Views & Reviews Between the lines

Comfort for failures

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39157.666806.47 (Published 22 March 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:641
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    Triumphant success—in others, I hasten to add; I've never experienced it myself—intimidates me and makes me feel stupid. Why am I not similarly successful, though quite intelligent enough to be so? I suppose it boils down to character, or what these days is called personality.

    I know a banker who has made hundreds of millions who, while outwardly polite to us starvelings, must think us fools. I don't dare admit to him that I haven't a clue what bankers actually do: I now have less idea than when I was a student, when they wrote to me, “Dear Mr Dalrymple, Your account is now £3 17s 4d overdrawn, and I trust you will rectify the …

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