You are worthy to be respected to be appreciated to be loved


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This speech was for the Convocation at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. The slides and vocals were presented earlier on SlideShare. This spoken word was to encourage students to be aware of their surroundings and take responsibility for their own lives.

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You are worthy to be respected to be appreciated to be loved

  1. 1. YOU ARE WORTHY TO BE RESPECTED TO BEAPPRECIATED TO BE LOVEDI am sharing a message today about eyes you can not see and earsthat hear you and you don’t know they are listening. I will be talkingabout emotions. I will be discussing what you probably take forgranted every day you walk this campus. I am talking about thefreedom of using your own will. This is something that can be taken inthe twinkling of an eye. What so many young people don’t realize isthat in the search for love they give up something very precious andthat something is their worth. I am here to tell you that You areWorthy.It seems like a simple word to you right now, especially for those whohave had the opportunity to have everything served to them on asilver platter. But I am not talking about material possessions. I amtalking about what makes you what you are. You are worthy to beRESPECTED …In the journey of life we are taught what life means by our parents,family, friends, teachers and peers. But, so many people go to theirplaces of solitude and wonder; “Who am I and why am I here? Youfeel as if you are being led by a leash and you are very confused asto where you are going in life.1
  2. 2. To be respected can take courage to acquire for some people.Especially people pleasers who end up being teased and tormentedand they just laugh along with the crowd, while deep inside they arein pain. They find it very difficult to walk away from the pain for fear ofbeing rejected or alone. That used to be me. I would take peoplesaying and doing horrible things to me just to be accepted. But Isoon realized that I was alone even in a crowd. So I learned tochoose friends who were truly friends and I found a peace I can notdescribe. It is a terrible feeling to be alone in a crowded room. Ideveloped a slogan for myself when I found a peace in finding aplace of solitude and then I could be alone because I chose it. Myslogan is; “It is better to be alone when I choose to be alone thanto be lonely in a crowd.” I used to be called names and laughed atand I would sit quietly by and take it while all the time I was cryinginside. I took another path and stepped away from the people thatcaused me pain and I was surprised at the new people that came intomy life and then one day an elderly woman told me;“You are Worthy to be APPRECIATED.” I was shocked, becauseno one had ever said that to me before. The word appreciated fellupon a hollow core. I was confused and conflicted.2
  3. 3. Appreciated seemed like a word that belonged to someone else. Shetold me that I would never know who I was until I could appreciatehow I was made and why I was made to be here. She pointed atherself and told me, “I love the way you sing, but you never finish asong. I love the way you write, but you never share with others. Yourwritings are just piling up to collect dust. If you share who you are andstop hiding behind the past then you will see how you can beappreciated and then you will know that …‘You are Worthy to be Loved’.I was so confused by this revelation. This lady was telling me aboutme and I was scared because it meant that I was going to have towalk away from all that I knew to find out who I was and why I washere. That is when I could hear what was always being said about meby others. So … my elderly friend died of cancer, but before she diedshe gave me … me.I began to tell myself that it was alright for me to have joy andhappiness. I began to learn the words of the bible in a whole newway. I learned what love is supposed to truly be and I gave mysincere heart and soul over to the Lord. In serving him I found peaceof mind. Now I am LIVING FREE!3
  4. 4. LIVING FREE: Freedom is priceless and as precious as pearlsJust before I opened up to present my speech I told you about my lifeas a hostage. I couldn’t see what was lurking close by. I could onlysee what was right in front of me. I was struggling to end a very longstruggle of being a victim of a man who was the father of my children.I was young and I didn’t have the option to call on my stepfatherbecause he had died in a car accident years earlier, and my motherhad died four years later.In my early twenties I was left to care for my siblings, including onewith cerebral palsy. I was challenged to climb a very steep mountainof responsibilities. I could have let my younger siblings go to SocialWorkers who appeared at my doorstep, less than twenty four hoursafter my mother died, but I fought to keep us together. I did not feeltrapped by that decision, but I did feel trapped by a marriage to a manwho beat me mercilessly. He would tell me; “I know you don’t loveme, but I have enough love for the both of us!” I was in a prisoncalled, Fear. He began to torment me for eight years after I divorcedhim.4
  5. 5. In the mist of that I left him and moved into my own apartment and Iwas doing very well, but one day he simply move into my home andtook it over while I was in the hospital having surgery. I went to workwith black eyes and swollen lips. Sometimes my neighbors wouldsay; “Hey! It looks like you’ve been in the ring with MuhammadAli!” I would just lower my head and pray for a way out of hell. If youdon’t get anything else from this speech today, remember this;“FREEDOM IS PRICELESS AND AS PRECIOUS AS PEARLS”.Think about PEARLS!INNER PEARLSLet’s start with INNER PEARLS. These are your personal pearlsand some are given to you while you are in the womb. The first pearlis LIFE.Life is a PRIVILEGE. You have been given a very precious gift. Youstruggled against all odds to be here. You searched for the pathwayto life and you found it. It is amazing. It is the first miracle.Your first privileged pearl is life itself.5
  6. 6. You have Power inside of you; You have the power to be great atanything you choose to be great at. Your parents may or may notsupport you, but in some young people they beat the odds becausethey have an inner power that no one can tame. They go on to besuccessful and they can tell you of how they enduredhomelessness, how they faced poverty, how they were torturedand battered, but they stayed on the course to become a successstory.There are some that were raised in a house that many of us can onlydream of. But they also endured physical and emotional abuse, butthey fell by the wayside because no one believed in them andthey did not believe in themselves.I say this; “That power that resides within you; don’t give it toanyone!Know your own mind. This is a most rewarding pearl, because weare born into a world that is forever changing. There are so manythings to adjust to in a very short amount of time.Learn how to say the word, “NO” and say it with conviction!I was weary of this powerful word. I was in my late forties before itmade any sense to me.6
  7. 7. I had endured domestic violence and life as a hostage, povertyand homelessness and I would still sit in a room and hear myselfbeing described and I knew that what was being said was not who orwhat I was. I had not learned to follow my own path and that led toother situations where I ended up where I was a victim again andagain. But one day I learned the power of the word ‘No’.If only I had known the freedom it could bring me. There is adifference between saying no and doing no.I’ve seen that doing nothing when simply a no would end a situationthat someone may not want to be in … it is torment. You will hearsome people say that he or she is stringing me along. Some peoplewill not walk away until they hear yes or no.OUTER PEARLSOuter Pearls, are those special gifts that you possess thatattracts you to others and others to you. A lot of oyster chuckingmust take place before a precious one can be found. After chuckingmany oysters for the right pearl, finally you hold in your hand the rightoyster of knowledge.7
  8. 8. You’ve chucked it and the pearl of wisdom inside has beenexposed. You know that pearl is precious! That pearl is theessence of you.Now is the time for you to be polished and the essence of who youare and what you are to be is put on display. This is where yourparents may have spent a great deal of their time preparing you with‘warnings about people who might come into your life’. Of course it iseasier to listen to someone else than to listen to your parentsbecause they are always around and it seems as if they are trying torun your life. When in fact they are trying to spare you the pain theyendured. I am sure that they’ve prayed many days and night for youto be safe from others, but the most difficult prayer that they pray foryou is for you to be safe from your own choices. This pearl is onethat is ignored as we get older.We do not; PAY ATTENTION TO OUR SURROUNDINGS.We put one foot in from of the other and just keep on going like thebunny rabbit. We don’t listen to hear the unexpected and we don’tlook to see all that we can see. Stalkers have mastered seekingthese special pearls and they know that you are not looking norare you listening.8
  9. 9. I was here on the campus a few months ago and I observed a younglady walking across campus and a man was watching her everymove, but there was something uncanny about the way he waswatching her that gave me chills. The young lady had no idea thatshe was being observed in this manner. Now don’t get me wrong,there is absolutely nothing wrong with being admired, but when it isthreatening and it looks like an animal on the prowl then something isvery wrong. As I stated earlier I am sharing a message todayabout eyes you can not see and ears that hear you that you maynot know is listening. I am talking about a stalker.I am sure that in this audience sits someone who knows aboutsomebody that has been a victim of a stalker. I am not asking you toraise your hands.Remember that; EVERY SMILING FACE DOES NOT HAVE ASMILING HEART.Sometimes you can tell it by the eyes. The mouth smiles, but theeyes are as cold as ice. Sometimes you can tell by the way a personwalks that something is wrong. If you feel it in your heart thatsomething isn’t right. Walk away as fast as your feet will carry youinto a crowd to protect yourself.9
  10. 10. If it doesn’t feel right … It usually isn’t. The hair that rises up onyour neck is your first attempt at your body giving you a warning thatsomething is not right. I felt that very same thing the first time I laideyes on the man that held me hostage. Although he looked to myeyes to be an older man, my heart said run and that is what I did. But,in that second he knew that I knew he was bad news. I was caught inhis snare and I did not even know him. He was a predator and I washis victim, only I was already his victim months before I ever knew ofhim. He had a plan for every plan I made to get away from him. I wasblind to the eyes that were watching me from afar. I saw peoplereacting differently towards me, but I had no idea why and I didn’t askquestions. I am asking you to be aware and trust your instincts.You can not lose what you’ve never had.BE WEARY OF FOLLOWING SOMEONE WHO SAYS, “COMEAND GO WITH ME I WILL TELL YOU WHEN WE GET THERE.”10
  11. 11. Remember when I said that Life is a privilege? You can not go backand make things right when a life is taken away. You hold your life inthe palm of your hands. Handle it carefully and it will serve you well.Think about whom you are sharing your life with and consider youractions. When you are young life seems as if it owes you everything,but in reality it is a precious gift and it is priceless. To followsomeone without considering the consequences is like handingyour life over to them. How often do you hear on the news agrieving mother saying, “I asked him not to go with them!” or “I hearda knock on the door and he left out and that’s the last time I ever sawhim.” Life is fleeting as it is … why give it away.When life has taught you a few lessons you can focus on yourFUTURE PEARLS!FUTURE PEARLSAll of your life you heard the term, DREAM BIG. My slogan is, “Holdyour head up high and keep your dreams alive!” I say that sloganto myself even when times get hard. You must hold onto hope of abetter day.11
  12. 12. Many people who have endured a difficult struggle in life have risenup above the clouds of despair and they became very successful andthose people are looked at in awe. It can seem to many people thatthis success is impossible to reach. But I say to you to Dream Bigand know that each day of life filled with pearls of wisdom, youcan see that you can achieve magnificent accomplishments in yourlife.Know that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! Of course this is another oneof those terms that you’ve heard all of your life. But I stand herebefore you and I see the future. Imagine that you are sitting herechosen from among so very many that was rejected or could notafford to be here, but here you are.FOCUS ON GETTING A GREAT EDUCATION! You might say tome; “Look, I am in college … what are you talking about?” Well Ichallenge you to go and sit at a shelter for a day or two and askquestions and you will see that some of them have many collegedegrees, but they are broken spirits. They got great bookknowledge, but they got lost somewhere along the way.12
  13. 13. True education is learning to survive through trials andtribulations. It rains on the good and it rains on the bad. Somesuccessful people can not tolerate having to start over to regain theirfortunes so they just give up. I wish I could have had the opportunitythat you are having today. You see, I don’t remember a day of school.I don’t remember a single teacher or classmate. Because of thechoice I made to save my children I live with amnesia. I was told to goon Social Security. I was told that I would always need someone tocare for me. Even though I am not rich, I have been a casting directorand now I own a publishing company. Somebody said I was aNobody one day and I said this slogan without hesitation, “I am theNobody that makes every other Nobody Somebody Special!”You see I am more than a Somebody, I am a Child of God!I AM SURE YOU CAN THINK OF OTHER PEARLS … ADD THEMTO YOUR BAG AS YOU WISH!In the years to come life will supply you with pearls of knowledge thatyou will pass on to your children or you will be a business owner or aprofessor. Just take out your pearls of wisdom and share them everynow and then.13
  14. 14. Thank you is another powerful word that we take for granted. This isa pearl of wisdom that you are taught the moment that you can reachand grab for something. As an infant you are told to say thank youand before you know it, it is second nature.Thank you for having me here with you today! If you pass me on thestreet and I don’t remember your face. Just remember mine and sayto others; “I met a Survivor today!”THANK YOU14