In Others’ Words: Challenges

“When people keep telling you

that you can’t do a thing, you kind of like to try it.”

~Margaret Chase Smith, former Republican senator for Maine

I admire people who take the word “can’t” and turn it into a great big “Oh yes, I can!”

Like Helen Keller.

Or Erik Weihenmayer.

You probably recognize Helen Keller’s name and know she’s the first deaf-blind woman to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, who then went on to become an international speaker and author.

Erik Weihenmayer? He’s the first blind man to summit Mount Everest (on May 21, 2001).

Helen was born deaf and blind. Erik was born with a disease that led to total blindness when he was 13 years old. And yet, in spite of their physical inability to see, these two people had a-ma-zing vision.

Vision that helped them see far beyond all the “can’ts” they were told.

In Your Words: Tell me about a “No, you can’t” that you turned it into a beautiful, liberating, a-ma-zing, “Oh yes, I can!” I’d love to hear your story.

 

Photo by ademkader/stockxchng.com
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8 Comments

  1. November 11, 2011, 5:41 am   /  Reply

    I’ve read Erik’s book–wonderful. And I grew up in the WA town where we had both the state school for the deaf and blind–inspiring lives. So glad you champion people who embrace challenge. Having a slight boost or word of cheer often gives them the extra oomph to make it.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 11, 2011, 1:17 pm   /  Reply

      I don’t just champion people who embrace challenge, Dee.
      They are my champions. I admire their bravery.

  2. Melissa
    November 11, 2011, 5:42 am   /  Reply

    I never thought I would be able tell the man that abused me, that I forgave him, not to his face. I had forgiven him in my heart but to sit down with him and look him in the eye was a different story. I read books that encouraged me to but I said, “I will never be able to do that.” But God said, “I will help you do that.” So I did. It was one of the most stressful things I have ever done because I didn’t know how he would react. Would he deny it? Yet, I knew I God was commanding me to forgive. In August, thrity years after the abuse, I told my abuser I forgave him. He began weeping and told me he was so sorry. I can truly say I am living in the a-ma-zing freedom only God can provide.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 11, 2011, 1:18 pm   /  Reply

      Melissa,
      You truly walked through an obstacle many do not — and you walked through it as God directed.
      Brava!

  3. November 11, 2011, 6:13 am   /  Reply

    I worked at a ropes course one summer during college. No one exactly said I couldn’t, but I think I doubted that I could. Glad I took that on.
    ~ Wendy

    • Beth Vogt
      November 11, 2011, 1:18 pm   /  Reply

      A ropes course.
      Uh-huh.
      Whoa.
      One day … yeah, I’d like to try that.
      And now I put it out in writing.
      Yikes!

  4. November 11, 2011, 6:53 am   /  Reply

    “Really, you want to write?” followed by a twitter of laughter.
    “This is…uh, you use big words. Nobody will want to read this…”
    Both inspired me to keep writing. The first, so I could show up those twitterers, the second inspired me to find one or two-syllable words that said the same thing as the bigger word. And I’m still at it, many years later. Some success, a lot of failures, but satisfied that I’m doing what I was meant to do. Write.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 11, 2011, 1:19 pm   /  Reply

      So, so proud of you, Pat. The obstacle of laughter — huge.
      The obstacle of doubt — also huge.
      And you are a talented writer.
      I know one day I will be holding your book in my hands — and telling others about it!

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