In a letter to Robert Meuchin dated 15 January 1966, Thomas Merton wrote:

I would say that there is one basic idea that should be kept in mind in all the changes we make in life, whether of career or anything else. We should decide not in view of better pay, higher rank, “getting ahead”, but in view of becoming more real, entering more authentically into direct contact with life, living more as a free and mature person, able to give myself more to others, able to understand myself and the world better.

Thomas Merton, Witness to Freedom: Letters in Times of Crisis, 254-255.

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