I had the honor of meeting Captain Plumb when he spoke this past May at the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation meeting in Hershey. Given the many faces he sees, I'm confident that he does not remember me however, I will never forget him! Incidentally, he did not say whether or not he ever collected workers' compensation lost wages for those 2000 plus days/6 years of captivity. He may have some money coming to him?
I too am a professional speaker having done many talks as a Physical Therapist and businessman. Additionally, I have heard thousands of other speakers including: professional athletes, business motivational speakers, persons of the cloth, professional comics and entertainers. Charlie's talk touched me like no other ever had before. Since May I've been asking myself WHY? Was it the war hero element? The lost love element? The missed opportunity element? The human suffering element? Was it God's presence in that 8'x8' cell? It was all of these and much more, but it really boils down to one word and, one word only...."adversity".
As a parent, a spouse, a worker, a professor, a citizen , and human I have suffered adversity as have all humans. One can moan about it or use it as a fuel, be thankful for it and in a perverse way, even welcome it! Charlie got me one step closer to welcoming adversity. His talk was well timed as we lost our home to a fire, several relatives died within weeks of the fire and we have faced one challenge after another for a full year without interruption.
After his talk I shared a story about how I as a wrestling coach I teach youth to revere their enemy, to be grateful for a stronger warrior for without this adversary we ourselves cannot be strong warriors. I emphasis in my coaching the importance of mental toughness, self-control and using adversity as a fuel. Adversity either can build or destroy character. Adversity has no choice in the matter...we have that choice! Some understand this regrettably, most do not. Thanks to men of character like Captain Plumb many more may develop character.
Sir, you have helped me further develop my character. May God continue to bless you and your family.
- David W. Clifton
I wanted to personally thank you for your inspirational presentation at the Scios national sales meeting in Chicago last week. I am a Scios Cardiovascular Specialist for the New Orleans East territory. I was hired in May of this year and since then have worked diligently to establish meaningful relationships with the many physicians, nurses & pharmacists in the accounts in my territory. This was a tough time for my industry debut, with all the negative press and decrease Natrecor sales. Regardless, I have always been very optimistic and very passionate about this "hope in a vial" for heart failure patients. My territory did fairly well, with a promising future until August 29th when Katrina made her appearance. Need I say more - my territory was completely wiped out overnight with the exception of one hospital on the West Bank of New Orleans. My oldest daughter lost everything she had from the flooding that occurred in the Lakeview area of New Orleans, but was able to evacuate safely. As a registered nurse, I immediately assisted with the evacuation shelters here in my home town of Houma, LA. Never in my life have I witnessed such devastation and hopelessness. Several weeks of hosting families in my own home, working at the shelters, and visiting the war-like remains of my business territory, I must admit a great sense of depression had instude upon me. Just watching the TV and people talking about the events of Katrina brought uncontrollable tears to my eyes.
month to the devastional day of Katrina, Rita threatened the southwest
coast of Louisiana - not only resulting in additional flooding of East
New Orleans, but now the lower bayou regions of my home town. I thought
- "will this ever end?" Again, I was depressed by the thought of losing
my home, my job, my life as I knew it and feeling totally overwhelmed
and out of control. With great hesitation I attended the national sales
meeting in Chicago....September 29th has been the renaissance of my
life! Why? Because of you! I can no longer sit on my pitty potty. I now
choose to control my destiny. I will survive and succeed! After all, my
world is bigger than that 8X8 box you were secluded to for six years of
your life. God bless you! Thank you for sparking the light I so
- Sherry Melancon