"Ideas spread, you can't stop them. An idea whose time has come cannot be stopped by any army or any government!"Submitted by samr89 on Wed, 04/11/2012 - 00:09
Here I am in my room reading a book my dad gave me this christmas. I just read through a most impressionable passage that reminded me exactly of Dr. Paul and felt the need to share with some who may understand these words.
This is from Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot" (1868), Part three, Chapter 4 part of Ippolit's monologue:
"'Whoever attacks individual 'charity'," I began, "attacks the nature of man and despises his personal dignity. But the organization of 'public charity' and the question of personal freedom are two different questions and are not mutually exclusive. Individual kindness will always remain, because it is a need of the personality on another. In Moscow there used to live an old man, a 'general', that is, a State Councillor, with a German name; all his life he had traipsed around prisons and criminals; every party of convicts on its way to Siberia knew in advance the 'the old general' would visit them at Sparrow Hills. He did his work with great seriousness and devotion; he arrived, walked, along the ranks of the convicts, who surrounded him, stopped before each one, asked each about his needs, hardly ever gave anyone a lecture, called them all 'dear friends'. He gave money, sent necessary items - foot-bindings, foot rags, linen, sometimes brought edifying books and distributed them to each man who could read, in the full conviction that they would be read en route and that those who could read would read them aloud to those who could not. About crime he rarely asked any questions, though he would listen if a criminal began to talk. All the criminals were on equal footing as far as he was concerned, there were no distinctions. He talked to them like brothers, but towards the end they began to view him as a father. If he noticed a female convict with a baby in her arms, he would approach, fondle the baby and snap his fingers at it to make it laugh. These things he did for many years, right up to his death; eventually he was famous all over Russia and all over Siberia, among the criminals, that is. One man who had been in Siberia told me that he himself had witnessed how the most hardened criminals remembered the general, and yet the general, when he visited the gangs of convicts, was rarely able to give more than twenty copecks to each man. It's true that he wasn't remembered with much affection, or even very seriously. Some 'unfortunate wretch', who had killed twelve people, or put six children to the knife solely for his own amusement (there were such men, it is said), would suddenly, apropos of nothing, perhaps only once in twenty years, sigh and say: 'Well, and how's the old general now, is he still alive?' He would even, perhaps, smile as he said it - and that would be all. How can you know what seed had been cast into his soul for ever by this 'old general', whom he had not forgotten in twenty years? How can you know, Bakhmutov, what significance this communication between one personality and another may have in the fate of the personality that is communicated with?... I mean, we're talking about the whole of a life, and a countless number of ramifications that are hidden from us. The very finest player of chess, the most acute of them, can only calculate a few moves ahead; one French player, who was able to calculate ten moves ahead, was described in the press as a miracle. But how many moves are here, and how much is there that is unknown to us? In sowing your seed, sowing your 'charity', your good deeds in whatever form, you give away part of your personality and absorb part of another; a little more attention, and you are rewarded with knowledge, with the most unexpected discoveries. You will, at last, certainly view your deeds as a science; they will take take over the whole of your life and may fill it. On the other hand, all your thoughts, all the seeds you have sown, which perhaps you have already forgotten, will take root and grow; the one who has received from you will give to another. And how can you know what part you will play in the future resolution of the fates of mankind? If this knowledge, and a whole lifetime of this work, exalts you, at last, to the point where you are able to sow a mighty seed, leave a mighty idea to the world as an inheritance, then..." And so on, and so on. I talked a lot that day.