“I is the first letter of the alphabet, the first word of the language, the first thought of the mind, the first object of affection. In grammar it is a pronoun of the first person and singular number. Its plural is said to be We, but how there can be more than one myself is doubtless clearer to the grammarians than it is to the author of this incomparable webpage. Conception of two myselfs is difficult, but fine. The frank yet graceful use of ‘I’ distinguishes a good writer from a bad; the latter carries it with the manner of a thief trying to cloak his loot.”
-- adapted from The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce.
“I know myself, and I know the depth of my selfishness. I cannot be at ease (and to be at ease is my chief wish) if someone else is in pain, visibly or audibly or tactually. Sometimes this is mistaken by the innocent for unselfishness, when all I am doing is sacrificing a small good ... for the sake of a far greater good, a peace of mind when I need think only of myself.”
-- paraphrased from A Quiet American by Graham Greene
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