Archive for March, 2012

Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew: prime minister of Singapore for over 30 years.

Born September 16, 1923

I was a product of the times, the war, the occupation, the reoccupation, my 4 years in Britain, admiring but at the same time questioning whether they are able to do a better job than we can.

Lee Kuan Yew used his place in the world to change the face of it.

In a different world we need to find a niche for ourselves, little corners where in spite of our small size we can perform a role which will be useful to the world. To do that, you will need people at the top, decision-makers who have got foresight, good minds, who are open to ideas, who can seize opportunities like we did… My job really was to find my successors. I found them, they are there; their job is to find their successors. So there must be this continuous renewal of talented, dedicated, honest, able people who will do things not for themselves but for their people and for their country. If they can do that, they will carry on for another one generation and so it goes on. The moment that breaks, it’s gone.

His determination has inspired many.

Even from my sick bed, even if you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel something is going wrong, I will get up.

Patrick Dempsey

Patrick Dempsey: American TV and movie star.

Born:  January 30, 1966

No one would have predicted that young Patrick Dempsey would one day be an international heartthrob.

My friends called me ‘Amoeba’ until junior high. I didn’t really start growing until I left high            school.

When Dempsey started acting, he went into auditions thinking about more than how his hair looked or if he was tall enough for the role.  After having struggled in school throughout his life, Dempsey also wondered if he would be able to read the script.  He sympathizes with those who have been challenged by a learning disability.

Dyslexia really hurt me during auditions. There was a 10-year period where I had to memorize pages of dialogue and invest so much of my time and energy into every audition, going in knowing I wouldn’t get it anyway.

Though initially discouraged, the rugged handsome actor who plays Dr. Shepherd on the blockbuster TV hit Grey’s Anatomy persevered and now enjoys the benefits of working with a close cast who have his back.

Shonda Rhimes, creator of Gray’s Anatomy, remembers when they first started working together.

I actually thought that he didn’t like the scripts from the way he approached the readings.  When I found out, I completely understood his hesitation. Now that we all know, if he is struggling with a word, the other actors are quick to step up and help him out. Everyone is very respectful.

Dan O’Brien

Dan O’Brien: Olympic decathlete.

Born: July 18, 1966

I call myself a chameleon.

As a child, all Dan O’Brien thought about was fitting in.  However, he now praises his parents for helping get past his mistakes in the classroom to focus on his strengths in sports.

As a young child, I was never a crier. I never cried to get my way, or even when I was in pain.

I think what my parents did was perfect. They were strict, concerned about my safety and held me back just a little.

As a young athlete, it was first about having fun; then it was about winning.

Today he strives to get other youngsters interested in sports and fitness.

Helping Crayola inspire families to get outside and get creative is what this record is all about.  I took the Outdoor Challenge because I care about kids and I want to see them lead healthy and happy lives.

He reminds all of us of a few keys to success in any arena of life.

The only way to overcome is to hang in.

If you never give up, you’ll be successful.

Take pride in exactly what it is you do and remember it’s okay to fail as long as you don’t give up.

Patricia Palacco

Patricia Palacco: children’s author and illustrator.

Born: July 11, 1944

The author of more than 40 books for children, Patricia Palacco has successfully turned the pain of being misunderstood into the joy of helping others.

I thought I was dumb. I didn’t like school because there was this boy that always teased me and made me feel even dumber. When I was fourteen, it was learned that I have a learning disability. It is called dyslexia. I felt trapped in a body that wouldn’t do what everybody else could do. That was when one of my hero’s, my teacher, found what was wrong with me and got me the help I needed to succeed in school.

Incidentally, that “hero” and the story of how he helped her is the subject of one of Palacco’s most popular books, Thank You, Mr. Falker. In fact, she wrote the book as a tribute to him and to encourage others to thank the teachers that have shaped their lives.

Of course, now that I am an adult, I realize that being learning disabled does not mean dumb at all! As a matter of fact, I have learned that being learning disabled only means that I cannot learn the way most of you do. As a matter of fact most learning disabled children are actually geniuses! Once I learned how to read and caught up with the rest of my fellow students, I did very well.

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