The most abominable thing in the world is the lazy conformism that gives itself the image of evangelical simplicity. The fake humbleness of the mediocre is the delight of the demons.
If you REALLY are too lazy to broaden your conscience, you have the STRICT OBLIGATION of being satisfied with a humble and low position in society. Far too many congressmen, senators, ministers and university teachers could make an honest living as elevator operators or shoe shiners.
In my youth I made too many compromises to the Brazilian worship of mediocrity and banality, because I was afraid of not being liked by people. It was as if I had to be embarrassed for being more focused and serious than that bunch of absent-minded and light-headed people around me. I only became a mature man when I got rid of that weakness.
One day I saw myself reflected in the characters of Advisor Aires of Machado de Assis and Gonzaga de Sa of Lima Barreto – men of superior spirit that run away and hide from society in fear of being misunderstood and hurt by mediocre people. I felt so ashamed of myself and from that point on I acquired a sadistic pleasure in humiliating those who once I feared.
I believe I lost about twenty years of my life hearing idolaters of banality. Never more.
Today, if a person holds a job at university level but has the intellectual life of a garbage collector, I have no inhibition in humiliating him – in public if necessary.