The most satisfactory purposes are those that lead on indefinitely from one success to another without ever coming to a dead end; and in this respect it will be found that construction is a greater source of happiness than destruction.
But not infrequently a man will engage in activities of which the purpose is destructive without regard to any construction that may come after. Frequently he will conceal this from himself by the belief that he is only sweeping away in order to build afresh, but it is generally possible to unmask this pretence, when it is a pretence, by asking him what the subsequent construction is to be. On this subject it will be found that he will speak vaguely and without enthusiasm, whereas on the preliminary destruction he has spoken precisely and with zest. This applies to not a few revolutionaries and militarists and other apostles of violence. They are actuated, usually without their own knowledge, by hatred; the destruction of what they hate is their real purpose, and they are comparatively indifferent to the question of what is to come after it.
All skilled work can be pleasurable, provided the skill required is either variable or capable of indefinite improvement. If these conditions are absent, it will cease to be interesting when a man has acquired his maximum skill.
Having learned to smile in order to conceal boredom, men tend to use the smile to conceal other less innocent emotions
出典：Bertrand Russell, On smiling, Aug. 17th, 1932.
In: Mortals and Others, v.1 (1975)]
But there should be no convention demanding that every mother should do herself what some other woman can do better. Mothers who feel baffled and incompetent when faced with their children as many mothers do, should have no hesitation in having their children cared for by women who have an aptitude for this work and have undergone the necessary training. There is no heaven-sent instinct which teaches women the right thing to do by their children, and solicitude when it goes beyond a point is a camouflage for possessiveness. Many a child is psychologically ruined by ignorant and sentimental handling on the part of its mother.
The parent who genuinely desires the child’s welfare more than his or her power over the child will not need textbooks on psycho-analysis to say what should and what should not be done, but will be guided aright by impulse. And in that case the relation of parent and child will be harmonious from first to last, causing no rebellion in the child and no feeling of frustration in the parent. But this demands on the part of the parent from the first a respect for the personality of the child – a respect which must be not merely a matter of principle, whether moral or intellectual, but something deeply felt with almost mystical conviction to such a degree that possessiveness and oppression become utterly impossible.
If you make him too vividly aware of dangers, you are probably actuated by a desire to keep him dependent upon you. If you give him demonstrative affection to which you expect a response, you are probably endeavouring to grapple him to you by means of his emotions. In a thousand ways, great and small, the possessive impulse of parents will lead them astray, unless they are very watchful or very pure in heart.
To be happy in this world, especially when youth is past, it is necessary to feel oneself not merely an isolated individual whose day will soon be over, but part of the stream of life flowing on from the first germ to the remote and unknown future.
Cities like London and New York are so large that it takes a very long time to get out of them. Those who live in the city usually have to be content with a flat, to which, of course, not a square inch of soil is attached, and in which people of moderate means have to be content with the absolute minimum of space. If there are young children, life in a flat is difficult. There is no room for them to play, and there is no room for their parents to get away from their noise. Consequently professional men tend more and more to live in the suburbs. This is undoubtedly desirable from the point of view of the children, but it adds considerably to the fatigue of the man’s life, and greatly diminishes the part which he can play in the family.
I like to think that civilisation will continue to improve, and the opposite thought when it comes, as it sometimes will, is depressing. In these days, when the immediate outlook is somewhat gloomy, the thought of a more distant future is often cheering.
出典: Taking long views,Mar. 30,1932. In Mortals and Others, v.1, 1975.]