Life is full of doors. A door is a very simple thing. It may be only a plain, unadorned piece of board. It’s significance is not in the material of which it is made, or in its costliness or its artistic beauty—but in the fact that it is a door which opens to something.
There is the door of education. All of life is a school. Young people graduate by and by, from the college and university—but their education is not finished. This should go on in the occupations and struggles that follow. It is there, that we learn the real lessons of life.
There are many people who permit their pain and misfortune to make constant appeal to human sympathy, instead of bearing these burdens quietly and heroically, as a soldier wears the marks of his profession. Suffering properly endured, develops strength, and adds to usefulness. The school of hardship and pain is where we learn many of the finest things.
The man who wins its real successes, is not he who has the most perfect health—but he who bears disease and misfortune with silent courage and gains from them a more daring spirit; who meets failure as if it were veiled victory; who challenges death by ignoring its fearful aspect, tearing off its mask, and meeting it with a smile.
I write a lot, which keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. There is always something to write about, always a new story to craft. Not writing, for me, is like trying to hold back a sneeze. Learning to write was the most powerful influence in my life. I can still remember the awe I felt when I realized I could put real words onto paper and tell out a story. From that first ‘a-ha’ moment I knew I wanted to write.
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