Quote by Mark Twain, Chapters from My Aut
A myriad of men are born; they labor and sweat and struggle; ...they squabble and scold and fight; they scramble for little mean advantages over each other; age creeps upon them; infirmities follow; ...those they love are taken from them, and the joy of life is turned to aching grief. It comes at last--the only unpoisoned gift earth ever had for them--and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence, ...a world which will lament them a day and forget them forever.
This quote highlights the transient nature of human existence and the insignificance that individuals often feel in the world. It emphasizes the relentless cycle of life, where people labor, struggle, and engage in petty disputes, only to eventually face the physical and emotional deterioration that comes with time. Despite chasing small gains and achievements, they ultimately realize that the only true gift life offers is death - a release from the pains of existence. In the end, they fade away, leaving behind a world where their significance is fleeting, mourned briefly before being forgotten completely.
For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.
Contact with men who wield power and authority still leaves an intangible sense of repulsion. It's very like being in close proximity to fecal matter, the fecal embodiment of something unmentionable, and you wonder what it is made of and when it acquired its historically sacred character.