Frances Arnold: What alternative do you have? As a mother, I had children who looked to me when the most terrifying things were happening — when their father died. You could fall apart, but if you fall apart, what happens to everybody else?

I guess I just never felt sorry for myself. Maybe when I was 15, I had a little bout with feeling sorry for myself. But then, once I got control over some parts of my life, I realized, “Okay, what I have control over is how I respond to challenges. I can’t control what other people do, but I can control how I respond, and really, my life is not so bad.” So with that combination of attitude, that I’m really very lucky and I have been very lucky, that helps deal with the parts that are not so lucky.