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An inspirational empowering story about turning negatives into positives
How would you react if someone said to you â€œYouâ€™re a nothing. Youâ€™ll always be a nothing?â€ Tell them to go jump probably. And thatâ€™s the polite version. Â
Not a very empowering comment is it?
At age 15, an impressionable time in any oneâ€™s life, I attended a rough and tumble
To save embarrassment letâ€™s call him Mr Smitherton.Â He might still be alive.
No one ever spoke in Smithyâ€™s class unless spoken to first by him.Â He ran that class with an iron fist.
One day during the middle of a lesson I committed the most heinous crime.Â I whispered something to my adjacent class mate. Good if you get away with it.Â I didnâ€™t.
â€œYou.Â Stand up.Â Whatâ€™s your name?â€
â€œPeter Cahill Mr Smithertonâ€
â€œWho do you think you are?â€Â
A difficult question to answer at the best of times.Â As a shy 15 year old, impossible. So I didnâ€™t.Â In front of 40 other boys my face just went tomato red.
â€œYouâ€˜re a nothing.Â Youâ€™ll always be a nothingâ€
With escalated volume â€œNow sit downâ€
Well that was a humbling experience.Â Or should I say humiliating?
I just pushed that out of my mind until the next day.Â
One of the toughest guys in school came up to me in the yard.Â And it was a tough school to begin with.
â€œHey Cahilly, I spoke to my mum about what Smithy said to you yesterday.Â About you being a nothing.Â What he said was terrible.Â My mum reckons it was a shocking thing to say and that no one should ever say that to anyone.Â And I agree so donâ€™t worry about it.Â Donâ€™t take any notice of it.â€
I was surprised.Â â€œThanks mateâ€
To be the recipient of such compassion from a super tough guy like him was a bewildering experience on its own.Â I saw his street fighting skills on a few occasions.Â They were exemplary. Â Anyone stupid enough to be his opponent was taking a huge risk.Â Iâ€™d rather be a novice lion tamer.Â At least with a chair and whip, survival might be an option.Â Â Â
His comment impacted me on two levels.Â His compassion and support for me was one.Â The severity of Smithyâ€™s disempowering comment was the other.
I didnâ€™t realise it until many years later but subconsciously, self empowerment and empowering others became a crucial part of my life from then on.Â Nowadays, if I see or hear people being disempowered I react quickly and assertively in their defence. Â
If I see or hear people disempowering themselves with their own words or their own behaviour, I have this uncontrollable urge to say so.
I donâ€™t get it.Â What right does anyone have to disempower another human being? Â And why would we disempower ourselves?Â Yet most of us do it blissfully unaware weâ€™re doing it.
For me, Smithy and tough guys were a good combination.Â Good for the world too.Â EliminateSmallBusiness.com – a Global Empowerment Initiative â€" is one of its positive outcomes.
PETER J CAHILL
Â© Copyright 2009
Peter J CahillÂ is theÂ founder of a Global Empowerment Initiative – Eliminate Small Business.Â His new book â€œEliminate Small Business & Grow Rich â€" A Simple Powerful Wealth Creation Guide for Entrepreneursâ€ will be released soon.Â Go to http://www.EliminateSmallBusiness.com
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