Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Minimize

Word of the Month

 

Perseverence

“… 1. steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc. esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement….”  
Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd. ed.
 

 

Alvin Law

About 
 
Alvin Law
 
Over 13,000 babies around the world were deformed in the early 1960’s because of a morning sickness drug, Thalidomide. Alvin Law was born without arms after his birth mother, thinking it was completely safe, used just a couple of the tiny pills and their lives were forever altered.

Yet, what may have become a tragic life-story did not turn out that way. Today, Alvin is not only a completely independent, remarkably successful professional speaker, but proof that out of nothing can arise one of the most inspiring stories you will ever witness.
  ... Read More About Alvin Law

 

  

Minimize

Alvin Law

 

 

"Perseverance" In A NonPerfect World  

 
Alvin Law
 
“What happened to you?” It`s a good question. In a perfect world I`d never hear that question, but clearly, the world is not perfect. I am a reminder of that imperfection. I was born without arms. How? Does it matter? Not to me but people are curious. My mom taught me to be nice to people even if the question isn’t. That is my life…and I wouldn’t change a thing!
 
I was one of Canada’s first Thalidomide Babies.  There were over 15,000 born deformed by the infamous morning-sickness medication (banned globally in 1963) and many can still remember the dramatic images of those poor infants and their families.
 
I was born in the small, prairie town of Yorkton, Saskatchewan in Canada and it was a birth that caused quite a buzz. This was an obvious tragedy and not just for society. Before I was a week old, I was also given up for adoption. I was armless, very ill and alone…not a great start. 
 
The subject of Perseverance is intriguing to me. The simple tone of the word leads straight to an understanding that to persevere, one must be faced with struggle of some sort and our humanity has come to a place that struggle is somehow a bad thing. I see a disturbing trend where parents will do anything to “protect” their children from any kind of harm. Some harm avoidance is logical, but today’s young people are not learning coping mechanisms when things go poorly. Is it surprising that  youth stress is at an all-time high? The linkage couldn’t be more obvious.
 
Being a motivational speaker, I’m pretty sure some people believe our industry is about “spin”. My story isn’t spin, it is truth and it is not just about “me”.
 
Take, for example, Hilda & Jack Law. In 1960, after raising their own family, they opened their home to foster-children for temporary care. Six weeks after my tragic start, I am placed with the Laws and their story became mine.
 
Unlike the parents of the bulk of thalidomiders (survivors of the drug), the Laws had no guilt. Their age (mid 50’s) meant that they had experience and wisdom but, more importantly, they had lived through life’s inevitable struggles. They didn’t plan on keeping me but something incredible occurred; I started using my feet for hands. 
 
Mom used to say God spoke to her and not only told her to keep me but was a constant voice in her head reminding her to never give up on me. I’m not completely sure of the voice but I was the somewhat unwilling recipient of the “never give up”.
 
I don`t remember learning to use my feet, but I remember sewing. Before I was three, Mom taught me to sew buttons on a rag. She thought it would help me to develop dexterity. Dad brought home various sizes and weights of nuts & bolts (he was a mechanic), and  I would spend hours screwing the nuts on and off for strength. When I fell, I was made to get up on my own. When I was hungry, I was made to feed myself. I had to make my own bed, clean up my toys. I had to mow the lawn, shovel snow (with my chest), and take out the trash…with my teeth. I could go on but you get the idea.
 
Never giving up wasn`t a dreamy portrait of what my imagination could paint. It was a daily mantra whose fundamental essence was: failure leads to success and one success leads to the next.
 
Today, I am married (almost 20 years), am a dad (Vance, 25) and own a communications business that has taken me to five continents around the world. I`ve done over 7,500 programs for over 2,000,000 people and in 2009 was inducted in Canada`s Professional Speakers Hall of Fame.
 
Whatever Mom & Dad did, they proved that perseverance pays off; theirs and mine.  
 
  

Minimize
 
 
 Perseverance Links
 
The following is a list of links to websites devoted to Perseverance.
 
Carol's Corner: 
 Two Stories of Perseverance
 
Colonel Sanders - Story of Perseverance and Entrepreneurship
 
Perseverance
 
Perseverance Quotient
 
The Power of Perseverance
 
 
  
Copyright 2015 by Rockford Kingsley Ltd.