In life, circumstances often take us in direction we could not have imagined. Given an unfortunate series of events, we could find ourselves in places completely foreign to our sensibilities or preferences). It's in those moments of utter desperation that we learn more about our capacities. What would you do to survive if you were homeless, helpless--with nowhere to turn? Where's that "safety net" that all of us wish we'd put into place?
It's a very lonely, impossible place: destitution. And, it's in just such a place that Daniel Defoe writes about in Moll Flanders when he penned one of the first English novels, published in 1722. We learn of her many misadventures, but we also find that hidden hope (or at least self-preservation). We don't ever really know our capabilities--strengths and weaknesses--until we face those grim, brutal realities.
In Moll Flanders, we read (Chapter 10): "All that hellish, hardened state and temper of soul, which I have said so much of before, is but a deprivation of thought; he that is restored to his power of thinking, is restored to himself."
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