Now the alternative to despair is courage. And human life can be viewed as a continuous struggle between these two options. Courage is the capacity to affirm one's life in spite of the elements which threaten it. The fact that courage usually predominates over despair in itself tells us something important about life. It tells you that the forces that affirm life are stronger than those that negate it.
Despair is like a cable that is buried just under the surface of the ground. You pull it up and pull it up, but that cable just keeps right on going, clear across a field, until you come to a bunch of guys who are burying the cable. Then just walk up to them and go, 'Hey, have you seen Fred' And they'll say, 'Fred who' And you say, 'Fred of snakes' Then cover your ears, because big laughs are coming.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all doing direct the other way in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.