What this reasoning did for me from the start was to give me a new attitude toward the multifold activity we call life. I saw it as containing a principle that would work with me, if I could work with it. My working with it was the main point, since it was working with me always. Exactly what that principle was I could not at the time have said; I merely recognized it as being there.

The method of working with it was simple in idea, however difficult in practice. It was a question of my own orientation. I had to get mentally into harmony with the people and conditions I found about me. I was not to distrust them; still less was I to run away from them. I was to make a parable of my childish experience with the Skye terrier, assuming that life was organized to do me good. I remembered how many times the Bible begins some bit of pleading or injunction with the words,

“Fear not.”

Other similar appeals came back to me.

“Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong I fear not.”
“Quit yourselves like men; be strong.”
“O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be unto thee! Be strong, yea, be Strong.”

When, at some occasional test, dismay or self-pity took hold of me, I formed a habit of saying to myself, in our expressive American idiom: “This is your special stunt. It’s up to you to do this thing just as if you had all the facilities. Go at it boldly, and you’ll find unexpected forces closing around you and coming to your aid.”

Which is just what I did find. To an amazing degree, people were friendly, while conditions became easier. Fear diminished because I had fewer things to be afraid of. Having fewer things to be afraid of, my mind was clearer for work. Work becoming not only more of a resource but more remunerative as well, and all life grew brighter. Fear was not overcome; I had only made a more or less hesitating stand against it; but even from doing that, I got positive results.


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