There are two main human sins from which all the others derive: impatience and indolence. It was because of impatience that they were expelled from Paradise; it is because of indolence that they do not return. Yet perhaps there is only one major sin: impatience. Because of impatience they were expelled, because of impatience they do not return.

[Es gibt zwei menschliche Hauptsünden, aus welchen sich alle andern ableiten: Ungeduld und Lässigkeit. Wegen der Ungeduld sind sie aus dem Paradiese vertrieben worden, wegen der Lässigkeit kehren sie nicht zurück. Vielleicht aber gibt es nur eine Hauptsünde: die Ungeduld. Wegen der Ungeduld sind sie vertrieben worden, wegen der Ungeduld kehren sie nicht zurück.]

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) Czech-Austrian Jewish writer
Notebook, Aphorism #3 (20 Oct 1917) [tr. Kaiser and Wilkins]

In The Blue Octavo Notebooks (1954) and in Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings (1954); variant translations use "cardinal sins" instead of "main human sins" and "laziness" instead of "indolence", e.g., "There are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: impatience and laziness."

Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Sep-13
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