The Thought for the Day/John Locke

People are more disposed to suffer than right themselves by resistance.
John Locke


John Locke (1632-1704) was an English physician and philosopher. He is considered by most classically trained philosophers to be the first of the British empiricists, while practical thinkers know him as a man who believed that while books were nice, real knowledge came from experience. Despite not liking either the regiment or the subjects taught at school, Locke, unlike some of this ilk, was a good student and received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. His influence on thinkers since, including America’s Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence, was, and remains, strong.

People are more disposed to suffer…

Human nature is a hard habit to break. Providence, Mother Nature, the Great Spirit – wherever your beliefs take you – made our instincts tough to resist for a reason. Its primary concern is not a fulfilling life or chasing dreams or making our time serve us. Its primary concern is our survival, and our instinct’s main objective is keeping us alive and producing more humans, the same as it is for any other animal. This makes going against the grain challenging and sometimes supremely difficult.

…than right themselves by resistance.

We are seeing this in America right now. By even the most charitable measures our government is a partisan, fractured and bickering mess. This will not change until Americans have the courage to resist and toss aside the status quo. Until then, America will suffer.

What’s true for a society is true for individuals. It is difficult to resist the status quo in life, to resist the instincts of survival and reproduction, the instinct to stick with the familiar, as opposed to shedding the familiar and following an unknown road.

However, we must resist this and those that get on in this life, who look back on time well spent when their turn comes to die, had the courage to follow an unknown road. They followed their hearts. It told them where to go. They trusted their instincts. It showed them how to get there.

It’s not easy. It takes courage and patience, too, and plenty of both, too. However, if we pursue our path with diligence and courage, the life we are meant to live is there for the taking.

Quotes are from Gaylon’s personal quote book, begun in 1988 in a hotel room in Berkeley, California.

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