Save a child, save the world, the week that was Jeremy Lin's and Whitney Houston's
Sometimes we see a person with "talent" as the fan phenomena has named that occurrence when someone can possibly sing or does things in the way Whitney Houston could, and when more often than not we are moved, fascinated and enthralled at the advent of what we perceive to be an exceptional ability. In some cases this is as it should be.
But I've had the thought for some time that while that perception is prevalent it may be that the praise lavished upon those select few and the way we see them as one in a million, overlooks the fact that all of us have talents and abilities and in some cases it may be for various reasons that specific individuals who have that same potential, may have simply gone unnoticed, unappreciated and possibly unrealized.
Let me say here too that there are those persons that do have talent but are hampered by the fact that they may have been, or are actually undisciplined, or unmotivated, or possibly otherwise compromised by hindrances like a mindset that would tend to believe that being "smart" and succeeding in areas of education is uncool, and even o drop out of school is OK, or that the "in" thing to do is to be a gang banger, or it's expected to live a party lifestyle or to identify with what is said to be the "thug" lifestyle, and that way of thinking has hindered some and cost so many others their lives. I want to pause to acknowledge that some people living in some 'hoods, are said to have no choice but belong to a gang if they want to live.
Then too there are in some cases, those who would rather try to beat the system, or use the system as as a source of income, and others simply caught up in the middle of these circumstances not seeing where and how those talents could be applied and then come to think the system couldn't offer them a place in a world outside of the life they feel they live.
For instance in the past many athletes in smaller schools found in some cases their talents went virtually unnoticed and untapped unless they had the nod from the powers that ruled and granted access to a chosen few, there was simply a lack of opportunity for those athlete not meeting that criteria to utilize their abilities.
In the wake of Whitney's passing I have to appropriately recognize stars and wanna be stars, personalities and the people that are maybe hampered by personal "demons" i.e. drug addiction, incarceration and all that precipitated those consequences, and consequently all the traps and the people whose lives are lived in situations like inner city circumstances, broken homes, and dysfunctional families wherever they are found, across all spectrums of social and economic groups.
But wouldn't it be amazing to realize and see the true star potential in everyone? That might mean that an Obama like rise to prominence is not the exception but the rule, that celebrities like Patti Labelle, Aretha Franklin, Danzel, Billy Dee, Maya Angelou, Duke Ellington, Theodius Monk, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday or other people of prominence like Dr. Benjamin Carson, Colin Powel, Dr Booker T. Washington, Thurgood Marshall and the like, are one of many people, simply living among the masses, one of the many people, just waiting for the chance to be that person that if given the chance would knock your socks off, and possibly change the world. How many visionaries, doctors, lawyers, business leaders, agents, entrepreneurs, and more are waiting for the moment that has them assume their place in society, set the standard, and raise the bar?
It would also mean that we as members of that same society have by premeditated intent or lack of focus, action, contribution or involvement, denied our children, our contemporaries, ourselves and society the benefit of all that those untapped, undiscovered individuals might have lent to all our lives. The reasonings may have simply been that he or she was white, black, red, yellow, brown, the wrong religion, not part of a segmented clique or privy to a certain membership, club, political group or affiliation. How valid is that when we realize that we have possibly lost Einstein's, Plato's, Steve Job's, Bill Gates, Churchill's and so many similar talents to the ignorance of prejudice and predisposition?
If we're still unaffected by any of what those losses may have been, please consider the loss in terms of income, investments and profits. If only one other person had even almost initiated the level of innovations that for instance Steve Jobs help to introduce in the business community alone for example, might that not have changed the life you live today in some small way, or might those innovations have boosted the stock market and that in turn your stock portfolios, 401K's, dividends and shares? Do you really think Steve Jobs' was the only person that ever had a vision or a unique view of what was possible, but for the lack of opportunity could not make that innovation the next big thing? Look up Dr George Washington Carver, his innovations with the peanut alone in todays market could possibly change life as we know it. His peanut-related products include 30 cloth dyes, 19 leather dyes, 18 insulating boards, 17 wood stains, 11 wall boards and 11 peanut flours. His sweet potato related products include 73 dyes, 17 wood fillers, 14 candies, 5 library pastes, 5 breakfast foods, 4 starches, 4 flours and 3 molasses. If there is a man, woman or child that could do similar work in todays world, well I think you see where I'm going with this, innovations improve life but also produce profits, jobs and enhance the business community as a whole.
Jeremy Lin, the Knicks recently discovered sensational point guard (for just the last five games at the moment) was thought to be unlikely to even make it in the NBA, he had been previously cut by two other teams, he was asian, an Ivy league grad, and undrafted, he was regulated to the D league ( the NBA developmental league). In earlier games this season had occupied the end of the bench. He became a stater as of last Saturday by default when other players had failed to make an impression, and due to injuries, he simply got a chance to play, and with Lin in the lineup the Knicks, without the services of the two certified stars that would normally play for the Knicks, as both of them have been out of the lineup during Lin's tenure, today the Knicks are 5 and 0 and it is said that the Knicks profit shares are up by 71% (look it up if you don't believe me), this despite still having a losing record and the preseason lockout that occurred and playing in what will be an abbreviated season.
Aside from all those that are tuning in to see him play, it is noted that since Jeremy Lin has started (and the addition of Carmelo Anthony this season didn't hurt ) but in the week that Lin has started there was a 26% increase last week in viewership of (the perennial winners) L.A Lakers, Knicks game this year, over viewership of the same game last year ... BTW the Knicks won the game this year, which was unanimously thought to be unlikely, if at all possible, this is in no small part was due primarily to Jeremy Lin's play. Not to mention there are 2 million more potential customers in New York alone waiting to see him play. Unfortunately there is also a contract dispute denying them a chance to do just that and the games although local are blacked out, might that potential number of customers and the possible loss of income be motivation in the middle of a recession to resolve the contract issue? One last Jeremy Lin note at the moment his Knicks jersey, number 17 is the best selling jersey in the NBA, as it has been said "Cha Ching"
By comparison athletes and personalities like Satchel Page were denied access to perform on a stage worthy of their talents and abilities, Dr Charles Drew initiated blood plasma techniques that has since saved millions of lives, but tragically did not save his own because he was not eligible as a black man to receive the treatment that he had discovered at the hospital where he was rushed for treatment after he was involved in an accident. And to say or to think that only blacks or minorities have been discriminated against is to be just as blind and as closed mind as the mindset that allowed any prejudice to exist in the first place, any discrimination even reverse discrimination is just as much of a sacrifice of unknown positive potential as any prejudice. If we loved ourselves, loved each other, followed the old african proverb that it takes a village to raise a child, or if we observed the Christian mantra, to treat others as we would want to be treated, we might be attending a Whitney Houston concert tonight?