The Power of a Promise
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Reviewed by Linda Wall, BA
May 7, 2021
Book Review – The Power of a Promise
I was interested in Lesra Martin’s book, The Power of a Promise for two reasons 1) because I had heard of him from watching the movie about Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and how Lesra learned to read by reading Carter’s autobiography The Sixteenth Round 2) because he practices law here in my hometown. The subtitle of The Power of a Promise is: Life Lessons Encountered on my Journey from Illiteracy to Lawyer.
Mr. Martin writes that it isn’t circumstances that determine our life. He goes on to juxtapose people with every advantage in life not fulfilling one’s destiny versus someone born with every disadvantage rising above their circumstances by recognizing the potential within and ‘building on what they have to accomplish great things.’
He writes, “The good news for all of us is that circumstances themselves don’t predetermine anything. They provide us with nothing more than the motivation to succeed or an excuse for not trying… In the end, it is our attitude toward our circumstances that makes all the difference in the world…”
He goes on to write that his discovery of this principle of attitude is the basis of how he was able to turn around his life – from being born in a middle-class family which fell into poverty through ill health & alcoholism, raised in the ghettos of New York, and illiterate to being taken in by ‘the Canadians’ and given every advantage for an education helped him become the successful man, lawyer, and motivational speaker he is today.
Lesra says that as he based his life on six principles: hope, heart, human spirit, dreams, determination and discipline he was able to find and pursue his special gift(s) and offer them to the world.
It makes sense that Lesra would end up becoming a lawyer after reading Hurricane Carter’s autobiography about the judicial system steeped in racism (in both the USA and Canada).
Martin touches on such topics as seizing opportunities, taking advantage of coincidences, having an attitude of gratitude and listening to the wisdom of one’s elders.
Over the last thirty years or so I’ve applied these principles; I would have had an easier time if I’d learned of these principles much earlier in my life… I guess, ‘better late than never.’
A lovely read from a very humble man. I highly recommend this book to read, and study, and apply these words of wisdom.
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