In the book Ten Things I Learned from Bill Porter, Shelly Brady, the author and longtime friend of Bill, recounts some of the hurdles Bill faced on a daily basis.
Bill was born with cerebral palsy. His condition caused him to have a slurred speech, and he could not open one of his hands completely. Daily tasks and things that most of us do without much thought on a day-to-day basis were, as you can imagine, a real chore to Bill. However, Bill did not let this deter him. He was told my many people to simply just draw a check for his disability, but Bill continued to persevere and seek work. After being turned down by employer after employer, he finally talked a company into hiring him. The JR Watkins Company, a business that sells various items door-to-door, gave him his own territory.
Every morning, Bill rode the bus to downtown Portland. His first stop would be at a hotel. He would go in and ask one of the hotel staff to button his shirt collar and sleeves for him. He would then get a shoe shine person to buff his shoes and tie them. Bill would then get back on the bus and ride to the start of his route. He would get off the bus and walk his route going door to door selling his products. At the end of the day, he would go back to the bus stop and take the bus home.
Bill Porter’s route was five miles long. For many years, he was the top sales person for JR Watkins.
Some days are going to be better than others. Sometimes it may feel as though you cannot seem to catch a break. It is easy to get down on yourself and think of all the reasons to just give up and throw in the towel. But when you stop and think about the people around you who do not have it nearly as good as you do who are choosing to make the most out of life, do you really have it that bad? Comparing the obstacles that we go through to what Bill Porter overcame and the success that he had, we can do this.
It sometimes helps to learn about the stories of those around us to put things into perspective and to remind us how blessed we are. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.