As week one of being a professor has concluded, I want to share with you through my own experience that you can be whatever you want to be. It was Thomas Carlyle who said, “Adversity is the diamond dust Heaven polishes its jewels with.” I can say to you today that the quote by Mr. Carlyle is True. However, it took me a while to believe that more to life was possible for me, though I always wanted more out of life. I will tell you this, possibilities are endless, as I tell my students the same. In the same breath, circumstances and adverse situations are here to strengthen you as they did me, so don’t let a challenge make you quit.
Life is not about what others say, but more so, what you say about your life. Decide today to say good things about yourself.
You have within you greatness. It is now left up to you to believe that greatness is within you. Taking you back twelve years ago when I had just left high school, I looked down the road that was ahead of me and believe me I saw failure. Why? I didn’t pass any of my C.X.C subjects, so that alone made me feel discouraged.
Well, that is not what I really want to talk to you about today. It is more so on the possibilities available for you to accomplish is this life. I want to take you to my first day in the classroom. I looked around at the students for about 30 seconds before I said anything to them, because I am now in the position to not only educate but to empower students to be their best self.
However, a part of me was anticipating what another instructor told me of her first encounter with her students, where they weren’t so attentive. For me it was different as the students sat quietly with their eyes laser-beam-focused on me to the point where I could even feel their attention. As the introduction period concluded I reiterated, “I think I have the best set of students on campus, and whatever you want to achieve in life is possible,” which put a smile on their faces. I then told them that it is going to take more responsibility than what was entrusted upon them in high school. I guess I couldn’t resist Encouraging and Empowering my students…well, it’s part of my responsibility.
I was excited and I think my students were too. As I called upon each student they responded as if they were anticipating me calling on them. What was most impressive to me, was when a few young men shared their purpose for attending college. They spoke of how much they want to make a great impact in their community and be an influence to other young men. I didn’t respond in this way, but as Les Brown put it like this, “It takes someone with a vision of the possibilities to attain new levels of experience. Someone with the courage to live his dreams.” I saw students who will live their dreams. I love this quote by Goethe where he said, “Look at a man the way he is and he only becomes worse, but look at him as if he were what he could be, then he becomes what he should be.” I was looked at as I was while growing up as a child, but I was also looked at by some in the sense of what I could become. I struggled with both ideologies of becoming, but as life unfolds I can boldly say to you anything you want is possible. It will take some dedication, discipline and responsibility but NEVER EVER believe that you cannot change your current circumstances. It may take some time to do it, but don’t be discouraged. Because if you have a goal or desire for something you will have to play a keen role in making whatever you want a reality.
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