The antithesis between death and life is not so stark for the Christian as it is for the atheist. Life is a process of becoming, and the moment of death is the transition from one life to another. Thus it is possible for a Christian to succumb to his own kind of death-wish, to seek that extreme of other-worldliness to which the faith has always been liable, especially in periods of stress and uncertainty. There may appear a marked preoccupation with death and a rejection of all temporal things. To say that this world is in a fallen state and that not too much value must be set upon it, is very far from the Manichaean error of supposing it to be evil throughout. The Christian hope finds ambivalence in death: that which destroys, also redeems.
Imagine a life without uncertainty... Imagine how dull life would be if variables assessed for admission to a professional school, graduate program, or executive training program really did predict with great accuracy who would succeed and who would fall. Life would be intolerable - no hope, no challenge
Those who by valorous ways become princes, like these men ['Moses, Cyrus, Romulus, Theseus, and such like'], acquire a principality with difficulty, but they keep it with ease. The difficulties they have in acquiring it rise in part from the new rules and methods which they are forced to introduce to establish their government and its security. And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, then to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them. Thus it happens that whenever those who are hostile have the opportunity to attack they do it like partisans, whilst the others defend lukewarmly, in such wise that the prince is endangered along with them.
Ere you lie down to sleep in the night, sit still awhile, and nurse again to life your gentler self. Forget the restless, noisy spirit of the day, and encourage to speech the soft voices within you that timidly whisper of the peace of the quiet night; and occasionally look out at the quiet stars. The night will soothe you like a tender mother, folding you against her soft bosom, and hiding you from the harm of the world. Though denied and rejected by men in the light of day, the night will not reject you and in the still of her soft shadows you are free. After the day's struggle there is no freedom like unfettered thoughts, no sound like the music of silence. And though behind you lies a road of dust and heat and discouragement, and before you the challenge and uncertainty of untried paths, in this brief hour you are master of all highways, and the universe nestles in your soul.
Censorship is almost systematically the weapon of first resort for governments in uncertain political situations. So not only are the famous writers and bold journalists in danger; at every level of public and private life, the freedoms to think, read or write are denied. In the absence of a free press, other human rights abuses flourish unabated. Nothing is reported, criticized, questioned. The example of imprisonment, torture or execution imposes a further silence. A blindly obedient mob mentality is encouraged, driven by extremist religious or ethnic loyalties. The citizens do not know what is happening. Fear and ignorance permeate discussion.