Sunday, June 22, 2008

Quotation of the day

Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the roar of its many waters.

— Frederick Douglass, 1857


  1. I guess this post is a filler, but since I come to this de novo I'll submit my first impression of the quote for your amusement:

    * That's me. I'm not an activist.
    * Hm, that makes me feel a slacker.
    * But then, I'm under no duress.
    I suspect the more dire circumstances are, the less deprecation I'd offer, as I imagine anyone would.

    Obviously, I consider my personal situation less than perfect, but I further consider it not worth the effort of agitation. No doubt others have different thresholds.

    So, how profound is the sentiment? Well, it's clear it enjoins one to be an activist until such no longer leads to progress toward freedom... i.e., for a lifetime.

    Not really my style.

  2. I don't read it so much as a call for agitation. I read it more as an exhortation to understand that freedom means change, change always comes with some degree of chaos and difficulty.

  3. Hm.

    Well, as I said, I've encountered this context-free. And perhaps your mind is more finely-tuned than mine? I tend to read things literally and thus simplistically.

    Still, if it's a truism, then it's not all that profound, either. There's plenty of truisms to be expressed.

    Anyway, hope you're enjoying your new digs, in this nice mild winter.

  4. Don't over-think this too much: it's just a quotation I happened upon and liked.


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