Pain is a gift. Humanity, without pain, would know neither fear nor pity. Without fear, there could be no humility, and every man would be a monster. The recognition of pain and fear in others give rise in us to pity, and in our pity is our humanity, our redemption.
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
Misfortunes leave wounds which bleed drop by drop even in sleep; thus little by little they train man by force and dispose him to wisdom in spite of himself. Man must learn to think of himself as a limited and dependent being; and only suffering teaches him this.
Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.
I doubt whether any of these people [pacifists],with their academic or dogmatic hatred of war, detest it as much as I do. They probably have not seen bodies rotting on the ground and smelled the stench of decaying human flesh. . . .what separates me from the pacifists is that I hate the Nazis more than I hate war.
What a man can do and suffer is unknown to himself till some occasion presents itself which draws out the hidden power. Just as one sees not in the water of an unruffled pond the fury and roar with which it can dash down a steep rock without injury to itself, or how high it is capable of rising; or as little as one can suspect the latent heat in ice-cold water.