You need a ladder in life

I thought to share a beautiful story of my all-time favorite legend Jesse Owens, the son of a slave, achieved what no Olympian before him had accomplished. His stunning achievement of four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin has made him the best remembered athlete in Olympic history.

I read about Jesse when i was in Class 8th and he continues to stay with me ever since. He was the black American athlete who won three Olympic gold medals and created a record at the Munich games. Jesse was born with scrawny legs – they were lean, weak and bony. But one day, the man who was known as the fastest runner in the world, Charlie Paddock, came to his school. Addressing the boys, Paddock said, “You can be what you want to be in life. Decide what you want to be, then go to God and ask Him to help you become what you want to be.”

These words penetrated young Jesse’s consciousness. After the lecture, he went up on the dais to meet Charlie Paddock and said to him, “Will you shake hands with me?” Paddock smiled and shook hands with him and Jesse felt as if an electric current passed through his entire body. He went out to the playground and started jumping. He kept on jumping, and in this upbeat mood, he met the sports coach and said to him, “I have a dream! I have a dream!” The coach asked him, “My boy, what is your dream?” Jesse Owen, the boy with the scrawny legs, replied, “I want to be the fastest man alive — like Charlie Paddock!”

The coach patted the boy on the shoulder and said to him, “It is good to have a dream, but you must build a ladder to reach the dream!”

What is the ladder that one must build to reach one’s dream? This ladder is made up of four rungs —the four rungs are determination, dedication, discipline and a positive attitude.

Jesse Owen built this ladder, and the dream he cherished came true one day. Jesse entered the Olympic Games. He ran the 100 metres and won gold; he ran 400 metres and won gold; as for high jump, he not only won gold, but created an Olympic record that remained unbeaten for several years to come!

Just imagine — a weak boy with scrawny legs set a goal for himself, and achieved it! And yet we complain, “I don’t have the strength … I don’t have the resources … I don’t have the influence to achieve what I want…”