Motivational speaker Alvin Law gave his laws of life to Riverside High School and Cloud Peak Middle School students Tuesday.
In the early 1960s pregnant women world wide were giving thalidomide to help them with morning sickness. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, more than 10,000 children in 46 countries were born with deformities from their mothers taking it. Alvin Law is one of these babies.
Born in Canada in 1960 to a poor farming family, he was given up for adoption by his birth parents whose doctors encouraged them to do so. Back then these babies were considered freaks. Many were institutionalized.
Law’s foster parents took in neglected and abused children. He was the most hopeless case they had seen but they took him in anyway, he told the students.
One day his foster mother found him holding his favorite teddy bear up in the air with two toes. She then put his toys in front of him on the floor and watched him play with them with his feet. When a reporter came to the house to do a story on Law he asked her, “how did you teach him to use his feet like that?” She told him, “I didn’t teach him, he taught himself.”
Law said he learned to do everything with his feet including brush his hair, drive a car, eat, play a piano, play the drums and even hold his son.
Law challenged the students about their lives and the difficulties they face. “You think you’ve had it bad. Try having no arms and being ugly.”
He went on to share with them the bullying he endured from kids and sometimes adults. While he used humor to tell his story, the pain that he experienced was real.
Students appeared mesmerized during the hour-plus presentation. Afterward many students flocked to Law to thank him.
Alvin’s Laws of Life
A. Attitude is more than just being positive … it’s a way of looking at life, ours and everybody’s. It is said to be everything because it is everything. It defines who we are and what we become!
L. Learning is the greatest gift we give ourselves. It can transform us from nobody to somebody and is the great equalizer. To not learn as much as we can is to disrespect the gift of life. In learning, we must also ask questions. That’s good because people need to listen more and talk less. There is knowledge all around us… we just have to listen for the answer. To listen is to learn and to learn is to grow.
V. Value your life and spirit. Too many people live another “V,” that of victim. It’s true, bad things happen to good people and there are victims. The trouble is there’s no answer to the question, “why me?” Even worse, victims often get stuck in their past when what they need is to live for today and move toward the future. When you focus on moving forward, you never know what you’ll discover. Everyone has value …finding it, that’s the trick.
I. Imagination is the key that unlocks the power of potential. It is not owned by the young but they are best at using it. It defines the difference between obstacles and possibilities! Imagination leads to dreams and dreams make life worth living. Dreams can come true … This I know.
N. Never give up. Easy to say, hard to do. The biggest enemy we will ever have we encounter every time we look in a mirror. Yet mirrors do not reflect who we truly are…our lives do.