putting down my current read long enough to share:
any writing which has influenced the thinking of the lives of innumerable people is important. now, there are many millions in their sects and churches who feel the order, ‘do thou,’ and throw their weight into obedience. and there are millions more who feel predestination in ‘thou shalt.’ nothing they may do can interfere with what will be. but ‘thou mayest’! why, that makes a man great, that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and his filth and his murder of his brother he has still the great choice. he can choose his course and fight it through and win.
…these old men believe a true story, and they know a true story when they hear it. they are critics of truth. they know that these sixteen verses are a history of humankind in any age or culture or race. they do not believe a man writes fifteen and three-quarter verses of truth and tells a lie with one verb. Confucius tells men how they should live to have good and successful lives. but this – this is a ladder to climb the stars.
you can never lose that. it cuts the feet from under weakness and cowardliness and laziness.
Steinbeck, J. (1952). east of eden. new york: penguin books.
like Lee, i have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. thou mayest. timshel.