William Ellery ChanningWilliam Ellery Channing, (1780-1842) American Unitarian preacher

William Ellery Channing Quote

“Undoubtedly a man is to labor to better his condition, but first to better himself.”

William Ellery ChanningWilliam Ellery Channing
~ William Ellery Channing

Ratings and Comments

  • Reply
    abby    9/14/15

    Without time for reflection, man will be no different than sheep being tended by a wolf. What better way to put the mind to work than while working one's body.

    E Archer, NYC

    The fruits of hard work and honest labor include the building of character -- the kind of character is determined by the attitude and approach of the laborer.

    Ronw13, Yachats Or

    Stock corralled must be fed. Unless set to 'Free range'. Once a year set at liberty, to be corralled in the fall. Now tell us who cultivates the minds and to what purpose is the European mindset to a people of the Americas free to begin with, mingled with, cohabited with, Living Free with. Then to be corralled, persecuted, and reduced to an absurd life of servitude to 'the Statist theocracy that now infest this land.' (Borrowing from Mike, Norwalk, his statement of fact.) The quote is no more than common sense. Channing being very much a churl liberal. He smacks of ' one world order. ' As does the church denomination he is affiliated with. Unitarian universalist. Syncretic politics, the USA was not founded upon.

    Mike, Norwalk

    The implied concept that labor is better when the order is 'self' then 'condition' can be very accurate as Archer has explained it. For most of my adult life, I have labored for the betterment of others first which hopefully made me a better man (which is not part of the stated concept). Considering both abby and Ron13's comments (both, very good) the stated comment does not cover the most positive of whom, when or in what order, 'labor' makes better.

    Ronw13, Yachats Or

    With an honest recollection, a day before the court, in older years now, the absurdity catches up, let not a True Patriots life be in vain. That is innocent blood, that cries from the ground we walk on. Character is composed within the values we hold dear to the life of the agrarian, hunter, gatherer within us all. God bless. Mother keep my hands in the ground, the garden in times of my troubling. Bless her forever.

    E Archer, NYC

    Mike, you say, "I have labored for the betterment of others first," but so can say a servant or a slave. Assuming your labors are consensual, are you laboring to 'better the condition of others' or to 'their betterment'? To better oneself literally excludes being 'bettered by others' -- I can better your condition, but only you can better yourself. ;-)

    IMHO, because Mike has bettered himself first, he has bettered his condition and is thus able to labor for the "betterment of others" -- as it follows that the betterment of oneself betters the condition of one and ultimately all. ;-)


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