Perhaps our supercilious disgust with existence is a cover for a secret disgust with ourselves; we have botched and bungled our lives, and we cast the blame upon the environment or the world, which have no tongues to utter a defense. The mature man accepts the natural limitations of life; he does not expect Providence to be prejudiced in his favor; he does not ask for loaded dice to play the game of life. He knows, with Carlyle, that there is no sense in vilifying the sun because it will not light our cigars. And perhaps, if we are clever enough to help it, the sun will even do that; and this vast neutral cosmos may turn out to be a pleasant place enough if we bring a little sunshine of our own to help it out. In truth, the world is neither with us or against us; it is but raw material in our hands, and can be heaven or hell according to what we are.
India was the motherland of our race and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages. India was the mother of our philosophy, of much of our mathematics, of the ideals embodied in Christianity? of self-government and democracy. In many ways, Mother India is the mother of us all.
There is nothing in socialism that a little age or a little money will not cure.
Every form of government tends to perish by excess of its basic principles.
Cultivate your garden … Do not depend upon teachers to educate you … follow your own bent, pursue your curiosity bravely, express yourself, make your own harmony … In the end, education, like happiness, is individual, and must come to us from life and from ourselves. There is no way; each pilgrim must make his own path. “Happiness,” said Chamfort, “is not easily won; it is hard to find it in ourselves, and impossible to find it elsewhere.”
Inquiry is fatal to certainty.
Every vice was once a virtue, and may become respectable again, just as hatred becomes respectable in wartime.
- Jacques Barzun French-born American Historian
- Theodore H. White American Journalist, Historian
- David McCullough American Historian, Biographer
- James Truslow Adams American Historian, Writer
- Daniel J. Boorstin American Historian, Academic
- James Harvey Robinson American Historian
- John Dewey American Philosopher
- George Santayana Spanish Philosopher
- Henry David Thoreau American Philosopher
- Alfred Whitney Griswold American Historian, Educator