Every man is weak himself but strong in relation to others. I am afraid of Mr Bacon, but Mr Bacon also is afraid of me. I am solicitous of the goodwill of the meanest person, afraid of his ill will. But the sturdiest offender of my peace & of society’s, if you rip up his claims is as thin & timid as any. And the peace of Society is kept because as children say, one is afraid & the other dares not. Far off, men swell & bully & threaten, bring them hand to hand, and they are a feeble folk.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks 5:400