I always tell teachers, volunteers, and friends that a child’s current predicament should never be a gauge for what they will be in the future. I have seen a number of children being told that “they will never amount to anything in the future because they are poor, disfigured, or not loved”. It hurts me when people talk to children that way.
In order to prove the point, I have come up with a list of popular individuals who are very successful in their field but were once faced childhood adversities. Let’s see how many of them you can recognize.
- Jim Carrey – I guess it is safe to say that people who grew up in the 90’s recognize ol’Ace Ventura Pet Detective. Jim Carrey is a very well known comedian who made people laugh day in and day out. But when he 12, he had to suffer through his parent’s unemployment and subsequent bad luck. They became homeless after a while and he had to go and perform comedy acts in local comedy clubs at age 16 to help out his parents.
- Leighton Meester – Talk about family affair, Leighton Meester was born into a very questionable family. Her mother gave birth to her in prison after she was caught trying to smuggle 1,200 pounds of marijuana from Jamaica to the United States. That’s half a ton of weed. Leighton’s father and sister were also arrested right after. Her sister, Judy, escaped prison and become the first woman to ever be included in the United States Marshal’s 15 Most Wanted List. Good thing our girl Leighton is just guilty in Gossip Girl and nothing else.
- 50 Cent – Now, we all have this stereotypical rap icon kind of life. Growing up poor in the projects, joining gangs and getting into street fights – this was the life Curtis James Jackson III grew up in. Except her mother was considered the most feared drug dealer in Queens. He followed in his mother’s footsteps by 12 years old and was nearly killed at age 19 when a drive-by shot him 9 times.
How about that? These people had been poor, abused, or been in bad company but they turned out fine. That’s what I always tell my kids. That no matter what they are going through, there will always be a silver lining. You just need to know where to look.