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Address to Muslim College, India:

You, young men, will sooner or later have to go out into the unfamiliar and sometimes unfriendly world to make your own personal careers. The change from the sheltered seclusion of college life to the open struggle for existence will necessarily be an abrupt one; the adjustment to the new conditions which will have to be faced necessarily a hard one. Moreover, the conditions in the world today are admittedly disturbed and unsettled. You are therefore likely to meet with many gloomy prophets who will tell you dismally of the difficulties of getting on and of the impossibilities of getting good positions. Let me warn you against these melancholy pessimists who paint only one side of the picture and wrongly regard that grey side as being the whole picture. There is another and brighter side which is equally deserving of your consideration.

You may have a discouraging time at the start. Opportunities may be few. But they are always there for the right men. So long as you nurse the unflagging spirit of ambition, so long as you set up a staunch determination to overcome the obstacles in your way, to master the difficulties that may surround you, so long as you say to yourselves "I will" and "I must" instead of "I won't" and "I can't," you will find yourselves on the highroad to eventual success. For sooner or later there are always openings for bright, keen, and determined young men. Why? Because the world wants such men.

If you will only remain faithful to the principles of truth, goodness, and unselfishness which are embodied in religion, you will certainly bring to your help heavenly forces which will ultimately assist you in your career. Do not be deceived by the cynical talk of superficial croakers. A man who lives according to these principles will eventually win the respect of society, and society in its turn will reward him with her gifts of place, honour, and prosperity. Therefore you should endeavour to cultivate an optimistic frame of mind; you should regard whatever difficulties the future may bring not as permanent setbacks but as opportunities to arouse grit and to enable you to show forth the powers inside you that can overcome them.

You should read the biographies of men who have risen in life from humble circumstances to high positions, as well as the biographies of others who were more fortunately born and, by their good character, developed capacity, and keen determination, have left their mark on history. What they have done some of you at least can also do, while all of you can certainly create a habit of looking to the bright side of life and thus make life easier both for yourselves and for others.


-- Notebooks Category 13: Human Experience > Chapter 1: Situation > # 386






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