Saturday, June 20, 2009

Quotations from Dante - Still More on Humility

Yes, many things there are, which seem to be

Perplexing, though quite falsely so, because

They have good reasons which we cannot see.

[Purgatorio, XXII, 28-30]
A child is often innocently mistaken about things which are beyond his powers just because he lacks the knowledge, experience, or wisdom to understand them properly. It's easy for us to pat them patronizingly on the head with a "someday you'll understand," but we ignore the unpleasant truth that we often do the same thing. We aren't really any different from the boy who stomps his feet and insists that things are the just the way that he sees them; in fact, sometimes we stomp our own feet, and nothing in the world is going to change our minds. This sort of thing isn't simple ignorance; it's really prejudice and obstinacy.

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