Without creative personalities able to think and judge independently, the upward development of society is as unthinkable as the development of the individual personality without the nourishing soil of the community.
Nothing sublimely artistic has ever arisen out of mere art, any more than anything essentially reasonable has ever arisen out of the pure reason. There must always be a rich moral soil for any great aesthetic growth.
Freedom is not free. Shaping and preserving society necessarily involves personal commitment, costly risk and constant effort; the cultivation of civil liberty can be no more passive than the cultivation of a farm. A man can inherit the land on which he lives, he can even inherit the first crop of produce after he takes over from those who came before him. But then if he stops, everything stops, and begins to crumble. Nothing grows, nothing ripe and rewarding comes to him, unless he plows, plants and tends the soil and unless he keeps it fertile year after year with the chemistry of effort and forethought.
Soft climates breed soft men; the same soil never produces both delicacies and heroes.
He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood. He who faces no calamity will need no courage. Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in the soil with strong mixture of troubles.
The institutions of a country depend in great measure on the nature of its soil and situation. Many of the wants of man are awakened or supplied by these circumstances. To these wants, manners, laws, and religion must shape and accommodate themselves. The division of land, and the rights attached to it, alter with the soil; the laws relating to its produce, with its fertility. The manners of its inhabitants are in various ways modified by its position. The religion of a miner is not the same as the faith of a shepherd, nor is the character of the ploughman so war-like as that of the hunter. The observant legislator follows the direction of all these various circumstances. the knowledge of the natural advantages or defects of a country thus form an essential part of political science and history.
Most people want to feel that issues are simple rather than complex, want to have their prejudices confirmed, want to feel that they “belong” with the implication that others do not, and need to pinpoint an enemy to blame for their frustrations. This being the case, the propagandist is likely to find that his suggestions have fallen on fertile soil so long as he delivers his message with an eye to the existing attitudes and intellectual level of his audience.
There do remain dispersed in the soil of human nature diverse seeds of goodness, of benignity, of ingenuity, which being cherished, excited, and quickened by good culture, do by common experience thrust out flowers very lovely, and yield fruits very pleasant of virtue and goodness.
Even while we mourn the death of a loved one, there is room in our hearts for thankfulness for that life… Sober reflection can also lead us to a more sympathetic appreciation of the vital role death plays in the economy of life. Life’s significant and zest issue from our awareness of its transiency, its “fragile contingency.” The urge to create, the passion to perfect, the will to heal and cure – all the noblest of human enterprises grow in the soil of human mortality.
Your words are the seed, your soul is the farmer, the world is your field; let the farmer look to the sowing, that the soil may abundance yield.