Ted Kennedy Jr. and King George V1 grabbed the tiger by the tail. They each fought through their seemingly insurmountable obstacles and survived.

According to Ted Jr.'s remarks at the service for his father, Senator Ted Kennedy, after Ted Jr. received his artificial leg his father announced that it was time to sled down the hill in their back yard. It was a snowy, icy day. They started out; Ted Jr. fell and started crying, "I can't do it." His father held him in his arms and said, "Yes you can. Yes you will. And I will be here with you if it takes a whole day." And they did it.

Watching Colin Firth play King V1 in "The King's Speech" showed how overwhelming and humiliating a speech defect can be. King V1 felt like a failure and was unsure that he could overcome his challenge. With the support of his wife and his special tutor he was finally able to speak to the nation after Britain went to war with Germany.

Their inspirational stories shows that survival depends on a number of factors. First and foremost, they each had unbelievable love and support. Ted Kennedy gave his son unconditional love and support and King George's wife gave him unconditional love. Second, his tutor gave him confidence, support, and the skills to overcome his problem.

Love, support, skills--that's what it takes to grab the tiger by the tail.

Nancy K. Schlossberg
Author, Revitalizing Retirement: Reshaping Your Identity, Relationships, and Purpose
Copyright, 2011

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