Would rather have a grandchild

Just came across a quote by Herbert Spencer, who first posited the theory of Social Darwinism and coined the term “survival of the fittest.”  Spencer never married, but devoted his life to study and writing.  Much of his later years were consumed with the publishing of the epic Synthetic Philosophy–18 volumes which essentially represented his life’s work.

A few days before his death, “Herbert Spencer had the eighteen volumes of the Synthetic Philosophy piled on his lap, and… ‘as he felt their cold weight wondered if he would not have done better could he have a grandchild in their stead.” (from A Treasury of the World’s Great Letters, p. 360)

Ouch.  May I put into practice what I tell my students–relationship is more important than anything else.  And no other relationship is more important than the one we can have with the Lord.

Leave a comment


  1. Doug Bilodeau

     /  March 12, 2012

    I know that passage about Spencer appears in “The Importance of Living” by Lin Yutang (1937), which I read long ago. I wondered is it attributed to him or to someone else in the Treasury of the World’s Great Letters you cite? I thought I had a copy of the latter book on my shelves somewhere, but if so I can’t locate it. Thanks.

  2. Yes, it is attributed to Lin Yutang and the work you cite. God bless!


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