- George Saunders
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They mustn’t know my despair, I can’t let them see the wounds which they have caused, I couldn’t bear their sympathy and their kind-hearted jokes, it would only make me want to scream all the more. If I talk, everyone thinks I’m showing off; when I’m silent they think I’m ridiculous; rude if I answer, sly if I get a good idea, lazy if I’m tired, selfish if I eat a mouthful more than I should, stupid, cowardly, crafty, etc. etc.
Kind-hearted people might of course think there was some ingenious way to disarm or defeat an enemy without too much bloodshed, and might imagine this is the true goal of the art of war. Pleasant as it sounds; it is a fallacy that must be exposed: War is such a dangerous business that the mistakes which come from kindness are the very worst.