I’m not much impressed by success that comes easily. Some people who consider themselves “self-made” are nothing of the sort. A “success” born into the ruling class of society, nurtured by loving parents, doted on by teachers, and helped onto the “up” elevator after school deserves no particular condemnation, but no medals, either, just for making it in the world. Someone, on the other hand, who is born as one of society’s “others,” bereft of nurture except catch-as-catch-can, never the teacher’s pet, and never shown the way to the “up” elevator, but who finds it anyway after years of carrying a 100-pound pack weighted with discouragements — now there is my hero.
— from my journal in 2014.