It is unlikely that many of us will be famous, or even remembered. But not less important than the brilliant few that lead a nation or a literature to fresh achievements, are the unknown many whose patient efforts keep the world from running backward; who guard and maintain the ancient values, even if they do not conquer new; whose inconspicuous triumph it is to pass on what they inherited from their fathers, unimpaired and undiminished, to their sons. Enough, for almost all of us, if we can hand on the torch, and not let it down; content to win the affection, if it may be, of a few who know us and to be forgotten when they in their turn have vanished. The destiny of mankind is not governed wholly by its “stars.”
F.L. Lucas, Style
The readiness is all.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet
The centrally exciting and important fact, from which ramify the thousand others which otherwise would have no clear and valid existence, is: that was the way it was. What could be more moving, more significant or true: every force and hidden chance in the universe has so combined that a certain thing was the way it was.
James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
Our desire to desire like others, to be and to have like others, the strength, almost instinctive, to appropriate and exploit another person, his desires or her goods, the enormous need to imitate, to engage unceasingly in pantomimes – all these old mechanisms are just so many secular, archaic barriers to accepting what appears as monstrosity. The defect, somatic and mental, distances us too much from our reactions of conformity, from our love of the same. Is there a remedy for this?
Henri-Jacques Stiker, A History of Disability, pp. 9-10