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The University Of Hard Knocks
by Ralph Albert Parlette
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It broke your heart. You have had your heart broken. I have had my heart broken more times than I care to talk about now. Your home was darkened, your plans were wrecked, you thought you had nothing more to live for.
The "Hard Knocks" Ralph Parlette talks about are also termed "bumps" in this collection of lessons life presents us. He says that when life bumps up against us and we learn the lesson, we do not have to endure it again. We move past it and use the experience as our teacher from which we expand our conscious appraisal of the situations we encounter. Because we are independent negotiators of the events that occur, we are often tempted by other attractive paths that lead us into ease and pleasure. If we move upwardly in our way of thinking about the future and do not succumb to instant gratification, we can change unhappiness to happiness, weakness to strength, anxiety to moral conviction, and ignorance to awareness. As we begin to understand things by our own sacrifice and travail, we discover immeasurable distances above us that we can include in our journey. We are able to rise over any obstacle or setback because we learn to truly see and hear. Parlette reminds us that it is not possible to purchase education or security. We cannot buy a prodigious intelligence. Our mind is only able to become great when it is a subordinate to more important issues in our life. As we develop more helpful attributes, our worries grow smaller. We have stationed ourselves to see from a different, more encompassing perspective. And even though we continue to do our best, out of nowhere a calamity descends upon us and breaks our heart. Our plans and schemes are ruined, and there is nothing to live for. But after this personal demolition and the psychological trash is swept away, honorable purposes are suddenly visible, and we are capable of more instruction and schooling in The University of Hard Knocks, the only college worth this excellent endorsement.
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