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True Inspirational Stories

Updated on January 11, 2015

1954, Bannister breaks the 4-minute-mile

In sports history, it's rich with illustrations of the power of inspiration. The story of Roger Bannister and the four-minute-mile barrier is a great example. For ages, many runners had tried and failed.

In 1954, a 25-year-old British medical student running for the Amateur Athletic Association, became the first to break the four-minute-mile. Hr beat his two other runners; American Wes Santee and Australian John Landy were also attempting to be the first ones to break the 4-minute-mile wall.

Sir Roger Bannister explained that it was his failure to win a medal in the fifteen hundred meter at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics planted the seed of desire to break the barrier.

With his two pacemakers, Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway, Bannister started there run. Brasher took the first lead, then Chataway. 200 yards away from the finish, Bannister took the lead and gave it everything he had. His time said 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. Bannister just collapsed in the arms of his friend Rev Nicholas Stacey. He had beaten his two main rivals, Wes Santee and John Landy.

Until Bannister did it, nobody could break through the barrier, but within that year there were other 23 runners that matched or beaten his record. It wasn't some vitamins or other drugs, it was because people realised that if he could do it so can they. It's the power of inspiration.

Dr. Megan Coffee

Dr. Coffee with patient

The modest doctor

When the earthquake in Haiti, which struck January 12, 2010 killed over 230.000 people, there was a demand for infectious disease specialists. Most of the doctors who arrived were trained to deal with trauma and surgery.

A specialist of infectious diseases, unlike other doctors, have stayed even after the initial earthquake destruction, Dr. Megan Coffee. Harvard graduate in medicine, Oxford-trained epidemiologist and had been studying infectious diseases in Haiti.

She's been working in Haiti since the earthquake struck without pay. She doesn't draw attention to herself, in fact, most of the interviewers found her work by accident. In an interview with a New Jersey local newspaper, Dr. Coffee said: "An individual is not important. Good medical care cannot rely on one person - it's not sustainable."

Many of her former patients is now helping her with the work.

When I first read about her, I came to think about a quote by the great poet Hafiz, he wrote: "Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, "You owe me". Look what happens with a love like that it lights the whole sky."

Stars in global health: Dr. Megan Coffee

Jim Carrey's Secret Of Life

We know him from The Mask, Dumb and Dumber and as one of the best standup comedian, but here will he make you think. Come on an inspirational journey in this short of Jim Carrey's wise words.


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