Support of the Selective Kind
Over the past couple of weeks, I Google-searched support- and success-themed quotes. I also searched for articles and blogs in which people shared their success stories and the challenges they encountered along the way. I was not disappointed to find that several like myself, experienced a lack of support and encouragement from people that knew them the most.
When I published my first children’s book, I proceeded rather quietly. I mean, I gave little thought to the idea of becoming a long-term author until I held the finished work in my hand. Then I published my first novel. The amount of time I invested in both projects made me realize that I needed to determine my ultimate goals regarding publication. I asked myself, what do I hope to accomplish through writing? Where do I envision going in life as a part- or full-time author? Defining purpose and vision is crucial to the goals that we establish for ourselves. Whatever we plan to do with our time should contain both meaning and a long-term return-on-investment.
Then comes that moment in time when we wonder whether we will make impact. Human Nature drives us to seek support and encouragement from the people that we believe are important and valuable in our lives. Like the authors and writers I read about, I found it surprising when some of the people I expected to be excited for me, were nonchalant and unresponsive. In certain instances, they simply did not show any support or offer encouragement. Those experiences stunned me. I have experienced greater receptivity and support from strangers, new acquaintances, a few friends and select family members.
I shared my feelings with a close friend of mine, explaining my disappointments. Crushed and crest-fallen, I found it difficult to rid myself of dejection. My friend shared a Scripture with me, Mark 6:4. The New International Version reads, "Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home'." I pondered that Scripture throughout the day, finally understanding the message. Jesus’ own people rejected Him, despite His miraculous works. I am no god; far from being one in fact. However, I do know the feeling of being unappreciated, and rejected despite my contributions. Nonetheless, as Jesus pressed towards His mark, I too, must do the same. Every goal-setting, ambitious, success-seeking person must persevere. When God calls you to assignment, to purpose, you must finish the work no matter who supports you or rejects you. Our calling holds more importance and value than the fragile egos and envious nature of people.
I spend a lot of time in reflection and introspection. I have analyzed the manner in which people treated not only me, but also others, and made some interesting conclusions. When someone knows some intimate detail about you or possesses knowledge about your past, and you do a 360—change up on them, your transformation is difficult for them to process. In many cases, your transformation is hard for your non-supporters and critics to accept. God forbid that you change for the better and shine on them (sarcasm). In their shallow minds, they believe that your past should define your future. They, who have not undergone your trials and tribulations, or made your mistakes, believe that you should not be fulfilling your destiny, and do not deserve the blessings you have received. How can you have a checkered past, but have a prosperous future? How can you come from nothing or a low station, become something and achieve elevation? Within in their jealous hearts dwells desires for successes of their own.
I read a meme, which expressed that "some people won't celebrate others' successes because they see their own failures." These non-supporters do not know that every successful person has experienced failure at some point in life. A difference between unsuccessful and successful people is the reality that successful people failed and tried again until they achieved their objective. Moreover, successful people invest their time and talents wisely. They see moments as opportunities to exploit and effect change. They learn and evolve positively. Thus, and rightfully so, they now reap the harvest of seeds sown.
Success is possible for any and everyone. In the words, of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Everybody can be great..." The one mistake that many people have made, including myself, is waiting for approval and affirmation before walking in purpose, perfecting talent, and operationalizing the craft. Answer your call. Do the work. Real supporters will follow. As I have learned, do not although non-supporters and critics to dampen your spirits and derail you from your mission. They deserve to witness your achievements. Offer them a chilling glass of success!