From B.H. Liddel Hart's "Why Don't We Learn From History?"
We learn from history that in every age and every clime the majority of people have resented what seems in retrospect to have been purely matter-of-fact comment on their institutions. We learn too that nothing has aided the persistence of falsehood, and the evils resulting from it, more than the unwillingness of good people to admit the truth when it was disturbing to their comfortable assurance. Always the tendency continues to be shocked by natural comment and to hold certain things too “sacred” to think about.
I can conceive of no finer ideal of a man's life than to face life with clear eyes instead of stumbling through it like a blind man, an imbecile, or a drunkard—which, in a thinking sense, is the common preference. How rarely does one meet anyone whose first reaction to anything is to ask “Is it true?” Yet unless that is a man's natural reaction it shows that truth is not uppermost in his mind, and, unless it is, true progress is unlikely.
So, I expect this one to be controversial. If you're a very sensitive person that likes to get offended, you might want to skip it. If you're in a hurry, feel free to skim the bold parts.
I didn't come from all that much. My great-grandparents and grandparents were dirt poor. My parents dug out of it a little bit, though I was born when they were young and unestablished. My kids will have more opportunities.
I wish to do much. How much is possible? To know, you have to study history.
So I study history. And looking at the history books, I see a number of differences between people of low birth and high birth.
Now, before I go any further, I recognize this is unfashionable and controversial to talk about in this day and age. But it's definitely a real phenomenon, and I've never shied from the truth even when unfashionable. Also, I think after reading this you'll see that the majority of high born characteristics are superior to low born characteristics, and it's worth learning, training, and becoming better.
Recently I had the amazing opportunity to go to the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and see their new production Falstaff. Being the first production that I had seen in a major opera house I was shocked at the quality of the entire thing. I know that sounds ridiculous because, of course it would be amazing! It’s the Metropolitan Opera. BUT unless you have been there before you are NOT ready for all of the glitz and glamour that is included.
First the production quality is breathtaking. From the lighting, to the fifty foot tall set pieces, the costumes and staging. Everything was seemingly perfect for the entire production. What might have been even more glamorous that the show, were the amount of people there dressed to the nines. Suits, dresses, mink coats; it was all too much for me and just the right amount at the same time.
But of all the amazing things that made my first (and definitely not last) Met experience what it was, the most respectable was the talent on the stage that evening. I have been studying classical music for the past few years at an undergraduate level and will admit to only having the most limited experience in critiquing or even commenting on a production of this quality – but what I can say about the show is that is was ***Flawless. Every performer on that stage brought such a effortlessness and ease to their perfection of the role.