I hope we've finally heard the last of conformity and consistency. Let's make fun of those words from now on. Instead of sitting in chairs around a meeting table, let's sprawl on cushions. Let's never make excuses and apologize any more. A great man is coming to eat at my house. I don't want to please him; I want him to want to please me.
My stand for humanity is one of kindness,
but also of truth.
Let's rip into the flat mediocrity and cheap contentment of the times. Let's confront all fashions, business, and authority with the ultimate lesson of history: that in everyone's work there is a great responsible Thinker and Actor working. That real men and women don't belong to any other time or place; they're the center of everything. Where they are, nature is. They set the standard for you and every human being and every event.
Ordinarily, everybody in society reminds us of something or someone else. Character—reality—reminds you of nothing else. It's a product of the whole creation.
A man must be so big
as to make his circumstances irrelevant.
Every human being is a cause, a country, and an era. It would take infinite space and support and time to fully accomplish his design, and posterity seems to follow in his footsteps like a parade of clients.
A man Caesar is born, and for ages after we have a Roman Empire. Christ is born, and millions of minds so grow and mold to his genius that he is mystified with virtue and the possibility of humanity.
An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man: the Reformation of Luther; Methodism of Wesley; Scipio, Milton called "the height of Rome." All history resolves itself very easily into the biography of a few bold and true people.
So know your value and keep things under your feet. Don't squeal, or steal, or skulk around like a welfare child, an illegal alien, or an unwelcome guest in this world that exists for you.
John Doe, unable to find any value in himself comparable to the force that built a skyscraper or recorded a hit CD, feels inferior when he sees these. To him a four-star hotel, a sculpture, or a hardcover book has an alien and forbidding aura, as if to say, "And you are—? And you're with—?"
Yet all those works are his,
competitors for his attention,
suitors for his mind,
pleading for it to come out and take possession.
The painting is waiting for my verdict. It doesn't order me around; I'm here to pass judgment on its claims. There's the fable of the drunk who was picked up, passed out in the street. He was carried to the duke's house, washed and dressed, and laid in the duke's bed. On awakening, he was given the royal treatment like the duke and assured he had been insane. This fable perfectly symbolizes the state of humanity.
We're like drunks,
but once in a while we wake up,
use our brains,
and find out we're really princes.
Last Edited: May 03, 2000
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© 1997 Richard Brodie. All rights reserved.