From “The Lincoln Highway” by Amor Towles

Once in a great while you read something that affects you profoundly.  Something that simply states the values you hold dearest.

“After a few minutes, as if he had needed the moment of silence to in order to gather himself, Ulysses continued.

-I am of the opinion, Professor, that everything of value in this life must be earned.  That it should be earned.   Because those who are given something of value without having to earn it are bound to squander it.  I believe one should earn respect.  One should earn trust.  One should earn the love of a woman, and the right to call oneself a man.  And one should also earn the right to hope.  At one time I had a wellspring of hope – a wellspring that I had not earned.  And not knowing what it was worth, on the day I left my wife and child, I squandered it.  So over these last eight and a half years, I have learned to live without hope. Just a surely as Cain lived without it once he entered the land of Nod. 

To live without hope, said Woolly to himself as he nodded his head and wiped the tears from his eyes.  to live without hope in the land of Nod.”

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