British philosopher, mathematician, and sociocultural critic Bertrand Russell’s on culture and the Human condition, the most important and admirable aspirations we could hope to live up to, both individually and as a Society.
In this rare 1959 interview with BBC, he is asked to pass along advice to a later generation. In just under two minutes he articulates two things: one intellectual and one moral that still resonate today and cut through our noisy World.
I should like to say two things, one intellectual and one moral.
The intellectual thing I should want to say to them is this: When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only what are the facts and what is the truth that the facts bear out.
Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe, or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed. But look only, and solely, at what are the facts.
That is the intellectual thing that I should wish to say.
The moral thing I should wish to say to them is very simple: I should say, Love is wise, hatred is foolish.
In this World which is getting more and more closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other, we have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don’t like.
We can only live together in that way – and if we are to live together and not die together, we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance, which is absolutely vital to the continuation of Human life on this planet.
To be fearless is to learn how to love and not hate. We fear as something is unacceptable, unknown and disgusting. When we learn to be loving, we can have a higher probability of success and most importantly, enjoy life!
If we hate something, it is about blaming something for making us not able to achieve success. This makes us focus on finding things to blame, and in the complex Society, how can we find a singular reason that could cause the failure.