PRINCIPLE OF COMPENSATION OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON -SOONER OR EARLY EVERYTHING IN LIFE COMPENSATES WITH EVERYTHING
Each excess causes a defect; each defect an excess. Each sweet has its acid side; every evil its good. Each faculty that is recipient of pleasure has an equal penalty placed on its abuse. It is paying for your moderation with your life. For every grain of wit there is a grain of stupidity. For everything you have lost, you have acquired something else; and for everything you acquire, you lose something.
The farmer imagines that power and place are good things. But the president has paid a lot for his Presidency. It has cost him all his peace, and the best of his attributes commonly. To preserve for such a conspicuous little time an appearance before the world, I would be happier eating dust before the legitimate masters who stand erect after the throne.
It is in vain to build or conspire or unite against it. Things refuse to be mismanaged for a long time. Although no check for a new evil appears, the checks exist, and they will appear. If you are cruel, your life is not safe. If you impose too high contributions, income will not produce anything. If you make the bloodthirsty penal code, the jurors will not condemn.
This is the living universe. All things are moral. That soul, that within us is an opinion, apart from us is a law. We feel your inspiration; there in history we can see its fatal force. “He is in the whole world, and the world was made for it.” Justice is not postponed. A perfect heritage adjusts its balance in all parts of life.
The dice of God are always loaded. The world looks like a multiplication table, or a mathematical equation, which, no matter what its will, balances itself.
Every secret is counted, every crime is punished, every virtue rewarded, every injustice repaired, in silence and certainty. Each act rewards itself. Life invests itself with unavoidable conditions, which the fool tries to avoid, which both boast that he does not know, that they do not touch him – but boasting is on his lips, the conditions are in his soul. If you get rid of them in one part they attack you in another more essential part. If he has got rid of them in the form and in the apparition, it is because he has resisted his life and fled from himself, and retribution is so much death.
The excluded in life does not see that he excludes himself from enjoyment, in the attempt to appropriate it. The exclusionist in religion does not see that he closes the door of Heaven on himself, in his struggle to close it to others.
All infractions of love and equity in our social relationships are punished quickly. They are punished by fear. All the old abuses in society, universal and private, all the unjust accumulations of property and power, are avenged in the same way. Fear is an instructor of great sagacity and the herald of all revolutions. While I am standing in simple relationships with my neighbor, I have no displeasure in knowing him.
Experienced men of the world know very well that it is better to pay well when they accompany, and that often a man pays a lot for a small frugality. Has a man accomplished anything that has received hundreds of favors and given nothing? He might soon understand that “the highest price you can pay for a thing is to ask about it.”
A wise man knows and knows that it is part of prudence to face each plaintiff and pay every fair demand with his time, his talents, or his heart.
Good people win friends even for weaknesses and shortcomings.
Just as no man has ever had a point of pride that is not harmful to him, no man has ever had a defect that can not be useful in some way.
Our strength comes from our shortcomings. The indignation that is armed with secret forces does not awaken until we are punctured and stung and assaulted urgently.
A great man is always eager to be small. As he sits on the cushion of advantages, he falls asleep. When he is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has an opportunity to learn something; it has been placed on his intelligence, on his manhood; he has acquired the facts; learned his ignorance; he is cured of the madness of presumption; he has achieved moderation and true dexterity.
The wise man throws himself at the side of his aggressors. Their interest is greater than theirs in finding their weak point.
The accusation is safer than the praise. I hate being defended in a newspaper. As long as everything that is said is said against me, I feel certain guarantee of success. But as soon as the honeyed words of praise are spoken to me, I feel like he is lying unprotected before his enemies.
In general, every evil that we do not succumb to is a benefactor.
In a virtuous action I am really me; in a virtuous act I add to the world; I plant in deserts conquered to Chaos and Nothingness and I see the darkness retreating over the limits of the horizon.
I do not want to know a good that I have not earned, for example, to find a pot of buried gold, knowing that it brings with it new burdens. I do not want more external articles – neither belongings, nor honors, nor powers, nor people. The gain is evident; the tax is safe. But there is no tax on the knowledge that compensation exists, and that it is not desirable to excavate treasures.