People like to say that the test of a person’s character is not failure but success, but I think this assumes we all succeed a lot more than we actually do. In my experience, failure, rejection, or loss is the much more common and continual test of character in one’s life than success. Whether we choose to become bitter, or to blame ourselves, or to vow not to put ourselves out there again, or to be satisfied with what we have been given, how we handle loss shapes how we face the future.

The awkward vicar of Pride and Prejudice has something to teach us about joy and contentment.