Friday, December 14, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Stephen Grellet

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If I can anyway contribute to the diversion or improvement of the country in which I live, I shall leave it, when I am summoned out of it, with the satisfaction of thinking that I have not lived in vain.
--
Statement in The Spectator (1711), as quoted in The Reign of Queen Anne (1902) by Justin McCarthy

 
Stephen Grellet

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If I can any way contribute to the diversion or improvement of the country in which I live, I shall leave it, when I am summoned out of it, with the secret satisfaction of thinking that I have not lived in vain.

 
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I know many people who like watching commercials because they're so funny. They provide relaxation and diversion. People come home after a day's work, from which they derive little satisfaction, and feel the need for diversion and amusement. The word diversion itself is already very significant. When Pascal uses the word diversion he means that people who follow the path of God deviate from the path which leads them to God as a result of diversion and amusement. Instead of thinking of God, they amuse themselves. So, instead of thinking about the problems which have been created by technology and our work we want to amuse ourselves.

 
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All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions. All change is the result of a change in the contemporary state of mind. Don't be afraid of being out of tune with your environment, and above all pray God that you are not afraid to live, to live hard and fast. To my way of thinking it is not the years in your life but the life in your years that count in the long run. You'll have more fun, you'll do more and you'll get more, you'll give more satisfaction the more you know, the more you have worked, and the more you have lived. For yours is a great adventure at a stirring time in the annals of men.

 
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Of course, there is no doubt that if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch terrorists. If we lived in a country that allowed the police to search your home at any time for any reason; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to open your mail, eavesdrop on your phone conversations, or intercept your email communications; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to hold people in jail indefinitely based on what they write or think, or based on mere suspicion that they are up to no good, then the government would no doubt discover and arrest more terrorists. But that probably would not be a country in which we would want to live. And that would not be a country for which we could, in good conscience, ask our young people to fight and die. In short, that would not be America.

 
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Because of guilt there is painful diversion; because of greed there is playful diversion; because of grass there is pleasurable diversion.

 
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