In 2006 an educator shared a profound experience. As a semblance of hope to one of her students on the brink of self-destruction, she decided to show him images which represented a broader perspective. The images were of her trip to the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. The student was skirting on the edge of being influenced by neighborhood gangs. Her kind gesture was the catalyst which helped him recognize that the world outside his troubled environment had more to offer than what he experienced in his daily life. Upon reviewing the images, the child remarked, “I didn’t think things like this were real. I thought they were only in books.”
Visualizing more for yourself and others, than what current conditions allow, is critical to achieving success. This is “The American Dream,” a journey of discoveries in the wake of ambitions and inspiration. This mindset helps us to take leaps of faith because we know that the sky is the limit. Sometimes we think the work of others is so extraordinary because we lose sight of where they started and the challenges it took for them to become successful.
Phenomenal things come from the minds of everyday people whose vision goes beyond the scope of what exists in the moment; they drive new ideas and expand the boundaries of existing concepts. Contrary to their circumstances, Joseph West, Omar Wasow, Sonia Maria Sotomayor and Paul Orfalea pushed their boundaries.
- Joseph West was once on the brink of suicide and now he is Dr. Joseph West award-winning Harvard educated Epidemiologist, book author and playwright.
- Omar Wasow founded Blackplanet in 1999. He designed it specifically toward African Americans. In April 2008, Radio One acquired BlackPlanet and its parent company Community Connect Inc. for $38 million, along with partner sites Asian Avenue and Mi Gente. His talents in the area of social media were the stepping stones for what you see today, which are Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn. With his expertise in the field of technology he became a notable tech guru and is Oprah’s personal technology teacher. His most recent accomplishment is being a Ph.D. candidate in African American studies at Harvard University.
- Sonia Maria Sotomayor was raised in the South Bronx area of New York City, New York. Her parents, Juan and Celina (Baez) Sotomayor, who were of Puerto Rican descent, moved to New York City to raise their family. Sotomayor’s family functioned on a very modest income; her mother was a nurse at a methadone clinic, and her father was a tool-and-die worker who died when Sotomayor was only nine years old. She is the first Hispanic justice on the United States Supreme Court paving the way for others to follow or to create their own path.
- Paul Orfalea founded Kinko’s Copies Corporation in 1970. As a young man of Lebanese ancestry, he decided to give the company the nickname given him for his curly red hair. He describes himself as mechanically inept and dyslexic. Paul graduated with a “C” grade point average in finance from the University of Southern California, in 1971. By then Orfalea had observed, “If you can’t fix things and can’t read things, then you can’t get a job.” In fact, he apparently never looked for one. He had already concluded, as he later told a Forbes interviewer, “I’m sort of unemployable. I’m basically a peddler” who took the path of entrepreneur.”
Let “every day” generate profound experiences from which you grow and develop as individuals; most of the time we don’t know which experience will be the one that builds wealth or profound happiness. “The American Dream” has touched the lives of many. It is not just a dream but a reality for those who do not restrict their creativity.
Peace & Harmony Solution, Inc. builds on the core strengths of schools and businesses to unleash the creativity within that organization, school or business.