Today's blog is a little different, and not because I'm being lazy. I present to you a series of quotes that are related, to serve as a reminder to both you and myself that no ground we can cover is really new, except the unseen ground of peace, and that others much wiser than me have been commenting on the human condition for a very long time. It was Georges Santayana who said, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
I spend my days wondering at what goes on in the world. It is a different place from the world the people quoted below knew, and yet the principles remain the same and the vigilance we are required to exercise is of ever greater importance, simply because, as the German people in the 1920's did not see what was coming, neither do we.
Enough said. So:
“One death is a tragedy, a million deaths a statistic.
----- Josef Stalin
“Man, biologically considered, and whatever else he may be in the bargain, is simply the most formidable of all the beasts of prey, and, indeed, the only one that preys systematically on its own species.”
----- William James
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.
----- Elie Wiesel
“When Hitler attacked the Jews, I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then, Hitler attacked me and the Protestant Church == and there was nobody left to be comcerned.”
----- Martin Niemoeller
“The art of leadership . . . consists in consolidating the attention of the people against a common adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that attention.”
----- Adolph Hitler
“In our country, the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.”
----- Alexander Solzhenitsyn
“So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly arise and make them miserable.”
----- Aldous Huxley
“In all government, there is a perpetual intestine struggle, open or secret, between Authority and Liberty, and neither of them can absolutely prevail in the contest.”
----- David Hume
“All the world knows that the weak overcome the strong and the soft overcomes the hard.
“But none can practice it.”
----- Lao Tsu
“In my humble opinion, non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.”
----- Mahatma Gandhi