Saturday, September 5, 2009 12:32:22 AM
I have mentioned in prior posts here that our family was impoverished in my childhood, because our father chose to follow the noble path of his father as a conservationist and game warden. This path however, was not pursued by my brother and me, although we carry on the tradition in other ways. He became a scientist, while I became a sometime businessman and electrical engineer.
I came across an old and grainy photo of my first year primary school class in 1946. I was six years old when it was taken. Here it is for your amusement:
Even as a youngster, I had an attitude: I am the brat in the second row (second from left) with my hand on my hip, a chip on my shoulder, and a defiant expression on my face.
Well, the military changed all that for me and I was challenged to excel. I accepted the challenge and applied myself with a vengeance. I have been a millionaire twice in my life, and my younger brother became a millionaire many times over (most of which he has given to charity and environmental causes over the years).
Had I not been challenged, and guided by wise mentors who saw my potential, I probably would have become a drifter or worse. As it is, I am proud of the fact that I developed this in 1972. It is one of the first of its kind:
The reason that I am revealing all of this for the first time in this blog is that there are many children out there who are gifted and impoverished, and who may drift away into the future unless they get the motivation and guidance to achieve their potential. It is especially important in these troubled times.
This is not just the task of educators. It is the task of all of us. Our immediate future on Planet Earth depends on applying the best of humanity to solving our pressing problems. If you know of such a child, it is your duty as a human being to offer a helping hand. And, if you are such a youngster yourself, please take my advice:
You can accomplish anything your set your mind to do. It (not-so-simply) requires commitment to your dream and the self-discipline to get there. Set aside all of the distractions and wastes of time in modern life and apply yourself diligently to your goal. The good news is that it gets easier once this behavior becomes a habit.