• I had once believed that we were all masters of our fate--that we could mold our lives into any form we pleased... I had overcome deafness and blindness sufficiently to be happy, and I supposed that anyone could come out victorious if he threw himself valiantly into life's struggle. But as I went more and more about the country I learned that I had spoken with assurance on a subject I knew little about... I learned that the power to rise in the world is not within the reach of everyone.