Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Defying Gravity

Vanessa Soper, the Director of Volunteer Services at Community Partners of Dallas, gave me a book to read during my recovery last month. 
I almost never read anything other than fiction (don’t get me started on Cleopatra – ugh), unless it is work related, so when Vanessa handed the book to me, I wasn’t exactly thrilled.  A non-fiction book about a football player is just not my kind of stuff. 
Well, thank God for Vanessa, because I read it over the last couple of days and I want to recommend it to you.
The book is by Michael Oher with Don Yaeger.  Michael is an offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens and is also the young man depicted in the movie, The Blind Side.  The book is called I Beat the Odds.  It is the story of Michael’s life and it is truly inspirational.  His journey through childhood with a mother on drugs, his firsthand account of the CPS system, and his ultimate triumph of living his dream of being a professional football player, makes for a great read.  Here is just one tidbit from the book:
Martin Luther King, Jr., had a dream, and so does every kid in foster care.  Our dreams might not be as big as his were, but they are just as important.  Having some kind of goal is absolutely essential for kids trapped in poverty and bad family situations, because if we can’t hope that things might be better someday, then we basically lose a reason to live.  It’s a lot easier to fall down, or stay where you are, than it is to fight gravity by trying to pull yourself up. 
Having a dream can be the first and most important step in making it out of the system.
Isn’t that great?  I want to thank our donors and volunteers for helping CPD to inspire dreams – and for helping kids to defy gravity.
P.S.  Note the little Broadway reference.  I've gotta be me.  Oops, another one.  I gotta quit.

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