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I came across this story in an old book today. I liked it and thought you might as well. The first quote and the quote at the end are by the author’s grandmother.
By: Cameron Hawley (Author of “Executive Suite” and “Cash McCall”)
On one of the last days of my grandmother’s life I sat beside her bed. Warmly reminiscent, she talked of how the world had changed during the half century since she had come to the Dakota Territory in 1878 as a pioneering bride. I asked what change she considered most significant.
Her face sobered. “I’ll tell you the one I most regret”, she said. “When I was a girl, there were so many men who stood out as individuals. Now there are so few.”
“More and more all the time, it seems, men are yielding to some terrible compulsion to conform, to think alike and talk alike – yes, even to look alike. In those days you could recognize any man who was worth knowing as far away as you could see him or hear the sound of his voice. Believe me, no one ever mistook your grandfather for someone else. He was always his own man, thinking with his own mind, standing on his own feet. he knew that a man finds happiness only by walking his own path across the earth.”
The intensity of her voice made her words an obviously purposeful warning, but years passed before I appreciated the full value of the heritage she was handing me.
Now, at fifty, looking back over my own life and the work I have done to date, I see so clearly that the things of which I am least proud have resulted from the weakness of conformity, from being more concerned with pleasing others than with satisfying myself.
My successes have come when I have had the sustained courage to follow my grandmother’s admonition – in her words, to walk my own path across the earth.
Make each moment count double,