“The boy who is going to make a great man must not make up his mind merely to overcome a thousand obstacles, but to win in spite of a thousand repulses and defeats.” – Theodore Roosevelt
What were you doing when you were 12 years old? I was a 7th grader. I played sports. I was in various school clubs. I hung out with my buddies. I can assure you I wasn’t hosting speaking events or starting my own foundation. Jaylen Arnold has done exactly that, and all while battling Tourette’s, OCD and Asperger’s.
As a younger kid, Jaylen was picked on a lot for his vocal tics, a symptom of his Tourette’s syndrome. He switched schools to be in a more understanding environment. And then he set out to help other kids who were victims of bullying. Yeah, I had a hard enough time doing my homework on time. I can’t imagine accomplishing what this young man has and at such a young age.
The things Jaylen has shown us are many: one, the human spirit is unconquerable. Despite amazing odds and tremendous adversity, he overcame. Two, even though he certainly could have pitied himself and looked out for number one, he chose to take his trials and turn them into positives for others. Three, though the obstacles may be high and the deck sacked against us, it is entirely possible to do great things.
I wish I had half the courage as this young man, and he’s roughy half my age. Jaylen is a shining example of what we are all be capable of.
Have an awesome Tuesday,
’12-year-old boy with Tourette Syndrome becomes motivational speaker and anti-bullying activist’