At that moment the universe appeared to me a vast machine constructed only to produce evil. I almost doubted the goodness of God, in not annihilating man on the day he first sinned. The world should have been destroyed, I said, crushed as I crush this reptile which has done nothing in its life but render all that it touches as disgusting as itself. I had scarcely removed my foot from the poor insect when, like a censoring angel sent from heaven, there came fluttering through the trees a butterfly with large wings of lustrous gold and purple. It shone but a moment before my eyes; then, rising among the leaves, it vanished into the height of the azure vault. I was mute, but an inner voice said to me, Let not the creature judge his Creator; here is a symbol of the world to come. As the ugly caterpillar is the origin of the splendid butterfly, so this globe is the embryo of a new heaven and a new earth whose poorest beauty will infinitely exceed your mortal imagination. And when you see the magnificent result of that which seems so base to you now, how you will scorn your blind presumption, in accusing Omniscience for not having made nature perish in her infancy.God is the god of justice and mercy; then surely, every grief that he inflicts on his creatures, be they human or animal, rational or irrational, every suffering of our unhappy nature is only a seed of that divine harvest which will be gathered when, Sin having spent its last drop of venom, Death having launched its final shaft, both will perish on the pyre of a universe in flames and leave their ancient victims to an eternal empire of happiness and glory.
Emily Brontë
Respected Teacher,My son will have to learn that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for ever scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader. Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend.It will take time, I know; but teach him, if you can, that a dollar earned is far more valuable than five found.Teach him to learn to lose and also to enjoy winning.Steer him away from envy, if you can.Teach him the secret of quite laughter. Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to tick.Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books... but also give him quiet time to ponder over the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun and flowers on a green hill.In school teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if every one tells him they are wrong.Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with the tough.Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when every one is getting on the bandwagon.Teach him to listen to all men but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through.Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he is sad. Teach him there is no shame in tears. Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness.Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders; but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul.Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob… and to stand and fight if he thinks he’s right.Treat him gently; but do not cuddle him because only the test of fire makes fine steel.Let him have the courage to be impatient, let him have the patience to be brave. Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind.This is a big order; but see what you can do. He is such a fine little fellow, my son.(Abraham Lincoln’s letter to his son’s Head Master)
Abraham Lincoln