“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today. – ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’- Is it so bad then to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.” (Emerson, Self-Reliance 183)
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. “Self-Reliance”; Ralph Waldo Emerson: Nature and Selected Essays. Ed. Larzer Ziff. New York: Penguin Group, 2003. 175-203. Print.
Picture from “Pumuckl und der blaue Klabautermann”.