Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench. Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.
He resumed: "In order to ascertain the height of the tree I must be in such a position that the top of the tree is exactly in a line with the top of a measuring stick or any straight object would do, such as an umbrella which I shall secure in an upright position between my feet. Knowing then that the ratio that the height of the tree bears to the length of the measuring stick must equal the ratio that the distance from my eye to the base of the tree bears to my height, and knowing (or being able to find out) my height, the length of the measuring stick and the distance from my eye to the base of the tree, I can, therefore, calculate the height of the tree." "What is an umbrella?"
But whither am I strayed? I need not raise Trophies to thee from other men's dispraise; Nor is thy fame on lesser ruins built; Nor needs thy juster title the foul guilt Of Eastern kings, who, to secure their reign, Must have their brothers, sons, and kindred slain.
By whatever basis human desires are classified, the promise of an abundant life covers virtually all. To the spiritual it suggests escape from futility; to the sensuous it calls up visions of luxury; to the defeated it is a dream of success. To the idle it pledges ease; to the weary, rest; to the frightened it means safety; to the anxious, security; and to the improvident it conjures inexhaustible resources. Persuade a man that you can give him the thing he most desires and you will be his hero; offer him justification for his failures and he will be your disciple; assure him a boundless supply of "loaves and fishes" and he will seek to make you king.
Less Government When you look at our vast government and the hundreds of billions of dollars it costs, it's hard to find success, but easy to find the harm that others have caused. There just aren't many agencies that are really indispensable to the nation's security and well-being those should be keept and the fat should be trimmed. It's honorable to attempt to reduce pain, suffering, and poverty. But it is not realistic to expect that every citizen can be provided the same amounts of good food, comfortable housing, and health care. It is up to the individual to do work. In short Liberalism, socialism, and utopianism are a dead end, just look at the former Soviet Union. If you like their system, maybe you should move there.
To be free one needs constant and unrelenting vigilance over one's weaknesses. A vigilance which requires a moral energy most of us are incapable of manufacturing. We relax back into the moulds of habit. They are secure, they bind us and keep us contained at the expense of freedom. To break the moulds, to be heedless of the seductions of security is an impossible struggle, but one of the few that count. To be free is to learn, to test yourself constantly, to gamble.
Contrary to the commonly accepted belief, it is the risk element in our capitalistic system which produces an economy of security. Risk brings out the ingenuity and resourcefulness which insure the success of enough ventures to keep the economy growing and secure.