quote for today

"Preparing for Unexpected Good" by J.R.R. Tolkien I sometimes feel appalled at the thought of the sum total of human misery all over the world at the present moment: The millions parted, fretting, wasting in unprofitable days--quite apart from torture, pain, death, bereavement, injustice. If anguish were visible, almost the whole of this benighted planet would be enveloped in a dense dark vapour, shrouded from the amazed vision of the heavens! And the products of it all will be mainly evil--historically considered. But the historic version is, of course, not the only one. All things and all deeds have a value in themselves, apart from their "causes" and "effects." No man can estimate what is really happening sub specie aeternitatis*. All we do know, and that to a large extent by direct experience, is that evil labors with vast power and perpetual success--in vain: preparing always the soil for unexpected good to sprout in. Excerpt from a letter by J.R.R. Tolkien to his son Christopher, 10 April 1944. * "beneath the splendor of heaven"


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