Not long ago, I was sitting on the couch reading my Sunday morning newspaper and having a cup of coffee (which I look forward to ALL week) while my husband was flipping through the TV channels. He is an avid reader as well so he enjoys checking out the channels where authors do book talks. He stopped to listen to Byron Pitts speak about his book Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life’s Challenges. Pitts is a chief national correspondent for CBS News and a contributing correspondent for 60 Minutes so he is a very familiar face on the news tv circuit. I was immediately drawn in to Pitts book talk and had to then check out his book.
Pitts had some major challenges to overcome growing up in Baltimore as he explains in his book. He had a terribly debilitating stutter and was functionally illiterate. While these were huge obstacles to overcome, what makes Pitts book compelling is the story of the key people who took the time and effort to encourage and work with him-the people who literally stepped on nothing to reach him. They told his mother in elementary that he was illiterate so his mother and coach worked tirelessly with him through elementary and high school. He struggled with vocabulary and spelling so his roommate in college worked with him every day. He even had a college professor label him a failure and literally told him to drop out of college but another professor believed in him and helped him find the tools to succeed.
Two things stand out about this book to make it a winner. One, a few people in this young man’s life saw a child in need of some help and stepped up to give it to him, and he gives tribute to them. Two, this young man worked tirelessly and continuously to overcome his challenges and become a success. Pitt’s book is a success in my opinion because he acknowledges that on one hand we all have great challenges in our lives that can be overcome while on the other hand we all have opportunities to step out on nothing and make a difference to someone else. This is an encouraging uplifting story for those late winter blahs.
Step Out On Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life's Challenges