Rules For A Better Life

Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970)

If there were only a surefire handbook by the above title, life would be simpler. Unfortunately, everyone with more than an ounce of brains thinks they have discovered this secret and if you give them $12.99 they will let you in on it.

I am an armchair philosopher, so I read quite a few books on that subject. Bertrand Russell makes the most sense to me. Russell was a famous British mathematician, philosopher, and social critic of his day. He lived to be almost a hundred, and wrote his thoughts throughout that period. He was my kind of guy in that he unapologetically wrote what he thought. He published 70 books and thousands of articles about life and how to live it.

In 1954, at the age of 84 he published one of his most famous books “Principals of Philosophy,” which outlined what he considered to be the foundations of a good life. In the book, he presented the things he considered the most important principles for a good life. Here they are:

  1. Be tolerant of others.
  2. Do your best to understand people.
  3. Be true to yourself and face your problems head on. Try to work out your own problems before trying to solve those of other people.
  4. Remember that everything is relative; everyone views things differently.
  5. Accept yourself and what you have (or don’t have).
  6. Avoid being too attached to material things.
  7. Be patient and tolerant, even with people who frustrate you or seem unfair; this will help you to avoid anger and bitterness in your own heart

I see each item in this numbered list a worthy of several posts here. So, I will be covering them in the “Special Projects” category here on RJsCorner. I have read several of his books and consider him to be one of the greatest 20th century philosophers, especially when it comes to how to live a fruitful and productive life. We all need advice on that, don’t we?

Perhaps his most important words were written in 1902 when he said:

“I hold that every man has a right to his own mind…this I regard as one of the chiefest duties in life the training of children.”

These words could be narrowed down to one of the core foundations here at RJsCorner

Think For Yourself

In fact, even though I likely didn’t realize it at the time, these words probably came from one of his books that I read years ago. So, welcome aboard on yet another “special project”. I look forward to showing you one way to make your life one worth living.

4 thoughts on “Rules For A Better Life

    1. I keep having to remind myself that much of his writing was done over one hundred years ago. It seems like it was written for us in the 21st century. But, I guess that is what makes him a writer for the ages. At least in my eyes. It’s going to be fun helping to get you to know, via this new series, one of the good ones. To many philosophy is a very dry subject, but I have always been fascinated by it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the thoughts, Barry. Yeah, Russell is kinda like reading Shakespeare in that it takes time to parse the words. I was one of the few kids in my high school class that actually enjoyed Shakespeare and read most of his works during that time.

      I, too, have tried to live my life by those seven things, but still struggle to try to find the mind of all those people in the U.S. that fervently follow the con man narcissist who seems to have a strangle hold on them?


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