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For years I’ve wanted to live according to everyone else’s morals. I’ve forced myself to live like everyone else, to look like everyone else. I said what was necessary to join together, even when I felt separate. And after all of this, catastrophe came. Now I wander amid the debris, I am lawless, torn to pieces, alone and accepting to be so, resigned to my singularity and to my infirmities. And I must rebuild a truth-after having lived all my life in a sort of lie.
Some dangers are so spectacular and so much beyond normal experience that the mind refuses to accept them as real, and watches the approach of doom without any sense of apprehension. The man who looks at the onrushing tidal wave, the descending avalanche, or the spinning funnel of the tornado, yet makes no attempt to flee, is not necessarily paralyzed with fright or resigned to an unavoidable fate. He may simply be unable to believe that the message of his eyes concerns him personally. It is all happening to somebody else.
When the worms are scarce, what does a hen do? Does she stop scratching? She does not. She scratches all the harder. A lot of businessmen have been showing less sense than a hen since orders became scarce. They have laid off salesmen; they have stopped or reduced their advertising; they have simply resigned themselves to inaction and, of course, to pessimism. If a hen knows enough to scratch all the harder when the worms are scarce, surely businessmen … ought to have gumption enough to scratch all the harder for business.
The teachers tried everything, even pleading, but Tomas was in the habit of addressing them only in Latin, a language he spoke with papal fluency and in which he did not stammer. Sooner or later they all resigned in despair, fearing he might be possessed: he might be spouting demonic instructions in Aramaic at them, for all they knew.
Maybe we’ll live to see sharks recover. Right now, that seems as improbable as seeing all these falcons. Hope is the ability to see how things could be better. The world of human affairs has long been a shadowy place, but always backlit by the light of hope. Each person can add hope to the world. A resigned person subtracts hope. The more people strive, the more change becomes likely.
He looked resigned, as though he knew that wretched door–to where? Home? Heaven? Peace?–would never open, and at the same time he seemed resolved, ready to do his bit even though he couldn’t possibly know what sacrifices that would require. Had he been kept here, too–in a place he didn’t belong, serving in a war in which he hadn’t enlisted, to rescue sparrows and soldiers and shopgirls and Shakespeare? To tip the balance?
When there exists anywhere a state of suffering, a wrong, a condition of affairs that men of feeling deplore and that troubles the conscience of the upright, to become resigned to it is wicked. Although the evil flaunts itself before our eyes, and no remedy is in sight, we must go and seek a remedy. In the creation of the God of Justice, evil can be but a transitory state.
Sadly I write in my quiet room, alone as I have always been, alone as I will always be. And I wonder if my apparently negligible voice might not embody the essence of thousands of voices, the longing for self expression of thousands of lives, the patience of millions of souls resigned like my own to their daily lot, their useless dreams, and their hopeless hopes.
The man of understanding can no more sit quiet and resigned while his country lets its literature decay, and lets good writing meet with contempt, than a good doctor could sit quiet and contented while some ignorant child was infecting itself with tuberculosis under the impression that it was merely eating jam tarts.