Gingko2

"He who attempts to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening his own self-understanding, freedom, integrity and capacity to love, will not have anything to give others. He will communicate to them nothing but the contagion of his own obsessions, his aggressiveness, his ego-centered ambitions, his delusions about ends and means, his doctrinaire prejudices and ideas," - Thomas Merton, Contemplation in a World of Action, University of Notre Dame Press.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.