“I would say to young people a number of things, and I have only one minute. I would say let them remember that there is a meaning beyond absurdity. Let them be sure that every little deed counts, that every word has power, and that we do, everyone, our share to redeem the world, in spite of all absurdities, and all the frustrations, and all the disappointment. And above all, remember that the meaning of life is to live life as if it were a work of art.
You’re not a machine. When you’re young, start working on this great work of art called your own existence. One, remember the importance of self-discipline. Second, study the great sources of wis¬dom, don’t read the best-sellers. And, third, remember that life is a celebration, or can be a celebration. There’s much of entertainment in our life. And entertainment is destroying much of our initiative and weakens our imagination. What’s really important is life as a celebration.
In a very deep sense I would say that the addiction from which so many people suffer, is due to the fact that man cannot live such a shallow life, stale; he needs exultation, he needs moments of celebration.
One of the most important things is to teach man how to celebrate life.”
–Heschel, speaking off the cuff