Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Soulveda I 15 July 2023

In his book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, first published in 1948, Dale Carnegie mentions that when he started writing it, he offered a two hundred­-dollar prize for the most helpful and inspiring true story on “How I Conquered Worry.” A story written along these lines was sent in by a Mr. C.R. Boston, one of the most significant parts of which we reproduce below:

“I lost my mother when I was nine years old, my father when I was twelve. We were haunted by the fear of being called orphans ... Then Mr. and Mrs. Loftin took me to live with them on their farm. Mr. Loftin told me I could stay there ‘as long as I wanted’ ... I started going to school. The other children picked on me and poked fun at my big nose and said I was dumb and called me an orphan. I was hurt so badly that I wanted to fight them, but, Mr. Loftin, the farmer who had taken me in, said to me: ‘Always remember that it takes a bigger man to walk away from a fight than it does to stay and fight.’

What is meant here by ‘bigger’? In this context it has nothing to do with being taller or stronger, but signifies greater-hearted, broader-minded, and more able than a smaller man’ to sustain injury or insult without losing one’s composure. One’s ‘bigness’ here has to do not with physical hardihood, but with moral courage.

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