03 November 2014

Basic Purpose

view of the Potomac from The Kennedy Center rooftop 

“Each individual is capable of: 
– both great altruism and great venality. 
He has it within his means to extend the former and exorcise the latter.

– both great compassion and great indifference. 
He has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the latter.

– maintaining great societies and staging great holocausts. He has it within his means to fortify the former and avert the latter.

– ennobling life and disfiguring it. 
He has it within his means to assert the former and anathematize the latter.

If he recognizes that his basic purpose is to justify his humanity, he will have no difficulty in addressing himself to these choices. 
Basic purpose and human destiny do not lie outside him, but within him.”

 quote from Norman Cousins book, The Celebration of Life

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