Preparatory Men

Preparatory men. I welcome all signs that a more
manly, a warlike, age is about to begin, an age which,
above all, will give honor to valor once again. For this
age shall prepare the way for one yet higher, and it
shall gather the strength which this higher age will
need one day–this age which is to carry heroism into
the pursuit of knowledge and wage wars for the sake
of thoughts and their concequences. To this end we
now need many preparatory valorous men who cannot
leap into being out of nothing–any more than out of the
sand and slime of our present civilization and metro-
politanism: men who are bent on seeking for that
aspect in all things which must be overcome; men char-
acterized by cheerfulness, patience, unpretentiousness,
and contempt for all great vanities, as well as by mag-
nanimity in victory and forbearance regarding the small
vanities of the vanquished; men possessed of keen and
free judgement concerning all victors and the share of
chance in every victory and every fame; men who
have their own festivals, their own weekdays, their
own periods of mourning, who are accustomed to com-
mand with assurance and are no less ready to obey
when necessary, in both cases equally proudand serv-
ing their own cause; men who are in greater danger,
more fruitful, and happier! For, believe me, the secret
of the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment
of existence is: to live dangerously! Build your cities
under Vesuvius! Send your ships into uncharted seas!
Live at war with your peers and yourselves! Be robbers
and conquerors, as long as you cannot be rulers and
owners, you lovers of knowledge! Soon the age will be
past when you could be satisfied to live like shy deer,
hidden in the woods! At long last the pursuit of knowl-
edge will reach out for its due: it will want to rule and
own, and you with it!

Friedrich NietzcheThe Gay Science