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With all the hatred we have to deal with today, those who have some characteristic which would single them out for it, have to ask themselves if it's worth all it. A friend of mine asked me, "Is happiness worth it if a madman may steal it away unjustly from me and from my friends and family? Is it better to be quietly alone, rather than to burden one's family and friends with this sort of potential distress?" Happiness be worth it? True happiness, that which comes from being true to yourself and those you love, is always worth it, especially when a madman may steal it away. It makes actually having it all that much sweeter.

"If we listened to our intellect we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go in business because we'd be cynical: "It's gonna go wrong." Or "She's going to hurt me." Or,"I've had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore . . ." Well, that's nonsense. You're going to miss life. You've got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down. "

One off my quote page, Bradbury definitely had a point, and the strange thing is that Heinlein said almost the exact same thing in Door into Summer.

"damnation, no matter how many times you get your fingers burned, you have to trust people. Otherwise you are a hermit in a cave, sleeping with one eye open. There wasn't anyway to be safe; just being alive was deadly dangerous... fatal. In the end."

I guess my point is that there is always some psycho out there who can take it all away from you no matter what. Look at all the "innocents" whose lives get all fucked up for no reason whatsoever other than that they were there and "there" happened to be a convenient place to screw them over. Besides if you stop seeking your happiness because of the fear of it's being taken away by madmen, the madmen have already succeeded. They have taken it and you have failed to notice that it is already gone. Not to say that you can't take it back, only to say that they have, for the moment, already won. Of course, I have always been one to believe in finding my own happiness and being myself and the rest of the world can go fuck itself if it doesn't like what i do. That doesn't mean that I'll fuck over the people who depend on me and who I care about, just that I don't worry about people who don't really care about me, but still want a say in what I do. I depend on myself because I lack confidence in the human race as a whole, in it's integrity, honor, and common sense. As for the integrity of the human race as a whole, we lost that long ago, at the fall of King Arthur, and probably before that. As a whole, we have very little left that is good. There are enough individuals out there though -- granted it's a minority, but there's still enough of us -- that if one is lucky, one can still find good company to surround oneself with. Those are the ones that you have to trust, even if you do get your fingers burned.

After the murder of Mathew Sheppard, my friend said he "had never before been truly afraid and that he don't want to feel it," but it's one of those necessary opposites. Without evil, how do we know good, and without night what is the day. Without fear we cannot know courage, because courage is not the absence of fear, but the overcoming of it. Happiness is not the absence of sadness and worry, but overcoming and looking past them to see the good that still exists beyond all the useless shit.
The same friend once paraphrased John Milton's Paradise Lost as: "Have we lost our own Paradise? Did we ever really have it? Are there serpents in our garden? Are we the ones who made the serpents? Are we the serpents ourselves?"

Have we lost our paradise? No. Each man's paradise is his own and different from all others, it is one we build and redefine all our lives. We may at many times lose sight of it, but we never truly lose it completely. Even if it becomes no more than that spot in the back of your mind that you can always retreat to. Of course there are serpents in the garden, but their origins are irrelevant. They are merely the other side of the coin, there because they have to be, important only for comparison. I don't have any idiotic, naive belief that everything will always be butterflies and bunny rabbits, but the easiest way to smash evil is to ignore it. Deny it any effect on you and it will whimper in confusion, and slither to hide on the sidelines. And on those rare occasions when it comes back you will be able to look at it, compare it with all the good that remains in your life, and laugh it back into submission.