Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"If it were true, that old legend about appearing before a supreme judge and naming one’s record I would offer with all my pride not any act I committed but one thing I have never done on this earth—that I never sought an outside sanction. I would stand and say: I am Gail Wynand, the man who has committed every crime except the foremost one—that of ascribing futility to the wonderful fact of existence and seeking justification beyond myself. This is my pride—that now, thinking of the end. I do not cry like all the men of my age: but what was the use and the meaning? I was the use and the meaning. I, Gail Wynand. That I lived and that I acted."

"I was thinking of people who say that happiness is impossible on earth. Look how hard they all try to find some joy in life. Look how they struggle for it. Why should any living creature exist in pain? By what conceivable right can anyone demand that a human being exist for anything but for his own joy? Every one of them wants it. Every part of him wants it. But they never find it. I wonder why. They whine and say they don’t understand the meaning of life. There’s a particular kind of people that I despise. Those who seek some sort of a higher purpose or ‘universal goal,’ who don’t know what to live for, who moan that they must ‘find themselves.’ You hear it all around us. That seems to be the official bromide of our century. Every drooling self-confession. It seems to be the most noble thing to confess. I’d think it would be the most shameful one."

-Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

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