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Being more mature now, I’ve managed to make peace with my past, as it’s making peace with me. Certainly there’s a mutual gain for reflecting on both phases of my life, and although I consider the here and now perhaps to be more important, there are still many people who appreciate my past ephemeral stages and the lessons they represent.
What if we choose not to do the things we are supposed to do? The principal gain is a sense of an authentic act – and an authentic life. It may be a short one, but it is an authentic one, and that’s a lot better than those short lives full of boredom. The principal loss is security. Another is respect from the community. But you gain the respect of another community, the one that is worth having the respect of.
I discovered early that the hardest thing to overcome is not a physical disability but the mental condition which it induces. The world, I found, has a way of taking a man pretty much at his own rating. If he permits his loss to make him embarrassed and apologetic, he will draw embarrassment from others. But if he gains his own respect, the respect of those around him comes easily.