Just being alive is such a gift, but nobody ever told you to be thankful to existence. On the contrary, everyone was grumpy, complaining. Naturally, if everything surrounding your life from the very beginning goes on pointing out to you that you are not what you should be, goes on giving you great ideals that you have to follow and you have to become, your isness is never praised. What is praised is your future - if you can become someone respectable, powerful, rich, intellectual, in some way famous, not just a nobody.
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The maxim that men are not to be praised before their death was invented by envy and too lightly adopted by philosophers. I, on the contrary, maintain that they ought to be praised in their lifetime if they merit it; but jealousy and calumny, roused against their virtue or their talent, labour to degrade them if any one ventures to bear testimony to them. It is unjust criticism that they should fear to hazard, not sincere praise.
Luc de Clapiers
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