Books are like children that grow up and leave one’s house, and then have an independent life of their own. One may be surprised, delighted, or appalled at what happens along the way, but the outcome is beyond one’s control.
Welcome to one of the best sources of wisdom on the web! We invite you to browse through our library of Stout Wisdom. Some are salty. Some sweet. Elegant or earthy. Poetic. Majestic. We don’t do crude or cruel. But, all are stout.
He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Have we really reached the point where the basic argument that men and women are different, or that free men and women will often make different choices in large part because they are different, or that religion and ancient traditions can inform and guide our lives today, are now so toxic that their advocates must and should face a relentless campaign to drive them from the public square?
One of the signs of a great society is the diligence with which it passes culture from one generation to the next. This culture is the embodiment of everything the people of that society hold dear: its religious faith, its heroes…when one generation no longer esteems it’s own heritage and fails to pass the torch to its children, it is saying in essence that the very foundational principles and experiences that make the society what it is are no longer valid. This leaves that generation without any sense of definition or direction, making them the fulfillment of Karl Marx’s dictum, ‘A people without a heritage are easily persuaded.’ What is required when this happens and the society has lost its way, is for leaders to arise, who have not forgotten the discarded legacy and who love it with all their hearts. They can then become the voice of that lost generation, wooing an errant generation back to the faith of their fathers, back to the ancient foundations and bedrock values.
To me, history ought to be a source of pleasure. It isn’t just part of our civic responsibility. To me, it’s an enlargement of the experience of being alive.
Perhaps we are not more judgmental than in previous days, but our technology, freedom, and affluence have enabled us to be much more democratic and public in our judgments, outspoken about our opinions and positions in public forums. As a result, the air we breathe is filled with violence, not peace. We raise our flags and wear our colors proudly these days, and are unafraid to shout down the other army and its soldiers. We are not often heeding the call of Romans 12:18 — “If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Violence — inner, spoken, attitudinal, expressed — too often marks how we relate to each other.
Get to know people you’ve been taught to avoid.
By virtue of Creation and, still more, of the Incarnation, nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see.
One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night.
…paranoid populism and tribalism derive their power from the instinct for ascribing every misfortune to human will and planning. Again, “they” are out to get “us,” and the proof can be found in our anger or bad luck. So everything we do to stop “them” is self-justifying. One problem: The world isn’t nearly so bleak and zero-sum…No one is “running” the show…there’s no Oz behind the curtain, no cabal successfully pulling the strings or pulling the wool over our eyes. American politics is a big, sprawling, buzzing confusion of competing interests, agendas, and arguments. You think everything is going according to Mitch McConnell’s plan? Donald Trump’s? Nancy Pelosi’s? The Koch brothers’? George Soros’s? Please.
Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions — forgetting the image of God we should see in each other.
Some 60 million people died in World War II. On average, 27,000 people perished on each day between the invasion of Poland (September 1, 1939) and the formal surrender of Japan (September 2, 1945) — bombed, shot, stabbed, blown apart, incinerated, gassed, starved, or infected. The Axis losers killed or starved to death about 80 percent of all those who died during the war.
The universe isn’t divided into the Forces of Goodness and the Forces of Evil. That divide runs through every human heart and, therefore, every human institution. Recognizing this fact is the first step toward humility and decency in politics and life.
If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep the streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music; sweep the streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper, who swept his job well.’”
Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.