Long long ago, there lived a young man in a certain place. One day he went for a walk to the woods. In the woods he tumbled over a stone. He felt so much pain that he got afraid to walk again. So he sat down right there, and took out some peanuts from his pocket. As he was about to eat, the peanuts happened to fall out of his hand. He felt so much embarrassed that he gave up eating at all. Day by day the man got weaker and weaker just sitting alone in the woods....

   How do you feel about it? It's easy to say that he is silly. It's easy to say that this is merely fiction. But please think it over, because I sometimes find that kind of people just around me, and sometimes find myself to be that kind of person. Some years ago I received a pretty long message from a friend of mine, which went like this, "...Anyway I'll never fall in love again. I couldn't stand such pain any more...;" the other day, I saw a foreigner asking several students something in English. Every one of them ran away however, saying, "Sorry, I can't speak English." To tell the truth, I was not good at English, either. In my high school days I never got a better grade than 3, or Average in English. At that time English grammar often annoyed me, and I didn't know how to pronounce English at all. So I used to be rather afraid of English. But fortunately I liked music very much. So, after I graduated from high school, I continued learning English through music, such as The Beatles and Billy Joel. And now English is one of my favorite subjects.

   Some people hide their feelings because they are afraid to be broken-hearted; some people are afraid to try something new since they think they're poor at it. They avoid things which caused them trouble before. So they achieve nothing. Aren't they just like the young man sitting alone in the woods? I believe none of us would give up walking nor eating even if we were that young man. Still, some people keep away from things which went wrong before only because they're afraid of failing again. "Failure teaches success." We should not run away from possible difficulties.

   It's not only true of love or true of English, but true of everything. Here is another story:
A long time ago, there lived another young man in a certain place. One day he went to see one of his friends. When he arrived in front of the house however, he hesitated to knock at the door because of his shyness. More than twenty minutes passed. He almost gave up. Then he said to himself, "Suppose I try something in my life, I must not spoil myself." And he made it at last. Later he got into the debating society to get more nerve, and became an excellent speaker.
Do you know who he is? He is George Bernard Shaw, the original author of My Fair Lady. He won the Nobel prize in literature for 1925.

   If we are not good at something, that might be because we are afraid to do it. If we are afraid of something, maybe that's why we are still not good at it. "All things are difficult before they are easy." We should take our courage in both hands. As a result, we may succeed, maybe not. Who knows? But I'd like all of you to remember, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."


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Words of Wisdom OK312: 「英⇔日」対照・名言ことわざ辞典

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