“Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.”
*When a person criticizes you wrongly, nothing you say can change his/her mind, as your reason and logic (like everyone’s) is the weakest form of swaying another’s opinion especially if they’ve already made up their mind. Those who can discern an original from a copy will come to know the truth, those who cannot never will, therefore you alone must comprehend the situation and adapt accordingly.
“Divide and rule, a sound motto; unite and lead, a better one.”
*Ego vs. Soul….period!
“Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.”
*When dealing in civilized society, be prepared to go without civility, when you find an exception cherish it!
“Nothing human is alien to me.”
*Not only did Goethe have an astonishing knowledge base, but here he is saying that he is a never ending student of human nature and behavior. This tendency is the price one must pay for their genius, as they so yearn to be understood, they are driven to understand people.
Imagine understanding even the most complex subjects, that before the purveyor of is done speaking, you have already comprehended them and are asking a deeper follow up question! This perplexes, and often offends people, though that’s not the intention. Goethe had to of felt this, and adapted accordingly.