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two voices (Tolstoy)

“At the advent of danger there are always two voices that speak with equal force in the human heart: one very reasonably invites a man to consider the nature of the peril and the means of escaping it; the other, with a still greater show of reason, argues that it is too depressing and painful to think of the danger since it is not in man's power to foresee everything and avert the general march of events, and it is better therefore to shut one's eyes to the disagreeable until it actually comes, and to think instead of what is pleasant. When a man is alone he generally listens to the first voice; in the company of his fellow-men, to the second.” Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Truth

If we would only testify of the truth as we see it, it would turn out at once that there are hundreds, thousands, and even millions of men just as we are, who see the truth as we do, are afraid as we are of seeming to be singular by confessing it, and are only waiting, again as we are, for someone to proclaim it. -Leo Tolstoy

Men are like rivers

"It is one of the most common and generally accepted superstitions to attribute some particular leading quality to every man--to say of him that he is kind, wicked, foolish, energetic, or dull. This is wrong. We may say of a man that he is more frequently kind than cruel, wise than foolish, energetic than apathetic, or vice versa--but it could never be true to say of a man that he is kind or wise, and of another that he is wicked or foolish. Yet this is our method of classifying mankind and a very false method it is. Men are like rivers. The water is alike in all of them; but every river is narrow in some places and wide in others; here swift and there sluggish, here clear and there turbid; cold in winter and warm in summer. The same may be said of men. Every man bears within himself the germs of every human quality, displaying all in turn; and a man can often seem unlike himself--yet he still remains the same man ." Leo Tolstoy, Resurrection , p. 190