"What a wee little part of a person's life are his acts and his words! His real life is lead in his head, and is known to none but himself. All day long, the mill of his brain is grinding, and his thoughts, not those other things, are his history. These are his life, and they are not written, and cannot be written. Every day would make a whole book of 80,000 words--365 books a year. Biographies are but the clothes and the buttons of a man--the biography of the man himself cannot be written."
I was struck by this when I first read it years ago, because it expresses so well how little we human beings can really know each other in some ways. But after all the discussions in the Duggar threads lately of possible motivations and thought processes, I suppose I'm swinging back to the idea that it really does matter most what a person says and does. If you have excellent and loving thoughts and intentions and you kill me, I'm still dead. If I can't read a person's "thought biography", my only way of knowing her is through her words and actions. Then again, I'd hate to be judged solely by my speech and actions some days. Oh dear. I guess I'm at a philosophical impasse. Maybe I can find a quote for that...