C. S. Lewis

Man’s offense “smells to heaven”: massacres, broken treaties, beatings-up, theft, kidnappings, enslavement, deportation, floggings, lynchings, rape, insult, mockery, and odious hypocrisy, make up that smell. But the thing comes nearer than that. Those of us who have little authority, who have few people at our mercy, may be thankful. But how if one is an officer in the army… a hospital matron? a magistrate? a prison-warden? a school prefect? a trades-union official? a Boss of any sort? in a word, anyone who cannot be “answered back”? It is hard enough, even with the best will in the world, to be just. It is hard, under the pressure of haste, uneasiness, ill-temper, self-complacency, and conceit, to continue intending justice. Power corrupts; the “insolence of office” will creep in. We see it so clearly in our superiors; is it unlikely that our inferiors see it in us? How many of those who have been over us did not sometimes (perhaps often) need our forgiveness? Be sure that we likewise need the forgiveness of those that are under us.