We have recently discussed ways of handling a lack of appreciation. A certain independence of spirit – a soaring greatness of soul – is one of the main ways we can limit our expectations of appreciation from others. Consider again, if you need to, the verses of Ibn Munir on this subject, which capture perfectly this spiritual independence. As I see it, no more powerful statement of this ethic has ever been put into poetic form. This theme – the theme of ingratitude – presents itself in the lives of many historical figures. And this is predictably so, because we all know that human nature has not changed down through the centuries. The man of action, the man of achievement and ability, who seeks to rise above his immediate surroundings, will more often earn the antagonism of his peers than their warm considerations. Men do not like to be reminded of their shortcomings and faults; and truth, although it may be beautiful, is seldom popular.