A STUTTER TESTS CHARACTER

by michael on January 20, 2011

I just read a post on Powerline (www.powerlineblog.com) posted only a few hours earlier titled The Man Who Would Be King. The post was about the movie “The King’s Speech.” I have not seen the movie. My wife and daughter, Annie, have and thought it marvelous.

Scott Johnson, the author of the statement, disclosed that he had a stutter as a child and “that watching “The King’s Speech” over the holidays brought back some painful memories.”

Scott writes: “The “King’s Speech” is a wonderful movie, the kind that just about the whole family can enjoy together without embarrassment and that audiences spontaneously applaud when the credits start rolling (as the one we were in did).

“The film portrays the relationship between the man who became King George VI and the teacher who helped him overcome his stutter. Colin Firth gives a powerful performance as the king. We suffer with him as he tries to speak and admire the sense of duty that drives him to overcome his impediment.”

The movie goes beyond an analysis of disabilities and addresses the issue of character and all of character’s related qualities: tenacity, discipline, purpose, will and so forth.

The Powerline article continues with a quote from an interview of actor Colin Firth by David Mermelstein in the Wall Street Journal. Here is the money quote from the WSJ article:

“There’s something very striking about seeing someone summon enormous courage to do what the rest of us do everyday and take for granted,” Mr. Firth said. “The film is not a study of disability, but rather of how someone negotiates a disability. You discover a person or a character by how they handle obstacles. Do they fight or flee? Are they cool-headed or hysterical? Violent? Dignified? Seeing how people manage things, this is what drama is made of.”

It is coincidental that I read the Powerline statement today, because yesterday I wrote about Dick Cabela’s transcendent battle over polio.

I think about statements made by athletic coaches, among others. I think it was Vince Lombardi, (I could be wrong about the source) legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, who said, in essence, “Adversity doesn’t test character as much as it reveals character.”

For me, these are uplifting thoughts for starting my day.
More later

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Jay Schein January 21, 2011 at 12:09 am

My dear friend Richard Oppenheim inadvertently led me to your website when he copied me on an email he had sent by my referral. I am a Chaplain/author and, like so many, a prodyct of childhood difficulties. Overcoming those difficulties indeed built character, and although suffering at an early age is not my preferred methodology of a learning process, it tends to take-hold for a lifetime. Thanks for the reminder. I would love to hear about your book.

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