Yesterday, my sister, Candra, and I completed a 60-piece jigsaw puzzle. We started the puzzle at seven o’clock in the evening and set a goal to complete the Jurassic-themed puzzle by 8 pm. Working on puzzles is one of Candra’s favorite things to do. Unfortunately, Cerebral Palsy, which affects Candra’s hands, arms, and motor skills, makes the task difficult. So, what does Candra do? She works harder to still enjoy what she loves. And together, we did the darn thing!!! We finished the puzzle in the nick of time (7:59).
In celebration of Candra’s victory and Presidents’ Day, I wish to highlight how physical differences need not stop us from accomplishing great things!
First, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) contracted polio, a paralytic illness, in 1921. He often needed help standing and walking. Nevertheless, he became the 32nd president of the United States.
President Roosevelt is quoted as saying, “Happiness if not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”
President Roosevelt at Warm Springs, Georgia, the rehabilitation center that he made available to any polio victim in the country. In 1938 he started the March of Dimes, a charity that supported Warm Springs, and ultimately paid for the research that defeated polio with vaccines. Image and information from https://www.therooseveltdoctor.com/fdr-in-pictures/
Fun fact: FDR’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, is an honorary member of my sorority—Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She was inducted into the sorority in 1949.
Lastly, the 44th president of the United States is Barack Hussein Obama. He is the first African-American to hold the highest office in the country.
During his first presidential campaign, President Obama famously espoused, “Yes, we can.” He also shared empowering words like, “The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.”
To America’s future presidents, I implore you to never be dissuaded by your differences or so-called disabilities. Instead, keep God first, strive to do your best in partnership with others, and enjoy the thrill of each victory along the way.
Happy Presidents’ Day and remember, Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”