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Power of stories

Life is uncharted territory.
It reveals its story one moment at a time.
-Leo Buscaglia

Les Brown is my personal hero. He is a motivational speaker who I saw at a really low time in my life on a PBS special. I had never heard of him before but something told me to watch those specials. Changed my life. I bought all his books (print and audio) and many of his tape/audio sets.

He tells two particularly powerful stories and still gives me goosebumps when I hear him tell them. The first is from a time when he is in school. He was mislabeled educable mentally retarded and let that label define him through most of his school time. One day he was in a classroom waiting for a friend when the teacher, Mr Washington, asked him to write something on the board. Les told him repeatedly that he couldn’t do it, but Mr Washington insisted. Finally, Less said he was educable mentally retarded.

Mr Washington came from around his desk and said “Don’t you ever say that again. Someone’s opinion of you doesn’t have to be your reality.”

The next story was how we wanted to get into radio. So he showed up every day at the radio station asking the station manager if there were any jobs. “I didn’t know. Maybe somebody got fired?” Eventually, the station manager hired as an errand boy. Les became the best errand boy he could be. He would do whatever they asked and he watched the DJs every chance he got.

Then one Saturday, a DJ was drinking on the air. Les was the only one there. The owner called him and asked him to find another DJ to finish the shift. When Les said no one was available, the owner let him run the equipment, on the condition he didn’t speak. So of course, he opened with this:

“Look out! This is me LB, triple P – Les Brown, Your Platter Playing Poppa. There were none before me and there will be none after me. Therefore, that makes me the one and only. Young and single and love to mingle. Certified, bona fide, indubitably qualified to bring you satisfaction, a whole lot of action. Look out, baby, I’m your lo-o-ove man”

Stores that debilitate me are ones where bad people hurt others and get away with it. I hate seeing people give up their power. And I really hate seeing what I call fake drama. Fake drama is when the situation is only a situation because people don’t communicate.

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