Much has changed for Henry Winkler since his award-winning stint as Fonzie on “Happy Days.” Along with actor, his resume now includes producer, director, and, yes, author, too. And yet, when his agent suggested he write a book, he had said quite simply, “I can’t do that. I think I’m stupid.”
And yet, his Hank Zipser series ow boasts 29 titles, and all based on his childhood and struggles with dyslexia.
Recently Winkler, now a wise 73, spoke with The Costco Connection. Here, some excerpts, starting with what he would say to his child self: One thing I would say is relax: The anticipatory fear of am I going to make it, what will happen, how am I going to make this happen, so on and so forth, is worse than the actual doing. The actual putting one foot in front of another.
Now my mantra is, “I will try. There are so many things that I put off, that I denied myself because I thought I couldn’t do it because of my dyslexia. I thought I was not capable, and, of course, inside each person is a tremendous amount of power, and all you have to do is just try it, and you find out, “Maybe I can do this.”
So now I’m telling you, I’m telling you the reader: You don’t know what you can accomplish until you just try. We are so willing to talk ourselves out of things. You can move yourself, through action, into things you didn’t know you could do.
The most important thing that I repeat over and over again is that, just because we learn differently has nothing to do with how brilliant a child is. Every child, no matter what language they speak, knows what they’re great at. It’s amazing. The child knows—why don’t we adults know? Why don’t we adults look differently at the way we teach, so we teach children how they should learn, not what we think they should learn…
Indeed, and now on to a brand-new school year…
With thanks, Carol (schoolwisebooks.com)