On January 21, 2013, the whole world paused to watch and listen as historic moments were written into tomorrow’s history books. As if scripted for a television series, President Barack Obama took the Presidential Oath of Office on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The irony of the moment is not lost on those who fought so hard for so long to gain equal consideration in all areas of society. On the same mall where folks were showered by the prophetic declarations of Dr. King, millions stood to capture that presidential moment in time.
In reading President Obama’s books about his life, you quickly get the sense that the kid named Barry Obama was not born into high society, nor was he raised to be the supreme ruler of anything. He was an ordinary kid born to an interracial couple. Just as many of the youth in our community struggle with issues today, Barry Obama struggled with identity issues, “broken” family issues, family financial issues and a whole host of other issues that continue to plague young people all over the world.
Through all of the issues, young Barry Obama learned early the value of education. Through the insistence and assistance of his mother, he studied long and hard through school, played sports and made good grades. As he began to choose his path in life, he knew that education would be essential for him to reach his goals. For all of his hard work in elementary, middle and high school, Barry Obama found himself pursuing a law degree at one of the most prestigious schools in the United States. The years of hard work in grade school were practice for the hard work and long hours necessary to finish law school.
The President we see on television today is the result of a series of hard-fought battles over a long period of time. During any one of those battles, young Barry Obama could have given up. He could simply have been satisfied with doing just well enough. Or, he could have set his aspirations so low that it would not have required half of the work or discipline.
Because Barry Obama, the boy, pursued excellence back then, we give deference to President Barack H. Obama now. This is his story. What chapters are you writing in your story? At some point in the future, you will look back over the patterns, habits and efforts of your youth and they will lead you to the measure of success that you have achieved. To put it in different terms, the way you do what you do right now, is a pretty good measure of how you will do what you do during your adult years. I hope the road you are paving with today’s efforts will sustain and support tomorrow’s travels.
Each of us will have a story to tell. Or rather, each of us will have our story told. The measure of success, happiness, riches or rewards is not in how much money you have or things you accumulate. The true story of each man or woman will be in how much we change the world around us, rather than how much we were changed by the world. I like to think that I write good things in the story of my life by helping young people every day. I pray that somewhere ages and ages hence, someone will smile when they talk about my life and say, “That was His Story”!
Begin your legacy today in the hopes of having a better tomorrow! Be Young! Have Fun!