Without our ancestors accomplishments we wouldn’t be where we are today. I was watching Oprah’s special last night with Oscar winners and the interview between Sidney Poitier and Jamie Fox made me think of all that had been done for and said to me over the years by people that I had and hadn’t known. Oprah looked at Sidney Poitier and said that without his performance and win at the Oscar’s her success, Jamie’s success and the successes of people of color in the performance industry would never have happened.
Sidney Poitier made the comment that he always liked the line in the movie that he thought of himself as a man, not as a “black” man. All of this made me think of my friends, without the changes that have occurred over the past hundred years, as we have “grown up” as a nation, my friends wouldn’t resemble a huge portion of the united nations. How dull my life would be if everyone I associated with looked and acted exactly like me. Thank you Sidney, because of your success and the efforts of all those before you and since, my life is richer.
When going into the 4th grade, the notice arrived as to who my teacher would be at school. I was dreading the thought of going to school and having the teacher all of my friends said was mean and miserable. I begged my mother to get me switched to a different class, tears streaming down my face. She took my small hands in hers, turned me towards her and told me that not everyone liked everyone else and that was ok. What I had to do was to give the person a chance first and see for myself how I felt about them. Into the school year my teacher called my mother in to school. She met her in the hallway and mom could see me through the small window in the door. I was teaching the class. She told my mother that she had never had a “teacher’s pet” until she met me. I remember enjoying that year of school. Thank you Mom, for your wisdom, it has done me well over these many years.
When I graduated high school and was trying to determine if I wanted to go to college or not my father had his words of advice for me. He told me that in life they can take a lot away from you, his advice coming from past experience growing up. My grandfather had lost a house he was building for his large family of seven and they had no place to live during the depression and moved in with relatives. He told me that they can never take away your education, what you learn is yours to keep forever, and you never know when you will need to fall back on it. Thank you Dad, without your advice I would still be stuck in a bad situation, falling back on my “banked” education has given me a new chance at life.
We bounce around in life, bumping into people, hopefully making each others life fuller and richer with the things we say and do, changing the path of history. I had a conversation with a friend who moved here from India. I told him I never woke up and dreamed of moving to India, did he dream of moving here? It seems sometime, for all of the foreign people that move here that the states get a pretty bad rap from foreign countries. He said that he watched American movies and did dream of living here. I asked him if it was all that he had expected. He told me that it was all of that and more. Thanks Rajesh, for making me feel good about this country.
Who gave you advice that has changed your life?