Thursday, May 15, 2014

Be Inspired: Student Overcomes Stutter, Gives Awesome Graduation Speech ~ By Robby Soave

As a person who stutters, I could be no more certain that in this room and in this hall are thousands of people who are far more talented at public speaking than I am,” said Mantell in his speech. “At the same time, I could be no more certain that the message I have to share is one that must be heard.

He continued: “Doubt, as has been observed, kills more dreams than failure ever will. Yet if doubt were to be a disease, its cure would be confidence...
Well, he's right, you know. Parker Mantell, a political science major at Indiana University, was able to overcome a "handicap," and was a student speaker at the recent commencement ceremony at the university. Please watch the following video, and then read what I have to say about it:

You see, there was a point in my life when I was not expected to be able to survive without assistance from family, or maybe even the state, as an adult. In today's terms, I may have even been labeled as autistic, or at the very least, ADD. I was very shy, and afraid to talk to people, as I had a speech impediment where I could not pronounce the letter "S" in my speech. I was teased, and bullied, and very small.

It wasn't until I was part way through middle school (called Junior High School in my day) that it was determined that my thyroid gland was not producing the amount of hormones I needed to grow. I was receiving the medication at that time that was needed for me to survive, but once it was discovered and they increased the dose, I began to grow. That was when I was in eighth grade. I was at the bottom of the class in physical fitness testing up until 8th grade, but by the time I was in 9th grade, I was close to the top of the class! But yet, I had to overcome the years of the mental torment that I had gone through.

I had also overheard somebody say, when I was at that young adolescent stage of my life, even though I had started doing much better in school, thanks to several math teachers I had, "he'll never go to college." Surprise! I graduated from college with close to a 3.0 grade average! In fact, I didn't do too bad once I got through my Freshman year. But even then, I still had my very frail self-image to deal with.

All of the years of the spite from my peers that targeted me in my younger years, because of my disabilities, had taken a toll on my self-esteem.  Keep in mind, bullying people was not politically incorrect 40 years ago, and the damage had been done. No kids that bullied me back in my youth were ever sent to the principals office, let alone fined or arrested. I remember a few times, in fact, where I was the one sent to the principals office for fighting back against the bullies! In fact, there were even teachers that said things to me in front of my peers that would now result in losing their jobs!

Keep in mind, the things that happened to me in my younger years happened long before the days of being sent to counseling or therapy, and being put on Ritalin. It was, however, happening in the days of having two parents and two siblings that loved me! I got over the speech impediment and being quite so much height-challenged! I think I grew about seven inches between 8th grade and 10th grade! Some of the bullies no longer had the urge to mess with me, especially when I had gone out for football in 9th grade, and wrestling in 12th grade. Despite not being a much more than a bench warmer in those sports, the kids in the 'hood soon learned that I was a terror in sandlot football games. Wow, was that fun, outrunning those that just a few years ago could run circles around me, and scoring touchdowns about anytime I touched the ball!

All these memories coming to me while I write, inspired by the above video, needed to be written about to express the point of what Parker was talking (to me) about in his commencement speech. As Parker said, "I could be no more certain that the message I have to share is one that must be heard." Is that ever the truth!  There are far more people than were mentioned in his speech, of course, that have gone through all kinds of adversities, and have made it. What I wanted people to know, and be confident of, that many people are handling various "handicaps" and still make the best of their lives. No, please don't ever call those adversities in our lives a "handicap." Handicaps are what liberals help to label as the "victim mentality." Overcoming adversities is what I call the Winner Mentality!

In the mean time, I may not have become an orator, but I have full confidence in dealing with people and writing and many other things that it takes to get through life, without any kind of assistance, like too many people had feared would happen when I was young. Sure, a medication that was adjusted did make a lot of difference as to my physical abilities, but I had to deal with the psychological issues from the mental torment that I had gone through in my younger years, on my own. And I'm not bragging about dealing with it all, but just wanting people to know that what is inside of us, like Parker Mantell's case, is really inside all of us. Just sayin'....

(My thanks to Robby Soave of The Daily Caller for bringing this video to our attention, and to Bruce Lund on Facebook, in a group called The Memers, for bringing the story to my attention!)

Be Inspired: Student Overcomes Stutter, Gives Awesome Graduation Speech
By Robby Soave

May 14, 2014 at 2:46 PM

From The Daily Caller

An Indiana University senior gave an inspiring commencement address to fellow graduating students earlier this week that was all the more impressive because of the handicap he had to overcome to deliver the speech.

~~~ READ MORE on The Daily Caller ~~~

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