“Firmness of purpose is one of the best instruments of success.”
– Lord Chesterfield Stanhope, third Earl of Chesterfield
“Did you do it on purpose?”
As a kid, my mother seemed all-knowing. She could tell if I was lying – even tell if I was just stretching the truth a little. The best policy was to be completely honest. First, she would ask if I did it – break something, for example. Once responsibility had been determined, she would ask the all-important question, “Did you do it on purpose?” There was rarely any deliberate intent on my part to cause damage, harm or havoc. In most cases, the event in question was simply an accident, a misunderstanding or the result of poor judgment on my part – occasionally, I was even innoce...
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