Success and failure are inevitable in life. It is easy to accept success and compliments while one finds it often difficult to admit and accept failures and to rise from one’s falls in life. Wilma Rudolf was born on 23 June 1940, in St Bethlehem, Tennessee, USA, as a sickly child. Stricken with double pneumonia, scarlet fever and polio as a child, she had problems with her left leg and had to wear a brace. Her doctors told her she would never walk in life. But her mother kept encouraging and inspiring her saying, ‘you can achieve anything with God’s grace, strong determination and persistent hard work.’ At the age of nine she told her mother that she wanted to be the fastest runner in the world. Her mother assured her that she would. With great determination and the help of physical therapy she was able to regain her health.
Wilma would practise for six to sixteen hours a day. In spite of her several initial setbacks, she overcame her disabilities. She won three gold medals in track and field events in Rome Olympics in 1960. She became the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympics. Later in life, she formed the Wilma Rudolph Foundation to promote amateur athletics. She went on to become a pioneering Afro-American track and field events champion though the road to victory was not an easy one for her. “Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday,” says Wilma Rudolph.
Shweta Dhanuka, in the cover story of this issue, explains that though we face problems such as corruption, poverty, pollution, unemployment, inequality, etc., we can make India great once again with our strong determination and hard work. She says that the treasure of our nation lies with teenagers and youth. She also presents inspiring stories of heroes who have chosen the unconventional path for the growth and development of our nation.
There is nothing to stop you from being smart and shining. Hence have a strong determination to keep growing and succeed rather than recalling your disabilities and failures in your life. God has endowed you with goodness, ideas and abilities to be successful in life. When you evaluate your performances in studies and other areas of your life even if you feel that you are an utter failure do not become disappointed and discouraged. If Wilma Rudolph, a helpless little girl, could make history, why not you? Get back on your feet and win laurels!