The boyfriend bought me the Signet Classic’s collection of Thomas Paine’s most influential works. I must now say that he has joined Ben Franklin and G-Wash (George Washington, for those who didn’t grasp that) as one of my all-time heroes.
I am so absolutely in love with the extraordinary beauty of “average” citizens doing absolutely wonderful things. Maybe I’ve bought into the whole American Dream thing a bit too much, but I can’t help it. Franklin was the fifteenth of seventeen children; his dad was a soap-boiler for crying out loud… now he’s the face on the $100 bill?!
Paine was just an average citizens yet he remains one of the most important pieces of the American Revolution. He was just a regular guy, but I am enveloped by the power of his language. His ability to articulate ideas eloquently, yet simply is amazing, and his insight is so advanced and wise.
I really don’t know why I am posting this. I suppose I just wanted to get these ideas out there. This really wasn’t political/social commentary, but it WAS an opinion… so I guess I haven’t strayed too far from my overall theme.
Anyway, here are some quotes that I’ve found particularly moving thus far:
“My country is the world, and my religion is to do good”
“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”
“Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”
“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”
“I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.”
“He who is the author of a war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death.”
^^That’s for President Bush.
I wish I could write like this some day…
Tags: Thomas Paine