the wisdom of the sands - antoine de saint-exupéry

"When, O Lord, I wax indignant, it is because I have not yet understood. When I cast men in prison or have them slain, it is because I know not how to shelter them. For he who makes for himself a fragile truth (such as preferring freedom to strict discipline, or discipline to freedom), since he fails to master the vagaries of a language whose words rebuff each other - such a man boils with rage when someone ventures to contradict him. If you shout loudly, it is because, your own language being inadequate, you want to drown others' voices. But wherewith, O Lord, should I wax indignant, if I have had access to Thy mountain-top and seen work well done despite the makeshift words that sponsored it. Him who comes to me will I welcome; to him who sets himself up against me will I speak gently, comprehending where his error lies, so that he may return. Yet nothing in this gentleness will spell concession, flattery, or a desire to curry favor; I shall but be turning to account what I read so clearly behind the outward man - the fervor of his desire. And thus I shall make him mine; for I shall have taken him, too, into myself. Anger does not blind us; it comes of our being blind. You wax indignant with a man who shows his rancor. But it opens his garment, so that you see the cancer gnawing him - and presently you forgive. Why be wroth with a despair so piteous?

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