Wisdom on Wednesdays—The world’s best obeyers

Portrait of Griswold Hurlbert, oil on board, 15 x 12 in.

“We Americans are the world’s best obeyers when it comes to obeying money and machinery.  We stand in line, jump to attention, get out of bed, go to work, sit at table or generally obey any mechanical contrivance which immediately dictates to us, and not a person.  But what power to place in the hand of the man who sets all this machinery in motion!”   —from the essay “Obedience” (1936)

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Wisdom on Wednesdays—An overwhelming desire for security and comfort

Gertrude Knitting, c. 1970, oil on canvas, 25 x 30 in.

“Civilizations, like persons, exhibit the same symptoms in senility: an overwhelming desire for security and comfort with a minimum of manual effort; and will submit to indignities for their sake.” (1954)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—“the only man who stands alone”

Gertrude with Violin, c. 1946, oil on canvas, 25 x 30 in.

“One thing common to the millions of conformist individualists is that they are suffering under the delusion that they are alone and fighting a back-to-the-wall losing battle against authority.  Actually, the only man who stands alone today is the person (not individual) who makes decisions which are basically moral, and who takes full responsibility.”  (1961)