We tend to take ourselves a little too seriously. We consider our life’s modest achievements as a great place to be, and we are quick to shy away from any insinuations that make us appear any less elaborate than we claim we are. You may never say the words out to any one, not even your closest companions, but you alone remember the times, many years ago, when you overheard your parents discussing where to get a loan to pay your school fees. You alone remember when a decent meal wasn’t always so easy. You alone remember the days when the only outfits you could wear to an outing had to be borrowed.
Country music legend, diva extraordinaire and founder of the “Dollywood” business empire, Dolly Parton sang the song “Coat of Many Colors”, telling the moving but true story about a coat her mother made her from a box of rags. She admits that they were poor and a coat made from rags was all that they could afford. She discloses that she was made fun of by the other kids, but states clearly that even at that age, she wasn’t moved by their taunts because she knew a thing or two they didn’t. The song about her life remains one of her best selling records and a very popular classic. We pick a simple lesson from her success: we may insist that the less-than-glamorous past we’ve had is best kept as a secret, but we must never forget that it is our past experiences that have added up to make us what we are today.
Do not be deceived into thinking that you alone have a past of “humble beginnings”, for even Rome was not built in a day. Embrace your origins; tell of it if you dare, for in your words, another might find encouragement and the extra push they need to get out of their own humble situations. They may not look it, but even those who flaunt their present good fortunes in your face remember quite vividly their days of lack…