We are not immortal, but our acts are... The question is not why we exist but whether we deserve to exist as supposedly rational beings if we act like conquerors rather than caring beings willing to share the planet with all those who are less powerful, and to act with restraint in respecting the needs of others and all life to come. As a species, we are on trial to see whether rationality was an advance or a tragic mistake.
Perpetual aiming at wit is a very bad part of conversation. It is done to support a character: it generally fails; it is a sort of insult on the company, and a restraint upon the speaker.
Plainly, the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy. A majority, held in restraint by constitutional checks, and imitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does, of necessity, fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible; the rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy, or despotism in some form, is all that is left.
A man who raises himself by degrees to wealth and power, contracts, in the course of this protracted labor, habits of prudence and restraint which he cannot afterwards shake off. A man cannot gradually enlarge his mind as he does his house.
Voluntary simplicity involves both inner and outer condition. It means singleness of purpose, sincerity and honesty within, as well as avoidance of exterior clutter, of many possessions irrelevant to the chief purpose of life. It means an ordering and guiding of our energy and our desires, a partial restraint in some directions in order to secure greater abundance of life in other directions. It involves a deliberate organization of life for a purpose. Of course, as different people have different purposes in life, what is relevant to the purpose of one person might not be relevant to the purpose of another....The degree of simplification is a matter for each individual to settle for himself.
Great American power and responsibility are not unprecedented, and have been used with restraint and great benefit in the past. We have not assumed that super strength guarantees super wisdom, and we have consistently reached out to the international community to ensure that our own power and influence are tempered by the best common judgment. Within our country, ultimate decisions are made through democratic means, which tend to moderate radical or ill-advised proposals. Constrained and inspired by historic constitutional principles, our nation has endeavored for more than two hundred years to follow the now almost universal ideals of freedom, human rights, and justice for all.
When I speak of life and love as expanding with age, sex seems the least important thing. At any age we grow by the enlarging of consciousness, by learning a new language, or a new art or craft (gardening?) that implies a new way of looking at the universe. Love is one of the great enlargers of the person because it requires us to "take in" the stranger and to understand him, and to exercise restraint and tolerance as well as imagination to make the relationship work.
Restraint never ruins one's health. What ruins it,is not restraint but outward suppression. A really self-restrained person grows every day from strength to strength and from peace to more peace. The very first step in self-restraint is the restraint of thoughts.
When restraint and courtesy are added to strength, the latter becomes irresistible.
I have freed myself from each and every restraint of religion, ethics, and social responsibility and the result is that I have made myself into a question mark. I cannot accept the old order. I cannot make a new order for myself. I wish I could be a plain and simple Socialist or Progressive. People generally take me to be a Progressive, and I call myself one too. But I am truly a decadent. The bitterness, despair, reclusiveness and extreme individuation in my story “ƒar≥mj≥dµ” is an example of that. I want to infuse my stories with a spirit that will create hope for a new world and a new life for humanity. But my stories are severing even the threads of hope that remain. I cannot grasp the spirit of unity. I am bonded with the spirit of disunity. So aren’t my stories harmful and poisonous for the new life? Aren’t sick temperaments my examples? Is it justifiable that I write such stories at a time when there is a battle going on for the fate of humanity? That I should write stories about the illusions and imagined narcissistic fancies of an utterly personal nature? […] I too have no “character.” My opinions and thoughts change with the wind. Only despair is my constant feeling.
For the Age has itself become vulgar, and most people have no idea to what extent they are themselves tainted. The bad manners of all parliaments, the general tendency to connive at a rather shady business transaction if it promises to bring in money without work, jazz and Negro dances as the spiritual outlet in all circles of society, women painted like prostitutes, the efforts of writers to win popularity by ridiculing in their novels and plays the correctness of well-bred people, and the bad taste shown even by the nobility and old princely families in throwing off every kind of social restraint and time-honored custom: all of these go to prove that it is now the vulgar mob that gives the tone.
A certain degree of ceremony is a necessary outwork of manners, as well as of religion; it keeps the forward and petulant at a proper distance, and is a very small restraint to the sensible and to the well-bred part of the world.
Our runaway judiciary is badly in need of restraint by Congress.