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      I lost my sight when I was four years old by falling off a box car in a freight yard in Atlantic City and landing on my head. Now I am thirty-two. I can vaguely remember the brightness of sunshine and what red color is. It would be wonderful to see again, but a calamity can do strange things to people.
      It occurred to me the other day that I might not have come to love life as I do if I hadn’t been blind. I believe in life now. I am not so sure that I would have believed in it so deeply, otherwise. I don’t mean that I would prefer to go without my eyes. I simply mean that the loss of them made me appreciate the more what I had left.
      Life, I believe, asks a continuous series of adjustments to reality. The more readily a person is able to make these adjustments, the more meaningful his own private world becomes. The adjustment is never easy. I was bewildered and afraid. But I was lucky. My parents and my teachers saw something in me —a potential to live, you might call it ——which I didn’t see, and they made me want to fight it out with blindness.
      The hardest lesson I had to learn was to believe in myself. That was basic. If I hadn’t been able to do that, I would have collapsed and become a chair rocker on the front porch for the rest of my life. When I say belief in myself I am not talking about simply the kind of self-confidence that helps me down a unfamiliar staircase alone. That is part of it. But I mean something bigger than that: an assurance that I am, despite imperfections, a real, positive person that somewhere in the sweeping, intricate pattern of people there is a special place where I can make myself fit.
      It took me years to discover and strengthen this assurance. It had to start with the most elementary things. Once a man gave me an indoor baseball, I thought he was mocking me and I was hurt. “I can’t use this,” I said. “Take it with you,” he urged me,” and roll it around. “The words stuck in my head.” Roll it around!” By rolling the ball I could hear where it went. This gave me an idea how to achieve a goal I had thought impossible: playing baseball. At Philadelphia’s Overbrook School for the Blind I invented a successful variation of baseball. We called it ground ball.
      我花了很長時間才樹立并不斷加強這一信念。這要從最簡單的事做起。有一次一個人給我一個室內玩的棒球,我以為他在嘲笑我,心里很難受?!拔也荒苁惯@個?!蔽艺f?!澳隳萌?,”他竭力勸我,“在地上滾?!彼脑捲谖夷X子里生了根?!霸诘厣蠞L!” 滾球使我聽見它朝哪兒滾動。我馬上想到一個我曾認為不可能達到的目標:打棒球。在費城的奧弗布魯克盲人學校,我發明了一種很受人歡迎的棒球游戲,我們稱它為地面球。
      All my life I have set ahead of is a series of goals and then tried to reach them, one at a time. I had to learn my limitations. It was no good to try for something I knew at the start was wildly out of reach because that only invited the bitterness of failure. I would fail sometimes anyway but on the average I made progress.
      freight [fre?t] n. 貨運;運費;船貨 vt. 運送;裝貨
      vaguely [‘ve?gl?] adv. 含糊地;曖昧地;茫然地
      calamity [k?’l?m?t?] n. 災難;不幸事件
      appreciate [?’pri?e?t; -s?-] vi. 增值;漲價 vt. 欣賞;感激
      staircase [‘ste?ke?s] n. 樓梯
      bitterness [b?t?n?s] n. 苦味;苦難;怨恨