Friday, May 2, 2008

The natural, ordinary good

Nothing is more widespread than good things: the only question is to recognize them; and they are certainly natural and within our grasp, and even known by everyone. But we do not know how to recognize them. This is universal. It is not in extraordinary and unusual things that excellence in whatever field is to be found. We make an effort to reach up to them and we fall away. More often we should stoop. The best books are those which the people who read them believe they could have written. Nature, which alone is good, is familiar and available to everyone.

Blaise Pascal, The Art of Persuasion

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