the courage not to turn away

Now I know, for what little it’s worth, what it means to be a girl growing up. Maybe you can choose not to put on the cloak, but then you’ll never be free, you can never soar. Or you can take on the mantle that is given you; but what the consequences may be, what the mantle might do, what wearing it may entail, you can’t know beforehand. Others may see better, but they can’t save you. All any of us can do for another person is to have the courage not to turn away.

-Claire Messud, The Burning Girl


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