Excerpts from Hannah Arendt, Human Condition, chapter V

With word and deed we insert ourselves into the human world, and this insertion is like a second birth, in which we confirm and take upon ourselves the naked fact of our physical appearance. […]

To act, in its most general sense, means to take an initiative, to begin, to set something into motion. Because they are initium, newcomers and beginners by virtue of birth, men take initiative, are prompted into action.[…]

It is in the nature of beginning that something new is started which cannot be expected from whatever may have happened before.[…]

The new always happens against the overwhelming odds of statistical laws and their probability, which for all pratical, everyday purposes amounts to certainty; the new therefore always appears in the guise of a miracle. The fact that man is capable of action means, that the unexpected can be expected from him, that he is able to perform what is infinitely improbable. And this again is possible only because each man is unique, so that with each birth something uniquely new comes into the world. […]

Action, as distinguished from fabrication, is never possible in isolation; to be isolated is to be deprived of the capacity to act […]

To do and to suffer are like opposite sides of the same coin, and the story that an act starts is composed of its consequent deeds and sufferings. […]

The miracle that saves the world, the realm of human affairs, from its normal, ‘natural’ ruin is ultimately the fact of natality, in which the faculty of action is ontologically rooted. It is, in other words, the birth of new men and the new beginning, the action they are capable of by virtue of being born. Only the full experience of this capacity can bestow upon human affairs faith and hope […]

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