Human Determination at the Time of the Pandemic


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Human Determination at the Time of the Pandemic


Determination is both a prized value and an exemplary characteristic that every human individual must possess, for in the long run, it will lead to the road of success. 

The innate determination of human individuals can move mountains as it serves as a driving force to do and perform better, thrive and to believe that they can do something momentous and life-changing. 

The COVID-19 global pandemic may have caused anxiety, fear and despair in the lives of many human individuals worldwide, but on a lighter perspective, it should never hinder us as human beings to do something inspirational and motivating, despite the global health crisis that we are facing. To rid of negativity, good ladened stories always have a way to impact our mood and life. 

In this article, with the great help of the numerous good worldwide stories that were featured in the Reader’s Digest Magazine and website, this article will feature four good and great stories about four individuals who marked a great imprint, achieved a milestone, made history for themselves and for their nation, and most importantly, influenced change that may be regarded as small by the world, but is perceived largely in the eyes of the people with whom it made a great difference. 

Let us begin. 

The Amazing and Influential Mountaineer 

The first is the success story of Neil Heritage, who is a disable army veteran that lost both his legs in Iraq in 2004 due from a suicide bomber attack. But despite his disability and after three attempts, he was able to climb the peak of Matterhorn. 

After gaining full recovery from the bodily injuries that he garnered from the bomb attack, Heritage completed his joined triathlons, learned how to skin and join a rowing team that practiced across the Atlantic Ocean. 

At his present age of 39, Heritage never failed to improve himself in the fields and realms of sports and fitness, as the former soldier who hails from the United Kingdom, ventured on making history as the first ever doubled above-the-knee amputee that has achievably notched and scaled one of the world’s famous high-peaked mountains. 

Neil Heritage said, ““I feel like I am over the moon right now and it’s been a dream of mine for a long time.”

Mark Hooks, who was Heritage’s co-climber in the Matterhorn, also stated, “It was just so special, managing to achieve something we’ve worked so hard on over the years.” 

Hooks continued on saying that his good friend’s specially designed prosthetic limb accidentally fell off near the summit and due to that incident, the time duration of reattaching it to Heritage took 20 minutes. 

With the recent achievement that Neil Heritage has notched in the Matterhorn, he is both driven and determined to make more wonders in his life as he decides on not resting on his laurels of comfort, but rather, he envisions himself on pursuing another challenge by kayaking the Amazon River in South America.

The Inspirational Artist of Conversation

The second is the motivational initiative of Adria Bellester, a 26 year old writer and storyteller who hails from Barcelona, Spain. At this  time of the global pandemic, he believes that the art of conversation continues to live on, 

Bellester pursues the effort of staying in front of Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf, accompanied with his originally created materials which are the two foldaway chairs and a creative sign that contains the words “Free conversations” in large letters. 

Bellester utilizes this visual and conversational platform as a means of encouragement for every individual who passes by his way, to take time to shop, sit, and chat with him about anything under the sun. He uses three languages in this initiative, Catalan, Spanish, and English.  

Bellester said, “The idea is just to talk freely for a while. We have lost the art of conversation. We live in a world where it’s often easier to send a message to someone from another country than to say good morning to our neighbors.” 

With the agreement of a young Italian Psychology student during one of their sit-down conversations, Bellester was inspired to utilize his social media accounts which are Facebook and Instagram, through the Free Conversations Movement Page, and @freeconversations that he made as a means of promoting his project. 

Moreover, Bellester continued to motivate others with the means of conversation by posting photos of himself, as well as with those who opt to converse with him personally, paired with in-depth reflections and surprising revelations that are truly inspirational . 

On the other side of the coin, Bellester feels at times that he is a conversational therapist, for the reason that he gets to listen to life experiences that are truly transformative, and as an example, he cited the conversational experience that he had with a 70-year old Lithuanian woman who shared her long years of experiences in a Russian concentration camp. 

He said, “You hear good, positive stories and really tough ones, too. A lot of people will tell you about a tricky episode in their life, maybe heartbreak or a job loss. There’s a bit of everything.” 

In the continuous duration of the coronavirus global health crisis, Bellester heightened the online conversation by setting up a virtual and online platform that is called “”, which serves as a website that motivationally invites users to avail of quarantine PenPal in a matter of 10 seconds. 

Bellester plans and envisions publishing a manifesto that aims to spread awareness on his personal and conversational initiative amongst the other major cities all over the globe.

The Never Say Die Italian University Graduate 

The third  is the scholastic success story of Giuseppe Paterno, who is a proud native of Italy. He proved to be the testament of obtaining a never say die spirit, as he earned his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and what’s even more motivating is Paterno graduated with first-class honors at the age of 96. He attended the  University of Palermo in Sicily. 

Paterno said, “It’s one of the happiest days of my entire life.”

Paterno shared his life experiences and stated that it was war and poverty that prevented him from attending university when he was younger. He was more than glad and was proud of his decision to enroll in 2017. 

Moreover, Giuseppe’s neighbors continued to drool on him by asking why he intently finished his university studies at his age, and as a result, he continues to share his personal piece and opinion by saying that his neighbors will never understand the very essence of fulfilling a dream, without giving high regard to the person’s age, once they have not experienced being on his shoes.

The Youth-Oriented and Exemplary Musician

The fourth  is the exemplary advocacy of Sheku Kanneh-Mason, a twenty-year old British cellist who won the attention of the public, as the first ever black musician to capture the prestigious award of BBC’s competition for the Young Musician of the Year, at the age of 17. 

Sheku’s performance during the wedding of Sussex’s Duke and Duchess in 2018 was primarily his first major climb to fame in the field of music. It was watched and viewed by a global audience and in return, made him very popular. 

With the “Sheku effect”, the emergence of a new generation of young cellists was greatly evident in Great Britain as an increase of 68 percent in applications from young cellists was recorded by Britain’s National Schools Symphony Orchestra. 

In addition, Kanneh-Mason is utilizing the great use of his celebrity status in improving  the impact of Music Education in British schools

He expresses his innermost interest with his musically-inclined advocacy by saying: “It needs to be taught more, and better. I work with many children who wouldn’t have had access. There’s so much talent among young people that needs to be combined with opportunity.”

Germany and Great Britain’s audiences will have the grand opportunity of hearing and seeing Sheku in concert during the two countries summer season, just before he leaves for his scheduled major tour in Australia. 

Lastly, Sheku is also scheduled to perform in Los Angeles, California and Carnegie Hall in New York, both in the United States of America in October, for his supportive fans and audience in the country. 

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