''If everybody minded their own business,'' the Duchess said in a hoarse growl, ''the world would go round a deal faster than it does.''
All of Western tradition, from the late bloom of the British Empire right through the early doom of Vietnam, dictates that you do something spectacular and irreversible whenever you find yourself in or whenever you impose yourself upon a wholly unfamiliar situation belonging to somebody else. Frequently it's your soul or your honor or your manhood, or democracy itself, at stake.
Americans think of themselves collectively as a huge rescue squad on twenty-four-hour call to any spot on the globe where dispute and conflict may erupt.
Everything intercepts us from ourselves.
I am not willing to risk the lives of German soldiers for countries whose names we cannot spell properly.
Most of the trouble in this world has been caused by folks who can't mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a smallpox virus has.
Mutual respect implies discretion and reserve even in love itself; it means preserving as much liberty as possible to those whose life we share. We must distrust our instinct of intervention, for the desire to make one's own will prevail is often disguised under the mask of solicitude.
Those who in quarrels interpose, must often wipe a bloody nose.
We best avoid wars by taking even physical action to stop small ones.