“Who is there big enough to love the whole planet?”

Just a quick note before resuming my “4000-footer” series.  I’ve taken over a month off since climbing Wildcat, Wildcat D, South Carter, and Middle Carter on 12-13 September, but am hoping to head up to the White Mountains again tomorrow…


Meanwhile, in this distressing election season here in the US, I wanted to share some words of wisdom.  In December, 1941, just three days after the Pearl Harbor attacks, the American essayist E. B. White wrote:

“The passionate love of Americans for their America will have a lot to do with winning the war.  It is an odd thing though: the very patriotism on which we now rely is the thing that must eventually be in part relinquished if the world is ever to find a lasting peace and an end to these butcheries.  

To hold America in one’s thoughts is like holding a love letter in one’s hand – it has so special a meaning.  Since I started writing this column snow has begun falling again; I sit in my room watching the re-enatment of this stagy old phenomenon outside the window.  For this picture, for this privilege, this cameo of New England with snow falling, I would give everything.  Yet all the time I know that this very loyalty, this feeling of being part of a special place, this respect for one’s native scene – I know that such emotions have had a big part in the world’s wars.  Who is there big enough to love the whole planet?  We must find such people for the next society.”

-From the essay “Intimations” in the collection entitled “One Man’s Meat”


An image of E. B. White from Wikipedia

His observation seems very true to me, that supranationalism is the key to finding “a lasting peace”.

But, nearly 75 years later, we seem still to be looking for people “big enough to love the whole planet”.








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