Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of the easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
-Robert Frost, Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
“…People who end up ‘first’ don’t actually set out to be first. They set out to do something they love.”
And with that last remark the Secretary of State stepped down from the podium to take her place among the rest of the panelists.
The crowd’s reaction was overwhelming. She sat down to a standing ovation. And whatever their reason for attending the forum, not one could deny the weight, the wisdom and the truth of her words that night. Condoleezza Rice had distinguished herself among friend and foe alike.
“One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organization do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team.― from the legendary words of A. W. Tozer.”
The words of the radio announcer ran through William like an electric shock current. And for a while after that infomercial, he remained riveted to the spot. Unable to move for the weight of what had just been revealed. Eventually, he found his way to the bed and sat back down.
Is that what they were? A well organized group?!…
The possibility of that truth would weigh heavy upon him for the duration of the day.
“Remember. One more lillypop and then you all go home!”
The imagery struck Tom at once. Is that what he was doing? Appeasing the enemy? All he earnestly sought to do was bring peace to the situation. So yes, concessions had been made. “…for fear of consequence.” echoed the voice from within.
And looking at the caricature, cast his actions in a different light. In horror he then understood that concessions had been granted at the expense of principle. In the attempt to pacify one of the parties – a known enemy – he and his team at the UN had deeply compromised their mission. And the decisions would prove to be fatal.
“A man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to save them from starving. They all have food in their own homes. When we gather together in the moonlit village ground it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so.”
― Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Your favorite book of all time.
“Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that’s the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing. Nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him if he gives too much.”
– Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton.
Favorite quote from your favorite book.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
– The Man In The Arena by Theodore Roosevelt. And it’s not a book. It’s a speech he delivered at the Sorbonne on the 23rd of April 1910, Paris France titled Citizenship In A Republic.