Fine things in wood are important, not only aesthetically, as oddities or rarities, but because we are becoming aware of the fact that much of our life is spent buying and discarding, and buying again, things that are not good. Some of us long to have at least something, somewhere, which will give us harmony and a sense of durability""I won't say permanence, but durability""things that, through the years, become more and more beautiful, things we can leave to our children.
However dangerous might be the shock of a comet, it might be so slight, that it would only do damage at the part of the Earth where it actually struck; perhaps even we might cry quits if while one kingdom were devastated, the rest of the Earth were to enjoy the rarities which a body which came from so far might bring it. Perhaps we should be very surprised to find that the debris of these masses that we despised were formed of gold and diamonds; but who would be the most astonished, we, or the comet-dwellers, who would be cast on our Earth? What strange being each would find the other!
Pierre Louis Maupertuis
Yes! Thank God; human feeling is like the mighty rivers that bless the earth: it does not wait for beauty-it flows with resistless force and brings beauty with it... There are few prophets in the world; few sublimely beautiful women; few heroes. I can't afford to give all my love and reverence to such rarities: I want a great deal of those feelings for my every-day fellow-men, especially for the few in the foreground of the great multitude, whose faces I know, whose hands I touch, for whom I have to make way with kindly courtesy.
Nonetheless, the bigger problem has little to do with any particular product or industry, but with the way we look at risk. America takes the Hollywood approach, going to extremes to avoid the rare but dramatic risk-the chance that minutes residues of pesticide applied to our food will kill us, or that we will die in a plane crash... On the other hand, we constantly expose ourselves to the likely risks of daily life, riding bicycles (and even motorcycles) without helmets, for example. We think nothing of exceeding the speed limit, and rarely worry about the safety features of the cars we drive. The dramatic rarities, like plane crashes, don't kill us. The banalities of everyday life do.