I tell this story often, but when I was in the fourth grade, I became a man.
That sounds crazy I know!
My 4th grade teacher, in his own choice words, told me that I wouldn’t turn out to be anything. He called me an endangered species. At this time, I didn’t know what he was talking about. I thought he was calling me some type of animal or something…literally!
Basically he was telling me that I had nothing to offer, telling me that the American dream didn’t have a face in it that looked like mine. For those of you who haven’t caught on, he told me I was nothing and would soon become irrelevant to society because I was a young Black male. At that point in my life, I became a man.
I saw him again when I was in high school, attending Flint Central High School – Thee Flint Central. I was at the library with a friend of mine, and we bump into this teacher. He asked, “What are you doing here?” I’m studying, I replied. He said, “Oh, I thought you’d be a drop out by now”.
With my faith at the forefront, I told myself that ‘that teacher didn’t create me’, so therefore he couldn’t tell me what I could turn out to be.
Famous writer Rick Warren gave the analogy that, “If I gave you an invention that you had never seen before, you wouldn’t know its purpose, and the invention itself wouldn’t be able to tell you either. You would have to do one of two things. Get the owner’s manual. Or ask the creator of the invention.” This is the only way you can find out its purpose.
So in my life, bringing that into reality, my owner’s manual was my Bible, and my creator was God. So I could care less what other people had to say about me, or what other people thought I would turn out to be. His perception of me was his reality – but it wasn’t mine. In the most humble tone, I credit many of my successes to his disbelief in me. Thanks teach!
The Motivation for me is them telling me what I could not be. Oh well. – Jay Z
With God, nothing is impossible…