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unlike other countries, we’re not skeptical at all when it comes to EU expansion. In fact, we are in favor of admitting Ukraine and Turkey. In this sense, one can hardly say that we are focusing unilaterally on our own national interests. Austria, for example, has held up the negotiations for Turkey’s admission to the EU. Why am I against deeper involvement in the EU? There are several reasons for that.
In my twenties I would be skeptical of a bad haircut, but once you turn thirty it’s more about whether he a nice person and does he open the door for me. Once you turn thirty-five, it’s more about would he make a good father. And even if you’re just liking somebody and digging on someone, I think you can’t help but think in those terms.
Because mothers make us, because they map our emotional terrain before we even know we are capable of having an emotional terrain, they know just where to stick the dynamite. With a few small power plays – a skeptical comment, the withholding of approval or praise – a mother can devastate a daughter. Decades of subtle undermining can stunt a daughter, or so monopolize her energy that she in effect stunts herself. Muted, fearful, riddled with self-doubt, she can remain trapped in daughterhood forever, the one place she feels confident she knows the rules.
Marrying the right girl is even more imperative today than it was when I was 23 years old because it’s so much harder to get on as an imaginative writer like me now. You need to have somebody who believes in what you’re doing and who never is skeptical about what you’re doing. My wife thought it was a great thing for me to be a writer because in practical terms it freed her to do what she wanted to do, which was work.
There are only two things one has to bear in mind. One has to be credulous – able to believe – and skeptical – able to not believe, because if you are not skeptical, you will believe rubbish. If you are not credulous you will learn nothing and the only way to balance those two is to recognize the mystery of things.