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I Have A Dream

Black Excellence

"So early in my life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise."          Malcolm X

          2016 has hit me like a ton of bricks! I spent most of November and December thinking on what I have to accomplish in January, and all the daunting tasks I have to get done by the end of this year. This is a perfect example of how fear can paralyze you. I was so focused on how hard things were going to be and how much time and effort I was going to have to put in that I just stayed stagnant and accomplished nothing. I’m sitting here now on my first day back at work looking at a list of things I could have already done. As I stare at this list I think of how this attitude has effected so many, and been effective at keeping them down.

            I spoke with my parents last weekend on the differences between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., and even though I will always be non-violent I do recognize what Malcolm was trying to accomplish. The African American race as a whole has been put down for so long that the self-esteem of our people is still very low. As I sat there staring at my list it dawned on me that it wasn’t the amount of stuff on the list or the amount of time I had to accomplish it, but the fear that I wouldn’t succeed. I’ve even at times made the mistake of becoming frustrated with others thinking they’re not doing because their lazy, but it’s much MUCH bigger than that. I’m one of the most active people I know. Lazy would be one of the very last words anyone would use to describe me, but in this moment my paralysis would have appeared so. I believe it's the fear. The fear of being successful, and the fear of attempting to be and failing. There is a lack of true confidence in the excellence of our people, and our ability to accomplish great success the right way.

            The complication here is that sometimes it’s just a lack of know-how and support. Not everyone is born with the same set of tools and so not everyone is going to know how to go about becoming a doctor, even if that’s all they have ever wanted to be. My main point to make here is that YOU CAN’T GIVE UP ON THAT DREAM! For example, I don’t know any clinical neuropsychologist at all. To this day I have still only personally met one. My parents aren’t in the field, their friends aren’t in the field, and neither are my friends nor other family members. There is no one in my environment doing this. I was starting from scratch and that’s scary, but it’s not impossible. Let Google be your best friend! Don't have internet? Go to the local library or nearest place with free wifi. Get a G-Mail and e-mail everyone you can to get advise, information, your next steps, etc. If you’re smart, which everyone has the potential to be, then BE CONFIDENT. Speak with authority and conviction. Let it show how passionate you are about achieving success.

            I can’t speak on the struggle, because financially I’ve never felt it, but I have wanted something so badly and had no idea or resources of which to achieve it. It’s hard. I will be the first to tell you that it’s very hard, and when I first told my parents my plan for life they weren’t supportive, as very few people are for Psychology majors. Not everyone is going to approve of your dream or believe in it, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is impossible. Network. Get out there and apply and accept every opportunity you are given. You can sleep when you’re dead. Work hard and don’t ever stop. We as a black community are powerful, smart, and capable in our own right, so don’t be paralyzed like I was. Just attack the list one step at a time with confidence. We are all able. We are all special. And we are all here to be great! So decide your dream, attack your list, and never let anyone tell you you can’t……and above all else always, Be You.
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