Carl Hilty (28 February 1833 – 12 October 1909) was a Swiss philosopher, professor, politician, writer, and lawyer. He famously said: "Peace is only a hair's breadth away from war." Although a Christian, he was no pacifist, and expected the coming world war. He also served as a high officer in the Swiss Army. He was married to a German wife named Johanna Gaertner. Hilty was a spokesman for women's rights to vote and to be elected, several decades before the subject became mainstream. Hilty argued that Switzerland, as a nation-state comprising several nationalities and languages, had a unique mission of demonstrating that a nation-state could transcend tribal tendencies.Carl Hilty was born in Ort Werdenberg, Switzerland, and studied at the Universities of Göttingen and
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Whatever the philosophers may say, it remains true that, from the first hour of man's waking consciousness until that consciousness ceases, his most ardent desire is to be happy, and that the moment of his most profound regret is when he becomes convinced that on this earth perfect happiness cannot be found.
The paths by which people journey toward happiness lie in part through the world about them and in part through the experience of their souls. On the one hand, there is the happiness which comes from wealth, honor, the enjoyment of life, from health, culture, science, or art; and, on the other hand, there is the happiness which is to be found in a good conscience, in virtue, work, philanthropy, religion, devotion to great ideas and great deeds.
I've never been very good at feasting on the daily newspaper. It turns bitter in my mouth. And yet, this is my world. This face of suffering I must embrace as a part of my responsibility. Part of the feast is becoming aware of the world that is mine. Part of the feast is owning this broken world as my own brokenness.