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The only real ambitions spring from the circumstances in which our lives are set. I used to believe that my limitations would prevent me from doing anything beyond improving my mind and accepting the cup of pleasure or sorrow in whatever measure it might be dealt to me. There is no grief deeper than the consciousness that we are isolated, no ache of heart harder to bear than the thought that our fellows are crying in the darkness, and we are so fettered that we may not go to them. This is separation from the social order into which we are born, the agony of thwarted forces, a death in the midst of life. But I have discovered that the material with which we work is everywhere and in abundance. I have felt the joy of the strong man who grasps the reins in his hands and drives the forces that would master him. Our worst foes are not belligerent circumstances, but wavering spirits. As a man thinketh, so is he. The field in which I may work is narrow, but it stretches before me limitless. I am like the philosopher whose garden was small but reached up to the stars.

There are two ways in which we may work: with our own hands and through our fellow-men. Both ways are open to me. With my own hands and voice I can teach; perhaps I can write. Through others I can do good by speakig in favor of beneficent work and by speaking against what seems to me wrong.

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February 27, 1904
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