I have always felt that advocating for yourself in life and being persistent in getting what you need can be really challenging. I’ve always wondered why this is. In the past, I found that my dyslexia made social situations sometimes difficult. It seems a lot of people in general have a challenging time knowing when to be persistent and when that persistence comes off as being rude. I don’t think anyone wants to be rude. I feel one needs to try and differentiate between being “persistent” and being “rude,” especially when one is treated unfairly. When life feels unfair, we can lose track of what it means to advocate for ourselves. In those moments, I know I depend on my friends and family to help, as well as trusting what I have learned from past experiences.
Sometimes, persistence can simply mean “not giving up.” I came across an inspiring example of this when I learned about a surfer named Jesse Billauer. Jesse was a 17 year old rising star in the professional surfing world who suffered a tragic accident by surfing out of a barrel wave while out in the water. He was quickly blinded by the wave’s white water which pushed him down underwater really hard and he broke his neck on a coral reef. One small nerve got severed and just like that he became paraplegic for the rest of his life. However, Jesse stayed with his passion for riding the waves and through persistence and help from his friends, he now gets pushed out into the water where he surfs on his stomach. Jessie needed to surf again, and now there are even advances in technology that give him a little engine on his board to pump out air, allowing him to almost surf by himself.
Jessie knew it was necessary to ask for help and to trust his friends and family. With persistence and an open acceptance of others, anything is possible.