Quote for Today: Leo Tolstoy


“People speak of the misfortunes of suffering, but if at this moment I were asked: ‘Would you rather be what you were before you were taken prisoner, or go through all this again?’ then for heaven’s sake let me again have captivity and horseflesh! We imagine that when we are thrown out of our usual ruts all is lost, but it is only then that what is new and good begins. While there is life there is happiness.”

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Public Domain Image via Pixabay: National Prisoner of War Museum

4 thoughts on “Quote for Today: Leo Tolstoy

  1. janis pi Reply

    God, I was thinking about this a few days ago. I was thinking that I would rather be spared of all the unpleasant experience, even when it made me better.

    • katmcdaniel Reply

      I think there is a balance. Having been flooded out of my house three times, I can see both the loss of time and the increase of understanding. When these things come close to balancing or when the increase is greater, over time we often see the good in the bad. If the loss is too great, we simply have a hard time making it back to a place where we can grow. We are surprisingly strong and surprisingly delicate.

  2. Diana @ Thoughts on Papyrus Reply

    That’s a thought-provoking quote. A negative experience makes one wiser sometimes, and there is no price that you can put on that knowledge – it just needs to be experienced. In that way, even negative experience is valuable at the end of the day – that is the thing called life. If there was only good in the world, it would not have been that great to be alive or no sense in appreciating pleasure and happiness.

    • katmcdaniel Reply

      Yes. Sweetness can be hard to recall on its own, but when it is confronted by hardship, we remember the hardship more easily and it deepens the sweetness. It’s the way we are wired to survive. Thanks for reading and commenting! kat

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