Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. ~ George Bernard Shaw


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posted by Dave Dame date-icon July 20, 2014

While watching a Terry Fox documentary the other week my wife made the statement, "Terry was stubborn, just like you!"

I disagreed at first, but did some reflective thinking. I guess I'm the product of my environment.

Growing up in Essex County you get called the armpit of Ontario. Dependant heavily on the automotive industry you go through a number of ups and downs. Every time there is a downturn the city, the people show resilience to persevere and push forward. Everytime we get knocked down, we get back up. Everytime we get underestimated we prove them wrong. We are made up of a blue collar work ethic that we never give up. We become Essex County tough!

My parents worked many hours and made sacrifices to make sure I had the opportunity to have a fulfilled life. They fought school boards, government officials, and still found time to give me a kick in the ass when I needed it. My father working on rooftops in the most punishing weather to make sure his family would have what they needed. Someone with a grade 8 education persevering and providing. A mother who would never back down from a fight when it meant she would have to be told no a million times before hearing yes to integrate me in regular schools. My parents were Essex County tough.

Growing up I was always told what I couldn't do. Being born they told me I wouldn't live, I would not go to a 'normal' school, I would not be able to talk completely, never go to University, never work, never find love, never walk...never... Never ignited the Essex County toughness born inside of me. Never was a motivation that pushed me further than I thought I could go. I fell many times, but the blue collar work ethic instilled in me allowed me to pick myself up and try again. Being knocked down is an opportunity to pick yourself up. Life is not might not be easy...but I will out work any obstacle. Bruises will be my badges of honour.

If being stubborn means being Essex County tough...then yeah, I guess I am...

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