The Utter Stupid Waste of War
"The utter stupid waste of war, not only material but moral and spiritual, is so staggering to those who have to endure it. And always was (despite the poets), and always will be (despite the propagandists) - not of course that it has not is and will be necessary to face it in an evil world. But so short is human memory and so evanescent are its generations that in only about 30 years there will be few or no people with that direct experience which alone goes really to the heart. The burnt hand teaches most about fire.
"I sometimes feel appalled at the thought of the sum total of human misery all over the world at the present moment: the millions parted, fretting, wasting in unprofitable days - quite apart from torture, pain, death, bereavement, injustice. If anguish were visible, almost the whole of this benighted planet would be enveloped in a dense dark vapour, shrouded from the amazed vision of the hearens!"
Letters, #64, page 75-76
I am able (allowed) to have sufficient duties (distractions) during my day to avoid remembering or dwelling upon the "sum total of human misery all over the world." I often wake, work, rest and sleep for days at a time without much heartfelt concern or even recognition of the evil that exists around me, whether next door, in my community, my nation or the world.
But when I do faintly remember or realize, the effect is truly staggering, deeply discouraging, horribly frightening.
But only for a moment.
I blink, and the moment passes, and I continue on.