kira nicolle, 17, california
what I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. this rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. it is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. it is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.