On taking people as they should be

    If we just take people as they are . . . we make them worse;  but, if we treat them not as they are but as they should be, we help them to become what they can become.

Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship: Book 8, chapter 4 (1796)
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Translated by Eric A. Blackall and Victor Lange
(p. 326 in the 1995 Princeton University Press edition)

1787 portrait of Goethe by Angela Kaufmann

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