I appeal to the contemptible speech made lately by Sir Robert Peel to an applauding House of Commons. 'Orders of merit,' said he, 'were the proper rewards of the military' (the desolators of the world in all ages). 'Men of science are better left to the applause of their own hearts. ' Most learned Legislator! Most liberal cotton-spinner! Was your title the proper reward of military prowess? Pity you hold not the dungeon-keys of an English Inquisition! Perhaps Science, like creeds, would flourish best under a little persecution.
To the everlasting credit of the people of District 12, not one person claps. Not even the ones holding betting slips, the ones who are usually beyond caring. Possibly because they know me from the Hob, or knew my father, or have encountered Prim, who no one could help loving. So instead of acknowledging applause, I stand there unmoving while they take part in the boldest form of dissent they can manage. Silence. Which says we do not agree. We do not condone. All of this is wrong.
The Renaissance… was based on a new idea of the importance of the individual. But this was a fragile foundation, because individuals depended on constant applause and admiration to sustain them. There is a shortage of applause in the world, and there is not enough respect to go around.
If you don't compromise your gift, if you write each day as well as you can, and then submit your work and not worry about it and go on to the next piece, you suddenly find oddly enough that you're no more interested in the applause than the silence. You don't hear either one of them. You can never listen to the naysayers. If you do you won't survive.