New, we confess, and by no means happy, is our condition: if you want the aid of out labor, we ourselves stand in greater want of labor. We are miserable with inaction. We perish of rest and rust: but we do not like your work.Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Transcendentalist.
'Then,' says the world, 'show me your own.'
'We have none.'
'What will you do, then?' cries the world.
'We will wait.'
'Until the Universe rises up and calls us to work.'
'But whilst you wait, you grow old and useless.'
'Be it so: I can sit in a corner and perish (as you call it,) but I will not move until I have the highest command. If no calls should come for years, for centuries, then I know that the want of the Universe is the attestation of faith by my abstinence. Your virtuous projects, so called, do not cheer me. I know that which shall come will cheer me. If I cannot work, at least I need not lie. All that is clearly due to-day is not to lie.'