Sunday, September 18, 2011

{Crossing to Safety}

By Wallace Stegner

I thought this was the way lds missionaries around the world might feel... haha
"There is nothing like a doorbell to precipitate the potential into the kinetic. When you stand outside a door and push the buton, something has to happen. Someone must respond; whatever is inside must be revealed. Questions will be answered, uncertainties or mysteries dispelled. A situation will be started on its way through unknown complications to an unpredictable conclusion. The answer to your summons may be a rush of tearful welcome, a suspicious eye at the crack of the door, a shot through the hardwood, anything. Any pushing of any doorbell button is as rich in dramatic possibility as that scene in chekhov when just as the zemstvo doctor's only child dies of diphtheria and the doctor's wife drops to her knees beside the bed and the doctor smelling of carbolic, takes and uncertain step backward, the bell sounds sharply in the hall."

I often felt that people overrate big colleges. This speaks about the way I feel.
"Don't you feel the way we do, how young and promising it is, and how much there is to be done, and given, and taught, and learned? Sid and I feel so lucky. Back in Cambridge some people felt sorry for us, going away out to Wisconsin as if it were Sieria. They just don't know. They don't know how warm and friendly and open and eager it is. and bright too. Maybe the students aren't as well trained as Harard students, but a lot of them are just as bright. If there are Winesburgs int he Middle West it's because people don't give them a chance to become anything. They expect too much too soon. They won't stick it out and give what they ought to give. Instead they run away to Chicago or New York or Paris. Or else they stay home and just grumble and knock and talk about spiritual poverty. but Sid and I think a little city like this, ... is the real flowering of the American Dream." p39

I would prefer to use the term circumstance instead of luck. But I hate to say that I totally agree. I would say that God is in there somewhere too.

"Talent is at least half luck. It isn't as if our baby lips were touched with a live coal, and thereafter we lisp in numbers or talk in tongues. We are lucky in our parents, teachers, experience, circumstances, friends, times, physical and mental endowment, or we are not. Born tot he English language and American opportunity we are among the incredibly lucky ones. What if we had been born Bushmen in the Kalahari? What if our parents had been undernourished villagers in Uttar Pradesh, and we faced the problem of commanding the attention of the world on a diet of five hundred calories a day and in Urdu? What good is an ace if the other cads in your hand are dogs from every town?" p44

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