One day in the middle of an important examination in high school, the point of my lead pencil broke. In those days we used pocket knives to sharpen our pencils. I had forgotten my penknife and turned to ask a neighbor for his. The teacher saw this; he accused me of cheating. When I tried to explain, he gave me a tongue-lashing for lying; worse, he forbade me to play on the basketball team in the upcoming game. I could see that the more I protested the angrier he seemed to become. But again and again I stubbornly told what had happened. Even when the coach pleaded my cause, the teacher refused to budge. The disgrace was almost more than I could bear. Then, just minutes before the game, he had a change of heart and I was permitted to play. But there was no joy in it. We lost the game; and though that hurt, by far the deeper pain was being branded a cheat and a liar. Looking back. I know that lesson was God-sent. Character is shaped in just such crucibles. My parents believed me: they were understanding and encouraging. Supported by them and a clear conscience, I began to realize that when you are at peace with your Maker you can, if not ignore human criticism, at least rise above it. And I learned something else - the importance of avoiding even the appearance of evil. Though I was innocent, circumstance made me look guilty. Since this could so easily be true in many of life's situations, I made a resolution to keep even the appearance of my actions above question, as far as possible. And it struck me, too, that if this injustice happened to me, it could happen to others, and I must not judge their actions simply on appearances.
Ezra Taft Benson (1899 - 1994)
Source: Crossfire: The Eight Years with Eisenhower, p. 17.
E.T. (after touching his heart where there is a ruby-glowing light and then touching his lips, expressing his pain over leaving and separating): "Ouch." Elliott (after repeating the gesture): "Ouch." (Then they embrace.)
Source: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982 Spielberg's magical fantasy movie myth
Our achievements speak for themselves. What we have to keep track of are our failures, discouragements and doubts. We tend to forget the past difficulties, the many false starts, and the painful groping. We see our past achievements as the end results of a clean forward thrust, and our present difficulties as signs of decline and decay.
It is impossible to live pleasurably without living wisely, well, and justly, and impossible to live wisely, well, and justly without living pleasurably. Epicurus taught: Pleasure, defined as freedom from pain, is the highest good.
Epicurus (c. 341 - c. 270 BC)
Source: Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers
[My mother] speaks of my step being a source of life-long pain to her, that it is a living death, etc. By the same post I had several letters from anxious relatives, telling me that it was my duty to come home and thus ease my mother's anxiety.