A Prep school teacher of mine always said great minds don’t think a like they think for themselves. The older I get the more I realize this to be true. My mother grew me up to “THINK BIG”. She gave me Ben Carson’s novel Gifted Hands and Think Big to read at the age of seven. My mother never baby talked to my sister and I. My sister and I were having running conversations with her at 8 months but we refused to walk she says. Why walk when there are people to carry you around?
My mother also taught us that you always had homework whether or not your teacher gave you . We weren’t allowed to watch TV during the week. Only on weekends. We were to use this time to do the homework that my teachers would give us and the homework that she gave us. Bummer right? No I didn’t know any other method. Because of this we were always ahead of the teacher when we were being taught. Everyone at school knew us as intelligent. One dance teacher from England nicknamed us the ‘Elle Sisters”.
The reason why I mentioned all of this is because I want to bring across the message that it’s never too early to start positioning yourself to be what you want to be later on in life. Each stage of life is a foundation for the next. I literally grew up in the classroom. When I was a baby, my mother would let us sit in the back of the classroom while she was teaching and we were very quiet. Her students were amazed.
Yesterday I was at Price rite which is a central area in St. Andrew. I saw this young lady talking to two boys. One young man was pretending to hit her. At the risk of being chastized by the young men I said to the young lady. “never let a man hit you” if you do that now you will put up with it later on in life. The young man quickly defended himself and said he was playing. They are obviously too young to understand the underlying undertones of the situation. I went to purchase and item and noticed she was still there. So I took that opportunity to tell her young lady go home and study. I told her I was just like you. I grew up in a single parent home and I used my school work to elevate me to where I am today. I went to purchase something else. She was still there so I said to you I know you might think it strange that I am a stranger and I am talking to you so frankly but I see your potential you are a beautiful young woman and you can do great things go home and study.
Let me give you another example of the type of foundation that was set for me. I grew up very sheltered and my parents were very strict. I went to Prep School then a very prestigious All girl’s high school. So you can say I was living in a false sense of reality. I went to school with the richest people and with children of entertainers. So I never quite fit in the rich children rejected me because even though my parents were professionals they did not come from riches and the so called poor students rejected me because they saw me as wealthy. So I basically stuck to people like me who were interested in paving their own path in life. I remember skulling PE class in Prep school and stay in the library reading books.
My message to young women is do you be you think big aim big. Balance is key.