They Beat the Odds
Sometimes life just doesn’t seem to be fair.
We start off as little children with big dreams of what we’re going to be when we grow up, all the things we’re going to own and all the places we’re going to go.
At the time, a lot of our dreams are unreasonable but we’re too young to know it so just keep dreaming.
Then we grow up more and somewhere along the line we realize our limitations and our dreams become more realistic.
But then, especially if we’re aiming to be good people and do good things for others, hindrances and lessons from the school of hard knocks come along. We get the props knocked out from under us.
Sometimes it’s circumstances beyond our control and sometimes it’s we ourselves getting in the way. Maybe bad decisions and wrong choices cause us to give up hope, give up trying.
Recently I interviewed Ponchatoula’s successful businessman Larry Terry and was surprised to hear how young he was when he figured out what it would take to realize his dream.
Usually when I ask high school students in sports what their plans are, I’m given a simple answer: “I’m going to play for the NFL.” Studying only enough to stay on the high school football team and I feel like crying. They don’t have a chance.
But listen to the difference at what Larry Terry told me:
“I knew as a little boy I wanted to play for the NBA and to accomplish that, there were certain things I had to do. So I set my goals.”
(I couldn’t help but think at the age he was describing, I didn’t even know there wasan NBA!)
He continued, “I knew I’d have to study and make good grades, stay out of trouble, and live with a basketball in my hands.”
And that’s just what he did, making the honor roll all through school and college, breaking records in sports because he practiced any time he wasn’t studying, staying out of trouble by placing himself out of its reach.
At the age of only 21 when he graduated from college, he was sought by the NBA and began his long-dreamed of career in professional basketball, first for big name teams in the United States then for another ten years on national teams of other countries around the world until he retired.
. Terry is a real success story.
But what about others who’ve come along at different times, faced with different family situations, physical and emotional difficulties, racial prejudices, learning disabilities? Times when hindrances were more common than help.
Well, the Ponchatoula Library, 380 North Fifth Street, is inviting you to come hear four panel members share their stories of how they overcame their seemingly impossible situations to finally realize their dreams.
So, on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at 6:00 p.m., come take new heart and new encouragement and bring along your young people who feel like giving up.
From 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., come listen to Eddie Ponds, Ella Badon, Sandra Bailey-Simmons and Kathryn Martin and learn how “They Beat the Odds!”
By Kathryn Martin