“The biggest fallacy on earth is that you can be anything that you want to be. You can only be what you were meant to be.”
Recently, a death row chaplain was consumed by a deep state of depression. He ended his life by hanging himself from a tree in his backyard. A few weeks prior; he was relieved of his position at Central Prison, allegedly for viewing Internet porn during work hours. SMH
Early on in this Word to the Masses movement, I wrote a post entitled, “Depressed No More.” The inspiration for this post came from a sermon by this particular chaplain. The message itself was powerful, but in hindsight a bit ironic. Read the post and see for yourself. (http://word2themasses.blogspot.com/2010/11/depressed-no-more.html)
No one is exempt from the highs and lows of this worldly existence. The key to negotiating the highs and overcoming the lows is being true to you throughout. Even while bearing the cross – Jesus remained true to himself. He refused to allow the world to dictate what his destiny would be. At the hands of death, he stood firm in being who/what he was meant to be. Feel me?
When I think of people being true to who they are, my homegirl, Dawn Staley comes to mind. She was recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. She was enshrined as a member of the class of 2K13 on 9/8/2013, in Springfield, MA.
Now, for anyone outside of the North Philly hemisphere – unfamiliar with Dawn’s accomplishments – let me just give you a brief rundown of her legendary bio: She played high school ball at Murrell Dobbins Tech (in North Philly).
Then she accepted a scholarship to play ball at the University of Virginia – where she starred in 3 Final Fours and copped 2 National Player of the Year awards. She also won Olympic gold medals in 96’, 00’ and 04,’ and had a stellar professional career in both the ABL and WNBA. That’s what’s up!
Dawn remained true to her North Philly roots when she returned home to coach the Lady Owls of Temple University. After 8 years, she moved on to coach the Lady Gamecocks of South Carolina. Basketball is definitely in her blood. But, this 5’6” dynamo is much more than a ballplayer.
She often refers to basketball as the gift that keeps on giving. How true that statement is. The reaction of the ballers on the row when they read our game –to-game commentary is priceless. It’s a gift that works both ways. Na mean?
Just recently, Dawn joined former President Bill Clinton on a 10-day trip to Africa, as part of a delegation that is following up on the progress of programs that were established by the Clinton Foundation. “Coming out of North Philly, no one’s supposed to survive,” she says. Helping people on an international scale is simply who she is. Basketball was merely the vessel to bring it to fruition. Dawn is everything right about being who you are. Word is bond!
The chaplain taking his own life isn’t encouraging for anyone searching for meaning. I can only hope that people will use this type of tragedy to discourage them from giving up on the development of the bigger picture. At your lowest point in life, you can make a positive difference in someone else’s.
North Philly embraces your life achievements, Dawn. You inspire a Mann to keep pushing when it seems the world is applying a full court press. From point guard to point guard; thanks for being who you are. Ya heard?
“Following a leader isn’t enough. You must be true to your own calling to succeed.”
-Mitzi Miller, Editor –in Chief of Jet Magazine.
MannofStat, NP 4Life
Copyright © 2013 by Leroy Elwood Mann