Without the freedom to criticize, there is no true praise.
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“It's your world, but I make my way in it. At fifteen, no, I couldn't stand up to you. The age of illusions, when we know nothing, we hope for everything; we're wandering in a mist ... And the half of the world that's never had any use for us, suddenly is besieging us. You need us, you adore us, you're suffering for us. You want everything--except to know what we think. You look deep in our eyes--and put your hand up our dress. You call us, "Pretty thing." That confuses us. The most beautiful woman, the highest ranked, lives half dazzled by constant attention, half stifled by obvious contempt. We think all we're good for is pleasing you--till one day, long acquaintance with you dispels the last mist. In a clear light, we suddenly see you as you are--and generally we start preferring ourselves. At thirty, I could finally say no--or really say yes. That's when you begin backing away from us. Now I'm full-grown. I pursue my happiness the same as any man.
From Einstein to da Vinci: The Many Faces of Genius
25 December 2022
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