This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

shaw

George Bernard Shaw

This is a powerful quote from G B Shaw’s play Man and Superman. Werner Erhard uses this quote often in his talks and why not? In less than 150 words, Shaw manages to highlight the petty mindset of humanity and at the same time calls for finding true joy in making the maximum contribution one can before one dies.

George Bernard Shaw often remarked that he hated Shakespeare and so it is interesting possibility that the remark that life is no “brief candle” is a retort to a quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth –

Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

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