This week, Dorothy, my mom, turns eighty! My best life lessons have come from her, and the reason why she was such a great teacher and powerful influence on me, Sam and Jolie (my brother and sister) was that she showed us how to succeed rather than just tell us. Anyone can talk the talk, but walking the walk requires a very determined person!
Dorothy taught us that everyone can succeed – you just have to be willing to work at it, sacrifice for it, and never, ever quit! Too often folks point at things in their past as reasons for their failure. Failure has one father: Quitting!
Dorothy had every reason to fail. She was born dirt poor in Raleigh, Mississippi during the Great Depression. She spent summers at her grandmother’s in White Oak, Mississippi, where there was no indoor plumbing or outdoor well; water was carried in buckets from a nearby creek. There was no electricity…there wasn’t even an outhouse! Her father was a raging, hateful alcoholic who lost his leg in a drunk-driving accident.
Talk about reasons to fail! But she didn’t let these things stop her. She went through college at Mississippi Southern on a music scholarship, and worked three part-time jobs to pay for food.
The second biggest lesson mom taught us is that you can be…