Two Ways of Putting It

Painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme: The Artist's Father and Son on the Doorstep of His House (c. 1866)

Living is a process of continuous birth. The tragedy in the life of most of us is that we die before we are fully born. Being born, however, does not only mean to be free from the womb, the lap, the hand, etc., but also to be free to be active and creative. Just as the infant must breathe once the umbilical cord is cut, so man must be active and creative at every moment of birth. To the extent that man is fully born, he finds a new kind of rootedness; that lies in his creative relatedness to the world, and in the ensuing experience of solidarity with all men and with all nature. From being passively rooted in nature and in the womb, man becomes once again – but this time actively and creatively with all life.

Erich Fromm
Values, Psychology, and Human Existence (1959)

Almost everybody is born a genius and buried an idiot.

Charles Bukowski
Notes of a Dirty Old Man (1969)

Painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme: The Artist’s Father and Son on the Doorstep of His House (c. 1866)

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