I have been reading Ender’s War. It is a science fiction novel written by Orson Scott Card and composed of two novels, Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead. Besides the fact that I do not believe that Mr. Card and I would be friends, I have absolutely loved reading these two novels. While reading, I came across the quotation that I am sharing with you all today…some of the details within the quote require some understanding of the context of the novel but if you haven’t read it, the general meaning is no less powerful. It requires some thought and is a very lovely piece of advice…
“I should have gone to him,” Ela said again.
“Yes,” the Speaker said. “You should have.”
A strange thing happened then. The Speaker agreed with her that she had made a mistake that night, and she knew when he said the words that it was true, that his judgement was correct. And yet she felt strangely healed, as if simply saying her mistake were enough to purge some of the pain of it. For the first time, then, she caught a glimpse of what the power of Speaking might be. It wasn’t a matter of confession, penance, and absolution, like the priests offered. It was something else entirely. Telling the story of who she was, and then realizing that she was no longer the same person. That she had made a mistake, and the mistake had changed her, and now she would not make the mistake again because she had become someone else, someone less afraid, someone more compassionate. If I’m not that frightened girl who heard her brother in desperate pain and dared not go to him, who am I? But the water flowing through the grillwork under the fence held no answers. Maybe she couldn’t know who she was today. Maybe it was enough to know that she was no longer who she was before.”
— Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead
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