Lessons of History (Book Notes)

The richest wisdom on earth are buried in history.

Reading the book, Lessons of History by Will and Aeriel Durant was yet another verification to the claim. They stated, “the present is the past rolled up for action, and the past is the present unrolled for understanding.” Here are some of the peaks in the book. 

How to surmount Challenges:  

Initiatives, creativity, clarity of mind, energy of will, and intelligence are at the heart of the required qualities to surmount challenges.

“If we put the problem further back, and ask what determines whether a challenge will or will not be met, the answer is that this depends upon the presence or absence of initiative and of creative individuals with clarity of mind and energy of will … capable of effective responses to new situation (which is almost a definition of intelligence). If we ask what makes a creative individual, we are thrown back from history to psychology and biology – to the influence of environment and the gamble and secret of the chromosomes”

I think the former has a more preponderance on creativity than the latter.

Why History repeat Itself: 

“History repeats itself in the large because human nature changes with geological leisureliness, and man is equipped to respond in [almost] stereotyped ways to frequently occurring situations and stimuli like hunger, danger, and sex [among others]”

On Money Management: 

“The men who can manage men manage the men who can manage only things, and the men who can manage money manage all”

On Religion:

“As long as there is poverty there will be a God”

As a Christian, I find this statement very worrisome. Yet, the practice of Christianity (and most religion) today virtually exemplify this. Needless to say, the message of salvation has been subdued by the plenoxia of worldly materials.

The Cons of Industrialization

“Gradually, then rapidly and ever more widely, the Industrial Revolution changed the economic form and moral superstructure of European and American life (and other part of the world albeit more gradually). Men, women, and children left home and family, authority and unity, to work as individuals, individually paid, in factories built to house not men but machines. Every decade the machines multiplied and became more complex; economic maturity came later; children no longer were economic assets; marriage was delayed; premarital continence became more difficult to maintain. The city offered every discouragement to marriage, but it provided every stimulus and facility for sex….The authority of father and mother lost its economic base through growing individualism of industry. The rebellious youth was no longer constrained by the surveillance of the village; he could hide his sins in the protective anonymity of the city crowd… education spread religious doubts… the old agricultural moral code began to die”

The cons of industrialization cannot be best stated.

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