Adverse experiences in childhood have affected many people. These experiences include such events as witnessing parental divorce, struggling with economic issues and living with a family member who has a drug or alcohol-related problem. However, these and many similar issues do not necessarily have to limit success later in life. Many people, such as those we include here, have transcended their negative circumstances and gone on to great things, and make wonderful, positive role models for our kids.
The latest Hollywood hunk was not always a success. The star of Transformers was raised in poverty and his family struggled to make ends meet. His parents divorced when he was young and he actually accompanied his father to AA meetings. He was a regular at local comedy clubs from age 10 as a stand-up, attempting to break into child acting and eventually succeeding.
The now successful NBA star had a tough rite of passage. He grew up in a single-parent domestic environment and constantly struggled to keep out of trouble in a gang-infested urban neighborhood. It was nothing for the electricity to be cut off without any notice, and everyone in the family struggled to get by. Iverson has had to cope all his life with adversity in one form or another, and even as an NBA star the public glare has often been unwanted, but he always manages to transcend negative circumstances.
Lord Irvine Laidlaw, one of the wealthiest men in Scotland, has donated massive sums to a whole range of educational institutions and charitable organizations. The news that Lord Laidlaw is to sell off his sports cars caused a considerable stir when announced, as his famous collection of top racing cars from the 1950s and 1960s is the best of its kind in the world. Lord Laidlaw had humble beginnings as a miller’s son in Banff, before going on to make his fortune in publishing. His philanthropic efforts gained him a place in the House of Lords as a life peer.
The former soccer player was at the top in her field before leaving the sport to concentrate on charitable activities. She is one of the few retired athletes who have continued to be relevant out of the limelight, setting up the Mia Hamm Foundation to help sufferers of bone marrow disease, which killed her brother.
Steve Nash, the basketball player, has won admiration and many friends through his humble approach to fame. He clawed his way up to become the success he is, and has put much back into the community by setting up a children’s charity to help others transcend their limiting circumstances.
There are many celebrities and lesser-known influential people in many different walks of life who would not, as individuals, be necessarily regarded as role model material for youngsters. Thankfully, there are also many who, despite a penchant for self-effacement, offer everything a child could look up to in order to transcend his or her own restricting circumstances, whatever they may be.