WHEN ONE IS SURE IN HIS CONSCIENCE AND FULFILLING ONE’S DUTY, ONE CAN RISE ABOVE ALL THESE CRITICISMS
“Fire and swords are slow engines of destruction, compared to the tongue of a gossip.” (Richard Steele)
Eugene writes to Father Courtès, who had been badly affected by some gossip, to implore him not to be disturbed by it.
A man like yourself should not be disturbed to this degree by gossip, which only deserves contempt. When one is sure in his conscience and fulfilling one’s duty, one can rise above all these murmurings no matter from where they come.
So. I beg you, consider as not relevant anything that can be said or thought by those men and women whom you certainly do not hold in such regard as to want their approval. I would never have believed such an error of judgment. Everything and anything must be expected from poor humanity. On the other hand, the injustices of man do us good by detaching us from creatures.
Letter to Father Hippolyte Courtès in Aix, 17 August 1845, EO X n 879
Criticism, especially if unjust, is hard to live with – but is inevitable and can be an invitation to detachment and personal growth.
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