Preparation & Responsibility

By Walter L. Hilliard III

 

Many years ago, I sat in a college classroom at Kutztown University enjoying my exchanges with a “hippie throwback” professor who had fallen and was unable to climb out of the long gone ‘60s.   But his brilliance taught me a thing or two and laid titles on my views about a corporate-run American society struggling to stay on track on a runaway train driven by Wall Street and ignored by politicians.  And here we are today still licking our wounds after that train crash.

 

Yes, during and after college I was afraid, very afraid.  So I decided I’d had enough of self-important politicians speechifying about voting for them and decided that I’d go out into the Community and “do” what we vote for politicians to do for us.  Many moons and successful grassroots programs later, I still have little desire to talk with politicians.  I mean, have you ever talked to a politician (they’re all the same) and then have them give you that look, like, “Uhhh, I’m sorry, what’d ya say, I wasn’t listening?”

 

My Life Response:  “Uhhhm, sorry, I was simply asking you to get your ‘career’ out of my way so I can continue working.  Thank you.”

 

Activism and real grassroots programming is what’s missing in America.  And Barack Obama is viewed as Rock Star and a Messiah because too many of us have been “dressing in the dark,” waiting for someone to open up our minds and shine their light onto aspirations we don’t believe we can act on.

 

The thing about excuses: if you have them, you’ll use them.  Community and personal responsibility will always be our only saviors. Barack is not going to save us.

 

We all loved Michael Jackson for his talent and charity work, but he refused to grow up and take on his responsibility to be a man, always blaming his father, Joe Jackson, for his abhorrent behavior and unhappiness.  Swim around in your sorrows and life makes you pay.

 

Bottom line: after high school, you can start a family, fight in a war, or do anything you want to do so stop blaming your parents for your shortcomings.

 

Many of us are hiding our greatness in church pews and behind mates, but we will always be the leaders we are looking for.

 

Will Smith, a multi-billion dollar entertainer and businessman, said:  “If you stay ready you ain’t got to git ready.” Does Will know what he’s talking about?  Well, eleven or so of his movies have earned over $300 million, EACH, and every rap album he’s made has gone gold (500,000 sold) or platinum (one million sold).  And to think of all the rappers who had laughed at Will and said his rapping style was corny.  Ha-ha – I’d tell you their names, but . . . I can’t remember them?

 

Anyway, we should admire Will more for his community service projects, such as the New Village Academy he started in Calabasas, California, giving students with limited opportunities a chance to succeed in life.

 

Big Willie, or so he calls himself, said that what separates him from others is that he will not be outworked by anyone. “If we were both on treadmills,” said Will, “you’ll fall and give up before I will, or I will die on the treadmill.  While the other guy is sleeping, I’m working.”

 

What could you accomplish if your work ethic matched Will’s?

 

You Can Run from Your Greatness, but you Cannot Hide from Your “Self.”

 

There will never be anyone like you – your work can never be duplicated.   And don’t let fear, a self-fulfilling prophecy, hold you back.

What if Martin Luther King had ignored his desire to change America and said, “Nahhh, it’s too dangerous, I’ll just play it safe and chill in my church?”  Thus, there would be no Barack Obama.

 

And Dr. King didn’t have two brains. Would Martin accept your excuses?  I know your mama and friends are tired of hearing your excuses:  “But mama . . . .”

 

Are your dreams going to join the millions buried in the graveyard?

 

How do you awaken:  “Good morning, Lord!” or “Good Lord, it’s morning!”

 

And don’t let the unhappy people “gift you” their miserable reality.  Misery doesn’t just love company, it wants to move in.

 

Your Reputation Is Based On Your Preparation.

 

The harder you work, the luckier you get.

 

I remember – after agreeing to do a presentation for a few teachers – pulling up to the high school and asking my friend if there was a basketball game that night because of all the cars.  Needless to say, I discovered I was the only game going on that night when I walked into an auditorium filled with every teacher in the school.

 

I paused to smile at my friend, with revenge in my eyes, turned to the crowd, and gave one of my best presentations, ever.  I was prepared.

 

Talk Isn’t Cheap, It’s Free.

 

Talking too much is like Novocain, it numbs your sense of urgency to take the action your subconscious mind needs to help you develop the habits that will make you successful.  If talking alone made success a reality we’d all have everything we wanted.  “Don’t talk about it, be about it.” Waiting is a trap:  “One day I’m gonna . . . .”

 

“. . . You gonna, what – die?  Well, you got that right.”

 

Ouch!

 

When you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail, and our world is the lesser for it.