Monday, 21 May 2012

In Praise of Unhistoric Acts

"...the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you or me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life and rest in unvisited tombs." George Eliot, Middlemarch, 1871.

Ah, George Eliot. She knew a thing or two about human nature and this quote from Middlemarch seems strangely prescient to me. We live in times where young people inhabit a country in which riches and celebrity are exhalted, regardless of whether the riches and celebrity are earned, and where older people are endlessly told to "follow their dreams". The wish to lead a quiet, good life is seen as a singular and counter cultural lack of ambition, however our culture was once dominated those who lived faithfully a hidden life so that others may live a good life, and those were the days when people didn't lock their doors at night.
Here endeth the lesson.

7 comments:

llasblog said...

Excellent point!

Like sunshine in the home said...

Indeed!

monix said...

Beautifully expressed. I'm hoping that when austerity really sets in that some of the old values will come to the fore.

Dulce Domum said...

Hi all
Nice to "see" you all again.

Sue said...

Absolutely. I think this constant quest for super-experiences is damaging to everyone but especially the young. Be happy with what you have and what you are.

I'm so glad to see you back Dulce.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

I am planning on reading Middlemarch this summer. Am ashamed to say I haven't read it before, and now this quote, so close to my heart, makes me doubly ashamed.

xofrances

Left-Handed Housewife said...

I am planning on reading Middlemarch this summer. Am ashamed to say I haven't read it before, and now this quote, so close to my heart, makes me doubly ashamed.

xofrances