There is a pervasive form of modern violence to which the idealist…most easily succumbs: activism and over-work. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence.

To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence.
The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his (or her) work… It destroys the fruitfulness of his (or her)…work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.

Thomas Merton

“Rain and the Rhinoceros” – Thomas Merton

What a thing it is
to sit absolutely alone
in the forest at night
cherished by this wonderful
perfectly innocent speech
the most comforting speech in the world
the talk that the rain makes by itself all over the ridges
and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows!
Nobody started it
nobody is going to stop it.
It will talk as long as it wants, this rain.
As long as it talks
I am going to listen.