The ideal character according to Bertrand Russell

I’ll take four characteristics which seem to me jointly to form the basis of an ideal character; vitality, courage, sensitiveness and intelligence. I don’t suggest that this list is complete, but I think it carries us a good way. Moreover, I firmly believe that, by proper physical, emotional and intellectual care of young, these qualities could all be made very common.

On Education, Bertrand Russell

Beauty of love is in freedom


Love cannot be a duty, because it is not subject to will. It is a gift from heaven, the best that heaven has to bestow. Those who shut it up in a cage destroy the beauty and joy which it can only display while it free and spontaneous. Here, again, fear is the enemy. He who fears to lose what makes the happiness of his life has already lost it. In this, as in other things, fearlessness is the essence of wisdom.

~ Bertrand Russell, On Education

[Source of photo]

Learn to obey so that you can learn to cammand!



In the very far past I heard this quote in some movie I do not remember. Today, I read about it in ‘On education’ by Bertrand Russell. He debates on it in these meaningful lines.

He writes:

“. . . when we come to consider, not courage in this or that respect, but universal courage, something more fundamental is wanted. What is wanted is a combination of self-respect with an impersonal outlook on life. To begin with self respect: some men live from within, while others are mere mirrors of what is felt and said by their neighbors. The latter can never have true courage: they must have admiration, and are haunted by the fear of losing it. The teaching of ‘humility’, which used to be thought desirable, was the means of producing a perverted form of this same vice. ‘Humility’ suppressed self-respect, but not the desire for the respect of others, it merely made nominal self abasement the means of acquiring credit. Thus it produced hypocrisy and falsification of instinct. Children were taught unreasoning submission, and proceeded to exact it when they grew up; it was said that only those who have learned to obey know how to command. What I suggest is that no one should learn how to obey, and no one should attempt to command. I do not mean, of course, that there should not be leaders in cooperative enterprises; but their authority should be like that of a captain in a football team, which is suffered voluntarily in order to achieve a common purpose. Our purposes should be our own and, not the result of external authority, and our purposes should never be forcibly imposed on others. This is what I mean when I say no one should command and no one should obey.”