A young boy six years old lost his sight. He was so scared. He was in total darkness. He felt lost, alone and totally abandoned. He was overwhelmed. An already dismal life now looked extremely bleak…dead ended. His mother tried to encourage and console him, but nothing she said could overcome his fear. The fear of the unknown kept him in a state of terror.
As the young boy was lying in bed one morning and refused to get up, his mother, searching for words, made a statement that he would grab on to and change his life forever. She said, “Son, you have lost your sight and nothing can change that. There are things you can’t do. But there are lots of things you can do. You have a creative mind. Find something you enjoy and stick with it, no matter what.”
To a young, poor, blind child from the south, the possibilities didn’t seem too bright. But as this young boy thought about his mother’s words, about what he really wanted to do with his life, he dreamed of becoming a recording star. So as a child, he would practice playing the piano and singing each day.
A teacher heard him practicing at school and told the young boy, “You can’t play the piano, and God knows you can’t sing. You’d better learn how to weave chairs, so you can support yourself.” That comment broke the young boy’s heart, but he remembered his mother’s words and refused to quit.
He practiced different techniques, different styles and different melodies that would fit him. He deeply wanted to become a star and remained focused on his goal. Many times after auditions, people would tell him that he would be better at something else, that he would never succeed at this. Many times the young blind boy cried himself to sleep from the rude remarks. But he would not give up.
Ultimately his perseverance paid off.
In his life, he received countless awards for his music including 12 Grammies. He performed before millions of people including presidents and heads of state. And his unique musical style has made a lasting imprint on all forms of popular music in the past 50 years. All because he kept his mother’s words in the back of his mind until the day he died. He wouldn’t listen to the negative influences in his life and refused to quit.
The next time someone tells you to forget your dream, remember this young boy who wouldn’t quit. If your dream is something that you REALLY want, don’t let anything stop you until you achieve it!
A Tribute to twelve time Grammy Winner, Ray Charles.
By Cynthia Kersey Excerpted from Unstoppable http://www.unstoppable.net/