The next time we face a challenge in our lives, we should all remember Jake’s story. Jake was more or less the common American teenager. Like all of us, he just wanted to fit in at school. Sweet, mild-mannered and well-intentioned, he would’ve made a great friend. His autism was incidental.
We didn’t mention that Jake was autistic up front because it almost doesn’t matter. We all know that a good person is a good person. However, bullies are a reality for many teenagers, especially for those with a challenge. Jake was bullied for no other reason than he was a little different. Well one day, this brave kid decided he had had enough.
Check out his heroic moment…
The consequences of courage
Unlike the movies, Jake’s speech did not result in an immediate slow clap from the audience. They did not hoist him on his shoulders and suddenly celebrate him as the coolest kid in school. However, this brave moment in Jake’s life did change everything for the better.
After the video was shot, Jake reported that his quality of life in school had improved. He eventually joined the football team, where his teammates encouraged and supported him on and off the field. The experiences gave Jake a very mature – and accurate – perspective. Bullying may make you feel like you’re on top of the food chain, but you don’t remain there forever.
What obstacles do you face?
While bullying is a very real and serious problem, not all of us have experienced it in our own personal lives. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t faced formidable challenges. You don’t have to get picked on to know what it’s like to feel helpless and even shut out. Let Jake’s story inspire you. Maybe you’re going through a trying time with a loved one, facing a tough new role at work, afraid to ask someone out, or even trying to conquer a physical test, such as running a marathon. The challenge may feel insurmountable, success out of reach. But as that high school junior demonstrated, we can’t let fear control our lives.
Try setting goals, even if they seem difficult. Jake decided that he would address his bullies in a particular time and place: gym class. What specific actions can you take to move you one step closer to success?
Do you have a support network?
It’s important to always have a support network when overcoming an obstacle. Don’t get us wrong. Success is ultimately determined by you and you alone. Self-reliance is key. But using friends and family for support is essential as well. They can prop you up when you feel like the odds are completely stacked against you.
And of course, you should return the favor when they are in need, or simply let them know that you appreciate them. The one thing many of us forget to do is simply tell our friends, family and significant others, “thanks.” But for the right person, you can show you care with one of Charm America’s gold charms for necklaces. Or perhaps a sterling silver pendant is more appropriate. Jewelry can go a long way to acknowledging how much you appreciate someone’s support, and in turn, encourages them to conquer their particular obstacle.