I Will Not Be Broken by Jerry White
Every once in a while Abraham Harrison gets a great activist client. Clients like Jerry White and the gang at Survivor Corps really make it easy to be the World's Best Boss, because my staff loves public affairs and non-profit work, that's for sure -- clients who do good works and work to change the world for the better. Last time was when we helped pass the Energy Bill in 2007, 35 by 2020, and now we get to rally our passion and help Jerry promote the launch of Survivor Corps, which coincides with I Will Not Be Broken: Five Steps to Overcoming a Life Crisis, which is now on sale nationwide.
Anyway, we have put together a social media press release for both I Will Not be Broken and Survivor Corps and you should check them out. Feel free to read excerpts from the book and be my guest and enjoy the introduction and chapter one as a PDF download -- sort of a "try before you buy." We're going to be doing a blogger outreach starting this weekend and we're excited about it -- we're motivated and dedicated. Wish us luck!
I Will Not Be Broken: Five Steps to Overcoming a Life Crisis
by Jerry White
Copies of I Will Not Be Broken Now Available Online and at Stores Nationwide
Leveraging personal experience and lifetime of wisdom, landmine survivor Jerry White outlines a very specific five-step program to coping with disaster; to achieving strength
and hope; and to turning tragedy into triumph
Quick Links: News Facts | About I Will Not Be Broken | Reviews and Testimonials | About Jerry White | The Five Steps | Various Excerpts | About Survivor Corps | Contacts | Multimedia Elements | Additional Resources | Join Our Mailing List
- I Will Not Be Broken: Five Steps to Overcoming a Life Crisis by Jerry White went on sale start April 29th, 2008.
- The official I Will Not Be Broken web site will be launched on the week of April 28.
- I Will Not Be Broken: Five Steps to Overcoming a Life Crisis by Jerry White will be available as an Audiobook
- Jerry White, author of I Will Not Be Broken: Five Steps to Overcoming a Life Crisis, is available for blog, podcast, and vlog interviews.
From a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace and founder of Survivor Corps comes an astoundingly effective guide to recreating a happy and fulfilling life after catastrophe strikes—a book that Bob and Lee Woodruff call “a road map for the individual and their family to re-enter the land of the living.” In I WILL NOT BE BROKEN, Jerry White reframes the question “why do bad things happen to good people?” and asks, given that bad things do happen, how do people absorb the blows and move through them?
Tragedy happens to everyone. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a painful divorce, or a serious injury, we all face unavoidable moments that divide our lives into “before” and “after.” These events take a heavy toll on everyone, but there are those who have muscled their way through tough times and emerged stronger, wiser—even grateful for their struggle. Jerry White is one such example. In 1984, he lost his leg—and almost his life—in a tragic accident, and has personally endured the pain of loss and the challenge of rebuilding.
As cofounder of Survivor Corps, White has connected with thousands of victims of tragedy, and in I WILL NOT BE BROKEN, he shares their collective wisdom, which he distills into an effective five-step program for turning tragedy into triumph:
- Face facts
- Choose life
- Reach out
- Get moving
- Give back
In their own words, his fellow survivors share their stories—a group that includes the well known like Lance Armstrong, Elie Wiesel, and the late Princess Diana, but also everyday people including soldiers and veterans of the military. With compassion, White takes readers through the process of not only enduring tragedy and victimhood, but going on to thrive.
"In I Will Not Be Broken, Jerry White brings his insight and experience to bear expertly for those facing life's unexpected challenges. He embodies the spirit of survivorship."
Lance Armstrong, co-author of EverySecond Counts
Bob and Lee Woodruff, authors of In an Instant
"We can choose happiness, even after the worst of times. Jerry White offers an excellent
guide to navigating and overcoming the traumas we face in our lives."
Deepak Chopra M.D., author of Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment
"This is an important book. Jerry White shares lessons learned from his experience recovering from a landmine accident to help trauma victims recover, survive, and thrive."
Jane Goodall, author of Harvest for Hope
Daniel Goleman, author of Social Intelligence
"I have visited landmine survivors around the world with Jerry White. I have seen him reach out to others and walk with them on the path from victim to survivor. His courageous personal experience is a beacon for all who are searching to recover and reclaim life."
Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, author of Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life
"The tank and guns on Tiananmen Square crushed the hopes of a generation. But many refused to stay victims. We find new ways to find new hope. When I met Jerry White, I instantly recognized a fellow survivor who understands what it takes to overcome obstacles to hope. This book will inspire."
Li Lu, Deputy Commander Tiananmen Square
About Jerry White
Jerry White is a global survivor activist who has dedicated his life to helping victims of violent conflict. While camping in Northern Israel in 1984, he stepped on a landmine, and he spent nearly six months in Israeli hospitals learning to walk on an artificial leg. Since then, he has become a recognized leader of the historic International Campaign to Ban Landmines, co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Peace; and a cofounder of Survivor Corps. He has testified before the US Congress and the United Nations and appeared in hundreds of media interviews and profiles.
1. Face Facts. One must first accept the harsh reality about suffering and loss, however brutal. “This terrible thing has happened. It can’t be changed. I can’t rewind the clock. My family still needs me. So now what?”
2. Choose Life. That is, “I want to say yes to the future. I want my life to go on in a positive way.” Seizing life, not surrendering to death or stagnation, requires letting go of resentments and looking forward, not back. It can be a daily decision.
3. Reach Out. One must find peers, friends, and family to break the isolation and loneliness that come in the aftermath of crisis. Seek empathy, not pity, from people who have been through something similar. Let the people in your life into your life. “It’s up to me to reach for someone’s hand.”
4. Get Moving. Sitting back gets you nowhere. One must get out of bed and out of the house to generate momentum. We have to take responsibility for our actions. “How do I want to live the rest of my life? What steps can I take today?”
5. Give Back. Thriving, not just surviving, requires the capacity to give again, through service and acts of kindness. “How can I be an asset to those around me, and not a drain? Will I ever feel grateful again?” Yes, and by sharing your experience and talents, you will inspire others to do the same.
"They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s not quite that simple. I believe you have to decide it will make you stronger. Experience has taught me that happy endings can never be taken for granted. They must be chosen."
On Surviving and Recovery:
"We are surrounded by survivors who have gone before us, and their examples will help mark the way forward. Their experiences show us that, with the right support, everyone can recover and thrive. As we overcome hardship, there is laughter and hope and love waiting for each of us. But it is crucial for us to want those things."
Growing Stronger from Crisis:
"Is there really a way to grow stronger in crisis? You bet there is. I am convinced we not only can toughen under pressure, but also soar. Why? Because I did. And I have watched thousands of others transform tragedy into growth."
The Bell Tolls for Everyone:
"Because life will happen to all of us. Violence and terror can be visited upon just about anybody these days. Life explodes, and nothing is ever quite the same. I’m not just referring to a personal injury or illness, but also to the world where headlines of terrorism, violence, and natural disaster assault us with increasing frequency. Some of us seek consolation in the belief that tragedy is happening somewhere else, far away. But, eventually, the bell tolls for you."
How to Move Forward After Tragedy:
"I hope my story, and those of friends I’ve met around the world, will flicker light in the dark tunnel where too many people feel trapped in pain. Even better, the survivor stories in these pages can teach all of us about moving forward. All of us need to learn to manage life’s explosive moments. Life may change in an instant, like mine did in Israel, but instead of dreading them, I want to encourage all of us to honor our toughest dates—the tragedies that bind us—in an effort to transform victimhood into survivorship."
Moving from Victimhood to Survivorship to Thriving:
"Over the past twenty years, I have met and talked ‘survival’ with everyone from the famous—Diana, Princess of Wales, Elie Wiesel, King Hussein and Queen Noor of Jordan, John McCain, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lance Armstrong—and the not so famous but equally strong—Katie, Ken, Elizabeth, Colleen and others. Each has something to teach us. They don’t just get by. They thrive. That’s what I aspire to do."
The Path to Survival:
"This book illuminates the path to survival—five steps that can guide a person from tragedy toward a new life of renewed purpose and hope. The steps are not always sequential; they can be taken simultaneously. They can also spiral, skip and repeat. Survivorship is different for each individual. But anyone who has overcome adversity and learned to thrive has come to understand the power of each step."
Princess Diana on Survivorship:
"Princess Diana understood that to survive means to endure something that could have killed you or 'taken you down.' Like the loss of a son or daughter. Like stepping on a landmine. These are experiences terrible and terrifying. Such trauma presents a threshold. The outcome, positive or negative, is not pre-ordained. We can do things to foster resilience and strength going forward. Can you recall your date? Your own before-and-after moment, when life is cut in two by horrible pain or shocking news?"
Facing the Facts to Move Forward:
"This terrible thing has happened. It can’t be changed. So, now what? There’s little point wishing you hadn’t gotten into that car, or gotten the tumor, or been fired from that job. We must face some brutal facts of the here and now. It’s normal to question, but you will never get a satisfactory answer, and you’ll only waste time. The past is the past, and facts are facts."
Your Emotions are Facts:
"Emotions are facts too. But it is quite common to deny the initial experience. This is not happening to me. I will wake up from this nightmare soon. It is also quite common to feel the most intense range of emotions after a loss or crisis."
How to Survive a Catastrophe:
"How can we use the facts that confront us with unpleasant truth to help us survive catastrophe? Facing facts is so hard because it demands that we come to grips with our worst fears. It means admitting what we really think about disability, deformity and death—all scary stuff. Most of us would prefer to look away and carry on our merry way without thinking about these things. But without a closer look in the mirror, examining the wrinkles of our traumatized life, we can’t make sound decisions, and then proceed to change and grow."
On Crisis and Pain:
"Crisis and pain can hold us hostage for a time, but we still have a choice in how we will respond to our circumstances, no matter how dire. When something disrupts our life, how do we move forward? I’ve seen it time and time again in my work with victims of war atrocities—there are those who fight for their lives after devastating loss and those who succumb to their suffering. Why the difference? To truly thrive, we must consciously choose for our lives to go on in a positive way. I have had to do it more than once. Most of us have, or will."
"By choosing life we step across the second threshold of survivorship. It may be one of the hardest steps. It requires imagination and perspective in the midst of pain. It comes on the heels of brutal facts and a long look in the mirror to see who we are and where we stand. How do you choose your way forward with scars and bitter memories? You don’t let your situation define you. You reframe how to think about it. You choose humor and connections and love—you choose to live. One of the essential ways we start to embrace life is by reaching out to others."
It Takes a Village to Survive:
"No one survives on their own, and no one thrives alone either. Yes, you might feel an excruciating loneliness after one of life’s hurtful blows. But we are simply not built to survive solo. Isolation will kill us, not protect us. We humans are social animals made for community. Even when family and friends annoy the hell out of us, they remain an essential part of our survivorship."
Calling to God and to Faith:
"Sometimes it feels as if we have no instruments, we have no leader, we have nothing. That’s when many of us call out to God. For many it takes a crisis, but in our darkest moments, most of us will reach out spiritually. It’s a cry for divine help. We need someone—anyone—out there to understand. Our prayers reflect an existential plea for empathy in the universe. I believe this is a great and useful thing. I can’t encourage people enough to pray, and then pray some more. Call out. Reach out. Your questions and search for meaning are enormously important. They reflect a desire to Choose Life and Reach Out simultaneously. Whatever you believe, religion can offer a positive source of social and spiritual oxygen."
On John McCain:
"I am always impressed by the strong bond among veterans, including well-known American prisoners of war in Vietnam such as John McCain. Their military code of conduct inculcates an attitude of mutual survival, with duty to country and to family. When I first met Senator McCain over lunch in the Senate dining room, I was immediately struck by his stubborn survivor spirit. McCain credits his five-plus years of perseverance in the face of torture to his sense of duty to and camaraderie with his fellow navy men and prisoners, and a sense of honor instilled in him by the military careers and character of his father and grandfather."
Surviving and Thriving:
"There is a difference between surviving and thriving. Thriving requires tapping into our gratitude and drawing on this well to give to others. Studies on gratitude and giving are starting to proliferate. Why? Because people are catching on to the secret of happiness—giving, not getting. It turns out that by giving we end up getting as well. It’s a loop. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, 'It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.'"
We Benefit from Community:
"We benefit from belonging, from contributing to a bigger thing called community. We all have a role, with talents and gifts to deploy. Each act of generosity seeds good will. Even by listening to another person tell their tale of woe—thereby affirming their path—you can help build community. Each of us is born with talents and gifts. And they are meant to be deployed, not for simple survival, but for the good of the community. A body is also a metaphor for community, and if any one part is hurting, the whole body is weak. We need to shore each other up and make sure we acknowledge with appreciation people who pray, forgive, connect the unconnected, and serve the more vulnerable among us."
On Victimhood and Serviving:
"Why do some people stay victims? Well, it’s strangely comfortable—a kind of defense mechanism after disaster strikes. We welcome sympathy in our hour of need. And then we invite it. Eventually, we must break the victim habit and resume taking full responsibility for our future."
Survivors are Everyday People:
"I’m here to tell you that survivors are everyday people in the car next to you, behind you in the grocery store, next door mowing the lawn. I meet these people everywhere, from every walk of life, on every continent. I only wish I could share more of their stories. I hope their examples will teach and inspire you to want to thrive. Just think: if someone can overcome that level of crisis or abuse, then maybe I can hang in there too, just long enough to get through my crisis."
Life Experiences Nourish Us:
"Life experience will nourish and make us stronger. For example, studies of emergency personnel indicate that having survived one traumatic experience increases resilience and, in a sense, inoculates workers who will face subsequent traumas at work. Most of us can point to early life experiences that afford us at least some practice in building resilience."
Survivors can Survive Anything:
"Josephine Hart observed, “Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” Every time we come through tough times, we should feel some sense of pride and achievement. After all, getting through the experience may have been the hardest thing we’ve ever done. And we might be surprised to discover an inner voice and competitive spirit coaching us: I refuse to be taken out by what happened to me. I will not be defeated by this. I still believe in the possibility of the future. Even when our loss is the death of a beloved, and we may not feel like going on without them, we still honor their memory by healing and living strong."
"What do survivors say has been helpful during their tough times? I call it “empathy etiquette”—the way to support survivors in crisis by putting yourselves in their shoes. The good news is we can learn empathy etiquette, much like we can learn resilience. When we are going through something for the first time, neither we nor our friends know exactly how to behave. Nothing seems normal or real in a life-threatening storm."
On Reading People in Need:
"Just be ready to pick up on the hints people in crisis my give as to what is needed at any particular time. Try to make it about that person and not your own hang-ups or past traumas. Maybe your friend wants you to come by every day. Maybe it’s just once a week. You must assess and reassess the situation. Be open. Be kind. Bring food. Then run the vacuum and wipe down the kitchen counters after putting the leftovers away in the fridge."
Grace is a Key to Surviving:
"I think grace, in part, is what allows survivors to bring meaning to our stories. It’s available to all of us—moments of awakening. Without meaning, you may survive, but you will never inspire. And without meaning, you cannot ultimately thrive. Finding meaning in our lives is a way to dispel darkness and break through the barriers that imprison us."
On Heroism and Being a Hero:
"We don’t always have to look for larger-than-life heroes. We can be heroes for each other. We are just ordinary folk wanting to endure and live life well, even during the rough patches. But we can all benefit from role models who not only overcome adversity, but find the wherewithal to give back and serve the broader community. This is how we complete the cycle of survivorship, transforming our tragedy and blessing others in the process."
Heroes Don't Call Themselves Heroes:
"None of the survivors interviewed in this book would call themselves heroes, or particularly courageous, for that matter. They simply did what they had to do."
Thrivers Are All Around Us:
"Thrivers are all around us, not distant in history or geography. They are most often applied optimists. Pessimists can also thrive, but they have to work a bit harder to push through their tendency toward negativity. Similarly, introverts sometimes find it harder to thrive than extroverts, given the need to reach out for support during and after a crisis. The key is to know yourself so you can work with or compensate for your natural tendencies."
Final Words On The Five Steps:
"The Five Steps on our survivor journey offer a way not just to recover, not just to survive, but to thrive. Step by step, we find power to convert our dates—the days that change us—to become more than we were before the illness or the accident. We understand survivorship is anything but linear: it’s a process that involves three steps forward, a flashback or two, and then a leap ahead. Each of us is a mixed breed of survivor and victim. Some days we can exhibit healthy survivor behavior and then reveal less attractive victim behavior the next. No one is perfectly resilient or consistent. But we progress, day by day, step by step, if we want."
Around the globe, people are inflicting harm on one another on an alarming scale with alarming ease. There were approximately 250 wars throughout the 20th century. Today, there are more than 39 conflicts raging in the world –from armed conflicts in Latin America to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to genocide in Darfur.
More than 35 million people have been displaced from these conflicts—innocent people who have been robbed of their dignity, their homes and their livelihoods. With no hope or tools to rise above their circumstances, far too many victims lash out, seeking revenge for their plight and perpetuating the cycle of violence and suffering. Something has to be done to break this downward spiral.
Survivor Corps operates under the credo that no one is better equipped to change the world than those who have been most scarred by what’s wrong with it. There is a way to break the cycle of violence, and it begins with showing survivors a new, more hopeful way forward.
What is the Survivor Corps philosophy? No one is better equipped to change the world than those most scarred by what’s wrong with it.
Whom does Survivor Corps you serve? We serve people who have been injured by global conflict. Primarily through training and support of the organizations that serve victims of conflict.
Where does Survivor Corps work? Wherever communities are recovering from conflict – currently in over 50 countries.
Why should I support Survivor Corps? We have a ten-year track record of results, improving health, economic opportunity, and changing laws & policies for survivors of conflict.
How does Survivor Corp work? We work across the spectrum of issues and organizations that affect the lives of survivors.
Can Survivor Corps really solve this problem? Yes. We believe that by showing individual survivors a new, more hopeful way forward, we can help break the cycle of violence.
Survivor Corps provides the tools and support survivors need to rise above their injuries and give back to their communities.
For more information about Survivor Corps, visit: http://survivorcorps.smnr.us
For Press Inquiries:
Contact Daniel Krueger at firstname.lastname@example.org
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