underdog 2 upperdog


“You cannot tailor make your situation in life, but you can tailor make your attitudes to fit those situations.” ~ Zig Ziglar

“Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.” ~ Zig Ziglar


Many parents want to raise fully empowered kids.  Unfortunately, today there seems to be an epidemic of teen suicide, the last resort of extreme powerlessness.  Our hearts are breaking and we want to make it stop.  How do we empower the underdog?               

Earlier this month 11-year-old Kierra “Kiki” Walker shot and killed herself in my hometown, Merrimack, New Hampshire.  She was a sixth grader at my alma mater, James Mastricola Upper Elementary School, where she reportedly suffered from unrelenting bullying from the other kids.  An anti-bullying rally and candlelight vigil is being scheduled in honor of her memory. 

I was bullied when I lived in Merrimack, although mostly in my own home.  As a result, I began to seriously consider taking my own life when I was a little older than Kiki.  I played the scenario over in my mind.  In my imagination I saw the police standing over my lifeless body shaking their heads and asking my dad what happened.  My father would respond politely, “I don’t know, Officers.  She was just plain crazy!”  The cops would then solemnly offer their condolences and be on their way.  Personally, if I had thought for one moment that I might have received any sort of post-mortem vindication, let alone a candle-light vigil, I might have gone through with it.

In the middle of my junior year of high school my family moved from New Hampshire to Minnesota.  This brought me to my eleventh ‘new’ school in as many years across five different states.  My home life was more toxic than ever and I was pretty socially disconnected.  At that point my thoughts of suicide escalated.

It was during these darkest of days that I was offered a very part-time job by the mother of an acquaintance at my new high school.  Each Saturday morning she paid me to help her clean her beautiful home for a few hours.  At lunch time she prepared a simple meal and set me up in her living room with head phones on, to eat and listen to audio tapes by this crazy guy named Zig Ziglar.  “This is for you,” she explained.  “You don’t have to tell anybody else about this.  It’s for you.”  That’s all she said. 

One thing that strikes me about this scenario is that she didn’t ask me about my bruises or explain to me that I deserve better treatment or confront my abusers.  What she did do is teach me how to tap into the power of my own mind and it’s one of the greatest gifts anyone has ever given me.  I’m eternally grateful to Mrs. Moroney and to Zig Ziglar for the likes of this:    


I’m really glad I changed my mind and decided to live.  Life is AMAZING!  One thing I’ve realized is that the more challenges I come across, the more challenges I’m able to overcome.  I grow in strength and wisdom with every experience.  I can honestly say that I embrace all the experiences of my life because they have contributed to me becoming the woman I am today. 

We cannot control other people or many external events, but we can control ourselves.  If your life is anything less than you want it to be right now, for any reason, I encourage you to begin experimenting with the creative potential of your own mind to make your life better.  Read about people who inspire you, like Zig Ziglar.  Make a Vision Board.  Watch inspiring films, you’ll find plenty of examples in the Magic Movie Clips Library.  And while you’re at it, find a good therapist, mentor or friend who helps you exercise your intellect and unleash your full potential.  

Where do you find inspiration?  What seemingly insurmountable obstacle did you overcome which made you stronger in the end?  Let’s celebrate life by encouraging each other –- please leave your success story in the comments below! 

67 thoughts on “underdog 2 upperdog”

  1. ..whaoo..very powerful Linda..
    ..your post is very inspiring..it teaches us to love life,to live life and above all to love ourselves..
    ..just because of few bad people..we cannot put an end to this precious life..which God has gifted us..
    ..bullying is an universal..it exists out here also..in schools,colleges and universities..few people are able to come out of it like you..but some end up taking their lives..their only way to an easy escape..i feel very bad and sorry for them..
    ..your story is full of optimism and hope..please keep on sharing such stories..

  2. WOW! Thank God for Mrs. Moroney who took the time to POUR into your life. Today, that seems to be missing in the lives of children. There is NO one willing to SPEAK into their lives. Whether it be a teacher, pastor, parent, or friend. It seems that everyone is too busy, now? The kids are having to defend themselves and are being raised by celebrities and the internet. There is no REAL communication and celebration of WHO they are. Many kids feel lost. It is a sad and lonely place to be.

    Thank you for speaking out on this and bringing AWARENESS.

    We all need to have our SOULS fed just as much as our mind and body. I find inspiration through music and the word of God. I will also read inspirational books or daily devotions.

    Hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy NEW Year!
    Lisa Marie Farfalla recently posted…With all the trimmingsMy Profile

  3. Love your transcendent story dear Linda. How could you EVER forget the wisdom of Mrs. Moroney and Zig Ziglar!

    I remember one of my teachers who gave me the gift I’ve always kept in my heart. She had us memorize Psalm 23, and do you know I’ve never forgotten? To this day I know where the still waters are. I know that I have and will always have enough. I know where to find peace and rest: in those green pastures.
    Debra recently posted…Forgive or DieMy Profile

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