Moving the Mountain, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman


ONE of the most distinctive features of the human mind is to forecast better things.

“We look before and after

And pine for what is not.”

This natural tendency to hope, desire, foresee and then, if possible, obtain, has been largely diverted from human usefulness since our goal was placed after death, in Heaven. With all our hope in “Another World,” we have largely lost hope of this one.

Some minds, still keen in the perception of better human possibilities, have tried to write out their vision and give it to the world. From Plato’s ideal Republic to Wells’ Day of the Comet we have had many Utopias set before us, best known of which are that of Sir Thomas More and the great modern instance, “Looking Backward.”

All these have one or two distinctive features—an element of extreme remoteness, or the introduction of some mysterious out-side force. “Moving the Mountain” is a short distance Utopia, a baby Utopia, a little one that can grow. It involves no other change than a change of mind, the mere awakening of people, especially the women, to existing possibilities. It indicates what people might do, real people, now living, in thirty years—if they would.

One man, truly aroused and redirecting his energies, can change his whole life in thirty years.

So can the world.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:54