“A Man For All Seasons” is my favorite play.
Sir Thomas More is my favorite person from history. That play encouraged me to read “Utopia”. I think I was in Grade 9 or 10 when I read it. I’m sure I have my Penguin Edition in my bookcase. In turn, that books opened my mind to other works. But “A Man For All Seasons” has always stuck with me.
The quote that I think about once or twice a week is the exchange between Sir Thomas and Roper. About giving the devil the benefit of the law.
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!
That applies to law and life.
I would treat the devil as my equal and give him every chance that he deserved, which is no less the chance than I would want to be given.
The world is thick with people and if we all stand tall and support one another and give each other the opportunities that we deserve, then we can survive the strongest wings that blow our way.
But when we cut each other down by robbing them of what they deserve, we end up alone. And when those winds of change blow across that barren landscape, who will be there to hold you up?
It’s a naive notion, I know. And my parents always said I would grow up and have a hard time ‘playing the game’. But its me. I’m happiest when I’m being me.