Tuesday, October 03, 2006
I was listening to NPR this morning while I drove Simon and Jacob to pre-school. They were talking about Voltaire's Candide.
"Il fait que cultiver notre jardin," he said. It may be naive and overly optimistic, in viewing the world's growing litany of nasty perils, to believe that if we'd all tend to our own gardens and pull our own weeds, and let others tend their own gardens, we'd all be better off. There's no way we can fix the whole world.
Voltaire was essentially a pessimist, with a negative world view. Candide almost convinces us that if we'd each focus on our own plot of ground in our own backyard, and do it well, then the larger issues of "Kings and Queens" would simply dissolve.