Guests constantly visit my study and though I talk to them, sometimes quite loudly, they are strangely invisible to everyone else. One frequent visitor is my father. His presence helps me prepare speeches. When the ideas flow too slowly or I find myself struggling to memorize a difficult paragraph, I invite him in. He knows how hard it is but he nods encouragingly and tells me that he often encountered similar challenges.
Sometimes, Orville and Wilbur Wright join me. They’re an interesting pair. I invite them whenever I find myself falling into the trap of envying others. I eavesdrop as they mutter to one another about Samuel Langley who was given $50,000 by the United States War Department to build a flying machine. In 1903, $50,000 was a lot of money! When Langley’s contraption crashed into the Potomac, he gave up. Orville and Wilbur remind me that they persevered year after year, crash after crash, while others got the press and the awards. In December 1903, the Wright brothers succeeded.