not waving but drowning

really, really sorry for not updating, as usual – parents have just left for singapore and it’s just sunk in that i’m gonna be working things out mostly on my own for another two more years.  so while i’m faffing around the house here’s the obligatory passage from men clearly wiser than me.  this one’s niebuhr on america:

‘once the first hardships had been endured, it became obvious that the riches of the new continent promised remarkably high standard of well-being.  these were accepted as ‘uncovenanted mercies’. (…)  it has remained one of the most difficult achievements for our nation to recognize the fortuitous and the providential element in our good fortune.  if either moral pride or the spirit of rationalism tries to draw every element in an historic situation into rational coherence, and persuades us to establish a direct congruity between our good fortune and our virtue or our skill, we will inevitably claim more for our contribution to our prosperity than the facts warrant.  this has remained a source of moral confusion in american life.  for, from the later puritans to the present day we have variously attributed american prosperity to our superior diligence, our greater skill or (more recently) to our more fervent devotion to the ideals of freedom.  we thereby have complicated our spiritual problem for the days of adversity which we are bound to experience.  we have forgotten to what degree the wealth of our natural resources an the fortuitous circumstance that we conquered a continent just when the advancement of technics made it possible to organise that continent into a single political and economic unit, lay at the foundation of our prosperity.’

i promise i’ll write soon.  not sure whether that promise seems more like a threat, though.

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