Monday, June 20, 2022

Adversity is not here to destroy you. It is here to bring the best out of you.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was paralyzed from the waist down by polio before running for the office of President of the US.

Oprah Winfrey was born into poverty to a teenage single mother. She was raped at age nine and became pregnant at 14.

Sylvester Stallone was born through the use of forceps that accidentally severed a nerve and caused paralysis in the lower left side of his face, including parts of his lip, tongue, and chin.

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery, violence, and separation from his parents.

Albert Einstein didn’t speak at all for the first three years of his life and many of his teachers assumed he was lazy because he was always distracted by abstract concepts. He couldn't get a job in physics for two years after graduation. Worked as assistant patent examiner, passed over for promotion until he "fully mastered machine technology".

Jim Carrey dropped out of school when he was fifteen, to support his family. Soon after, he and his family were living in a van. Despite these challenges, he continued to follow his dream of becoming a comedian.

Michael Jordan was cut from the varsity basketball team in his sophomore year.

Viktor Frankl was imprisoned at several concentration camps by Nazis, including Auschwitz. His wife and family were killed by the Nazis.

Thomas Alba Edison was fired from his job, when a chemical experiment leaked acid on to his boss’ desk. However, despite being almost penniless, Edison rose to be the most prolific inventor of his generation. He failed more than 1,000 times before he invented the light bulb. Instead of quitting, however, Edison tried and tried again until he achieved success.

Benjamin Franklin was ten-years-old, when his parents could no longer afford to send him to school. However, that didn’t stop him from pursuing an education. Through reading, he was able to educate himself, and the fruits of his knowledge include the lightning rod and bifocals and a successful political career.

Bethany Hamilton was just thirteen years old, when she had her left arm bitten off by a shark during a surfing accident. Instead of admitting defeat, she went back to her surfboard one month later and continued to practice. Two years later, she was able to win first place in the Explorer Women’s Division of the NSSA National Championships.

Walt Disney was fired from his first job at the Kansas City Star after his newspaper editor told him that he didn’t have enough imagination or creativity. A few years later, he drove Disney’s animation studio, Laugh-O-Gram, into bankruptcy. Only when he moved to California to produce cartoons did his career ultimately take off.

Nelson Mandela worked very hard to train as a lawyer, despite the South African apartheid system making this very difficult for a black man. Against the odds Nelson Mandela was able to practice law, helping many black South Africans to survive in the apartheid system. When Nelson Mandela was sent to jail for his opposition to apartheid in the 1960s, there seemed no end in sight to the all-powerful apartheid system of South Africa. But, against the odds, Mandela played a critical role in bringing about the end of apartheid and the first truly democratic elections.

Helen Keller A became deaf-blind before her second birthday. Despite this debilitating disability, she learned to read and write, and became the first deaf-blind person to gain a bachelor degree. She campaigned on issues of social welfare, women’s suffrage, disability rights and impressed many with her force of personality.

Mahatma Gandhi was put into jail several times for his non-violent protests against the British domination of India. Militarily, India could not hope to defeat the British Empire, but through his policy of non-violence he awoke the spirit of fellow Indians and helped to create a climate for Indian Independence which came in 1947.

Rosa Parks could have easily been just another statistic in the American system of racial segregation. In the Deep South, black Americans were systematically discriminated against, but on one famous day in 1955, Rosa Parks made a stand and refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. Her brave action sparked a widespread boycott of buses in Montgomery, Alabama.

Marie Curie became one of the most important scientists of her generation, in an age where few women were able to be educated. Her discoveries enabled the development of modern radiation and X-Ray. She was one of the few people to receive a Nobel prize for both medicine and physics.

Olaudah Equiano was taken into slavery and transported to America when he was 11 years old. However, after obtaining his freedom he wrote a book ‘The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano‘ which played a pivotal role in turning public opinion in Britain against slavery. It was also well received for its literary merit.

Ludwig Van Beethoven lost his hearing and that is the greatest possible misfortune for a musician. Yet, despite the inevitable frustration, it didn’t stop him from composing some of the most sublime pieces of music in the history of man.

Abraham Lincoln was born in a one-room log cabin. He taught himself to read and trained to become a lawyer. Despite numerous setbacks both personal and political, he was elected 16th President of the US from 1861-1865. In difficult circumstances Lincoln led the Union forces to victory preserving the United States and against vehement opposition passed a bill to abolish legal slavery.

Harriet Tubman was born into slavery, however she managed to escape and begin a new life. She returned on many dangerous missions to Maryland where she helped lead slaves to freedom. She also served as agent and leader during the Civil War. She became a symbol of the abolition movement.

Stephen Hawking has helped popularize scientific concepts and make ground-breaking discoveries, despite suffering from motor neuron disease.

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