It would be one of the greatest triumphs of humanity, one of the most tangible liberations from the constraints of nature to which mankind is subject, if we could succeed in raising the responsible act of procreating children to the level of a deliberate and intentional activity and in freeing it from its entanglement with the necessary satisfaction of a natural need.
True happiness is to understand our duties toward God and man; to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future; not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears, but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is abundantly sufficient; for he that is so wants nothing. The great blessings of mankind are with us, and within our reach; but we shut our eyes and, like people in the dark, fall foul of the very thing we search for without finding it. Tranquility is a certain equality of mind which no condition of fortune can either exalt or depress. There must be sound mind to make a happy man; there must be constancy in all conditions, a care for the things of this world but without anxiety; and such an indifference to the bounties of fortune that either with them or without them we may live content. True joy is serene. . . . The seat of it is within, and there is no cheerfulness like the resolution of a brave mind that has fortune under its feat. It is an invincible greatness of mind not to be elevated or dejected with good or ill fortune. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it be - without wishing for what he has not.