To face life’s difficulties
You all have a tendency to wish for ease, success and prosperity in preference to all the rest, and this is natural. Yes, until you are forced to admit that lucidity, fortitude, patience, purity and kindness are acquisitions that are far more precious. For once you possess these qualities, you are armed against all the difficulties everyone inevitably encounters in life; whereas without them, your most brilliant successes may well turn to disaster. Indeed, you must not believe that apparently favourable conditions and effortless success are necessarily what is best; they are often pitfalls for those who have not developed certain moral qualities.* Open your eyes to what goes on around you and you will no longer wish for certain kinds of easy success nor envy those who have them.
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