The beauty of 'spacing' children many years apart lies in the fact that parents have time to learn the mistakes that were made with the older ones - which permits them to make exactly the opposite mistakes with the younger ones.
Ninety per cent of the world's woe comes from people not knowing themselves, their abilities, their frailties, and even their real virtues. Most of us go almost all the way through life as complete strangers to ourselves - so how can we know anyone else?
It's surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you're not comfortable within yourself, you can't be comfortable with others.
The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to war.
And most of the failures in parent-child relationships, from my observation, begin when the child begins to acquire a mind and a will of its own, to make independent decisions and to question the omnipotence or the wisdom of the parent.
Genuine love for a child, it seems to me, must include a desire for his maturity and ultimately his independence. WAtching a personality unfold is perhaps the deepest pleasure of parenthood; wishing, or trying, to retard this growth is one of the deepest sins.
A winner rebukes and forgives; a loser is too Forgiveness breaks the chain of causality because he who forgives you -- out of love -- takes upon himself the consequences of what you have done. Forgiveness, therefore, always entails a sacrifice.
It is not only useless, it is harmful, to believe in oneself until one truly knows oneself. And to know oneself means to accept our moments of insanity, of eccentricity, of childishness and blindness.
The public examination of homosexuality in our contemporary life is still so coated with distasteful moral connotations that even a reviewer is bound to wonder uneasily why he was selected to evaluate a book on the subject, and to assert defensively at the outset that he is happily married, the father of four children and the one-time adornment of his college boxing, track and tennis teams.
When you run into someone who is disagreeable to others, you may be sure he is uncomfortable with himself; the amount of pain we inflict upon others is directly proportional to the amount we feel within us.
Parents - and teachers too - are woefully short-sighted when they try to protect the child from his mistakes, when they make the "right answer" more important than the quest for knowledge and good judgment. For what is not learned within one's self cannot be learned from another.
People who won't help others in trouble "because they got into trouble through their own fault" would probably not throw a lifeline to a drowning person until they learned whether that person fell in through his or her own fault or not.
What the ordinary person means by a 'miracle' is some gross distortion or suspension of the laws of nature... but life itself strikes him as commonplace, when in truth a blade of grass or a neuron in the brain is a greater miracle...
Western civilization has not yet learned the lesson that the energy we expend in 'getting things done' is less important than the moral strength it takes to decide what is worth doing and what is right to do.
Most people are mirrors, reflecting the moods and emotions of the times; few are windows, bringing light to bear on the dark corners where troubles fester. The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.
The Unconvincibles are the people who are not amenable to reason of any sort. Their minds are not only closed, but bolted and hermetically sealed. In most cases , their beliefs congealed at an early age; by the time they left their teens, they were encased in a rigid framework of thought and feeling, which no evidence or argument can penetrate.
Ancient boundaries are meaningless, except for political purposes; old divisions of clan and tribe are sentimental remnants of the pre-atomic age; neither creed nor color nor place of origin is relevant to the realities of modern power to utterly seek and destroy.
Norbert Blei is a writer the way people used to be troubadours and minstrels, celebrating what he has seen and heart and felt in a deceptively simple style reminiscent of the early Sherwood Anderson. . . . Like Anderson, he is a lover, and his affection invests his writing with a singular charm.