POTUS: President of the United States
MLK: Martin Luther King Jr.
I had the pleasure of experiencing the inauguration activities on January 21st 2013. When I think of President Barack Hussein Obama and Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior I think of exceptional men and exceptional leadership. These two men are the epitome of integrity and character. When you think of setting the standard, these two men, are the standard. Martin defined the core of the black American. Martin helped the black American identity equal all other races when we were considered less than human. Martin helped all blacks empower themselves and move together for a unification of all races equally. Obama represents the United States as a President who is black. Obama shattered the glass ceiling dominance of white men over the highest elected office in this country.
There is no longer any limitation on a position a black man can attain. There are no more excuses why any black man or woman can’t be the President or be great in any endeavor. Martin was a great black leader, Obama is a great leader who happens to be black. There is a difference but neither is higher or lower in stature as a leader or an individual but both were exceptional without question. The common man like you or I share the dream of Martin and reap the benefits of Obama’s example as a father, husband, leader, President and a man. We see the completeness of a human being in all facets of their character, actions, and accomplishments. I’m content in my endeavors and accomplishments. I’m living a blessed life and have no regrets for my actions…my plan A is working out.
So…what about you mentee? What are you going to do with the example the President has established? Are you exceptional? Are you brave enough to be exceptional? To be exceptional means to be different, to go against the grain, to follow your own path, to be “uncool”. So…to be exceptional you are studying when everyone else is partying. You are listening to your parents instruction and doing your homework when everyone is playing Xbox. You can walk away from a trouble and not go along with ignorance. Your lifestyle favors hard work and doing what’s right. Regardless of your situation you have to see yourself out of it. You have to look at every challenge dead in its eyes and charge into it…it makes you resilient. Make a habit of putting yourself in situations that make you feel uncomfortable…speaking in front of people, raising your hand to ask a question, volunteering to be the leader, it only will strengthen you. Get use to the feeling of accomplishment…set high goals for yourself. After you fear something, you have a choice; you can let it defeat you by not trying or you can push past that fear and keep trying. Trying and not succeeding is not failure…failure is giving up totally. Sure there are going to be people, sometimes your relatives and friends, that will try to convince you not to try…don’t listen to them. You may not succeed the first time, but I guarantee you’ll learn something to get closer to succeeding next time.
Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying…being exceptional doesn’t guarantee you will be famous or rich…no…a possibility yes, definitely. It does mean that you will have more opportunities to be famous or rich than anyone else. You life will be rich with experiences and people that are visionaries and thinkers from all walks of life. I’m from North Philadelphia, the hood, I spent the majority my life in the city. Looking back, I wouldn’t ever have thought I would have gone golfing in Bermuda, presented to high ranking generals in the military, scuba diving and petting sharks in Belize, met the Premier of Bermuda, zip-lining from mountain top to mountain top over a rainforest in Puerto Rico, snorkeling in Aruba, partying in Carlos and Charlies in Cozumel or snowboarding in Colorado. So get your life started, put yourself out there…the world is waiting for you. Do you want to play the game or sit or sit on the bench? To be exceptional begins here…it begins with who you want to be, not who you are.
Quote: “Leaders put themselves in situations, followers simply won’t”