India was the motherland of our race and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages. India was the mother of our philosophy, of much of our mathematics, of the ideals embodied in Christianity… of self-government and democracy. In many ways, Mother India is the mother of us all.
Perhaps our supercilious disgust with existence is a cover for a secret disgust with ourselves; we have botched and bungled our lives, and we cast the blame upon the environment or the world, which have no tongues to utter a defense. The mature man accepts the natural limitations of life; he does not expect Providence to be prejudiced in his favor; he does not ask for loaded dice to play the game of life. He knows, with Carlyle, that there is no sense in vilifying the sun because it will not light our cigars. And perhaps, if we are clever enough to help it, the sun will even do that; and this vast neutral cosmos may turn out to be a pleasant place enough if we bring a little sunshine of our own to help it out. In truth, the world is neither with us or against us; it is but raw material in our hands, and can be heaven or hell according to what we are.
Every vice was once a virtue, and may become respectable again, just as hatred becomes respectable in wartime.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Jacques Barzun French-born American Historian
- Theodore H. White American Journalist
- David McCullough American Historian
- James Truslow Adams American Historian
- James Harvey Robinson American Historian
- Daniel J. Boorstin American Historian
- John Dewey American Philosopher
- George Santayana Spanish-American Poet, Philosopher
- Henry David Thoreau American Philosopher
- Christopher Lasch American Historian