Every man comes into the world like a clean sheet of paper; and then the people and circumstances around him begin vying with each other to dirty this sheet and to cover it with writing. Education, the formation of morals, information we call knowledge—all feelings of duty, honor, conscience and so on—enter here.
And they all claim that the methods adopted for grafting these shoots known as man’s “personality” to the trunk are immutable and infallible. Gradually the sheet is dirtied, and the dirtier with so-called “knowledge” the sheet becomes, the cleverer the man is considered to be. The more writing there is in the place called “duty,” the more honest the possessor is said to be; and so it is with everything. And the dirty sheet itself, seeing that people consider its “dirt” as merit, considers it valuable. ~ G