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"Human beings are like rivers...."

A wonderful quote from Tolstoy at Scott Horton's equally wonderful blog:

Human beings are like rivers—the water in all of them, and at every point, is the same, and each of them is narrow at one point and swift at others, wide at some points, calm at others, clear at some points, cold at others, muddy at some points, warm at others. And so it is with humankind. Each of us bears within him the potential for all human qualities, sometimes manifesting one quality, sometimes another, and often enough he does not seem himself at all, manifesting no change.

And now read the rest of the post for Horton's critique of the criminal justice system, which applies to many of the other collapsing systems in which we are enmeshed.

NOTE Horton is, of course, another access-free C lister.

UPDATE I tried to rewrite the pronouns, but this sentence defeated me: "Each of us bears within him the potential for all human qualities, sometimes manifesting one quality, sometimes another, and often enough he does not seem himself at all, manifesting no change."

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nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

"Each of us bears within the potential for all human qualities, sometimes manifesting one quality, sometimes another, and often enough not seeming a self at all, manifesting no change."

quixote's picture
Submitted by quixote on

like a wet fish across the face, and I stopped reading (and started commenting).

You know what? How's this for an idea for all those people who just can't stand "they" and "their" as an indefinite singular: use "she" and "her."

Go on. Try it. And none of this "Oh, that doesn't sound right." If "he" can sound right to represent the human race, "she" -- who is more than half the human race -- sounds even righter.

quixote's picture
Submitted by quixote on

try suggestion #2 next time? Good to hear you're working on it! :D

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

"each of us bears within us..........(snip)
and often enough does not seem oneself at all