Three passions

by Christina on January 30, 2010

Three passions have governed my life: 


The longings for love, the search for knowledge, 

And unbearable pity for the suffering of [humankind]. 


Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness. 


In the union of love I have seen 


In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision 


Of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined. 


With equal passion I have sought knowledge. 


I have wished to understand the hearts of [people]. 
 

I have wished to know why the stars shine. 


Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens, 
 

But always pity brought me back to earth; 
 

Cries of pain reverberated in my heart 
 

Of children in famine, of victims tortured 
 

And of old people left helpless. 
 

I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, 
 

And I too suffer. 


This has been my life; I found it worth living.


~Bertrand Russell

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jim Purdy January 31, 2010 at 11:34 am

Bertrand Russell, peace activist, anti-nuclear weapons campaigner, philosopher, mathematician, and a moral giant of the mid-20th century.

We need more like him.

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