3760. Before I tell you what those sentences were, I want to justify the above statement by saying that it is indeed possible for words overheard by accident to change a person’s life, but certain prerequisites need to be present. The principal requirement is that the person whose life is to be changed, must be one in whom there is a great desire for change. It must be a person who is on the edge of a precipice and ready either to plunge off or be saved. Such was the state of mind on Ivan.
3761. He was looking for a reason to reject everything he had ever learned. He wanted to reject his father, and his grandfather, and all his family’s grand traditions. He longed to heap scorn on all revered and respected works of art, and find some way to cast them all into a trash heap in his mind.
3762. But in Ivan’s mind there was no such set of ideas to accomplish such a revolution, but the words he heard in passing that morning were like a manifesto uttered by a worker in an factory worker’s meeting; a few simple words that suddenly light the flame of the dream of a world revolution.