— Bertrand Russell logician, one of the first analytic philosophers and political activist 1872 - 1970
1960s, Context: Friends,
I have a very simple creed: that life and joy and beauty are better than dusty death. This is an occasion that I hardly know how to find words for. I am more touched than I can say, and more deeply than I can ever hope to express. I have to give my very warmest possible thanks to those who have worked to produce this occasion: to the performers, whose exquisite music, exquisitely performed, was so full of delight; to those who worked in less conspicuous ways, like my friend Mr Schoenman; and to all those who have given me gifts – gifts which are valuable in themselves, and also as expressions of an undying hope for this dangerous world.
I have a very simple creed: that life and joy and beauty are better than dusty death, and I think when we listen to such music as we heard today we must all of us feel that the capacity to produce such music, and the capacity to hear such music, is a thing worth preserving and should not be thrown away in foolish squabbles. You may say it's a simple creed, but I think everything important is very simple indeed. I've found that creed sufficient, and I should think that a great many of you would also find it sufficient, or else you would hardly be here.
But now I just want to say how it's difficult, when one has embarked upon a course which invites a greater or less degree of persecution and obloquy and abuse, to find instead that one is welcomed as I have been today. It makes one feel rather humble, and I feel I must try to live up to the feelings that have produced this occasion. I hope I shall; and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Ninetieth birthday celebration speech, 18 May 1962