They say that if you believe enough in something, and have enough persistence to see it through to the end, then regardless of the circumstances, it will be accomplished.
I have a hard time indisputably believing this. However, after reading "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave," it's tough to deny the plausibility of the above statement actually being true.
To put it bluntly, Frederick Douglass had virtually zero chance to survive. He was intended to be a slave for life. Through a series of events, however, he came to the conclusion that by receiving an education, he may have a chance, albeit slim, to lead life as a free man.
To achieve learning at all costs, Douglass made his way through various terrains, people and incidents, any of which could have ended his life, or at the very least, his crusade. Instead, he somehow managed to adapt and succeed at nearly every turn. And even when he was knocked down, he found a way to have the last laugh in the end.
I could go into specific details, but in such a brief column, it would be impossible to do them justice. There are multiple reasons I would recommend this book. First, if you've ever felt as if you could not do something, you should put yourself in Douglass' shoes for an instant. You would be hard-pressed to be in a more difficult situation than he.
Second, and most important, is the emphasis on education that Douglass cherished during his lifetime. Being able to grow through learning is such a critical item for every human being, yet many of us take it for granted, or even worse, have the notion that it really doesn't matter. It's not just about answering questions on a test or about a passing grade in school, though. What it's really about is reading or observing a person and/or a situation and understanding what is occurring.
Once you start to collect the knowledge of the world around you, there's no limit as to what you can do. Frederick Douglass was an example of this, and to take him for anything less than an example of a great human being would be a completely injustice.