when the human race is not grotesque it is because it is asleep and losing its opportunity.

What did Mark Twain mean by:

when the human race is not grotesque it is because it is asleep and losing its opportunity.

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This quote suggests that humanity, in its waking state, is inherently flawed, or “grotesque”. It implies that the human race, when active and engaged, will inevitably display its imperfections, its quirks, its follies, and its vices. These are the characteristics that make us grotesque in the eyes of Twain. However, these are also the traits that make us human, that make us unique, and that make us alive.

When we are asleep, we lose our opportunity to be grotesque because we are not acting, not interacting, not making decisions, not making mistakes. We are in a state of inaction and thus, in a state of perfection, but it is a false, unattainable, and undesirable state of perfection because it is a state of non-existence.

In the context of personal development, this quote can be seen as a call to embrace our imperfections, to accept our grotesqueness as a part of our humanity. It encourages us to be awake, to be active, to seize our opportunities, even if it means revealing our flaws and making mistakes. It is through this process that we grow, learn, and develop as individuals.

In today’s world, this idea is particularly relevant. We live in a society that often values perfection over authenticity, that shames mistakes instead of learning from them, that encourages conformity instead of individuality. But this quote reminds us that it is our grotesqueness, our imperfections, our mistakes, that make us human, that make us unique, and that make us alive. It urges us to wake up, to seize our opportunities, to be grotesque, and to be human.

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