Here there is no doubt that timidity and a total lack of personal initiative have always been regarded among us as the chiefest and best sign of the practical man—and are so regarded even now. But why blame only ourselves—if this opinion can be considered an accusation? Lack of originality, everywhere, all over the world, from time immemorial, has always been considered the foremost quality and the best recommendation of the active, efficient and practical man, and at least ninety-nine out of a hundred people (at least that) have always held to that notion, and only perhaps one out of a hundred people has constantly looked and still looks at it differently.

— Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot