Man is not the sum of his beliefs, man is the sum of his actions

Joseph Brodsky about what makes a person a person.

Events show that people do not really distinguish between good and evil. Here’s another problem… It’s very difficult to evaluate yourself objectively. Often a person has an amazing ability to justify his cruelty. And not just to justify, but also to turn this rigidity into valor, virtue, and so on… 90% cannot distinguish truth from propaganda, a heroic deed or military action from the massacres of civilians. Unfortunately, smart people are much less than commonly believed. But among such strange townsfolk we live … herd prevails.

In 1987, Joseph Brodsky won the Nobel Prize for Literature. In one of the interviews, he was asked: You are a US citizen receiving an award for Russian-language poetry. Who are you, American or Russian? “I am Jewish; Russian poet, English essayist – and, of course, an American citizen”, he replied.

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