Martin Buber (1878-1965)
Every person born into this world represents something new, something that never existed before, something original and unique. ...Every [hu]man’s foremost task is the actualization of [her] his unique, unprecedented and never-recurring potentialities, and not the repetition of something that another, and be it even the greatest, has already achieved.
“The same idea was expressed by Rabbi Zusya when he said, a short while before his death: ‘In the world to come I shall not be asked: “Why were you not Moses?” I shall be asked: ‘Why were you not Zusya?'
-Martin Buber, The Way of Man, 1948
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)
THE EVENING was lonely for me, and I was reading a book till my heart became dry, and it seemed to me that beauty was a thing fashioned by the traders in words. Tired I shut the book and snuffed the candle. In a moment the room was flooded with moonlight.
Spirit of Beauty, how could you, whose radiance overbrims the sky, stand hidden behind a candle's tiny flame? How could a few vain words from a book rise like a mist, and veil her whose voice has hushed the heart of earth into ineffable calm?