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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Know How To Transplant Yourself

I was just having a fit of the doldrums regarding my Fulbright application. Applying for the Fulbright is no easy feat. It's downright depressing, especially if you're the underdog type like me.

Anyway, I was wondering about what the whole point of going to another country was when I happened to read the words of a dead Jesuit Spanish priest that made everything make sense. And if that ain't a sign to keep going, I don't know what is.

Aphorism # 198

There are nations with whom one must cross their borders to make one's value felt, especially in great posts. Their native land is always a stepmother to great talents: envy flourishes there on its native soil, and they remember one's small beginnings rather than the greatness one has reached. A needle is appreciated that comes from one end of the world to the other, and a piece of painted glass might outvie the diamond in value if it comes from afar. Everything foreign is respected, partly because it comes from afar, partly because It is ready made and perfect. We have seen persons once the laughing-stock of their village and now the wonder of the whole world, honoured by their fellow-countrymen and by the foreigners [among whom they dwell]; by the latter because theycome from afar, by the former because they are seen from afar. The statue on the altar is never reverenced by him who knew it as a trunk in the garden.

-Balthasar Gracian

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