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One of the most beautiful quotes of all time

I think my favorite quote in English of all time is this one. It's not just the language, style and choice of words, but the message:

"United with his fellow-men by the strongest of all ties, the tie of a common doom, the free man finds that a new vision is with him always, shedding over every daily task the light of love. The life of Man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, towards a goal that few can hope to reach, and where none may tarry long. One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm of sympathy, to give them the pure joy of a never-tiring affection, to strengthen failing courage, to instil faith in hours of despair. Let us not weigh in grudging scales their merits and demerits, but let us think only of their need--of the sorrows, the difficulties, perhaps the blindnesses, that make the misery of their lives; let us remember that they are fellow-sufferers in the same darkness, actors in the same tragedy as ourselves. And so, when their day is over, when their good and their evil have become eternal by the immortality of the past, be it ours to feel that, where they suffered, where they failed, no deed of ours was the cause; but wherever a spark of the divine fire kindled in their hearts, we were ready with encouragement, with sympathy, with brave words in which high courage glowed.   Bertrand Russell, from A Free Man's Worship, 1903.

Absolutely stunning. Thoughts?

Feb 17, 2018 2:37 AM
Comments · 2
That's nice too, Dan, but I think Bertrand Russell's short quote from only a part of his whole essay is quite moving. He sort of tells us our lives are short, we all in the same boat together, and we're all headed for the same place (the grave). So, be kind to one another and non-judgmental and help each other as best we can. It's a beautiful sentiment. 
February 17, 2018

It reminded me of one of my favorite quotations, from Carl Sandburg:

Between the finite limitations of the five senses

and the endless yearnings of man for the beyond

the people hold to the humdrum bidding of work and food

while reaching out when it comes their way

for lights beyond the prison of the five senses,

for keepsakes lasting beyond any hunger or death.

This reaching is alive.

The panderers and liars have violated and smutted it.

Yet this reaching is alive yet

for lights and keepsakes.

The people know the salt of the sea

and the strength of the winds

lashing the corners of the earth.

The people take the earth

as a tomb of rest and a cradle of hope.

Who else speaks for the Family of Man?

They are in tune and step

with constellations of universal law.

The people is a polychrome,

a spectrum and a prism

held in a moving monolith,

a console organ of changing themes,

a clavilux of color poems

wherein the sea offers fog

and the fog moves off in rain

and the labrador sunset shortens

to a nocturne of clear stars

serene over the shot spray

of northern lights.

The steel mill sky is alive.

The fire breaks white and zigzag

shot on a gun-metal gloaming.

Man is a long time coming.

Man will yet win.

Brother may yet line up with brother:

This old anvil laughs at many broken hammers.

There are men who can't be bought.

The fireborn are at home in fire.

The stars make no noise,

You can't hinder the wind from blowing.

Time is a great teacher.

Who can live without hope?

In the darkness with a great bundle of grief

the people march.

In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the people


"Where to? what next?"

February 17, 2018
Language Skills
Dutch, English, German
Learning Language