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But the most inspiring stories aren’t those of Olympic champions or world-class mountaineers. Most of us will never compete for a gold medal, or stand triumphantly on top of the world’s highest peak. No, the stories which really hit home are those of men and women who overcome great obstacles just to do ordinary things; things that you and I take for granted. I’m thinking of a man named Bill Porter, whose life was portrayed by actor William H. Macy in the recent TV movie, "Door to Door". Bill was born with cerebral palsy, which made it difficult for him to speak clearly, or to walk, or to use his right arm. He was told that he would never be able to hold a job; never be able to take care of himself. The social service agencies labeled him as "unemployable". They told him his only option would be to collect government disability checks for the rest of his life. But Bill wouldn’t listen. He applied for a job with the Watkins company, selling household products door-to-door. At first, they turned him down, but he persisted. He offered to take the worst territory in the city, an area no other salesman wanted, just to have the chance to prove himself. Finally, they relented and gave him a job. Straight commission, no salary. Bill walked ten miles a day, ringing doorbell after doorbell, fighting against his crippled body; fighting against pain, and weakness, and fatigue - not to mention the difficulties of just speaking, just communicating with people. When he made a sale, he had to have the customer fill out the order form, because he couldn’t hold a pen to write. And yet, he succeeded. He became the company’s top salesman, first in that city, then in the region, and finally in the entire country. He achieved all this, even though he couldn’t tie his own shoes or button his own collar. Imagine. A man who has difficulty speaking and walking, thinking that he could make a career for himself - as a door-to-door salesman, of all things! It’s ridiculous! And yet, that’s exactly what he did, and has done, for more than forty years. Bill doesn’t define himself as disabled. Nor does he view himself as some kind of hero. He’s just someone who has a job to do, and who gets up every morning and does it, whether he feels like it or not. And in its own way, that is truly heroic.

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