Quote of the day—T.S. Eliot

Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm; but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.

T. S. Eliot
“The Cocktail Party” (1949), Act 1, scene 1.
[H/T to Phssthpok.

A search for the context of this quote led me to this gold mine of quotes created by Thomas Sowell.—Joe]


7 thoughts on “Quote of the day—T.S. Eliot

  1. Said the “father of lies”, the serpent, in Genesis 3;
    “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods,…”

    In other words, he was selling the notion that questioning God and disobedience to God’s perfect law of liberty will make you woke, and superior, important and powerful. And nothing has changed, in that regard, in all the millennia since that day.

    The quest for “being as gods” has been the cause of pain, destruction and death ever since. It’s taken so many forms, from the seemingly insignificant to the grandiose, and it’s so thoroughly infused throughout our culture in all sectors, that it is difficult to get free of it. The overt self-esteem movement of the late 20th Century, in which self-importance and conceit are upheld and promoted as virtues, is an obvious example, but that quest, that “endless struggle” as Eliot calls it, manifests in a thousand far more subtle ways.

  2. “You know, doing what is right is easy, The problem is knowing what is right.” This, from Lyndon B.(Lying bastard) Johnson.
    If ever there was a living example of that statement, it was that Motherf–k’in, merciless, lying prick. He knew exactly what he was doing. Thieving animal.
    We ain’t getting off that easy. We all know exactly what were doing to each other. Just as he did. At that level, there’s no excuse for not knowing. And no mercy shown in the example made of you.
    Your right Joe, That is a wealth of quotes from some of humanity’s greatest thinkers. Thanks!

    • There are many people who know that they are doing wrong. From the smallest of relationships between two people, to the biggest of relationships on the international stage. The Nazis who ran the death camps knew that what they did was wrong. Once it became apparent that the world would know, they tried to hide every bit of evidence they ever did it. Johnson was as wrong about this as he was about so many things. Mark Twain once said “Always do right. It will gratify some and astonish the rest.” People would not be astounded if doing right was the hard part.
      It is harder to do what one knows as right.

  3. Will Rogers, humorist, essayist, Vaudeville Performer, Oklahoma Cowboy and Native American, once said that “Nobody is important enough to feel important.”
    Trouble starts when people begin to think they are a finer type of human being than their staff, or, most disastrously, the people they were elected to serve (I’m looking at you, Gavin Newsom). Hitler, it will be recalled, had to have the Reichstag bestow upon him the powers of dictator via the Enabling Acts, and the Reichstag had to renew those powers in 1938. He was not able to create those powers in himself as Newsom has done.

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