I grew up on the South Side of Chicago, and even as a youngster, I always knew that there was more to life than my block. There was a world beyond the end of my corner. And I knew that if I wanted better for myself and better for my life, I could not allow my block or my corner to confine me.
Some of you are afraid to go beyond your block or your corner; afraid to journey into unknown territories. I understand what it feels like to be consumed with apprehension and fear. I know what it feels like to be faced with the realization of the unknown, the unexpectedness. But in order to reach your full potential, at some point in your life, you have to step outside the box. You have to test the waters outside your comfort zone.
I knew I wasn’t going to spend the rest of my life hanging out on the block with “whatchamacallit and nem.” And although we would have to face the same struggles, we would have to fight the same battles, what would separate me from “whatchamacallit and nem” was my ability to overcome my fears and my ability to overcome my doubts.
It’s mind bogging how sometimes we don’t even know our own strength until we truly need it. It’s funny how sometimes it takes us so long to realize that if we let the fear and doubt go, how much more meaningful and prosperous our lives could be.
Sometimes when I drive into the city, I take a drive around my old block, around my old corner. And it’s sad because I usually see “whatchamacallit and nem” doing the same old thing. Never able to realize that there was more to life than the block; never able to realize that there was a world beyond the end of the corner. Don’t be like “whatchamacallit and nem.” Don’t let fear and doubt keep you from reaching your full potential in life.