Today I received a letter from my mother. It is an actual snail mail letter, written with a pen on a piece of paper, and it may be my favorite letter I’ve ever received. Included in the letter were the last few lines of George Eliot’s Middlemarch, which I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read (I’m adding that to my list next). I thought I’d share them here for anyone who feels unsure of the significance of their life (maybe most of us out here on the Internet). Dorothea Brooke is the novel’s protagonist:
But we insignificant people with our daily words and acts are preparing the lives of many Dorotheas, some of which may present a far sadder sacrifice than that of the Dorothea whose story we know.
Her finely touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who live faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.