The Power Of Determination

The little country schoolhouse was heated by an old-fashioned, pot-bellied stove. A little  boy had the job of coming to school early each day to start the fire and warm the room  before his teacher and his classmates arrived.

One morning they arrived to find the schoolhouse engulfed in flames. They dragged the  unconscious little boy out of the flaming building more dead than alive. He had major burns  over the lower half of his body and was taken to the nearby county hospital.

From his bed the dreadfully burned, semi-conscious little boy faintly heart the doctor  talking to his mother. The doctor told his mother that her son would surely die - which was  for the best, really - for the terrible fire had devastated the lower half of his body.

But the brave boy didn't want to die. He made up his mind that he would survive.  Somehow, to the amazement of the physician, he did survive. When the mortal danger was  past, he again heard the doctor and his mother speaking quietly. The mother was told that  since the fire had destroyed so much flesh in the lower part of his body, it would almost be  better if he had died, since he was doomed to be a lifetime cripple with no use at all of his  lower limbs.

 Once more the brave boy made up his mind. He would not be a cripple. He would walk.  But unfortunately from the waist down, he had no motor ability. His thin legs just dangled  there, all but lifeless.

Ultimately he was released from the hospital. Every day his mother would massage his little  legs, but there was no feeling, no control, nothing. Yet his determination that he would walk  was as strong as ever.

When he wasn't in bed, he was confined to a wheelchair. One sunny day his mother  wheeled him out into the yard to get some fresh air. This day, instead of sitting there, he  threw himself from the chair. He pulled himself across the grass, dragging his legs behind  him.

He worked his way to the white picket fence bordering their lot. With great effort, he  raised himself up on the fence. Then, stake by stake, he began dragging himself along the  fence, resolved that he would walk. He started to do this every day until he wore a smooth  path all around the yard beside the fence. There was nothing he wanted more than to  develop life in those legs.

Ultimately through his daily massages, his iron persistence and his resolute determination,  he did develop the ability to stand up, then to walk haltingly, then to walk by himself - and  then - to run.

He began to walk to school, then to run to school, to run for the sheer joy of running. Later  in college he made the track team.

Still later in Madison Square Garden this young man who was not expected to survive,  who would surely never walk, who could never hope to run - this determined young man,  Dr. Glenn Cunningham, ran the world's fastest mile!

 By Burt Dubin from Chicken Soup for the Soul Copyright 1993 by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

I am determined that no matter what the cost, no matter how many falls and betrayals and foolish bureaucrats-- together we will remove the use of dangerous poisons from this country and then the world!  Le' Chayim!  Steve.

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