“In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours.”
Well, this is the quote that saved me.
Stayed up until 11:15 pm last night to finish reading the speech. Toughest read from Atlas Shrugged yet, but completely worth it. Found the passage at the end, and I almost cried. Certainly got a small lump in the back of my throat.
It seems like just yesterday I stumbled across it on the internet -- yes, that was a few years ago, and little did I realize the impotency of what it meant, or how much it would mean to me now. I had to reread it a couple times then, to capture the literal depiction of the words, but it means a world to me now. It represents an epitome of everything I want to achieve in life, the absolute of the happiness I yearn for. I'm making an oath by my life and my love of it that I will do whatever I can to achieve happiness in my life. This book has given me an entirely new perspective. Nothing like anything I've ever experienced, or considered, but deep down I know it's what I've always wanted.
"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."