Do Circumstances Break You—Or Make You?

Tough circumstances are no match for the kind of inner strength fueled by hope. Let me illustrate:

  • Lock him in a prison cell, beat him, and shipwreck him, and you have the apostle Paul.
  • Deafen him, and you have a Ludwig van Beethoven.
  • Cripple him, and you have a brilliant novelist and poet—Sir Walter Scott.
  • Raise him in abject poverty, and you have an Abraham Lincoln.
  • Burn him so severely that doctors say he’ll never walk again, and you have a Glenn Cunningham—the man who set the world’s one-mile record in 1934.
  • Strike him down with polio, and he becomes a Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • Call him a slow learner, label him “retarded,” and write him off as uneducable, and you have an Albert Einstein.
  • Have her born black in a society filled with racial discrimination, and you have a Rosa Parks.
  • Subject him to torture in a Japanese prison camp for over three years, and you have a Louis Zamperini.

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