Today I host a new author, Tom Ufert, as he talks a little about his life experiences and the inspiration for his new book Adversity Builds Character.
Tom Ufert, a 46-year-old quadriplegic afflicted with three different disabilities is an inspirational voice in our troubled times. He received his bachelor of arts in political science and history as a scholarship recipient from Centenary College of Louisiana. Tom is a former Rotary International graduate Fellow who attended Australian National University in Canberra, ACT, specializing in East Asian political affairs and was a White House Fellow nominee. He is a former Lyndon Baines Johnson Congressional Intern and constituency aid for two former United States members of Congress. His past services for 11 political campaigns on both sides of the aisle were highly valued by former Louisiana Governor Charles “Buddy” Roemer, Henson Moore the former assistant chief of staff to U.S. Vice President George H.W. Bush, and the present U.S. Trade Ambassador, Ron Kirk.
At age 23 he was the youngest artistic Board Chairman in the United States as head of the Shreveport Summer Music Festival. Mr. Ufert has served as a member of two other 501(c) three charity boards including his beloved fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia as well as the community advisory board for his former rehabilitation hospital. Over the years he has acquired extensive customer service experience in the food and beverage, hotel, insurance, home security, and pharmaceutical industries. Mr. Ufert has served as a member of two other 501(c) three charity boards including his beloved fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia as well as the community advisory board for his former rehabilitation hospital. His professional memberships include Phi Alpha Theta, Sigma Tau Delta, and the Worldwide Who’s Who. In recent years he has worked tirelessly as a volunteer fundraiser for numerous AIDS charities in his community and served briefly as the community affairs liaison for Legacy Founders Cottage. Tom Ufert, a native of Louisiana, now resides in Texas.
My name is Tom Ufert, and I am here to talk a little about life and the challenges it presents us with. My grandmother always told me that adversity builds character… boy, was she ever right about that.
You see, when I was told that I had MS, the same condition I watched my mother struggle with, I vowed to fight it. A short time later, when I was involved in a car accident and paralyzed from the waist down as a result, I vowed to fight it. When I was told, upon waking after my accident that I had contracted HIV, I vowed to stay strong, and to fight it.
My grandmother’s words echoed through my head as I lie there, allowing everything to ‘sink in.’ I refused to allow these conditions to define me.
Twenty years later, I am here to talk about my book, Adversity Builds Character, and to hopefully show people who you can live your life with honor and dignity even in the gravest of moments.
My tale is a personal one, but what I hope people will take from it is the message. Even when faced with the greatest of adversities, the human spirit can prevail.
Life will hit you with everything it has and will keep doing so unless you make the effort to change it. In my novel, Adversity Builds Character, I talk about my own struggles, how I came to terms with the truth over my own sexuality, and stood up to the demons of my past. I took life’s punches; I got knocked down and came back up.
I wrote Adversity Builds Character not for your pity or for your charity. In fact, I donate a portion of every sale to a number of charities that are of a personal significance to me. No, I wrote my book to show it can be done. To tell others out there who are fighting their own battles that they are not alone. There is always a reason to push on. Big or small, every personal confrontation is of the ultimate importance to the one struggling against it
Thank you all for joining us on this stage of the Tom Ufert Blog Tour and we would like to invite you to join us again tomorrow over at the home of Julieanne Lynch for an exclusive extract from Adversity Builds Character.