When you think about the people who have played the biggest role in your life or who have inspired you the most who would they be? Is it a famous actor or athlete? Is it someone you idealized from afar, but you did not really know them or have a relationship with them? Or is it someone that personally touched your life? For me that person was and will always be my grandmother aka “Mother Dear.” When I look back over my life and I realize all the things she accomplished against all odds and no matter what was thrown her way, she was truly an amazing woman with a beautiful heart. The inspiration she gave me has stayed with me long after she has passed from this life to the next.
One thing this season has taught us is life is short and nothing is promised, not even our next breath. Whether you have been affected by COVID-19 or the trauma of the Movement birthed out of the death of George Floyd, or a mountain of other things that have developed over the past few months or years we must take advantage of every day, every moment and every breath we have now. While it is yet day, we should do all we can to inspire others with the gifts and purpose God put us on this earth to do. I believe we are in an awakening and the time for playing is over. It is time for us to be serious. I do not mean we should not enjoy life and be happy, but what I am saying is it is time for us to keep the main thing the main thing.
The current times have caused a lot of us to rethink what we do and why we are doing it. Many of the participants in the marches and protests are young people who not only never participated in something like this, but they probably never would have imagined they would be on the front lines for change. I think of the saying that the Honorable Shirley Chisholm stated, “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.” Many individuals young, old, Black and white are serving to let their voices be heard. When we pause and really look at what we do as we go about our daily lives, we should all ask ourselves: does it include helping others? Do we make a conscious effort to lift someone other than ourselves and our family? We never know how we may touch someone’s life in such a way that it would inspire them to be the next champion that brings serious change to this world.
In 1979 when I moved to Los Angeles to attend college, I attended Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, where Dr. E.V. Hill was the pastor. The church is located at 51st and Hooper in South Central Los Angeles and I remember him telling us that if we are able to move to a different neighborhood, don’t forget to come back and inspire those that are still here. When we invest in others and pour ourselves into their lives, we are impacting future generations and sometimes that is something money alone cannot buy. I am legacy driven. I want to make sure that when my time is over, I have left something positive behind. If that is my goal, then I know I must do something everyday to achieve it.
Helen Keller said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.” Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Who will you inspire before it is too late?
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Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.