July 2014

* happy endings


King was the grandson, on his mother's side, of the 1837 rebel, William Lyon Mackenzie. He had great respect for his grandfather and a devotion to his mother that went beyond the grave. After her death, he often spoke to her through seances and knelt before her picture in his study when he wanted her guidance.

King wrote a small and not very readable book in 1918 called Industry and Humanity which outlined his philosophical belief that governments should take the inhumanity out of capitalism by providing some social assistance and working standards. During World War II King introduced the Family Allowance and unemployment insurance. He also put the central bank (started by R.B. Bennett) under government, instead of private, control.

King was known as well for his ability to understand Quebec and maintain the delicate balance required for Canadian unity. He was especially concerned during WWII that another divisive conscription crisis not tear the country apart. He had sided with Sir Wilfrid Laurier against Prime Minister Robert Borden during the first conscription crisis of 1917 and had secured Quebec's loyalty to the Liberal party as a result.

King never married. Governing the country was his whole life. Although he was not terribly elegant in appearance or eloquent in speech, Canadians trusted him and re-elected him time after time. He was the longest serving prime minister in our history - governing 7,800 days altogether.




"Self-Interest is the lever that will move people. Once you make them see how you can in some way meet their needs or advance their cause, their resistance to your requests for help will magically fall away. At each step on the way to acquiring power, you must train yourself to think your way inside the other person mind, to see their needs and interests, to get rid of the screen of your own feelings that obscure the truth. Master this art and there will be no limits to what you can accomplish."
(Robert Greene)

"Even the most powerful person is locked inside needs of his own, and that if you make no appeal to his self interest, he merely sees you as desperate or, at best, a waste of his time."
(Robert Greene)

"The cord of mercy and gratitude is threadbare, and will break at the first shock. Do not throw such a life line."
(Robert Greene)



"Often enough, God gives a man a glimpse of happiness, and then utterly ruins him."
(Herodotus, Fifth Century, BC)

"If one foresees from far away the designs to be undertaken, one can act with speed when the moment comes to execute them."
(Cardinal Richelieu)

"Will this have unintended consequences? Will I stir up new enemies? Will someone take advantage of my labours? Unhappy endings are much more common than happy ones. Do not be swayed by the happy ending in your mind."
(Robert Greene)

"The most ordinary cause of people's mistakes is their being too much frightened at the present danger, and not enough so at the danger which is remote."
(Cardinal De Retz)