Theodore Zeldin, An Intimate History of Humanity
“life could have been different if the meetings which have decided its course had been less silent, superficial or routine, if more thoughts had been exchanged, if humanity had been more able to show itself in them”
“The Renaissance… was based on a new idea of the importance of the individual. But this was a fragile foundation, because individuals depended on constant applause and admiration to sustain them. There is a shortage of applause in the world, and there is not enough respect to go around.”
“I particularly value conversations which are meetings on the borderline of what I understand and what I don't, with people who are different from myself.”
“The brain is full of lonely ideas, begging you to make some sense of them, to recognize them as interesting. The lazy brain just files them away in old pigeonholes, like a bureaucrat who wants an easy life. The lively brain picks and chooses and creates new works of art out of ideas.”
The past is what provides us with the building blocks. Our job today is to create new buildings out of them.
It takes a long time for people to recognize their soul-mates when they have too limited an idea of who they are themselves.
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