Accepting your fate
Sometimes you might have a struggle that you will never overcome. Then it is best just to accept your fate and carry on with life. Focus on the good things in life and don’t waste energy worrying about things that you cannot change. Many emotional challenges can be overcome simply by accepting your fate, knowing that the Lord’s grace is enough. You will never know, but this challenge, hurdle or obstacle may be your strength one day.
When I gave my class a glimpse into my life story one day, I was amazed by the positive reaction from my students. They were hanging on my lips while I revealed this constant hurdle in my life.
When I was a little boy a family member noticed that I was falling over my words and asked me to speak more slowly so that everyone could hear what I was saying. When I said something, he would stop me in the middle of my sentence and ask me to repeat the words after him. I know that he did this with very good intentions, but this was the beginning of my struggle.
Consequently, I faced lots of challenges with my speech problem during my school and army days. It felt as if my future would be a disaster. As a student and in the early stages of my professional career the battle was even tougher and the challenge sometimes unbearable.
Victory came when I accepted my fate by acknowledging that a hurdle is sometimes the Lord’s way to keep you on your knees. I changed my prayer from asking Him to help me overcome my speech problem to asking the Lord to make my handicap manageable. That what I feared the most, speaking in front of people, I tackled heads on, and became a lecturer in accounting in 1984. This book is an example of courage and perseverance. However, with a wife that supported me all along, the rollercoaster road was smoother.
The rest is history: I became a professor in accounting in 1988 and filled various high-profile positions in the accounting, sports and church environments.
The book ends with a theoretical contribution by a psychologist underlining my stuttering experiences.
A short description about the need in the market that the work addresses.
“Mr Kapp, our English teacher, was a terror, or so I thought. We had Macbeth as prescribed literature and we had to read aloud in class; row by row and one by one. Cold sweat used to run down my spine. I was so afraid. All that Mr Kapp said in class was, “Next!” Then the next pupil had to read. There was no formal lecturing from Mr Kapp’s side. We just had to read and had to pronounce the words of Shakespeare’s highly dramatized English correctly. It was a nightmare to all the children in the class, and so much more for me, as a stutterer. Each one of us had to read for about two minutes. All that I did in class was to count the number of children that had to read before it was my turn. I also calculated the number of children that had to read in the remaining time till the end of the lecture period. My mathematics skills were in top gear in the English class! I did not listen to a word that was read by my classmates, because I just worried about when it would be my turn to read. I was so anxious afraid and I kept praying that the period would end before it was my turn. Perhaps this was another reason why I did so badly in English. When it was my turn to read, it was hell. I think I could only read one sentence in the allocated two minutes! My classmates knew me very well and I also knew they felt sorry for me. They just sat there quietly. They could hear how I battled through every word that I was trying to say. I think they also prayed, like me, and wished on my behalf that Mr Kapp would say, “Next!” I also think that my classmates were just as relieved as I was when we heard the word, “Next!” Mr Kapp never helped me out by stopping me halfway. Perhaps he thought that he had to force me to overcome that which was such an obstacle to me. Perhaps he was right … one should tackle that which you are afraid of, head on.
What is the lesson? Mr Kapp, in his peculiar way, tried to force me to face my problem so that I could hopefully overcome the challenge. Overcoming one’s problem by tackling it head on is one of the golden threads that are revealed later in this book.” Page 29
“When we went to the fire range just to the north of Potchefstroom it was also a nightmare for me; not because of all the exercise and sweat, or because we had to run at various times to the 1 000-metre mark, but rather what we had to do when we finished with the shootout. All troops had to declare the following verbally to the officer in charge, “No live ammunition or empty cases in my possession and ear plugs were available, Sergeant-major!” You could imagine how long it took me to say that. It’s such a long sentence and no one could help me. I was totally on my own and very nervous. Each troop had to say this individually. I felt inferior as everyone looked at me to finish so that we could return to basecamp” Page 38
“I remember that I did not take any telephone calls. My wife used to answer all incoming telephone calls. She would take a message on my behalf as if I were not available. I sometimes stood next to her whilst she spoke on the telephone. Why was I so afraid to speak on the telephone? I hated speaking on a telephone because I could not see the other person’s reaction. I would rather get into my car and go to the person whom I would like to talk to. I would rather have a face-to-face conversation than on the telephone. It is all about self-confidence to speak in front of others.” Page 86