Discovering truths

We sometimes chance upon a truth, or an insight, which we have struggled for so long to arrive at, already established in the words of some eminent person or intellect. At first, there is a wild joy; for it is wonderful to be right but still more to have our thoughts affirmed by a figure of indelible wisdom. Slowly however the joy begins to calm. We begin to recall the effort of the mind with which we had pursued the truth, and yet now before us, rising from the pages of an obscured omnibus, stands that very truth. What is more, because it has already received its appraisal and the author his commendation, our efforts can claim no reward, no recognition. We might also begin to wonder if our future discoveries will too be affirmed in this same manner. And if dismayingly they will, then will not our pursuit of greatness be merely a pursuit of another’s shadow?

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