Farewells can be shattering, but returns are surely worse. Solid flesh can never live up to the bright shadow cast by its absence. Time and distance blur the edges; then suddenly the beloved has arrived, and it's noon with its merciless light, and every spot and pore and wrinkle and bristle stands clear.
Moreover, I would like to say that the sort of polar inertia we witnessed in the Kosovo War, the polar inertia involving 'automated war' and 'war-at-a-distance' is also terribly weak in the face of terrorism. For instance, in such situations, any individual who decides to place or throw a bomb can simply walk away. He or she has the freedom to move. This also applies to militant political groups and their actions.
I came, then, to serve my Church first of all, and the whole world, that is, every person I find along my way. I serve and I will give of myself unto death so that there will be no distance between speaking and doing, so that the people will never again say, 'there is a chasm between us and the leaders' and word spread that the Church is far from her people. I know very well that our people are good and that they want from us today to go to them, to seek them out wherever they are, to search out the lost and return them joyfully to the fold. They hunger and thirst for the Word of God.
The distance between the glorified spirits in heaven and the militant saints on earth seems great; but it is not so. We are not far from home. Heaven. . . is just one sigh and we get there. Our departed friends are only in the upper room, as it were, of the same house; they have not gone far off; they are upstairs and we are down below.
One inconvenience I sometimes experienced in so small a house, the difficulty of getting to a sufficient distance from my guest when we began to utter the big thoughts in big words. You want room for your thoughts to get into sailing trim and run a course or two before they make their port. The bullet of your thought must have overcome its lateral and ricochet motion and fallen into its last and steady course before it reaches the ear of the hearer, else it may plow out again through the side of his head.
I am persuaded that we are all surrounded by an atmosphere - a separate, sensitive, distinct envelope extending some distance from our visible persons - and whenever my invisible atmosphere is invaded, it affects my whole nervous system. The proximity of any bodies but those I love best is unendurable to my body.
Simplicity is always a virtue. One kid on a riverbank working out a Stephen Foster tune on his new harmonica heard from the correct esthetic distance projects more magic and power than the entire Vienna Philharmonic and Chorus laboring (once again) through the Mozart Requiem or Bach's B Minor Mass.
We in astrophysics we think of the universe all the time. So to us, Earth is just another planet. From a distance, it's a speck. And I'm convinced that if everyone had a cosmic perspective you wouldn't have legions of armies waging war on other people because someone would say, "Stop, look at the universe. "
All true competitors in any field and walk of life take adversity and are strengthened from it. They develop a reputation of determination and toughness that wins more decisive moments in life than winning shots. Bobby Blair was one tough player. Playing him was like going into a phone booth with an angry bobcat. His massive talent was only surpassed by his courage to hit the big shots under the most pressure. No one ever looked forward to playing him. It was going to be pain and suffering if you wanted to go the distance it took to beat him.
Our values are defined by what we will tolerate when it is done to others. Everyone's sense of virtue is degraded by the present reality. A revolutionary principle is embedded in the global economic system, awaiting broader recognition: Human dignity is indivisible. Across the distances of culture and nations, across vast gulfs of wealth and poverty, even the least among us are entitled to dignity, and no justification exists or brutalizing them in the pursuit of commerce.