“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short story writer, and designer. She was born in 1862 and died in 1937. She is best known for her novels, including “The House of Mirth,” “Ethan Frome,” and “The Age of Innocence,” which explore the lives and morals of the upper class in New York society.
This quote suggests that there are two ways to share knowledge, wisdom, or enlightenment with others: by being the source of that light oneself, or by reflecting the light of others. The metaphor of light can be understood to represent any kind of positive influence or understanding that one might seek to share with the people around us.
Another interpretation of this quote might be that there are two different approaches one can take to helping others learn or grow: one can actively share one’s own knowledge and experience, or one can help others to discover and learn from the knowledge and experience of others. Alternatively, the quote could be interpreted more broadly to suggest that there are two different roles one can play in spreading positive ideas or values: one can be the active source of those ideas, or one can serve as a conduit or facilitator for the ideas of others. Be the candle or the mirror!
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