Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
How can a rational being be ennobled by any thing that is not obtained by its own exertions?
The extraordinary exertions of the colonies, in cooperation with British measures, against the French, in the late war, were acknowledged by the British parliament to be more than adequate to their ability.
Nothing happens by itself... it all will come your way, once you understand that you have to make it come your way, by your own exertions.
But my most favourite pursuit, after my daily exertions at the Foundry, was Astronomy. There were frequently clear nights when the glorious objects in the Heavens were seen in most attractive beauty and brilliancy.
The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
It is bad policy to regulate everything... where things may better regulate themselves and can be better promoted by private exertions; but it is no less bad policy to let those things alone which can only be promoted by interfering social power.
Look around, and you see everywhere the exertions and acts of individuals restricted, regulated, or promoted, on the principle of the common welfare.
I am content with nothing, restless and ambitious... and I despise myself for the vanity, which formed half the stimulus to my exertions. Oh would that I were one of those plodding wise fools who having once set their hand to the plough go on nothing doubting.
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