“For hardship does not spring from the soil . . . . Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.

‘Ain’t that the truth!’ is a response which many might murmur to themselves after reading the last part of this passage. Life does not run smoothly for anyone, for long. But what of the first part of the quotation? It seems to say something else. Namely, that trouble is not without a cause. Much suffering is indeed inexplicable: famine, earthquake, hurricane, flood and fire. But just as much—possibly much more—has a personal cause: war, oppression, crime, graft, greed—and one’s own folly.

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