We Accept Our Lot No More

russell“The great majority of men and women, in ordinary times, pass through life without ever contemplating or criticising, as a whole, either their own conditions or those of the world at large. They find themselves born into a certain place in society, and they accept what each day brings forth, without any effort of thought beyond what the immediate present requires. Almost as instinctively as the beasts of the field, they seek the satisfaction of the needs of the moment, without much forethought, and without considering that by sufficient effort the whole conditions of their lives could be changed.”  Bertrand Russell, Proposed Roads To Freedom (1918), Introduction, p. 4

As time slips past me, I find myself moved by nearly everything Bertrand Russell has ever been quoted as saying.  I don’t think there has ever been a man so keenly eloquent and concise, and so philosophically intelligent.

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One thought on “We Accept Our Lot No More

  1. Wow! Just this week, our class was trying to answer the big question; “Do we become the person we want to be?” I tried to express this sentiment, but nowhere near as eloquent as Russell. All too often we find ourselves in survival mood, hoping to make it day to day. This, I understand. I share Russell’s frustration that people “accept what each day brings forth, without any effort of thought beyond what the immediate present requires”. The acceptance is what frustrates me the most about the human condition.

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