ReadersMagnet | Life is an endless cycle of breakthroughs and mishaps. There are days when life feels like a soothing walk through autumn leaves, while there are also days when it feels like a seething run through the freezing rain. In other words, life consists of moments that determine our character. The way we respond to these moments tells so much about who we are; and the way these moments affect us tells so much about who we are going to be. However, our life is never pre-destined nor is it stagnant. It is not a mere product of the numerous processes of the universe. More so, it is not just an outcome of a single moment. We are in full control of our fate. There is no excuse for stativity. We always have the ability to change everything, to become somebody, and to succeed. In short, life is ours to live.

The paragraph above introduces us to the prominent theme in the biographical book Adversity Builds Character by Tom Ufert.

A young man rises like a Phoenix, from the ashes with strength and courage” – this is how Cat Mahoney described the life of Tom, a 53 year-old quadriplegic who suffers from three different disabilities. Despite this, however, he still managed to live a life worthy of praise and repute. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and history as a scholar. After graduating, he rendered valuable services to politics. At a young age of 23, he became an artistic Board Chairman in the United States as head of the Shreveport Summer Music Festival. Among others, he is also a dedicated volunteer of numerous community advocacies including AIDS charities.

Drawing inspiration from his own life, Tom carefully weaved many aspects of human life into his book to create an inspiring but utterly honest story of triumph over adversities. As for Inderjit Kaur, author of Living a More Meaningful Life and Elements of Life, “Adversity builds character is yet another inspirational light and a pearl of wisdom crafted elegantly by the author Tom Ufert, where he insights his own personal experiences encapsulated in pyres of sufferings, depressions, trials and tribulations.”

With murder suicide, car crashes, alcohol, drugs, sexual troubles, and medical disabilities involved, the book indeed takes us to a trip through melancholia. It gives us the impression of a life in constant downward spiral. However, nihilist sentiments are not the central points of the book. Instead of merely enumerating and exaggerating the difficulties a man has faced in life in order to create a dark-themed self-pity story, Adversity Builds Character tells a tale of hope. It centers on positive thinking – on how instead of dwelling on misery, life challenges can be seen through rose-colored glasses to be able to develop grit. Tom, through his story, effectively conveyed this message. His book will make you contemplate, feel, and reflect.

In the words of Brae Wyckoff, Director of Kingdom Writers Association:

“Adversity Builds Character will take you into the mind and life of Tom Ufert. Through most of the book I noticed my mouth agape in shock, in horror, but mostly with an overwhelming sense of love for Tom and what he has endured.”

Overall, Adversity Builds Character is a perfectly fitting title for Tom Ufert’s book. It is indeed an inspirational story of breakthroughs, mishaps, and growth. Its overall message of hope is compelling. As Alex Laybourne has put it, “The positive outlook expressed in the book is infectious, there can be no other word used for it, and I cannot recommend it enough. It will certainly be a book that I shall read again and again.” Truly, Adversity Builds Character is a book worth reading.

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