Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Return to Main Margie's Messages Home Page (Full List of Topics)

From the book: God's Little Devotional for Graduates, p. 229

Few people have undergone the trials and tribulations of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who suffered decades of horrendous hardship as a political exile in the Siberian prison system known as the "gulag."  We can learn from Solzhenitsyn not only because he is a survivor, but because he has been in a situation that few of us have ever known--an existence of near total deprivation.  He has not only lived without luxuries, but without necessities.

He writes as few can in The Prison Chronicle: 

"Don't be afraid of misfortune and do not yearn after happiness.  It is, after all, all the same.  The bitter doesn't last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.  It is enough if you don't freeze in the cold and if hunger and thirst don't claw at your sides.  If your back isn't broken, if your feet can walk, if both arms work, if both eyes can see, and if both ears can hear, then whom should you envy?  And why?  Our envy of others devours us most of all.  Rub your eyes and purify your heart and prize above all else in the world those who love you and wish you well."