Another characteristic of the self-renewing man is that he has mutually fruitful relations with other human beings. He is capable of accepting love and capable of giving it — both more difficult achievements than is commonly thought. He is capable of depending on others and of being depended upon. He can see life through another’s eyes and feel it through another’s heart…
The man or woman who cannot achieve these relationships is imprisoned, cut off from a great part of the world of experience. The joy and suffering of those we love are part of our own experience. We feel their triumphs and defeats, their hopes and fears, their anger and pity, and our lives are richer for it…
Love and friendship dissolve the rigidities of the isolated self, force new perspectives, alter judgments and keep in working order the emotional substratum on which all profound comprehension of human affairs must rest.
John W. Gardner, Self-Renewal: The Individual and the Innovative Society (1964)
"One should permit a self-perception to be established definitively in writing only when it can be done with the greatest completeness [...] as well as with entire truthfulness. For if this does not happen [...] what is written down will, in accordance with its own purpose and with the superior power of the established, replace what has been felt only vaguely in such a way that the real feeling will disappear while the worthlessness of what has been noted down will be recognized too late." - Franz Kafka
“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.” - Hermann Hesse