‘Time to Stand’ lecture inspires

Kicking off this semester’s University Lecture Series, motivational speaker and author Sean Stephenson, who has a rare bone disorder that limits his physical abilities, told his audience: “Disability does not exist in the world. The only disability is your inability to adapt.”

“There are very few people you will meet in this world that will love you without knowing you. I am one of those people,” Stephenson said during his speech, “Time to Stand,” Thursday night at the Phyllis P. Marshall Center.

Stephenson has traveled the country and the world, communicating his ideas and feelings with youths and college students for the past 10 years.

“I want to rid the world of insecurities,” Stephenson said when asked about his overall goal of public speaking. “I think that insecurity is the root of all the stupid things we do – to ourselves and to others.”

The main points outlined were a person’s ability to better their lives in a variety of ways and to stop making excuses for the reasons people have complications with relationships, school and parents.

“We spend our lives mastering communication; some of us even major in communication,” he said. “It is important to be able to interact with one another. You should spend your time actually caring about what the other person is saying, rather than trying to formulate what clever thing you are going to say next. When you connect with somebody, you show them, you make them feel that you actually care about somebody.

“We don’t feel like we’re enough, so we’ve got to go change ourselves both externally and internally to get rid of these insecurities. It’s really quite simple. The problems are complicated; the solutions are simple.”

Jewel Smith, a junior majoring in public relations, said the speech was inspiring.

“I was looking forward to coming and listening to him,” she said. “I got a full page of information. He was very inspiring and encouraging to get through struggles. Right now my struggle is school, so his speech was very helpful.”

Stephenson has already held speeches this fall at Purdue University, Wells College and Franklin College before speaking at USF. Other events will include speeches at the University of Charleston and West Virginia State, along with five to 10 more events by the end of the fall.

The event was the first of six speeches ULS will hold this semester.