“….lift people up, not lower them down.”

In a 1940 essay titled “The Almond Trees”, Albert Camus acknowledges that “It is indeed true that we live in tragic times.”

However, he points out, we would do well not to “confuse tragedy with despair.”

He writes: “We must mend what has been torn apart, make justice imaginable again in a world so obviously unjust, give happiness a meaning once more to peoples poisoned by the misery of the century.”

This task, he asks us to keep in mind, is a part of the human condition — it “is endless.”

As we set about this endless task, E B White’s thoughts, in a 1969 Paris Review conversation (though on the role of writers), is a message for each of us to embody through our entire lives. “He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down.”

Peace 😊

The “DIscreet Heroism of Everyday Life”

In “The Principles of Uncertainty”, the illustrator, artist, and writer, Maira Kalman, writes of  the bravery needed to “take step after step” taking care “not to trip and yet” trip sometimes, “and then get up.”

In “The Fall”, Albert Camus writes that “in this world….Sometimes, carrying on, just carrying on, is the superhuman achievement.”

Alexandre Jollien observes (“In Search of Wisdom”) that

There is a discreet heroism of everyday life: getting up in the morning, being generous, facing difficulties without losing one’s joy.

Swami Vivekananda (“The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda”) tells us that if we “really want to judge of the character of a man”, we are better off looking not at “his great performances” but rather at his life every day. “Watch a man do his most common actions; those are indeed the things which will tell you the real character of a great man.”

Peace 🙂