You Have Enemies?

You Have Enemies
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“You have enemies? Why, it is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea. It is the cloud which thunders around everything which shines. Fame must have enemies, as light must have gnats. Do not bother yourself about it; disdain. Keep your mind serene as you keep your life clear. Do not give your enemies the satisfaction of thinking that they cause you grief or pain. Be happy, be cheerful, be disdainful, be firm.” -Victor Hugo, 1845

Victor Hugo (1802–1885) was a famous French writer best known for his works The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame (1831) and Les Misérables (1862). He was also a noted artist, producing more than 4000 drawings in his lifetime. This quote is perennially important; in the modern time we have the phenomenon of haters – and while the specific usage of this word is modern, the concept is age-old. In previous times the words detractors or critics was more common. The quote reminds us that any great enterprise is likely to encounter resistance and that the only person who was never criticized or mocked was the one who never did anything at all of any significance.

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