When You Dread Failure by A. J. Cronin


When You Dread Failure by A. J. Cronin 
  A.J. Cronin, a medical doctor  tells about his experience which helped him to overcome fear and depression. He explains how he learnt the all-important lesson that if one keeps on trying, even when all  appears lost, victory may be wrested from defeat. 

            When he was a medical student, a senior surgeon always discouraged him. Whenever he made small mistakes in the operation theatre, the surgeon would say, “You will never be a surgeon.” These words wounded him terribly and filled him with fear and inferiority complex. Even after getting some experience as a doctor, he refrained from doing any operation.
            When he was posted in the Western Highlands, a remote   country district, he was the only doctor available there. He treated the troublesome outbreak of diphtheria among school children in that area and became very famous. Yet, for doing operations, he called a colleague from Perth which was two hours away by road or rail.
            One day, a young man Robin Blair was seriously wounded when a   fifty- foot fir tree fell on him. Robin Blair had married the daughter of the local minister only before three months.  The injury was very serious because three or four of his thoracic vertebrae were shattered. A major operation had to be done immediately. As all the telephone and telegraphic wires were damaged due to a severe storm the previous night, no other doctor could arrive there.
            While the author hesitated to do the operation, the tearful faces of Blair’s wife and parents compelled him to do the operation. The tormenting  vision of his discouraging former teacher disappeared. He finished the surgery after one hour of hard effort. The patient was healed completely, and everyone was happy. The author learnt to throw away fear after this experience.

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