“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” ― Haruki Murakami
The story of Jillian Haslam is that of a woman who has faced and overcome adversity and has risen above the despairing circumstances that destiny had willed her, to emerge stronger and transform her own life and that of her family. Incredibly unique and inspiring is her journey from the slums of Kolkata to being a motivational speaker, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and a celebrity author.
Born to British parents who decided to stay on in India after Independence, Jillian grew up in abject poverty living under a flight of stairs and then in the slums of Khidirpur in Kolkata. Living in poverty would have never been easy; the problems faced by the Haslam family were further compounded by the prejudice that people harboured on account of their different looks, colour and language.
At the age of 17, Jillian left Kolkata for Delhi. After working in the Delhi for a few years, she got selected by the Bank of America, where her projects for corporate charity earned her accolades and eventually a passage to England, where she now lives with her husband and two of her sisters.
Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.
– Bern William
The life of Louis Zamperini, is a tale of unbroken human spirit.
Louis Zamperini, a US Olympic runner, who became a fighter in the World War II, was marooned in the Pacific ocean for 46 days, survived the ordeal of a Prisoner Of War (POW) in Japanese camps, and later turned into an inspirational speaker, exemplifies resilience.
A wayward child, Louis had taken to smoking and drinking, early on in life, and was often picked up by the local police for getting into brawls. His parents were first generation Italian immigrants who had moved to Torrance, California, in 1919. Their repeated efforts to discipline Louis were discounted by the defiant kid; but the constant encouragement of his brother Pete, influenced Louis and he started taking an interest in sports.
His racing abilities soon came to be noticed, as he started improving and winning races, including the national high school race, in which he broke the record set during World War I.
Louis went on to participate in the 5000 metres race in 1936 Olympics, where he finished the final lap so fast (in 56 seconds beating the previous Olympic record of 69.2 seconds) that it caught the eye of Adolf Hitler, who personally came up to Zamperini and shook his hand.