Though conditions have grown puzzling in their complexity, though changes have been vast, yet we may remain absolutely sure of one thing; that now as ever in the past, and as it will ever be in-the future, there can be no substitute for elemental virtues, for the elemental qualities to which we allude when we speak of a man, not only as a good man, but as emphatically a man. We can build up the standard of individual citizenship and individual well-being, we can raise the national standard and make it what it can and shall be made, only by each of us steadfastly keeping in mind that there can be no substitute for the world-old commonplace qualities of truth, justice, and courage, thrift, industry, common sense and genuine sympathy with the fellow feelings of others.
A free society that allows each individual to seek his or her own selfish ends (without deliberately trying to harm anyone else) will produce a state in which everyone's interest is optimized without any individual knowing in advance what that state might be.
In baseball we keep an accurate record of the hits, runs, and errors of each individual player. Life is also a great game, and in life the statistics are much more important than they are in a ball game. One of our human weaknesses in life is that when we are losing the game, we don't always like to keep track of the score. Certainly we are not very enthusiastic about putting the errors down on the paper, and most people don't even know what their individual batting average is. This makes our success much more difficult both to figure out and to attain . . . we cannot separate our success from our statistics. If each day we could see what God writes in his book about our works for that day, it would certainly motivate us to make better scores.
Sterling W. Sill (1903 - 1994)
Source: Told by Sterling W. Sill in Majesty of Books, p. 34
Compared with the person who is conscious of his despair, the despairing individual who is ignorant of his despair is simply a negativity further away from the truth and deliverance. . . . Yet ignorance is so far from breaking the despair or changing despair to nondespairing that it can in fact be the most dangerous form of despair. . . . An individual is furthest from being conscious of himself as spirit when he is ignorant of being in despair. But precisely this-not to be conscious of oneself as spirit-is despair, which is spiritlessness. . . .
An individual in despair despairs over something. . . . In despairing over something, he really despair[s] over himself, and now he wants to get rid of himself. Consequently, to despair over something is still not despair proper. . . . To despair over oneself, in despair to will to be rid of oneself-this is the formula for all despair.
Spiritual superiority only sees the individual. But alas, ordinarily we human beings are sensual and, therefore, as soon as it is a gathering, the impression changes-we see something abstract, the crowd, and we become different. But in the eyes of God, the infinite spirit, all the millions that have lived and now live do not make a crowd, He only sees each individual.