A preacher in the East End of London was speaking of the love of God-so full and boundless-and compared it to the love of a mother, which remains constant and true even when her children sinned. "Nothing," he said, "can destroy the love of a mother." At the close of the service, when he went out into the cold, rough night, a little girl in rags pulled at his coat with a trembling hand, and said: "Please, sir, you forgot something tonight. There is something that can take away a mother's love." "What do you mean, my child?" he asked. "Please, sir, liquor will. It took away my mother's love, and I know."
The real aim of criticism is not the destruction of cherished traditions - although a due regard for the facts does often compel us to revise older opinions - but a fuller appreciation of the beauty and truth of the creative work on which it fixes its regard. The word "criticism" is derived from the Greek word kritikos, which means "the ability to select or discriminate," hence, to decide or judge. The meaning of criticism is thus discriminating judgment.
I watched them tearing a building down A gang of men in a busy town. With a Ho-Heave-Ho, a lusty yell They swung a beam - and a side wall fell. I asked the foreman, "Are these men skilled And the men you'd hire if you had to build?" "For the most part," he said, "No indeed. Just common labor is all I need. I can easily wreck in a day or two What builders have taken a year to do." And I thought to myself, as I went away, Which of these roles have I tried to play? Am I a builder, who works with care, Measuring life by the rule and square? Am I shaping my deeds to a well made plan? Patiently doing the things I can? Or, am I a wrecker, who walks the town Content with the labor of tearing down?
It was necessary for us to discover greater powers of destruction than our enemies. We did. But after every war we have followed through with a new rise in our standard of living by the application of war-taught knowledge for the benefit of the world. It will be the same with the atomic bomb principles.
I have as little superstition in me as any man living, but my secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war, by every decent method which wisdom could invent. Neither have I so much of the infidel in me, as to suppose that He has relinquished the government of the world, and given us up to the care of devils.
Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809)
Source: The American Crisis, no. 1, December 23, 1776
To each his suff'rings; all are men, Condemn'd alike to groan,- The tender for another's pain, Th' unfeeling for his own. Yet ah! why should they know their fate, Since sorrow never comes too late, And happiness too swiftly flies? Thought would destroy their paradise. No more; where ignorance is bliss, 'T is folly to be wise.
Thomas Gray (1716 - 1771)
Source: On a Distant Prospect of Eton College. Stanza 10.
To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.