Widgets June 28 ~  Paint One's Dreams Confessions

"One has a right to paint one's dreams." ~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) was born on this day in Geneva, Switzerland. Along with Voltaire, Rousseau is considered the best-known figure of the 18th Century French Enlightenment and inspired Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence.

Calling the common man a "noble savage," Rousseau believed man was by nature good, but corrupted by society. He observed, "Man is born free, and every where he is in chains." His philosophy struck a spark to the writings of Francois Chateaubriand and others.

Rousseau and his fellow romantics rebelled against an authoritative society. Called the intellectual father of the French Revolution, he passionately believed in individual freedom and equality. His writing influenced literature, politics, and education. Creating the modern art of autobiography, his two greatest works were published in 1762--The Social Contract and Emile (On Education).

About the power of the imagination, he remarked, "The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless."

Laying the foundation for both nationalism and democracy, Rousseau valued emotions more than reason, encouraged spontaneity more than self-discipline, and taught the power of kindness. "What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?" he asked.

What wisdom, indeed!

More ROUSSEAU Quotations

Paint your dreams with vivid colors.