5.20.2009

A Grandmother’s Wisdom: Doing For Self Doesn’t Mean By Yourself

by Jesse Muhammad
for The D-Mars.com Business Journal
30th Edition

If you meet or hear any successful person saying that they got where they are by themselves, then I suggest that you no longer listen to that person because they are being untruthful. There is no one individual on the planet that has achieved one iota of success by themselves.

Someone paid a price. Let me give you a personal example.

On May 11, my grandmother, Myrtle Jackson Ross, was blessed to turn 80 years old. For weeks, my family planned a huge surprise birthday celebration for her to be held on May 2.

But something happened two days before the event. Early that morning,
she started experiencing severe breathing issues and had to be rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital. After running some tests, the doctors determined that she
had to be admitted into the hospital for at least two to three days and that
meant of course she could not make the surprise party.

Our initial thoughts as a family were to postpone it, but we would not have been able to reach those hundreds of invitees in time so we decided to go on with the show. The plan was to videotape the entire program, take countless photos and present it all to her as a gift.

I sat and listened as speaker after speaker spoke on the greatness of my grandmother. Houston political figures spoke of the behind-the-scenes work she did to get them elected. Her great grandchildren sung songs, played the trumpet, performed on the piano, read poetry and even delivered speeches in her honor. Her three daughters held back tears as they spoke on how she raised them to be the great women they are today.

All of her grandchildren, including me, spoke about how hard she was on all of us and how she never accepted mediocre performance. This is the same woman that used to put something on my backside for making a B in class when I attended Fonwood Elementary...that’s how serious she was and is.

So although my grandmother was not physically present at her own birthday party, her indomitable genes, influence, love and helping hands were there through all of us. That one woman has touched so many people in her 80 years but she always honors
those who have helped her because her motto is “Doing For Self Doesn’t
Mean By Yourself ”.

It doesn’t matter if you’re getting a degree, starting a business, or winning an award, always take the time to appreciate those who paved the way for you or helped you along the way. You didn’t do it alone.

P.S. My grandmother is out of the hospital and will be enjoying her gift soon. (smile)