I realize that my opinions have provoked deep seated intolerance and fear mostly borne out of ignorance. But I am not gonna relate with what the whole society hinges on simply for conformity. Conformity is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With conformity a person has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with the shadow on the wall. What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This principle, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

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