"The world is in chaos. Honorable dealing is deteriorating, good friends are few, truth is held in disrepute, good service is underpaid, poor service is overpaid. Whole nations are committed to evil dealings: With one you fear insecurity, with another, inconsistency, with a third, betrayal. This being what it is, let the bad faith of others serve not as an example, but as warning. The real danger of the situation lies in the unhinging of your own integrity: accepting less than your best, being overly tolerant of stupidity, forgiving incompetence, fraternizing with the nonspiritual. The man of principle never forgets what he is, because he clearly sees what the others are."
Baltasar Gracian, Spanish Jesuit scholar, 1601-1658