Today's Beautiful Gem: 'The spirit of man'
by Jawaharlal Nehru in 'The Discovery of India'
"How amazing is this spirit of man! In spite of innumerable
failings, man, throughout the ages, has sacrificed his life and
all he held dear for an ideal, for truth, for faith, for country
and honor. That ideal may change, but that capacity for self-
sacrifice continues, and because of that, much may be forgiven
to man, and it is impossible to lose hope for him. In the midst
of disaster he has not lost his dignity or his faith in the values
he cherished. Plaything of nature's mighty forces, less than the
speck of dust in this vast universe, he has hurled defiance at
the elemental powers, and with his mind, cradle of revolution,
sought to master them. Whatever gods there be, there is something
godlike in man, as there is also something of the devil in him.
"The future is dark, uncertain. But we can see part of the way
leading to it and can tread it with firm steps, remembering that
nothing that can happen is likely to overcome the spirit of man
which has survived so many perils. Remebering also that life, for
all its ills, has joy and beauty, and we can always wander, if we
know how to, in the enchanted woods of nature.
" `What else is Wisdom? What of man's endeavour
Or God's high grace, so lovely and so great?
To stand from fear set free, to breathe and wait;
To hold a hand uplifted over Hate;
And shall not Loveliness be loved for ever?' ^
" ^ Chorus from the Bacchae of Euripides (Gilbert Murray's trnsln)."
Note: May 27 marks the death anniversary of independent India's
first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
Om Santih! Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao