the hoodlum who vicariously leads your mob.
By declaring that man is responsible and must actualize the potential meaning of his life, I wish to stress that the true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his own psyche, as though it were a closed system. I have termed this constitutive characteristic the self-transcendence of human existence. It denotes the fact that being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself--be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself--by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love--the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself. What is called self-actualization is not an attainable aim at all, for the simple reason that the more one would strive for it, the more he would miss it. In other words, self-actualization is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.
The war is not so expensive that bondage.