As one advances in life, one realities more and more that the majority of men - and of women - are incapable of any other effort than that strictly imposed on them as a reaction to external compulsion. And for that reason, the few individuals we have come across who are capable of a spontaneous and joyous effort stand out isolated, monumentalized, so to speak, in our experience. These are the select men, the nobles, the only ones who are active and not merely reactive, for whom life is a perpetual striving, an incessant course of training. Training = askesis. These are the ascetics.
[…]
Nobility is defined by the demands it makes on us - by obligations, not by rights….The privileges of nobility are not in their origin concessions or favours; on the contrary, they are conquests. And their maintenance supposes, in principle, that the privileged individual is capable of reconquering them, at any moment, if it were necessary, and anyone were to dispute them.…It is annoying to see the degeneration suffered in ordinary speech by a word so inspiring as ‘nobility.’ For, by coming to mean for many people hereditary ‘noble blood,’ it is changed into something similar to common rights, into a static, passive quality which is received and transmitted like something inert. But the strict sense, the etymon of the word nobility is essentially dynamic. Noble means the ‘well known,’ that is, known by everyone, famous, he who has made himself known by excelling the anonymous mass.… ‘Nobility’ does not appear as a formal expression until the Roman Empire, and then precisely in opposition to the hereditary nobles, then in decadence.
—  Jose Ortega

When I started my music career, I was a maid. I used to clean houses. My mother was a proud janitor. My stepfather, who raised me like his very own, worked at the post office and my father was a trashman. They all wore uniforms and that’s why I stand here today, in my black and white, and I wear my uniform to honor them.

This is a reminder that I have work to do. I have people to uplift. I have people to inspire. And today, I wear my uniform proudly as a Cover Girl. I want to be clear, young girls, I didn’t have to change who I was to become a Cover Girl. I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness.”

- The amazing Janelle Monáe

Source

3

“The key to Luna is that she has that unbelievably rare quality of actually not giving a damn what anyone else thinks of her.” — J.K. Rowling

"For several excellent stories starring Luna-like characters who aren’t afraid to be their unique and wonderful selves, check out "Stephanie’s Ponytail" for ages 4 to 8 (http://www.amightygirl.com/stephanie-s-ponytail), “I Like Myself!” for ages 3 to 8 (http://www.amightygirl.com/i-like-myself), “Clementine” for ages 7 to 10 (http://www.amightygirl.com/clementine), and “Stargirl” for ages 11 to 16 (http://www.amightygirl.com/stargirl).

For more Mighty Girl books for children and teens that celebrate the value of expressing your uniqueness, visit our “Individuality” section at http://www.amightygirl.com/books/personal-development/values?cat=338

As seen on the A Mighty Girl Facebook page

This reminds me - time to renew my subscription to The Quibbler!

We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self–transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies – all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.
—  Aldous Huxley
My kids are starting to notice I’m a little different from the other dads. ‘Why don’t you have a straight job like everyone else?’ they asked me the other day. I told them this story: In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, ‘Look at me…I’m tall, and I’m straight, and I’m handsome. Look at you…you’re all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you.’ And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, ‘Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.’ So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.
—  Tom Waits