Well, my former 11th grade English teacher would be proud to find out that much of my resolve and convictions are framed by the words of several different early American writers he introduced me to through careful examinations of their literary works in class lectures. First, the essayist and patriot Thomas Paine who served in the War of Independence as an aide to General George Washington. Perhaps his greatest weapon was the quill pen he wielded in political pamphlets designed to inspire people and encourage their commitment to a great cause. Each day I recite the opening paragraph of his famous essay, The Crisis, as a mantra to remind myself of the need to sustain my progress.
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service to their country, but he that stands it now deserves the love and respect of man and woman. Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered. Yet, we have this consolation with us; the more harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only that gives everything value."
Ralph Waldo Emerson contributes to my personal compass with his simple, but profound quote.
From Henry David Thoreau:
"If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams,
one will encounter success unexpected in common hours."
These three quotes create a reservoir from which I can draw sustenance. A personal platform constructed on perseverance, commitment, sacrifice, confidence, dreams, imagination, and a quest for success. There you have it. That's who I am.