The following excerpt is from an article published on April 28, 2021 by USA Today. You can read the full article by clicking here.
I’ll never forget the last days I spent with my biological father. When I was a toddler, his mental health declined significantly, and the delusions and mania that are hallmarks of his illness led him to harm those he loved most. The day after he was taken into custody after a night of abuse, my mother sat down with my brother and me for a talk.
“You aren’t always dealt the best hand,” she said, “but you never give up and fold. You keep playing to the best of your ability. You work harder than you think is possible. And you have faith that the next hand will be better than the last.”
My stepfather made the same point years later when he told me about his experience growing up dirt-poor in rural Indiana. His dad was in jail, his mom deserted him and his sister got pregnant at 15. He was lucky enough to have another family take him in and share the values that helped him succeed: education, faith and grit. Like my mother, he helped me see that everyone is capable of charting a better path.