Friday, November 14, 2008

Stay active

I am convinced our own happiness requires that we should continue to mix with the world, and to keep pace with it… I can speak from experience on the subject. From 1793 to 1797, I remained closely at home, saw none but those who came there, and at length became very sensible of the ill effect it had upon my own mind, and of its direct and irresistible tendency to render me unfit for society, and uneasy when necessarily engaged in it. I felt enough of the effect of withdrawing from the world then to see that it led to an anti-social and misanthropic state of mind, which severely punishes him who gives in to it; and it will be a lesson I shall never forget as to myself.

~A letter from Jefferson to Madison April 1795 after retiring from public life to the seclusion of Monticello~