Opinion

So, What’s Your Excuse? The Burned Runner, the Shark-Bitten Surfer, and Three Blind Eagle Scouts

Events seem to be spiraling out of control and liberals seem to be in control of every facet of society. Is there a connection? What if there is? What should we do? Give up? Give in? Can things get any worse? And what if they do? What will you do in the face of adversity? Now is not the time to quit.

When I was in grade school, I read a short story about Glenn Cunningham. It was titled “Glenn Cunningham: He Wouldn’t Quit.”

Cunningham (1877-1956) was nicknamed the “Kansas Flyer.” Cunningham’s legs were burned in an explosion that killed his older brother. The burns on Cunningham’s legs were so extensive that the doctors recommended amputation. He had lost all the flesh on his knees and shins and all the toes on his left foot. Even so, eight-year-old Glenn and his parents refused the doctors’ recommendation to amputate.

After extensive therapy sessions over a two-year period, Glenn was finally able to walk again. The boy who was told he would never walk again set two world records in the mile run and competed in the 1936 Olympics where he won a silver medal.

His favorite Bible verse was Isaiah 40:31:

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

He came close to breaking the 4-minute-mile barrier (4:04.4) before he retired in 1940. The 4-minute-mile was eventually broken by Roger Bannister in 1954.

You’ve probably heard of surfer Bethany Hamilton. “During a surf session on Halloween morning 2003, Bethany was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark, which bit off her left arm and seemed to end her career as a rising surf star. Miraculously, just one month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water and just over a year later won her first National title. . . . She wrote about her experience in the 2004 autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. In April 2011, the feature film Soul Surfer was released.”

Bethany is married and expecting her second child.

Have you heard of the three blind Eagle Scouts? It’s hard enough to become an Eagle Scout, but Leo, Nick and Steven Cantos did it while being handicapped with blindness. The following is from Fox News:

For the first time in the 107-year history of the Boy Scouts, three triplets who are blind have been named Eagle Scouts….

According to the Boy Scouts of America, these brothers reached the rank of Eagle Scout “under the same conditions as their sighted peers, with no extensions or special considerations.” In fact, only four percent of Boy Scouts are able to accomplish this feat.

These triplets are competitive as well. Despite being blind, they actually love to play video games. But on this day, it’s not video games they are playing, but it’s video that is making their world a bit clearer.

With the help of Aira smart glasses and a customer support representative, these brothers are getting a sense of what is going on all around them thanks to new amazing technology made specifically for the blind. The representative, also known as a trained agent, describes to the user of the glasses what they are seeing in real-time.

The brothers are being given a free year subscription to the software as they get ready to head off to college next year. They thought the glasses were cool as they got a chance to hear what their eyes cannot see.

The young men, abandoned by their parents, were adopted by Ollie Cantos, who is also blind. Like Mr. Cantos, the triplets were bullied as children. “There were kids who would literally put their hands right in front of my face and say, ‘How many fingers am I holding up?’” Ollie Cantos told People. “Or they would put their foot in my way while I was walking down the hallway and I would trip.’”

“They have recognized the fact, that contrary to their earlier years when they were bullied when they were told that they weren’t worth anything by other kids,” Ollie Cantos told WTOP-FM. “They now know with an absolute certainty — not only do they have inherent priceless value but so does everybody else.” (The Blaze)

Today, many young people are triggered by some of the most trivial things. A photograph of Donald Trump can send some people into a catatonic state of helplessness. Maybe even a painting of Jesus in the background of the photograph of the Cantos triplets.  The above three examples should be a lesson to everyone that hardships are not an excuse to give up on life.

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