Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Reading Emerson's essay on "Compensation" over breakfast on this blustery, mild morning, I came across this:

"The good are befriended even by weakness and defect. As
no man had ever a point of pride that was not injurious to him,
so no man had ever a defect that was not somewhere made
useful to him. The stag in the fable admired his horns and
blamed his feet, but when the hunter came, his feet saved him,
and afterwards, caught in the thicket, his horns destroyed him.
Every man in his lifetime needs to thank his faults. As no man
thoroughly understands a truth until he has contended against
it, so no man has a thorough acquaintance with the hindrances
or talents of men until he has suffered from the one and seen
the triumph of the other over his own want of the same. Has
he a defect of temper that unfits him to live in society? Thereby
he is driven to entertain himself alone and acquire habits of
self-help; and thus, like the wounded oyster, he mends his
shell with pearl."

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