April 21, 2016
Finished reading Peace Is the Way: Writings on Nonviolence from the Fellowship of Reconciliation (2000), edited by Walter Wink. The 55th, and last, chapter is “The Global Spread of Active Nonviolence” by Richard Deats, who was the editor of at the time of the book’s publication. He writes for the very last sentenceFellowship of the article and of the book, “. . . as Joan of Arc muses in Shaw’s ‘St. Joan,’ ‘Some people see things as they are and ask ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were and ask, ‘Why not’” (p. 295).
Those closing words are generally remembered now as spoken by Robert Kennedy, but he got them from George Bernard Shaw. Kennedy’s (and Deats’s) words are slightly paraphrased from what Shaw wrote in his play “Back to Methuselah” (1922) rather than his play “Saint Joan” (1923). I have long thought Shaw’s/Kennedy’s words were very good and important—but I don’t know how to interpret the fact that in Shaw’s play they were words spoken by the serpent to Eve.