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"The one really rousing thing about human history is that, whether or not the proceedings go right, at any rate, the prophecies always go wrong. The promises are never fulfilled and the threats are never fulfilled. Even when good things do happen, they are never the good things that were guaranteed. And even when bad things happen, they are never the bad things that were inevitable. You may be quite certain that, if an old pessimist says the country is going to the dogs, it will go to any other animals except the dogs; if it be to the dromedaries or even the dragons... It was as if one weather prophet confidently predicted blazing sunshine and the other was equally certain of blinding fog; and they were both buried in a beautiful snow-storm and lay, fortunately dead, under a clear and starry sky."
G.K. Chesterton said that. Didn't he have a tremendous way with words? (With life too, by the way.) Some who should be speaking out with passion and confidence speak as though they're apologizing every time they open their mouths and some others who grab for all the headlines speak as though they had a hotline to the Almighty's desk. Ask them a really difficult question on anything and they have a simple answer. Ask them about a complex problem you're facing and they have a quick six-step cure. They'll develop it into a two-hundred and fifty page book for you right quick.
Some years ago (early 1950's) one of the Bismarcks asked Chou En Lai what he thought of the French Revolution that had happened a little less than 200 years earlier. The Chinese statesman thought a bit and then said with conviction, "It's too soon to tell." I thought that amusing but maybe a bit too cautious. But it was only about six months ago that I read a Canadian historian say that when they were in college everyone knew all about the FR. Now, he said, it's all being reconsidered. Hmmm, so Mao's wrestling partner was modest as well as wise.
Now for one of TV's religious programmes....