There are times in life when we are overcome by circumstance, and we don’t necessarily learn from them. But we can. I was about ten when my parents came to visit my brothers and me at camp in the Adirondacks. I arranged for my parents to see me play a tennis game with one of the other campers. My father played tennis, so it was important to me.
I had never anticipated losing, but that’s what happened. The tears came. And to have one of my fellow campers see the tears was the peak of ignominy. Yet, the whole situation was trivial compared to what would come later in life; so it hardened me.
I don’t value hardness of spirit, even in a man. But in life me must be able to endure. Yet I have kept a certain compassionateness through and with my faith, and I am grateful for that.