Jim Stovall is an influential speaker and author and despite being blind he became an Olympic weight lifting champion and an Emmy award winner. In a lecture on ‘the Mastery TV’ he tells the story about the person who has influenced him most:

When I was 17 years old I was asked to do some physical exams for the college I was about to apply to. I did some routine eye test and then I found myself in front of 3 doctors who told me: “Jim, someday you are going to be totally blind, and there isn’t anything we can do about it.” My whole world stopped! I didn’t know what I was going to do, so I just went into my famous denial phase and I just went on to college.

Near my college there was a school for blind children. I don’t know what my motives were, perhaps I was trying to make a deal with god, but I went there and met with the principal. I told him that I have no background working with blind kids but I’d like to teach here. He said that if I’m serious about it there is one kid I can kind of work with, one-on-one. He told me that Christopher is 4 years old, totally blind, lots of other physical problems, and they had determined that he was never going to learn or advance anymore than he already had. “Just keep him quiet and away from the other kids,” they said.

(Don’t you ever forget – said Jim to his audiences – that we always live up to the expectations we have for ourselves or those that we allow others to place upon us.)

They gave me a brief training – “you must keep his shoes tied so that he will not trip over his shoe-laces and keep him away from stairs. Other than that we don’t care what you do with him.”

When I first met Christopher I said to him: “Young man, before I leave here, no matter how many days or years it will take, you are at the very least going to learn how to tie you shoes and climb the stairs.” And he said: “No, I can’t.”
And I said: “Yes, you can.”
“No I can’t.” He said. And it went on and on, “yes you can”, “no, I can’t”, just as expected from a stubborn 4-year- old child.

I started my studies in the university and every afternoon I spent time with Christopher.  And at one point my vision had deteriorated so that I couldn’t get around or read on my own anymore. I had not known what I know now, so I was prepared to do the only thing I did knew to do … which was to quit! I had a PhD in quitting. I went over to the school for the blind, met the principal and told him that I have to drop out of college, and that I can’t come there anymore, and this would be my last day. I didn’t realize that Chris had been dropped off early that day and was standing outside the door and listened to the conversation. So as I went out to tell him goodbye, that I love him and that I can’t continue. Chris turned to me and said: “Yes, you can.”
Then I said: “No, I can’t.” He said: “Yes, you can.”

As I was preparing to explain to this poor and ignorant 4-year-old child how this is somehow different, this was not like learning how to tie your shoes, this is like going to a major university – it hit me like a ton of bricks. ‘Stovall, either get up and do something with your life or quit lying to this kid. Because if it works for tying shoes and for climbing stairs it works for finishing college, as well.

Three years later I graduated from the university with honors and with two degrees. That same week I had the privilege of my life to see the last thing I really remember seeing before I lost my sight completely – I saw Christopher, 7 years old, climbing 3 flights of stairs, turning to sit on the top stair and tie both of his shoes.

So that is the person that impacted my life the most. It was a child that entered my life for 3 years in order to teach me the wisdom – that no matter what the dream inside of you is, the answer is ‘yes, you can’, because the dream would not have been put inside of you if you didn’t have the capacity to achieve it.

About six week after this miraculous day Chris died of a brain tumor. This was the condition that had caused him to lose his sight in the first place.  And I, in my lectures, tell his story and by this I bring about his contribution to the world.
(Jim Stovall, Masrety T.V. In the Blog there is a link to the lecture)

I know that such stories may sound exceptional and that are many unrealized dreams out there, but still there is something unique in the stubborn wisdom of the little child that affected me the same way it affected Jim Stovall….

Fireworks (52)
Shuka, Thursday, April 08, 2010


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