We all enter the world little plastic beings, with so much natural force, perhaps, but for the rest -- blank; and the world tells us what we are to be, and shapes us by the ends it sets before us. To you it says -- Work; and to us it says -- Seem! To you it says -- As you approximate to man's highest ideal of God, as your arm is strong and your knowledge great, and the power to labor is with you, so you shall gain all that human heart desires. To us it says -- Strength shall not help you, nor knowledge, nor labor. You shall gain what men gain, but by other means. And so the world makes men and women.
Olive Schreiner (Olive Emilie Albertina Schreiner) (March 24, 1855 December 11, 1920) was a South African writer. She was born in Wittebergen, South Africa, the ninth child of Gottlob and Rebecca Schreiner. Her German father and English mother, both missionaries in South Africa, provided a household grounded in a strict Calvinist tradition.