A Marriage of This and That

In the fourteenth chapter of Up from Slavery, Booker T. Washington wrote, “It is at the bottom of life we must begin, and not at the top. Nor should we permit our grievances to overshadow our opportunities.” The quote struck me immensely, as it depicts the essence of progression, in which all things grow upward. If I wanted to, I could create multiple excuses as to why I failed at life: I am black, my mom is a single parent, and my combative community is ruining its youth. Instead, I have decided not to fail, but to strive for excellence. The most valuable thing my circumstances have taught me is that people can still achieve in spite of their struggles. Each day I wake up, I am motivated to be bigger than my surroundings.

With his quote, Washington implies that we cannot expect success without any failures or obstacles…

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