Reaching Back To Pull Up

3 12 2009

How did you make it to where you currently are?  Was it a college scholarship you received?  An introduction someone made?  A sacrifice a parent gave?  Whatever it was, each of us are where we currently are because some one in some way made a difference.  When I look back over my life, I think of all the things people have done for me (whether they realized it or not) that have helped me to make it to the moment that I currently stand.

 I remember my YMCA summer camp counselor, Cheryl, who I met when I was 12 years old, and what having her as a mentor meant to me.

 I remember my boss in 1992, Sheila, a producer at BET, who said to me, “what do you want to do, you work too hard for this job,” and she made a phone call that was a introduction for me that changed my career path to this day.

 I remember my Pastor Rev. Dr. Cecil L. “Chip” Murray, who took me under his wing as a young 20 something year old starting a program.  He believed in me and encouraged me in ways that helped me to grow.

 Yes of course can also recall memories of things done by family members that helped me too.  I remember how my mother MADE me go to church every Sunday. But I also remember how that small nudge instilled in me the importance of faith.  I remember my Aunt Faye and how I admired her independence which sparked in me the notion of being an independent woman.  I remember my dad and my uncles who would take me out to lunches and dinners and made me feel like such a lady.  They showed me how a woman should be treated by a man.

I could go on but the point is, each of these people as well as countless other friends, bosses, neighbors, mentors and family became my village as they poured into my life.  It was because they each gave to me that I am the woman that I am today.  So as we close out on focus #5, “Giving Back”, the Holiday Season is a perfect time to not only reflect on the various people and/or resources that helped and/or somehow made a difference in our life,  but to also find ways to pay it forward.  That’s what it means to reach back to pull up.  It is in looking at those that reached back to each of us and pulled us up that we can continue this legacy of service by giving to others in the same way.  

Ya know for me it really is because folks reached back and pulled me up that I find myself doing the same for others today.  Reaching back and giving back through the work I do with Imani as well as a mentor, a friend, a wife and a stepmother.  I pray that somehow by making a difference, I am carrying the torch of our ancestors; partaking in the hope and opportunity so many before us fought for, so that we COULD have!   My village carried the torch as they helped me stay on my path, just as yours did for you and I really do hope that I am effectively helping others as others are still helping me.

Some of you may be saying, no one has ever given anything to me!!  So does that mean you don’t give anything to anyone else?

 “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”  Luke 6:31

 “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38

The bottom line in this discussion is that we ALL should give, and be happy to do so. The only way to TRULY make the world a better place is to make a difference and sometimes the smallest things really do mean a lot! So ladies are you a cheerful giver? Do you look for opportunities to give, share, help, encourage etc… others?  It is in the act of giving that we reap the benefits as it feels good to the heart, enriches the soul and we witness God pour out His blessings back to us.  Just because we give!!! So as we leave this topic, look back over your life and think about how you made it and find ways to continue to carry the torch so that others too can make it behind you…..that indeed is reaching back to pull up.

 “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” – Hebrews 13:16

 “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”  -1 John 3: 17-18

 “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6-7




One response

4 12 2009
JC Conrad-Ellis

Well said & so true! It’s nice to pause and tell people what a difference they made in your life & it costs nothing!!! Often, people have no idea how they’ve impacted you or your path, so when you pause to share it, it makes their day!!! Everyone wants to matter. Your blog has motivated me to reach out to try and contact our neighbor Mr. Hampton who lived next door to my family for 20+ years & showed tremendous kindness and neighborliness all the time! I’ve lost touch with the Hamptons but know someone who should be able to get me in touch with them. I’m going to pause & reconnect. I pray that Mr. Hampton is well as he should be in his seventies by now…I’ll keep you posted!

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