Saturday, July 8, 2017

QUOTATION: The Ambitious Man

The ambitious man is always fearful, always under tension lest he say or do anything which might make him displeasing in the eyes of men. He pretends humility, feigns honesty, displays affability, shows off his kindness, is accommodating, is compliant, honors everyone and bows to everybody, frequents courts, visits important people, rises and embraces, claps his hands and fawns. A famous quotation describes him well: “If there’s no dust he’ll still brush it off.” He is prompt and eager where he knows he will please, hesitant and lukewarm where he thinks he will not. He condemns evil and detests iniquity, but what he praises and blames varies with the person, so long as he will be thought competent and be deemed welcome by one and all. But see how he must keep up a grave battle in himself, and a very hard conflict it is, with Iniquity hammering at his soul and Ambition leading him by the hand; for what the one suggests he do, the other will not permit. And yet Iniquity and Ambition, mother and daughter, plot for one another: the mother lives in the open and the daughter, kept in hiding, never resists—one claims a public and the other a secret domain.

--Pope Innocent III, The Misery of the Human Condition