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It is not necessary to have a beard in order to have wisdom. Increase of years may also mean increase of foolishness. After all, age is not merely a chronological matter. When a man tries to live profoundly and travel widely, when his moments are tightly packed with the most diversified thoughts, episodes, and contacts, he will pick up sufficient experience to put him in the class of centenarians! He is then able to gaze out over the vast expanse of his fellow men with all the sense of superiority and all the smug authority of a unique old age! But he cannot expect to win such a temporal attitude and communicate its results to others without paying the cost both of the ascent and the communication with many an unjustified laceration and many a personal antagonism. Yet that which inspired the ascent and prompted the communication will necessarily be developed enough to endure the laceration understandingly and even to smile at the antagonism compassionately.

-- Notebooks Category 12: Reflections > Chapter 5: The Literary Work > # 68

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