Groundhog Day & Bertrand Russell: Day 33 of Project 365

Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell: Winner of the Nobel Prize of Literature in 1950, Russell was known for his work in philosophy and political writings.

The habit of looking to the future and thinking that the whole meaning of the present lies in what it will bring forth is a pernicious one. There can be no value in the whole unless there is value in the parts.” – Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness

February 2, Groundhog day. Everyone wants to know if spring is coming soon, or if winter is hanging around for another couple weeks.

One side of me has to insist on the question: What about people who love winter? I love winter, but not as much as I love fall. There really ought to be a Groundhog Day for the beginning of winter. How many more weeks will fall last before the snows set in?

Human individualities aside, Bertrand Russell makes a good point when he dismisses our need to attempt to predict – and therefore control – the future.

When Russell declares the “parts” to be just as valuable as the “whole”, I am working off the assumption that by “parts” he is referring to the Present, the Future, and hell, lets go crazy, maybe even the Past as well!

I like his way of saying to focus on the present. He, ah, ‘presents’ it logically.

Simply put, he points out that today is just as important as tomorrow. The way I see it. Tomorrow will never happen. All we are ever going to get are today’s.

Unlike Bill Murray’s character’s experience in the movie ‘Groundhog day’ when he shouts: “Today is tomorrow! It happened!”


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