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A man who has the courage of his platitudes is always a successful man. The instructed man is ashamed to pronounce in an orphic manner what everybody knows, and because he is silent people think he is making fun of them. They like a man who expresses their own superficial thoughts in a manner that appears to be profound. This enables them to feel that they are themselves profound.
~ Van Wyck Brooks - [Speakers and Speaking]

 

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Nothing is so soothing to our self esteem as to find our bad traits in our forebears. It seems to absolve us.
~ Van Wyck Brooks - [Ancestry]

 

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