Thursday, December 31, 2009

Quotable Bailey

Some things are true in spite of statistics and philosophy and tabulation. Some things we know because we know them.

Business has no divine right, any more than has rulership.

The land is never partisan.

The fences are coming down,—those crooked, crabbed fences, horse high, bull strong, hog tight, and man proof, —the fences within which one might hide and be relieved of outside obligation. When the fence would not keep the neighbor out, the devil's-lane was interposed, the no-man's-land of briers and crooked growths. Many were the histories of the old line fence.
...the destruction of human beings by human beings is of a piece with the destruction of animals and vegetation, of the disregard for the essential rights of neighbors in the use and proprietorship of the earth, and of the shameful wounding of the planet.

A man does not serve his fellow until he takes care of himself. One does not serve the neighborhood until one serves one's own family; nor does one serve a state before one serves a community; one is not a good internationalist until one is a good nationalist.

The public schools constitute an arm of governance as well as an agency of education. We are to look to the school systems, more than to any other official force or agency, to develop the feeling for service. To this end they must be of the spirit as well as of the subjectmatter; and here is their greatest likelihood of failure.

The habit of making demands rather than rendering service will shorten the reach of any class of people.

I propose a Society of the Holy Earth. Chapters and branches it may have, branches it may have, but its purpose is not to be organization and its practice is not to be the operation of parliamentary machinery . It will have nothing to ask of anybody, not even of Congress. It will not be based on profit-and-loss. It will have no schemes to float, and no propaganda. It will have few officers and many leaders. It will be controlled by a motive rather than by a constitution. The associations will be fellowships of the spirit.

All quotes from Bailey's third Background Book, Universal Service (1918)

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