My father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, was famous for his life mantra: “You’ll be the same person five years from now that you are today except for two things; the people you meet and the books you read.” As I reflect back on 2017, I can attest that this year has been one of the most tremendous ones yet due in large part to those very things.
I grew up watching my father meet with people who were discouraged, downtrodden, or downright desperate. After the initial hug and hearing their words of despair, he’d nod his head and walk over to his vast array of books. He’d hand one to the person and tell them to read. Anyone that has ever had this experience knows that my father would then sit silently, save for a few “yes’s” and “amens” with his head bowed. And without fail, those words were exactly what the individual needed to hear.
Was it magic? Was my father a psychic? Was he a faith healer? No. The “magic” was in the heart of the person doing the reading. They were open to receive the words. They were open to quiet their own fears and negative self-talk and hear words of encouragement. They were encouraged and soothed simply because they allowed someone’s else’s wisdom to enter into their heart and mind.
This is my final year of coursework for my doctoral program. I’ve been “forced” to read required texts, ancillary articles, peer-reviewed journals, and listen to numerous online courses. Where did that get me? To a heightened, enlightened, creative, innovative and joyous place in my life. And coupled with the renewal and transformation of my mind, I got to meet up with my cohorts as well as numerous people I’ve connected with through speaking engagements, youth programs, and civic projects.
This was the year of pouring myself out and look where it got me. Richer and fuller and more peaceful than I’ve ever been. If you are wondering where you are and how you got there, take a long look at who you have in your life and what you’re allowing inside your mind. You are such a precious resource that needs fed and edified. So, don’t settle for trashy people or words. You are much too tremendous for that. We need you at the peak of your game and we are delighted that you are part of the Tremendous family.
There’s still time to end 2017 on a tremendous note. Take time during the darker days and longer nights to get acquainted with some wonderful books. And tis the season to connect and unite! Reconnect with long-lost friends, extend the olive branch to a broken sibling relationship and volunteer at the countless incredible organizations that are transforming the lives of others. I promise you, you’ll get to a tremendous place of which you never even dreamed.
Be blessed and thank you for helping me get here!!