One should above all trust human nature, in the full recognition that its both good and bad. That it’s both loving and selfish.

Now let me give an illustration of this:

– when people fight wars I trust them if the reason for which they fight a war is to expropriate somebody else’s possessions and women because they will fight a merciful war – they will not destroy the possessions and the women that they want to capture. They want to enjoy them and that’s a war based on simple ordinary human greed.

– the most awful wars that are waged are the wars waged for morals principles.

“You are a lousy communist – you have a philosophy that is destructive to religion and to everything that we love and value and reverence and therefore we will exterminate you to the last man unless you surrender unconditionally.”

Such wars are ruthless beyond belief. We can blow up whole cities, wipe people out because we are not greedy, we are righteous. That is why the goodie goodies are the thieves of virtue. If you are going to do something evil – do it for a plain honest selfish motive. Don’t do it in the name of God, because if you do – it turns you into a monster who is no longer human. A sadist, a pure destroyer. So an inflexibly righteous person is not human…

If a country is governed wisely,
its inhabitants will be content.
They enjoy the labor of their hands
and don’t waste time inventing
labor-saving machines.
Since they dearly love their homes,
they aren’t interested in travel.
There may be a few wagons and boats,
but these don’t go anywhere.
There may be an arsenal of weapons,
but nobody ever uses them.
People enjoy their food,
take pleasure in being with their families,
spend weekends working in their gardens,
delight in the doings of the neighborhood.
And even though the next country is so close
that people can hear its roosters crowing
and its dogs barking,
they are content to die of old age
without ever having gone to see it.

Tao Te Ching – Chapter 80.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Desiderata | Words for Life – Max Ehrmann