Let me see: all discourses but mine own afflict me; they seem harsh, impertinent, and irksome.Ben Jonson: 1609-10 Epicoene, act 2, sc.1.
Every morningI shall concern myself anew about the boundaryBetween the love-deed-Yes and the power-deed-NoAnd pressing forward honor reality.We cannot avoidUsing power,Cannot escape the compulsionTo afflict the world,So let us, cautious in dictionAnd mighty in contradiction,Love powerfully.Martin Buber: "Power and Love" (1926)
Every morning I shall concern myself anew about the boundary Between the love - deed -Yes and the power -deed-No And pressing forward honor reality . We cannot avoid Using power, Cannot escape the compulsion To afflict the world , So let us, cautious in diction And mighty in contradiction, Love powerfully.Martin Buber, in "Power and Love" (1926)
In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.john kenneth galbraith: The Guardian (UK, 1989-07-28)
Whilst the happiness and glory of a temporal reign were promised to the disciples of Christ, the most dreadful calamities were denounced against an unbelieving world. … A regular series was prepared of all the moral and physical evils which can afflict a flourishing nation; intestine discord, and the invasion of the fiercest barbarians from the unknown regions of the North; pestilence and famine, comets and eclipses, earthquakes and inundations. The calmest and most intrepid sceptic could not refuse to acknowledge that the destruction of the present system of the world by fire was in itself extremely probable. The Christian, who founded his belief much less on the fallacious arguments of reason than on the authority of tradition and the interpretation of Scripture, expected it with terror and confidence as a certain and approaching event; and as his mind was perpetually filled with the solemn idea, he considered every disaster that happened to the empire as an infallible symptom of an expiring world.Edward Gibbon (1788), The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 1, Chap. 15, on the progress of the Christian religion, and the sentiments, manners, numbers, and condition of the primitive Christians 
Be absolute for death; either death or life Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life, If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing That none but fools would keep: a breath thou art, Servile to all the skyey influences, That dost this habitation, where thou keep'st Hourly afflict; merely, thou art death's fool; For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun, And yet runn'st toward him still. Thou art not noble; For all the accommodations that thou bear'st Are nurs'd by baseness. Thou art by no means valiant; For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork Of a poor worm. Thy best of rest is sleep, And that thou oft provok'st; yet grossly fear'st Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thyself For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains That issue out of dust. Happy thou art not; For what thou hast not, still thou striv'st to get; And what thou hast, forgett'st. Thou art not certain; For thy complexion shifts to strange effects, After the moon. If thou art rich, thou art poor; For, like an ass whose back with ingots bows, Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey, And death unloads thee. Friend hast thou none; For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire, The mere effusion of thy proper loins, Do curse the gout, serpigo, and the rheum, For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor youth nor age, But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep, Dreaming on both: for all thy blessed youth Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms Of palsied eld; and when thou art old and rich Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty, To make thy riches pleasant. What's yet in this That bears the name of life? Yet in this life Lie hid more thousand deaths: yet death we fear, That makes these odds all even.Duke Vincentio, scene i
It was the verdict of ancient writers that men afflict themselves in evil and weary themselves in the good, and that the same effects result from both of these passions. For whenever men are not obliged to fight from necessity, they fight from ambition; which is so powerful in human breasts, that it never leaves them no matter to what rank they rise. The reason is that nature has so created men that they are able to desire everything but are not able to attain everything: so that the desire being always greater than the acquisition, there results discontent with the possession and little satisfaction to themselves from it. From this arises the changes in their fortunes; for as men desire, some to have more, some in fear of losing their acquisition, there ensues enmity and war, from which results the ruin of that province and the elevation of another.niccolò machiavelli: Book 1, Ch. 37 Variant: Nature has so contrived that to men, though all things are objects of desire, not all things are attainable; so that desire always exceeds the power of attainment, with the result that men are ill-content with what they possess and their present state brings them little satisfaction. Hence arise the vicissitudes of their fortune. (as translated by LJ Walker and B Crick)
Say: Nothing will afflict us save that which Allah has ordained for us. He is our Patron; and on Allah let the believers rely.51 Maulana Muhammad Ali translation
No League of Nations, or of individuals, can avail, without a change of heart. Reformers of all classes must recognize that it is useless to preach peace by itself, or socialism by itself, or anti-vivisection by itself, or vegetarianism by itself, or kindness to animals by itself. The cause of each and all of the evils that afflict the world is the same the general lack of humanity, the lack of the knowledge that all sentient life is akin, and that he who injures a fellow-being is in fact doing injury to himself. The prospects of a happier society are wrapped up in this despised and neglected truth, the very statement of which, at the present time, must (I well know) appear ridiculous to the accepted instructors of the people.henry stephens salt: Seventy Years Among Savages (1921).
Mr. President and I also had direct and open exchange of views on a matter that we may differ, especially on matters related to religion and human rights. And our approach is that we would increase our dialogue in order to have a better understanding of each other. And we are also determined not to let those differences afflict our overall, larger interest.President Bush Welcomes President Nguyen Minh Triet of Vietnam to the White House June 2007
Thou tamer of the human breast,Whose iron scourge and tort'ring hourThe bad affright, afflict the best!Thomas Gray, Hymn to Adversity, Stanza 1.
Every morning I shall concern myself anew about the boundary Between the love - deed -Yes and the power -deed-No And pressing forward honor reality . We cannot avoid Using power, Cannot escape the compulsion To afflict the world , So let us, cautious in diction And mighty in contradiction , Love powerfully.Martin Buber, in "Power and Love" (1926)
The silent colossal National Lie that is the support and confederate of all the tyrannies and shams and inequalities and unfairnesses that afflict the peoples that is the one to throw bricks and sermons at.mark twain: "My First Lie, and How I Got Out of It", in The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories and Essays (1900).
At the beginning of this marvelous era it was natural to expect, and it was expected, that labor-saving inventions would lighten the toil and improve the condition of the laborer; that the enormous increase in the power of producing wealth would make real poverty a thing of the past. ... It is true that disappointment has followed disappointment, and that discovery upon discovery, and invention after invention, have neither lessened the toil of those who most need respite, nor brought plenty to the poor. But there have been so many things to which it seemed this failure could be laid, that up to our time the new faith has hardly weakened. We have better appreciated the difficulties to be overcome; but not the less trusted that the tendency of the times was to overcome them. Now, however, we are coming into collision with facts which there can be no mistaking. From all parts of the civilized world come complaints of industrial depression; of labor condemned to involuntary idleness; of capital massed and wasting; of pecuniary distress among businessmen; of want and suffering and anxiety among the working classes. All the dull, deadening pain, all the keen, maddening anguish, that to great masses of men are involved in the words "hard times," afflict the world to-day. This state of things, common to communities differing so widely in situation, in political institutions, in fiscal and financial systems, in density of population and in social organization, can hardly be accounted for by local causes.henry george: Introductory : The Problem
Daughter of Jove, relentless power, Thou tamer of the human breast, Whose iron scourge and tort'ring hour The bad affright, afflict the best!thomas gray: Hymn to Adversity, St. 1 (1742).
The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves. It is not love of self but hatred of self which is at the root of the troubles that afflict our world.Eric Hoffer: Section 100 (The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms (1955))
The most fortunate of us, in our journey through life, frequently meet with calamities and misfortunes which may greatly afflict us; and, to fortify our minds against the attacks of these calamities and misfortunes, should be one of the principal studies and endeavours of our lives. The only method of doing this is to assume a perfect resignation to the Divine will, to consider that whatever does happen, must happen; and that by our uneasiness, we cannot prevent the blow before it does fall, but we may add to its force after it has fallen. These considerations, and others such as these, may enable us in some measure to surmount the difficulties thrown in our way; to bear up with a tolerable degree of patience under this burthen of life; and to proceed with a pious and unshaken resignation, till we arrive at our journey’s end, when we may deliver up our trust into the hands of him who gave it, and receive such reward as to him shall seem proportioned to our merit. Such, dear Page, will be the language of the man who considers his situation in this life, and such should be the language of every man who would wish to render that situation as easy as the nature of it will admit. Few things will disturb him at all: nothing will disturb him much.thomas jefferson: Letter to John Page (15 July 1763); published in The Works of Thomas Jefferson (1905).
Fourth Theory . Man has free will; it is therefore intelligible that the Law contains commands and prohibitions, with announcements of reward and punishment. All acts of God are due to wisdom; no injustice is found in him, and he does not afflict the good. The Mu'tazila profess this theory, although they do not believe in man's absolute free will. They hold that God takes notice of the falling of the leaf and the destruction of the ant, and that his Providence extends over all beings.maimonides: Ch.17 (Part III)
The worst of our evils we blindly inflict upon ourselves; our officers cannot remove them, even if they would. From the last ills no being can save another; therein each man must be his own saviour. For the rest, whatever befall us, let us never train our murderous guns inboard; let us not mutiny with bloody pikes in our hands. Our Lord High Admiral will yet interpose; and though long ages should elapse, and leave our wrongs unredressed, yet, shipmates and world-mates! let us never forget, that, Whoever afflict us, whatever surround, Life is a voyage that's homeward-bound!Herman Melville: Ch. 93 (White-Jacket (1850))
The United Nations will spearhead our efforts to manage the new conflicts (that afflict our world)....Yes the principles of the United Nations Charter are worth our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."colin powell: General Colin Powell, 4/21/93, receiving the UN-USA Global Leadership Award
Education is the chief remedy for all those great evils which afflict the country. Education will not only cultivate and improve the intellect of the nation, but will also purify its character.keshub chunder sen: Speech delivered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington Butts, London on 24th May 1870. See Education in India for major portion of the speech.
Mere political reform will not cure the manifold evils which now afflict society. There requires a social reform, a domestic reform, an individual reform.Samuel Smiles: As quoted in Samuel Smiles and the Victorian Work Ethic (1987) by Timothy Travers, p. 162.
O but we dreamed to mend Whatever mischief seemed To afflict mankind, but now That winds of winter blow Learn that we were crack-pated when we dreamed.william butler yeats: III, st. 3 (Nineteen Hundred And Nineteen)
Eat not thy heart; which forbids to afflict our souls, and waste them with vexatious cares.Plutarch, Morals, Of the Training of Children.