Sunday, February 12, 2012

Role Models

I LOVE my work.  I feel truly fortunate that I get to do what I enjoy and people pay me for it.  Honestly what's not to like?  I get paid to share knowledge, spread joy and encourage peace, calm and community.  Teaching needle arts is therapeutic, relaxing, and social (that's what both the student and I get from it).

Just a short while ago I was told that I couldn't "just sit around knitting all day".  Well not to jinx it, but apparently I can.  Some people's words should be taken with a grain of salt, and we all know we need less sodium in our diets, so why not just ditch the negative altogether.  Role models are those we look up to as inspiration for our own future successes.

When I was in college and having a rough time, I would say "If I don't graduate, I'm going to be the black Martha Stewart".  Well I did graduate, but that's not the reason I didn't become the next Martha.  As we all know I had a great window while she was in the clink, but it occurred to me that wasn't really what I wanted to do.  And heck, I'm not nearly as organized as Martha.  I realized what I liked about Martha was that she was her own boss.  She was an entrepreneur.

Don't get me wrong, I'm surrounded by business-minded people, I mean as far back as I can remember my father has had his own business.  And historically African American business owners were the pillars of their communities having boutiques and restaurants, floral shops and funeral homes and everything in between.  Somewhere along the way though a generation was lost and the people they look up to are not their parents or even their ancestors, but people from their own generation who have skills they probably won't ever possess.

Instead of doing what you think will get you "crazy paid"  how about finding out what you really like and figuring out a way to make it pay you.  Madam C.J. Walker's thinning hair paid her several times over, making her the first African American millionaire.  Mary McLeod Bethune wouldn't let the fact that there was no school for girls deter her...she started her own, now look at the legacy she left.  Use your creativity, your imagination, your divinely given gifts to get what you want.  Find proper role models to emulate.

I still love Martha, but my new role model is Madam C.J. Walker, and that's because my girls need to see successful people that look like them, so they know its possible (and seriously the woman made a fortune off of a basic thing).  Their role models need not be models, and rappers or even actors.  They need to be the ancestors that were first and the pioneers of today that keep blazing trails of innovation and creativity in business, politics, art and the humanities.  Their role models are myself and their father, my father, their grandmothers, our aunts and uncles.  We have to be role models so they will have a model of success to follow.  Wo/Man up!

Until Next Time,
Be Blessed


Nik said...

That was such a pleasant read. I found you through ravelry...through a natural hair forum.

Shanta Hayes said...

I had found you through Ravelry quite awhile ago myself. Isn't it a great site? Glad you liked the read. I'm coming off a hiatus, still not quite putting my feet all the way in, but please come back and read some older posts. They're all good ;)