The hobgoblin of little minds

“The other terror that scares us from self-trust is consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, becuase the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them… A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today. ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ ”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson, in “Self-Reliance”

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