Tuesday, November 04, 2014

An Observation

"We can hardly avoid thinking that the majority of the persons we meet have stronger characters than we. We cannot observe others making choices; we only know what, in fact, they do, and how, in fact they behave. Provided their actions are not criminal, their behavior not patently vicious, and their performance of their job in life reasonably efficient, they will strike us as strong characters. But nobody can honestly think of himself as a strong character because, however successful he may be in overcoming them, he is necessarily aware of the doubts and temptations that accompany every important choice. Unless he is a crook or has made an utter mess of his life, he will recognize the truth of Cesare Pavese's observation: "We can all do good deeds, but very few of us can think good thoughts."

- W. H. Auden


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