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Can Change Happen In An Instant?
You hear motivational speakers say it all the time, but many people still wonder, can change happen in an instant?
This is a story about how rapid change can happen even when you’re not looking for it.
Late one night in the Chicago projects, everyone in the house was asleep except for a nine-year-old girl.
For whatever reason she was awake so she turned on the TV.
Back then there was a show called The Late Show. The Late Show appeared with a jingle every night and was the last movie shown before the television was turned off.
Yes, there was a time when the television was actually turned off.
The jingle went like this, “The Late Show, relax, enjoy a snack and watch the Late Show, Channel 2 is proud to bring the biggest stars here on the great Late Show”.
The movie shown was a little blurry for this girl (maybe how to marry a millionaire), but what she remembers is that it featured some of the most beautiful women of the time.
Not only were they beautiful, their lives were full of joy and fun. They had grapes and flowers on the tables, drank wine and martinis, and dated some of the most handsome and best-dressed men she had ever seen.
This movie made such an impression on this little girl and in that moment her life changed. Now!
Now she was only nine years old and living in a three-room apartment in the slums of Chicago, but her life changed after watching that movie.
Shortly after watching this movie, she went with her mom to the welfare office and noticed that there was a long line. It was for meals of state cheese, powdered eggs, and powdered milk.
She pulled on her mom’s coat while they were standing in line and asked “why do we have to stand in line to get food”, her mom told her to “shut up”.
She couldn’t get the movie out of her mind
But she couldn’t get this movie out of her head where she saw women with beautiful bodies and dresses and food and grapes and flowers on the table and good-looking men on their hands. She was nine years old and couldn’t get this movie out of her head.
She couldn’t understand why her life looked like that, and the life she saw on television was so different. Her life had changed forever and she knew it.
The movie was just a vision to show her that there was something different. There was a life that was better than the one she was living and she wanted it.
She came home with her mom and asked “what should I do so I don’t have to stand in line for food?” Her mom said get an education and leave Chicago.
She stored that information in her head and worked hard and did just that. It was not without its 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 faithful to her religion until she realized that all the Muslim men were looking for her for sex, so she quit her job. She didn’t finish high school and found a mentor while working at the mayor’s summer youth program who showed her how to get her GED.
She passed that exam and left Chicago to go to college in Jackson, Mississippi, where her dad and many of her mother’s relatives live.
She got her degree and was happy to get out of Chicago.
At the age of nine, she swore she would never stand in line for food because it was such a miserable childhood memory.
She made it. Despite everything. Where family members and friends were drug addicts, convicts or prostitutes. She got away with it even while the whole company was painting pictures showing her that she couldn’t.
There were billboards with people drinking and gambling, there was constant violence. Many days she had to run over guys who had been shot or stabbed to get home. But she never got the movie out of her head.
She believed and mom told her what one person can do for another person if you believe.
She moved to Houston after graduation, fell in love and married a wonderful well-dressed highly educated man and had three sons.
That little girl was me, who DECIDED to change my life at the age of nine. The change happens absolutely in an instant. That’s what happens with a decision. Once the decision is made, things will begin to manifest in your life to make that change real.
My kids don’t know what welfare is, not because I’m rich or anything special, but because I had such a bad experience as a child that I worked hard so they wouldn’t have to experience that drama.
Dedicated to guys and girls who think they can’t date
This post is dedicated to the little boys and girls growing up in the slums who have to face things they may be afraid to talk about publicly. Maybe they lose faith and don’t believe that things can get better for them. It can.
Just make the decision that you want a better life and GOD and the universe will move mountains to make it so. A decision sets everything in motion, and the work you do makes it so.
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