Jun 092009

Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger. Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to break. –H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells gained fame with his first major fiction work: The Time Machine in 1895. Soon after publication of this book, Wells followed with The Island of Dr. Moreau (1895), The Invisible Man (1897), and perhaps his most famous popular work: The War of the Worlds (1898).

Over the years Wells became concerned with the fate of human society in a world where technology and scientific study were advancing at a rapid pace. For a period he was a member of The Fabian Society, a group of social philosophers in London. Wells’s later works became less science fiction and more social critique.

In this wells is clearly leaning on the Judeo-Christian ethic of loving one’s neighbor, and sometimes that love requires compromise. Society itself depends on compromise. I go driving up one of the main roads here in Tampa, and I’m in a hurry to get to airport. A traffic light changes to red for me. My desire and goal is to travel to the airport as quickly as possible, and no physical barrier comes down to stop me from driving through that intersection against the light, but we compromise. I agree to go ahead and stop. I make the compromise, so that you will make the same compromise when the light is green for me. It’s really how we survive daily.

I don’t think he means to bend in our core beliefs or to surrender our principles. I think Wells is talking about those things that allow us to get on in our daily lives, and avoid making the lives of other people miserable.