[M]an has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to having a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn't think of doctrines as primarily "true" or "false, " but as "academic" or "practical, " "outworn" or "contemporary, " "conventional" or "ruthless." Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. Don't waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think it is strong or stark or courageous-that it is the philosophy of the future. That's the sort of thing he cares about.
If you are without contention and still have the ability to make people think, their ego is going to take a hit and as a result they're not going to like you. They don't want to think. They want to be right, unrivaled or entertained.
I am two Jennifers away from making love to an Emily. It always seems like two people with one name are constantly standing in the way of my dreams. I wish they'd step aside so I could introduce myself.
But if you ask me what I remember (about 1945), I will say it was the year Franklin D. Roosevelt died and I got one of his flowers. I will tell you that yellow rose give me the courage to do the right thing even if it was hard. I will say it was the time in my life when I learned all of us is fragile as a mimosa blossom. But the miracle of all is, When push comes to shove, we can be just as tough as Hickory. It mostly hurts at first. After a while it starts to feel better.
To both the racist and the puritan, childhood is not a time of life that we grow out of, as the life of the child grows out of the life of the parent or as a plant grows out of the soil, but a time and state of consciousness to be left behind, to cut oneself off from... The child may be joyous, the man must be sober and self-denying; the child may be free, the man is to be "responsible"; the child may be candid in his feelings, the man must be polite, restrained, mindful of the demands of convention; the child may be playful, the man must be industrious. I am not necessarily objecting to the manly virtues, but I am objecting that they should be so exclusively assigned to grownups, and that grownups should be so exclusively restricted to them. A man may have all the prescribed adult virtues and, if he lacks the childhood virtues, still be a dunce and a bore and a liar.