Reconnecting with Ingersoll

I would love to hear what he would say about American society today.

I love my classes this quarter. I even like my THREE HOUR lecture on theories of persuasive communication. We read Robert G. Ingersoll’s piece, “The Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child” this week and it was one of those texts that immediately resonated with me. It was too good not to share. I think Ingersoll was largely ahead of his time; written around 1880, it almost sounds like something we’d read today. So here’s a brief walk down history lane this morning. I think implementing a little more of the past into our present isn’t always such a bad thing, especially when you’re using Ingersoll as a guide.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

1. “Let us think. Let each one express his thought. Let us become investigators not followers, not cringers and crawlers.”

2. In reference to Napoleon, “It no longer satisfies the ambition of a great man to be king or emperor. He wanted some evidence that he had something of value within his head. The world is beginning to pay homage to intellect, to genius, to heart.”

3. “The truth is, we are both good and bad. The lowest can rise, and the highest may fall. That mankind can be divided into two great classes, sinners and saints, is an utter falsehood.”

4. “I regard marriage as the holiest institution among men. Without the fireside there is no human advancement, without the family relation there is no life worth living. Every good government is made up of good families.”

5. “The grandest ambition that any man can possibly have, is to so live, and so improve himself in heart and brain as to be worthy of the love of some splendid woman; and the grandest ambition of any girl is to make herself worthy of the love and adoration of some magnificent man.”

6. “There is more love in the homes of the poor than in the palaces of the rich. You cannot be so poor that you cannot help somebody. Good nature is the cheapest commodity in the world.”

7. In regards to children, “Be fair and honest with them; give them a chance. Recollect that their rights are equal to yours.”

I love when an author speaks to you as if the words are meant to be said over dinner instead of something you’d find in a dusty college text. I can’t say I’ve felt that way about Mill or Kant but I really connected with Ingersoll’s state of mind.

What author speaks out to you?

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

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