The great man knew not that he was great. It took a century or two for that fact to appear. What he did, he did because he must; it was the most natural thing in the world, and grew out of the circumstances of the moment. But now, every thing he did, even to the lifting of his finger or the eating of bread, looks large, all-related, and is called an institution.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. “Spiritual Laws,” Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847)