by John McCain
Your happiness is at stake in every difficult decision you must make about what kind of person you will be: honest or deceitful, responsible or unreliable; brave or cowardly; kind or cruel.
Your talents have little to do with it. Your looks don’t matter at all. You don’t need to be good at sports. You don’t need to be popular with other kids. You need not be smarter than others.
Those things are nice and useful and pleasing. But they won’t by themselves make you happy.
Looks change. People for no good reason can sometimes treat us unfairly, and friends come and go as our lives take us to new schools, different jobs, and faraway places. However smart we are, there are always other people who know more than us.
It is your character, and your character alone, that will make your life happy or unhappy. That is all that really passes for destiny.
And you choose it.
No one else can give it to you or deny it to you. No rival can steal it from you. And no friend can give it to you. Others can encourage you to make the right choices or discourage you.
But you choose.