Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Toni Morrison: Please Don't Settle For Happiness

I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge-even wisdom. Like art.

Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge.

There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal. 

Please don't settle for happiness. It's not good enough. Of course you deserve it, but if that's all you have in mind - happiness - I want to suggest to you that personal success devoid of meaningfulness, free of a steady commitment to social justice - that's more than a barren life. It's a trivial one. 

If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down. 

- Toni Morrison

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