Another two fine pieces by Theodore Dalrymple

"On Sentimentality and Compassion".

No doubt the initial impulse to avoid the easy and uncompromising censoriousness of a bygone age was both understandable and laudable: but Man is not only a political animal, he is a judging animal. To pretend to make no judgments is to make a judgment, and one with bad consequences at that.

"All This I Had Forgotten".

I have scores, if not hundreds of such notebooks, many of which, but for the handwriting, seem to have little connection with me, that is to say my current version of me, though it was undoubtedly I who wrote in them. Perhaps there are people who have recorded their lives much more systematically than I, but there must be even more who have left even less record behind.

Happy Mother's Day

"25 Famous Women on Their Mothers".

12. Diane von Furstenberg
“I didn’t used to talk nearly as much about my mother. I took her for granted, as children do their mothers. It was not until she died in 2000 that I fully realized what an incredibly huge influence she had been on me and how much I owe her. Like any child, I hadn’t paid much attention. I’d brush her off, or even pretend not to hear. I bridled, too, at the unsolicited advice she persisted in giving my friends.  Now, of course, I feel I have had the experience and earned the wisdom to hand out my own unsolicited advice, and I press every lesson my mother taught me on my children, grandchildren, and anyone I talk to. I have become her.”