I’ve always liked sorting things–that might be why I write some blog posts to feature in different series. So far I’ve brought you interesting sights (Art to Share), interesting sounds (Listen:) and interesting cranial expanders (Mind Stretch). Today I start another series, calling attention to notable quotes.
This quote came to mind last week as I contemplated politicians and the things they say, and the temptation to think in terms of us versus them:
If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” –Alexander Solzhenitsyn, (1918-2008)*
To my mind, one sign of a great writer is this ability to hold us accountable for cramped thoughts like those described, to help us see them for what they are, and to ask us to rise above them.
If you catch yourself thinking how much simpler things would be if only we could get rid of them (whoever they are), what helps you to snap out of it?
*Solzhenitsyn won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970. You can find Wikipedia’s summary here, and a short autobiographical sketch at Nobelprize.org. His full name, using Eastern Slavic naming customs, is Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn. Here’s what it looks like in Cyrillic: Алекса́ндр Иса́евич Солжени́цын
[A note on the opening image: a print of this engraving by Gustave Doré of Cervantes’ Don Quixote has hung in our home for many years. The caption reads, “A world of disorderly notions, picked out of his books, crowded into his imagination.” As I add to this quotes series, let’s see what kinds of notions come crowding into ours….]