Listen to episode 159 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Self-Made Men & Women. Edited & adapted from a lecture by Frederick Douglass.
Self-Help Podcast Excerpt: Self-made men and women are those who owe little or nothing to birth, relationship, or friendly surroundings; to wealth inherited or to early approved means of education; who are what they are, without the aid of any favoring conditions by which other people usually rise in the world and achieve great results.
In fact, they are the men and women who are not brought up but who are obliged to come up, not only without the assistance or friendly co-operation of society, but often in open and derisive defiance of all the efforts of society, and the tendency of circumstances to repress, retard, and keep them down.
They are the individuals who (in a world of schools, academies, colleges, and other institutions of learning) are often compelled by unfriendly circumstances to acquire their education elsewhere and, amidst unfavorable conditions, to create for themselves a way to success, and thus become the architects of their own good fortunes.
They are, in a peculiar sense, indebted to themselves for themselves. If they have traveled far, they have made the road on which they have travelled. If they have ascended high, they have built their own ladder. From the depths of poverty, they often rise. Flung overboard in the midnight storm on the broad and tempest-tossed ocean of life (left without ropes, planks, oars, or life-preservers), they have bravely fought the waves and have risen in safety and life where others (supplied with the best appliances for safety and success), have fainted, despaired, and gone down forever.
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