Alvin Law: A Beacon of Inspiration the World Needs

How often do we comprehend that life, a mere monosyllabic word, encompasses an unfathomable amount of power, and why this power has been bestowed upon us humans?

Why do we often disregard our purpose, that of walking an extra mile for someone, that of understanding humanity, and that of seeking the true meaning of our lives?

With emphasis on discrimination, why do we often think or consider ourselves as different from each other and thus create barriers on the basis of nationality, religion, creed, appearance and disabilities?

Seldom do we comprehend that this power of life which is mostly used only to create differences and societal divisions, is meant to be diverted towards the purpose of helping each other grow and for inspiring each other to attain and maintain peaceful living.

There are certain people amongst us who have recognized this power and its potential to evidently change our world. They understand how the aforesaid differences and their entailing effects could impact our growth and wellbeing and thus with all their determination, positivity and profound oomph, they strive ceaselessly to make this world, our world, a better place to coexist.

Alvin Law, a Keynote Speaker and a bestselling author, is someone who substantially defines confidence, compassion, motivation and grit. Even though Alvin isn’t a celebrated educator or an academician, The Knowledge Review believes that for his contributions towards empowering students and inspiring them, to reach the world is a necessity.

With immense gratitude and a little sense of pride, we present to you, Alvin’s story, narrated in his own words.

“My career in education was unplanned. I’m not a certified teacher or administrator and don’t have a Degree, Masters, Ph. D or otherwise any ‘scholastic’ experience in the field. But I have spoken to over 3,500 schools since 1981, primarily in North America but even around the planet and over 2,000,000 students have watched me on stage as a motivational speaker.

My backstory is where my credibility and expertise is based. I was born without arms in 1960 and was one of Canada’s first ‘Thalidomide Babies’, infamous for their birth defects caused by the notorious medication given to pregnant women to combat morning sickness.

Though this use of the drug was banned in 1962, the effects have lived on in the over 20,000 babies deformed worldwide and 125 Canadians were included in this list. In my case, I was also homeless at five days of age as my birth family gave me up being overwhelmed by the perceived challenges my existence would present to them.

But a foster home in small town Saskatchewan took me in and changed the course of my life. Hilda Law was 55 years old and her husband, Jack, was 53 and they would eventually become my permanent home. That’s only important because they were also non-academic, and that’s not intended as a ‘slight’ to those who are but they proved every single ‘expert’ wrong in their consistent assessment that I would never experience any quality of life.

My first career as a Broadcaster was short lived because 1981 was declared the International Year of Disabled Persons and I became a popular guest speaker because I was a disc jockey and therefore, media celebrity in Regina, Saskatchewan and began speaking at numerous events to the point where I quit radio and essentially created an educational program for Saskatchewan schools about ‘Disability Awareness’.

I joined the Provincial Easter Seals charity as a community relations director and essentially, entered the Motivational Speaker field, educating society on my take on ‘Ability’ in the body of the handicapped.

I am a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a member of Canada’s Professional Speakers Hall Of Fame, a ‘Fellow’ of the Professional Speakers Association of the United Kingdom, and last year I was also inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall Of Fame. I’m also a world class drummer and trombone player and dabble with piano. I’m also a bestselling author of Alvin’s Laws Of Life.”

Making a Mark

“It’s difficult to define what my most significant contributions to education have been but first off, it’s acknowledged that I’m the most memorable speaker students ever had in their schools, and that goes back almost forty years. But for me, it’s my prophetic vision of diversity and inclusion. When I began public school in 1966, handicapped children weren’t welcome.

I was the first ‘disabled’ student without arms in the history of Yorkton, Saskatchewan schools, the first to attend and graduate from the Diploma Broadcasting Program at Mount Royal College, now MRU in Calgary and literally, the first disc jockey without arms on planet earth! This is not boasting but proof of the living impact of my presence in society.

I’ve also been a major player in the Student Leadership Movement across Canada and the United States, and even Mexico. I realized very early on my programs about Disability Awareness were a perfect foundation for the principles of leadership. I have been Keynote for countless National, State, Provincial and District Leadership Conferences since 1985.

I believe I define ‘Distinction’ because I am literally one of a kind. Every single member of the audience who hears me or reads my book come to a singularly unique conclusion but as a whole, I’m respected for changing the face of disability, or as Goalcast stated, I Change the Label!”

Bequeathing Wisdom

“While people have showed me ‘respect’ for my so called disability, it has produced its own stigma as it often does for the handicapped. It’s as if our physical limitations also cause intellectual ones, which I would argue is the precise opposite.

The brilliance created by a life challenge is not in any textbook so it’s taken me much longer than my speaking peers to reach the top level of the business. I like to paint an image of where many have given me a ‘pat on the head’ for being so courageous to overcome my limitations which is also precisely opposite. I was born ‘normal’ and society has been slow in catching on!

My message to students of the world is simple. You must earn your life! It doesn’t come wrapped like a gift.’ It’s also really hard sometimes, but that’s kind of the point! Growth can be painful but it’s worth it because we only get one life and what we do with it is everything.”

“My personal motivation is rooted in a very simple yet profoundly powerful element named Gratitude. Too many people believe education is a right. They couldn’t be more wrong. Education is a ‘privilege’ and if we could get that correctly, we’d value it much more.

I believe I inspire today’s youth by being an example. Anyone can ‘lecture’ but living one’s words, that’s the key. I do that and not just on stage but every day, all the time. Positive living doesn’t take a vacation!”

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