Robert Southey, the British poet who (among other things) is credited with the origin of the Goldilocks story, received a letter from a 21 years old lady with some of her writings. She desired his opinion of her writings, and some advice.
Robert’s reply (“Letters of Robert Southey: A Selection” edited by Maurice H. Fitzgerald) is, for the most part, gentle, kind, and thoughtful. But, he writes the following as well: “Literature cannot be the business of a woman’s life, and it ought not to be. The more she is engaged in her proper duties, the less leisure will she have for it even as an accomplishment and a recreation.”
The young lady replied (dated 16th March 1837, “Letters of Robert Southey: A Selection” edited by Maurice H. Fitzgerald) expressing deep gratitude for Robert’s advice and ends her letter: “Pray, sir, excuse me for writing to you a second time ; I could not help writing, partly to tell you how thankful I am for your kindness, and partly to let you know that your advice shall not be wasted, how- ever sorrowfully and reluctantly it may at first be followed.”
About ten years later, out came a novel written by a person named Currer Bell, and it became a massive success.
We now have a wealth of literary work from Currer Bell , a male name that a young lady used to mask her gender — a young lady who chose to disregard Robert’s advice, and instead forged her own path. Many of us know her as Charlotte Bronte. The 1847 novel was “Jane Eyre”.
Hermann Hesse advices in an essay (“If the War Goes On: Reflections on War and Politics”): “”In each one of you there is a hidden being….Bring it to life! In each of you there is a call, a will, an impulse of nature, an impulse toward the future, the new, the higher. Let it mature, let it resound, nurture it!”
In a Talk titled “Economic vs Moral Progress” (“Mahatma Gandhi, his life, writings and speeches “), Mahatma Gandhi observed that: “there come to us moments in life when about somethings we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells, “you are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.”