“What separates the successful from the unsuccessful are the expectations that they had for their own lives” – J.D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy
It’s funny how things hit you all at once. After reading both Hillbilly Elegy and Rabbit (please read them both!), I realized more than ever that in life, expectations mean everything.
If you think you can do it, then you have a shot. And if you don’t think you can do it, you’ll never do it.
I had the great fortune recently to be able to bring my family to hear Henry Winkler give a talk at the Decatur Book Festival. I had zero idea about The Fonz’s story, so when he shared his experiences of growing up with un-diagnosed dyslexia, and the incredible burden that put on his life, I was blown away.
Like Ms. Pat, the author of Rabbit, he had one teacher that told him he could do it (even his parents called him dumb and told him he was lazy and wouldn’t amount to anything), and that was all he needed.
Be that positive influence to someone who needs an encouraging word. Tell someone who’s struggling that they can do it. You’ll never know how much of an impact your support can make.
PS – I am a big Winkler fan, not so much from Happy Days but from his brief time on Arrested Development and mainly, his character Sy on the very offbeat comedy, Children’s Hospital. I LOVE me some Children’s Hospital. When we had a chance for him to sign some of his books, I decided to tell him how much I loved him on the show. He thanked me and pulled me in close and said quietly, “You know, I never understood any of the jokes on Children’s Hospital! I just read my lines, people laughed, but I never got the jokes!”