tagged with: inspiration
Kobe Bryant, Lakers shooting guard, stands ready to shoot a free throw during Tuesday night’s pre-season game against the Golden State Warriors. Bryant was essential in bringing together a large point gap late in the second quarter, after the Warriors took the early lead.

Every year during Black History month, I pay tribute to a black author, living or dead, who has made a significant impact on the literary world. But this year, I’m opening the month with a post about a basketball star–Kobe Bryant.

I feel led to do this, not because I’m a basketball fan–although I do like to watch the Miami Heats, since they are in my neck of the woods– but because Kobe’s untimely passing has so stunned the world that I could not help but join in mourning the loss of this amazing young man. All I knew of Kobe Bryant was he was one of the world’s greatest basketball players. But what touched me about him so much was his devotion to his family.

As fate would have it, Kobe and his thirteen-year-old daughter perished together in that horrible helicopter crash that also claimed the lives of seven other people. Images of Kobe and his daughter taken before the crash showed him hugging her close. I imagined him hugging her even tighter as the helicopter went down.
What a loss; to his family, to the sport and to the world.

I began this post by saying I usually write about black authors during Black History month. Well, it so happens that the multi-talented, multi-lingual Gold medalist and Oscar winner was also an author.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Kobe published the book The Mamba Mentality: How I Play. I think this book will make a fitting birthday present for my grandson who, I believe, will one day be a NBA star. Will Jayden be as great as Kobe or Shaq or LeBron or any of the other players he looks up to? Only time will tell. But I do hope he will emulate Kobe’s dedication not just to the game, but to his family and his community.

This quote from Kobe gives us a glimpse into the man’s character and the secret to his success. It has inspired me and I daresay it will inspire all who read it: “If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.”

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Today we commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. He was a civil rights activist who was not afraid to fight for what he believed in. He inspired us with his eloquence and challenged us with his vision. His “I Have A Dream” speech, which he delivered to over 250,000 people from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C., was voted the top American speech of the twentieth century in a 1999 poll.

That speech has proven to be not just an oratorical masterpiece, but a prophesy of what was to come. Even though racial inequality still exists in our society, we are seeing the dream become a reality as races join together across the country to bring awareness to the need for gun reform, an end to police killings of black people and to issues that affect women.

Fifty years later the dreamer has departed, but the dream lives on.

What about your dream as a writer? Do you have one?  MLK shouted his dream to the masses every chance he got. Have you told anyone about yours? Writers are known to be shy, introverted types, but don’t keep your dream to yourself. Tell others about it. Some may support you, others may laugh, but don’t give up on your dream. Write it, speak it, share it, and one day it will become a reality. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie was published between 1932 and 1943, and is still being read today. Maybe fifty years from now people will be talking about you.

Tweet: Some may support you, others may laugh, but don't give up on your dream. Write it, speak it, share it, and one day it will become a reality. #MartinLutherKing
Think about it.

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