The worst of superstitions is to think one's own most bearable. - Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781), 'Nathan the Wise' (1779), Act IV, scene II
Who was I, a man whose proudest ancestor had led a life in a Moslem community, to identify myself exclusively with West against East? - Norbert Weiner, MIT maths professor and philosopher, an American of Prussian/Slavic Jewish extraction, founder of cybernetics and seminal work in control theory, referring to his ancestor who was a philosopher and rabbi, born at Cordova and domiciled in Cairo as physician to the Vizier of Egypt
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken, Mountain Interval (1920)