Stories are common about treasures accidentally discovered among heaps of garbage. What appear to the naked eye as useless items, broken, eyesores, and dilapidated turn out fetching large amounts of money as rare antiques or things of historical value.
Discoveries of these kinds are often accidental, with the owners practically ignorant if not oblivious of the fact that what they considered for a long time as things beyond any use or value are actually gems that could have made a big difference in their lives. Among other things inside homes, these are lumped in as the “rejects.”
The same considerations happen to humans, many of whom have been discovered as extraordinary in various fields after years of being regarded as virtually belonging to the ordinary, if not nothing more than nuisance in the daily grind of people they mingle with.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, best remembered for playing the “The Terminator” in the movies and served as governor of California, told of his struggle and sacrifices before rising to the peak of success. His life story is one of determination and persistence to prove haters and non-believers in what he is and what he can do, totally wrong in their perception.
He was raised in a poor family in Austria. Poverty drove him to dream big and most of the time shared this to family and friends. His parents dismissed everything he said as lunatic wishes and instead advised him to pursue a more practical vision and start a simple family life.
But Arnold wasn’t swayed by the cold water doused on his dream of becoming someone more than the ordinary to escape the fangs of poverty. At a young age, he slipped to the U. with a few dollars in his pocket. He did menial jobs to survive. Endowed with an exceptionally large and muscular upper body frame, he finally found a place in local bodybuilding competitions.
Not the kind who can keep his thoughts to himself, he told friends that someday his body will be his ticket to fame and wealth. Most of his friends scoffed at this, branding it as wistful thinking.
He proved them wrong. He became Mr. America and Mr. Universe in the same year.
Having made an initial name for himself, he tried Hollywood. Producers and directors thought his surname and his German accent were liabilities, so they didn’t give him a second look.
The break came in “The Termjnator 1.” His built and his accent perfectly fitted well in the villainous character that he portrayed. That started the smooth way to frame.
The “hasta mañana” liner (meaning, “till we meet tomorrow”) proved to be a prophetic signal for Arnold to become one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood for years coming. He later won as governor of California.
From a poor child who dreamed big, he endured the challenges and focused on where he wanted to be. Despised, scoffed at and undermined for what he lacked, he was later found to be a real gem which was unpolished, disregarded, ordinary, and lumped among the rejects.
There are many among us, men who have the gifts and talents but are repeatedly disregarded. Some of them persist and courageously pursue their dreams and prove those who rejected their worth wrong. When “Bohemian Rhapsody” was rejected by the owner of EMI Records because of its playing time length (around six minutes) and “absurd” terms in the lyrics (“Galileo, Beelzebub, Bismillah, etc…), Freddie Mercury, leader of the group Queen which recorded the song, was so confident that the masterpiece will find its rightful place in recording history. He told the owner, “You will forever be remembered as the man who lost the Queen!”
The song eventually became an iconic symbol of the rock genre in music. EMI lost Queen, and with it, the opportunity to have made millions of dollars.
Appearances are sometimes deceptive. Ugliness sometimes keeps a hidden prettiness. We are living in a world where surprises and mysteries abound. They spring out in God’s own time./WDJ