Dear Dr. Laura:
I learned from a teacher/mentor not to give up. She encouraged me to stop and review a topic or concept if I did not understand it or became frustrated because I didn’t understand. I have carried this skill throughout my entire life in making financial, family and health decisions.
I came from a large, low-income family, and being the middle child, many times, I was forgotten about. School was a place where my academic talents were rewarded. Because of my high academic ability, I was put in many “gifted” classes where assignments would sometimes require more time to complete. I had to choose whether homework or play would win my time. I learned if I completed the homework first, then the remaining time could be left for play. This lesson allowed me to participate in both activities.
Through the years, this skill has continued to be used time and again. This past December, I was diagnosed with a severe case of Bell's Palsy (a form of facial paralysis). Discouragement and depression set in. But after a few weeks of wallowing in self-pity, I told myself that I still could talk, eat, drink, see, smell and hear. I told myself no other body parts were affected and I should be thankful to God that Bell's Palsy would heal over time. I went back to work recently (a little crooked on one side of my face), but I am still me and when the frustrations of life get me down, I stop and reevaluate my circumstances and then press forward!