Steinbeck on Timshel

The Hebrew word timshel — Thou mayest — that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if Thou mayest — it is also true that Thou mayest not… Thou mayest makes a man great, that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and his filth … he has still the great choice. He can choose his course and fight it through and win.

John Steinbeck
East of Eden

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