by B. L. Ford
This picture reminded me of a time when I first started to go to the Job Club that Hazel Broughton coordinated. She was going to be out of the office for awhile and asked me to be in charge in her absence— talk to the group about planning for their future and the things needed most to help them in their endeavor.
First, I gave them an illustration by telling them to look at the steps that they would need to take to get to where they want to go.
Here’s similar observation. Notice that the first step is the biggest one on the ladder. That is because if you make a decision to start your journey there is room for you to turn around and go back if you didn’t feel quite ready for that journey. Look at the banister. It has lots of briars along the way— things that might keep you from climbing to the next step. It won’t be easy. If it was easy what kind of reward would you receive? Now, look up! There is another step in front of you; and you can’t even begin to know what is going on here. You have tried both of the others and did all right, stop and think, can I do this too? Yes, you can, because you brought with you the power within to tackle problems you couldn’t even begin to face before.
I wonder did you ever stop to ask why you decided to take the first step. Could it have been that something inside of you wanted to succeed? There isn’t ever really a top step that you reach in life, because as long as life goes on, there will be more tomorrows. Some of them will bring rain. Some will bring sunshine. But when the day is over and you have given everything you could to make someone else’s day better, then you have accomplished something.
Even as a child when you fell down, what did your mother usually say? “Let’s get up and try again.” Did you ever count how many people have helped you get where you are now? I have. So many people that I would like to say helped me on my journey. My mother, there is never going to be anyone on this Earth that was a greater influence on me than my mother. She taught me to treat others with respect and to treat them as I wanted to be treated.
Then there was the Girl Scout leader who told us about helping others— making life better for other people. One of the things that I did to earn my badge was to read to an older person who couldn’t see to read anymore.
Then in the eighth grade, my mother was going to take me out of school because I had started having seizures and my older sister who walked with me to school had started high school. My principal, Mr. Lauchner, sent a cab to my home to pick me up every day. How could I ever thank him for going that extra step for me?
Next, it was my piano teacher; she instilled in me a desire to succeed. If I didn’t get the music down right, she kept working with me until I did. I had always loved to play the piano. I did when I was smaller, mostly by ear, but by the time I grew up and married, my husband who was going to be a preacher, needed me to learn how to play. He played the guitar, but wanted me to play the piano. Sometimes I would practice for six hours.
I have had several area managers in the public service field where I’ve for over twenty years, who have helped me in many ways. I recall one in particular; area manager Bobby Grant was someone very special. Almost everyone loved and appreciated him for the way he ran the office. He relocated from Houston to Austin where he died from heart problems.
One day he gave me something that encouraged me to climb higher— to keep trying when I felt that I couldn’t take another step. He found an article about other people with disabilities and how each of them overcame their challenges to succeed in life. Every one of those people achieved something wonderful in their lives; it was because they kept taking the next step up.
When I leave here and hopefully not soon, I want to know that I have helped somebody succeed in life. I desire to give back to others what they have given me. It surely isn’t about give me, give me, give me, it is about you giving and watching how what you give helps others.
So whatever step you’re on, keep climbing higher and higher. But remember someone helped you take the next step up.
Mrs. Ford is a proud 70+ year old fulfilling her purpose by sharing her wisdom with others; giving of her time and resources to help others.