The type Mark Twain would recommend. He writes
You see my kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions or its Office holders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease and death. To be loyal to rags, to shout for rags, to worship rags, to die for rags, that is a loyalty of unreason, it is pure animal; it belongs to monarchy, was invented by monarchy; let monarchy keep it.
I don’t even think I have this type of loyalty.
The solitude of the mind is only a painful delusion; it has no real existence, for even the most independent of us are members of a spiritual family.
Romain Rolland in Clerambault
Yes, it is a truth- the vastest, most certain of truths, if one will- that our life is nothing, and our efforts the merest jest; our existence, that of our planet, only a miserable accident in the history of worlds; but it is no less a truth that, to us, our life and our planet are the most important, nay, the only important phenomena in the history of the worlds.
The Buried Temple by Maurice Maeterlinck
Before you speak, reflect on the following
- what is this word that is so eager for utterance
- to what is this tongue marching
- what good will come of speaking now or what harm of silence
He proceeds to ask
if words are neither useful to the speaker, nor necessary for the hearer, nor contain any pleasure or charm, why are they spoken?
The philosophers tell us that some bodies are composed of distinct parts,as a fleet or army; others of connected parts, as a house or ship; others united and growing together, as every other animal is. the marriage of lovers is like this last class, that of those who marry for dowry or children is like the second class, and that of those who only sleep together is like the first class, who may be said to live in the same house, but in no other sense to live together. but just as doctors tell us that liquids are the only things that thoroughly mix, so in married people there must be a complete union of bodies, wealth, friends and relations. And thus the Roman legislator forbade married people to exchange presents with another, not that they should not go shares with one another, but that they should consider everything as common property.
I think that is sound advice.