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Can Change Happen In An Instant?
You hear motivational speakers say this all the time but many still wonder if a moment can make a difference?
This is a story of how fast change can happen when we are not looking for it.
Late one night in the Chicago projects, everyone in the house was asleep except for the nine-year-old girl.
She was up for whatever reason so she turned on the TV.
Back then there was a show called Late Show. The Late Show started every night with a jingle and was the last film shown before television was switched off.
Yes, there was a time when television actually went off the air.
The jingle was, “The Late Show, enjoy a leisurely snack and watch the Late Show, Channel 2 is proud to bring great stars to the Great Late Show”.
The movie shown was a bit obscure to this girl, (probably how to marry a millionaire) but what she remembers was that there were some beautiful women of the time in it.
Not only were they beautiful, but their lives were full of joy and fun. They had grapes and flowers on their tables, drank wine and martinis, and dated some of the best-looking and best-dressed men they had ever seen.
This movie deeply affected this little girl and changed her life at that moment. Immediately!
Now, she was only nine years old living in a three-bedroom project apartment in the slums of Chicago, yet her life changed after watching that movie.
Soon after watching the film, she went to the welfare office with her mother and noticed that there was a long queue. It was for government rations of cheese, powdered eggs and powdered milk.
She pulled her mother’s coat while standing in line and asked “why do we have to stand in line to get food” her mother told her to “shut up”.
She couldn’t get the movie out of her mind
But she couldn’t get the movie out of her head where she saw beautiful bodies and dresses and women with food and grapes and flowers on the table and handsome looking men on their hands. She was nine years old and couldn’t get the movie out of her mind.
She couldn’t understand why her life looked like this and the life she saw on television was so different. Her life had changed forever and she knew it.
The film was just a vision to show her that there was something different out there. There was a better life than the one she was living and she wanted it.
She came home with her mother and asked, “What can I do so I don’t have to stand in line for food?” Her mother said get an education and move out of Chicago.
She stored that information in her head and worked hard to do the same. This has not been without challenges. As a teenager she hated everything and decided to rebel and follow the teachings of Elijah Muhammad. She became a Muslim at the age of 17.
She was loyal to the religion until she realized that all the Muslim men were after her for sex, so she left the religion. She hadn’t graduated from high school, and while working at the mayor’s summer youth program, she found a mentor who showed her how to get her GED.
She passed that exam and left Chicago to attend college in Jackson, Mississippi, where her father and many of her mother’s relatives lived.
She was glad she got her degree and got out of Chicago.
At the age of nine, she swore she would never stand in line for food because it was a miserable childhood memory.
She made it. Against all odds. Where family members and friends were drug addicts, convicts or prostitutes. She walked out despite all the society taking pictures around her showing that she couldn’t fit.
There were billboards with people drinking and gambling, there was constant violence. Many days she had to step over children who had been shot or stabbed to get home. But this film never left her mind.
She believed and her mother told her that what one person can do, another person can do if you believe.
After graduating, she moved to Houston, fell in love and married a well-dressed, highly educated man, and had three sons.
I was that girl who decided to change my life at the age of nine. The change is instantaneous. It was a decision. Once a decision is made, things will begin to manifest in your life to make that change a reality.
My kids don’t know what the welfare office is because I’m rich or nothing special but it was a very bad experience for me as a child because I worked so hard so they didn’t have to experience that drama.
Dedicated to boys and girls who feel like they can’t get out
This post is dedicated to the little boys and girls growing up in the slums who face things they are afraid to talk about in public. They may be losing faith and don’t believe that things can get better for them. It can.
Just make a decision that you want a better life and God and the universe will move mountains to make it happen. Decisions set everything in motion and make what you do happen.
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