Being Able in Adversity

“Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” — William Arthur Ward

I learned a number of life lessons when coming into my fraternity. One of those that has stuck with me is that no one is any less or any more of a person than I am. The first part, “any less,” has allowed me to approach every relationship with a predetermined level of respect. But just as important is what follows “any less.”

Being that no one is any more of a person than I am lets me know that I am truly able to accomplish anything. I might not be the biggest fellow but I am sure that, if I had put my mind to it from my days of high school football, I would have been able to make it to the NFL. Do you want to know how I know that? Because there is a guy a bit smaller than me (I’m 5’9″, 171) named “Beasley” on the Dallas Cowboys. He didn’t get there because of his talent alone. I know for a fact that, at that size, he worked and worked and worked and now he is realizing his dream. His size not only was a major barrier; it still is. And he is succeeding because, through the adversity, he is playing for a team in the National Football Team.

What makes Martin Luther King better or more successful than me? John Maxwell? Abraham Lincoln? Oprah? Diddy? Eric Thomas? None of these people, who I look up to in one way or another, are any more of a human than I. They have all been through trying times. And, through it all, they still came out and changed the world. They used that adversity to make them stronger. Thank God I’m not a survivor of sexual abuse, but you know what? Oprah is. Not to assume that that is what drives her but I will point out that she survived it and is now one of the most successful people in the public eye. Eric Thomas was homeless and a high school dropout. He turned his life around and now can command $10,000-$15,000 per hour to speak. Abraham Lincoln received death threats on a daily basis and he still kept pushing to keep this nation together. And you know what? He did it. They all did it. In the face of challenges, they did what they set out to do and then some. Will you? Yes. You owe it to yourself to be great.

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