[the becoming of a hero]

“…everyone read the signs of bad traits in my face, traits I didn´t have; yet they were assumed – and so they grew. I was decent, one accused me of being deceitful, so I became barred. I had a deep feeling for good and evil. Yet nobody was kind to me, everyone insulted me; so I turned revengeful. I was grumpy and gloomy, the other children were cheerful and talkative. I felt superior to them, they put me under them. That´s when I became jealous. I was ready to love the entire world, but nobody understood me. That´s when I learned to hate. My joyless youth passed by in a fight against myself and the world. For fear of mockery I buried my best feelings in the depth of my heart: that´s where they died. I told the truth, yet one didn´t believe me; that`s when I began to mislead. After I really got to know the world and the mainspring of society, I became experienced in the science of life and I saw others being effortlessly happy by enjoying all the advantages in vain, which I so hardly tried to reach. That´s when in my chest there grew despair; it  wasn´t the kind of despair that is to be healed by a gunshot, but a cold, faint despair that is covered by a friendly smile and kindness. I became an ethical cripple; the one half of my soul didn`t exist anymore, was sere, evaporated, dead. I pulled it out and threw it away. The other half though took over and lived at everyone´s command, and nobody noticed, because nobody knew about the other half that had gone missing…”

taken from Lermontov´s “A Hero Of Our Times”

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