"The struggle for socialism, with all its hazards and penalties, has always been comparatively easy for me, throughout the entire 40 years, because my youth was always with me. My youth was like another person who never forsook me, not even in the darkest hours. It was then that he was always most vividly present as a friend, easygoing and indulgent as a friend should be, with a benign indifference to my faults and my follies which disturbed other people so much. The faults and follies never disturbed my younger self, and I liked that, because I like to have a little leeway in my personal life.
I never promised anybody to be perfect. I only promised to be myself and to be true to myself — that is, to my better self, to my youth. That in itself was a pretty big undertaking, easier to promise than to perform. And this seemed to be the view of my younger self, who followed me everywhere I went. He insisted on that, but on nothing more. He consistently checked me up on that. He was a friend, as I said, but also a censor and a judge — sometimes looking over my shoulder, sometimes looking me straight in the eye, but always confronting me with the one imperious command: Remember, I am your youth, don't betray me!
As long as I didn't do that----and I never did --I felt sure, with never a doubt, that I was on the right road, even though it put me in the minority, and more often than not in the minority of the minority. That wasn't my fault. I have been in the minority, not because I don't like crowds, not because I am sectarian by nature, but because I couldn't agree with the majority. I couldn't agree with things as they are. I was in favor of things as they ought to be and will be.
That is what put me in the minority and out of step with the others. I found the explanation of that in the writings of Thoreau, and the justification for it too. Thoreau wrote: "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." - Cannon