Short Story: The Importance of You

We often learn more from a story.  Below is a short story that you can use to facilitate important conversation between you and your children.

The Importance of You

I am about to tell you a true story of three most unlikely heroes. Seabiscuit was a race horse that was considered to small to be a winner. Mistreated and poorly trained he lost most of his races. He was seen as a “loser”. Frustrated and angry, because his natural desire to win had been suppressed, this horse had become unruly and unmanageable…angry if you will.

However one trainer, the Native American Tom Smith, saw a winner in Seabiscuit when no one else could. You see, time and time again Mr. Smith demonstrated that he had the ability to take “ordinary” horses and make winners of them. He was able to do this by understanding their uniqueness… their strengths and weaknesses. He knew Seabiscuit needed help focusing, and his legs were shorter than the other race horses. But he also knew his horse loved the competition, and had a big desire to win.

The untrusting Seabiscuit needed a jockey, but didn’t seem to like any of them until he met Johnny Pollard, nicknamed “Red” for his fiery red hair. Homeless and penniless, Red was himself considered a loser. He was considered too big by jockey standards, and was blind in one eye. But he loved horses, and had a gentle way with them. When introduced to the cantankerous horse he gently offered him a sugar cube. Seabiscuit touched Red’s shoulder in a rare gesture of affection. Seabiscuit had chosen his jockey.

Most everyone laughed at these three friends… a trainer to old to train , a jockey to big and blind in one eye, and a race horse too small. But the three unlikely winners began training, and to the surprise of those who ridiculed and laughed at them, they began beating larger horses rode by smaller jockeys.

This all took place during the “Great Depression” when many people had lost jobs, farms, and homes. This was a time when many people were feeling like losers. Seabiscuit and Red became an inspiration for the down trodden. The people showed up by the thousands to cheer on Seabiscuit, their champion. The horse, who was too small, raised spirits as he won race after race eventually even beating the top race horse, War Admiral.

But their climb to success was not without challenges. In his first race against War Admiral, Seabiscuit lost. But in a second race against War Admiral he won! While riding another race horse Red broke his leg, and was told he would never ride again. During one race Seabiscuit injured his leg unable to race or train for a long time.

Against such odds, many people would have given up. After all Red was told he could never ride again. But Red did not give up on his beloved horse, and while suffering from his own injury began caring for his beloved Seabiscuit nursing him back to health. As he focused on the needs of his crippled horse, he also began to heal. They did race together again, and again rose to the top.

Often when we focus on helping others we find our own way. Do you ever feel like you are different, and don’t belong? Are you told you are too short, to fat, ugly, stupid, dumb or other unkind things? Well remember the lesson of Seabiscuit and his friends. It is not you who are lacking. It is the inability of others to see the winner in you that is the true lacking.

How others treat you is a reflection of their character… not yours. How you treat yourself and others is a reflection of your character. When you discover the winner, you become an inspiration to others. That is your gift.

You understand what others can not. You see what others can not see. By vowing to extend kindness to those most in need of it, you have a heart when others can not find their own. And remember this one: You can not control what others do or say, but you can control what you do, and what you accept. By refusing to co-operate or be controlled by those who ridicule, you become a champion.


Roma Cox worked as a para-professional in the public school system. She was part of a government funded program called Follow Through in which she was trained by psychologists on how to work with the children. Roma now shares what she has learned with others through her website Read-Phonics.com, workshops, and articles.

avatar Roma Cox (3 Posts)

Roma say she is blessed to be able to do the things she loves most. She is a public and private tutor, gives workshops for parent/ educators, is a published author, and has developed some excellent game type curriculum. Visit her website at: http://www.read-phonics.com/


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