Everything is Confidence
Everyone has the confidence to do what he or she wants in life. This is seen with professional athletes because they gave up a lot to be where they are in their life. Athletes have the confidence they need to be great in their sport, as well as in their lives. Most athletes take what they know about themselves and their confidence, and implement it into their entire lives. If something bad was to happen to a professional athlete and they were unable to compete in their sport or function in society, they may lose their confidence, and they will not want to compete again. It is the athlete that continues to practice or help others practice, when he cannot, is someone who has enough confidence in his ability. This type of confidence is more of a physical confidence used to intimidate and get pumped up, while Frederick Douglass the author of “Learning to Read”, talks about his life as a slave and he uses his confidence more as a mental confidence which he uses to made his life goal a reality. Douglass describes how he is able to read while being a slave. He feels that being able to read has been more of a curse to him than a blessing. The feeling of being able to read and write has given him great strength and confidence in his life. He may not be an athlete but he is facing the same type of problem as an athlete who can’t compete is also having. Douglass wants nothing more than to read but he knows he not allowed to. He goes on learning with the thought of how suicide because of what he is learning. Confidence is found in almost everything that is done in daily lives. Confidence can be used to motivate others and help them get through a tough game or practice. Confidence can be very hard to accomplish and the consequences may be high, but it will be worthwhile in the end. Douglass showed many hardships that he experienced when learning to read and write in his work learning to read, but he never gave up on what he truly wanted. Douglass never gave up because he was confident in himself that he would never give up on his life goal even though he was a slave.
In Douglass’s essay he envy’s those slaves who are unable to read for they are unable to understand what they can achieve while; he knows the power of reading and writing. This has tormented him because he knows what is happening to every slave out there and how he is almost powerless to stop slave owners from owning slaves. Douglas states that “As I writhed under it, I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but no ladder upon which to get out. In moments of agony, I envied my fellow-slaves for their stupidity. I have often wished a beast. I preferred the condition of the meanest reptile to my own. Anything, no matter what, to get rid of thinking! It was this everlasting thinking of my condition that tormented me. There was no getting rid of it.” (193).
This quote describes how after gaining the knowledge he wants; it makes him feel uneasy about what he has gotten himself apart of. In Douglas’s quote he hints at how being a slave is a horrible thing, but by being a slave who has the knowledge to read and comprehend, it becomes an incredibly overwhelming challenge. but knowing this he still has the confidence to keep learning whenever he can. He hints at how it is easier to just live your life without knowing than to push for important pieces of knowledge such as the ability to read; while those who did push for that important piece of knowledge like Douglas then excel in that field. He knew that it was against policy for a slave to learn to read and he would be punished severely if anyone were to find out, but he still went out of his way to learn whenever he could. He wanted more than anything to be free and have the same rights as everyone.