You hear motivational speakers say it all the time, but many still wonder if change can happen in an instant.
This is a story of how quickly change can happen even when you’re not looking for it.
On the Chicago projects late one night, everyone in the house was asleep except for a nine-year-old girl.
For some reason, she was up, so she turned on the television.
Back then there was a show called the Late Show. The Late Show featured a jingle every night and was the last movie shown before television went off the air.
Yes, there was a time when television stopped broadcasting.
The jingle read thus: “The Late Show, relax, enjoy a snack and watch the Late Show, channel 2 is proud to bring the best stars here on the big Late Show.”
The movie shown was a bit of a blur for this girl (maybe how to marry a millionaire), but what she remembers is that some of the most beautiful women of that time were in it.
They were not only beautiful, their lives were full of joy and fun. They had grapes and flowers on their tables, drank wine and martinis, and dated some of the most handsome and well-dressed men she had ever seen.
This movie made a big impression on this little girl and at that moment her life changed. Instantly!
Now, he was only nine years old and living in a three-bedroom apartment project in the slums of Chicago, but his life changed after seeing that movie.
Shortly after seeing this movie, she went to the welfare office with her mother and noticed that there was a long line. It was for government cheese rations, powdered eggs, and powdered milk.
She put on her mother’s coat as they stood in line and asked “why do we have to stand in line to get food?” His mom told her to “shut up.”
She couldn’t get the movie out of her head
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 handsome men in their arms. She was nine years old and couldn’t get this movie out of her head.
He couldn’t understand why his life looked like this and the life he saw on TV was so different. Her life had changed forever and she knew it.
The movie was just a vision to show him that there was something different out there. 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 can I do so I don’t have to stand in line to buy food?” His mom said to get an education and get out of Chicago.
He stored that information in his head and worked hard and did exactly that. It did not happen without challenges. As a teenager he hated everything and decided to rebel and follow the teachings of Elijah Muhammad. She became Muslim at 17.
She was faithful to the religion until she realized that all Muslim men were persecuting her for sex, so she quit. She had not graduated from high school and she found a mentor while she was working in the mayor’s summer youth program who showed her how to get a GED.
He passed that exam and left Chicago for college in Jackson, Mississippi, where his father and many of his mother’s relatives live.
He got his degree and was happy to get out of Chicago.
At nine years old she swore she would never stand in line to buy food because it was such a sad memory as a child.
She did it. Against all odds. Where family and friends were drug addicts, convicts or prostitutes. She came out even when the whole society painted pictures showing her that she couldn’t.
There were billboards with people drinking and gambling, there was constant violence. Many days I had to walk over guys who had been shot or stabbed to get home. But she never got the movie out of her head.
She believed and her mom told her what one person can do, another person can do if you believe.
She moved to Houston after graduation, fell in love with and married a wonderful well-dressed educated man and had three children.
That girl was me, who at the age of nine DECIDED to change my life. The change absolutely happens in an instant. It happens with a decision. Once the decision is made, things will start to manifest in your life for that change to be real.
My kids don’t know what a welfare office is not because I’m rich or anything special, but because it was such a bad experience for me as a kid that I worked hard so they didn’t have to go through that drama.
Dedicated to the boys and girls who think they can’t get out
This post is dedicated to young boys and girls who grow up in the slums and who have to deal with things that they may be afraid to talk about in public. They may be losing faith and do not believe things can get any better for them. Can.
Just make the decision that you want a better life and GOD and the universe will move mountains to make it so. The decision sets everything in motion and the work you do makes it happen.