Lessons From The Past: How to stop making lame excuse for the future

“How dare I, who’d been given opportunities unimagined by my ancestors, even think of being tired enough to quit?” (Oprah Winfrey on the thought of quitting the Oprah Winfrey Show “What I Know for Sure”)

As I sit back and reflect on Black History Month, I think of an event that I found myself at this year.  In the middle would be a segment called “Little Known Black History Facts,” I was curious to see if it was going to be little known or just the facts that pop up when you google “African American History.” (you know pick five on the first page).  But I must say the presenter did some digging as I was amazed at the stories that she shared with us and the accomplishments and creations that were invented.  The accomplishments of these folks not only amazed me but as the presenter shared the backstories of where they came from; I leaned on every word and was hit with a sense of motivation. 

Afterward I found myself beside the speaker and began to spark up a conversation.  I thanked her for her time and the cool stuff that I had the opportunity to learn about.  She chimed in and added how important it is for us to know our history and what we come from.

I don’t even remember thinking the next words that came off of my lips, they never marinated in my mind but slipped out of my mouth and I just blurted out….

Photo Credits: Dope $ociety

Photo Credits: Dope $ociety

 “ya know if we really understood the obstacles that those before us had to fight and press through to accomplish half of these achievements we wouldn’t whine about the small factors that get in our way.”

The speaker turned to face me as her face beamed in agreement while almost screaming “EXCATLY!”  She then added how most of them were self-educated, fled from slavery, or came from extreme poverty. 

Even days later I couldn’t shake the thought of the words that came out of my mouth; it just continued to replay over and over inside of my head…”If we knew the obstacles that those before us had to fight we wouldn’t whine about the small factors that get in our way.”

Our ancestors were some fear hurdlers FO REAL!  We stand on the strong shoulders of those who came before us.  The next time I tell myself that “I don’t have time,” “I’m scared what they going to say about me” or “I’m not smart enough to do that” I ’ma have to check myself and remember the DNA that created me; I AM AN OVERCOMER, an ACHIEVER, and I AM MORE THAN A CONQUER! 

The road has already been paved; now it’s our duty to walk down it.  I challenge you today to spend some time to really become familiar with African American achievers and their accomplishments.  Write 3 stories down; and on those days when you feel like giving up read it as encouragement to KEEP PUSHING!