“How strange is the lot of us mortals!
Each of us is here for a brief sojourn;
for what purpose we know not,
though we sometimes think we sense it.
But even without deeper reflection,
one knows from daily life that one exists for other people –
first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being
our own happiness is wholly dependent,
and then for the many, unknown to us,
to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy.
A hundred times every day I remind myself
that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of others,
living and dead,
and that I must exert myself
in order to give in the same measure
as I have received and am still receiving.”