George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, critic and polemicist whose influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman (1902), Pygmalion (1912) and Saint Joan (1923). With a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. (Wikipedia).
He once wrote, “This is the true joy of life: the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself to be a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
Having in his youth proclaimed himself an atheist, in middle age he explained this as a reaction against the Old Testament image of a vengeful Jehovah. By the early twentieth century, he termed himself a “mystic” . . . In 1913 Shaw declared that he was not religious “in the sectarian sense”, aligning himself with Jesus as “a person of no religion”. In the preface (1915) to Androcles and the Lion, Shaw asks “Why not give Christianity a chance?” contending that Britain’s social order resulted from the continuing choice of Barabbas over Christ. In a broadcast just before the Second World War, Shaw invoked the Sermon on the Mount, “a very moving exhortation, and it gives you one first-rate tip, which is to do good to those who despitefully use you and persecute you”. In his will, Shaw stated that his “religious convictions and scientific views cannot at present be more specifically defined than as those of a believer in creative revolution”. He requested that no one should imply that he accepted the beliefs of any specific religious organisation, and that no memorial to him should “take the form of a cross or any other instrument of torture or symbol of blood sacrifice”. (Wikipedia).
That’s a great quote! I would make one change to it, however. I would change the word world to the word church. Here’s my version: “This is the true joy of life: the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself to be a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the CHURCH will not devote itself to making you happy.” (your comments?)