Take advantage of the opportunities that are given to you

By Cheval John

Dr. Pruitt - Courtesy of SHSU Department of History

“Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted one moment. Would you capture it or just let it slip?” Eminem

Everyone who are fans of Eminem knows this quote from the song “Lose Yourself”. This song rings true for a lot of reasons and unfortunately, some miss that chance. Whenever things don’t go a person’s way, they try to find excuses on why they did not succeed, but in reality, they miss their opportunity.

In my experience, I have notice that some black individuals who make excuses on why they are not progressing. It seems to me that they are using slavery as an excuse. Yes, I understand the issue of slavery and I wish that it did not happen, but they should not use it as a crutch. Also, it seems like they are many obstacles that are in the way that are keeping them from being successful, including being raised in a single parent home.

People like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, W.E.B. DuBois and many others fought and risked everything for equal rights for future generations. Different acts including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed through Congress that gave Black Americans the opportunity to succeed. But it seems like those individuals are not taking advantage of it.

While I realize the challenges many of these individuals face in their pre-existing circumstances, I also see others who have had the same background and took advantage of the opportunities to get out of the situation instead of making excuses.

For instance, Bernadette Pruitt, Ph.D., associate professor in the History Department, had a difficult childhood. It seemed as if nothing was going her way, including with the education system, but she graduated from high school and came to Texas Southern University. Not only did she earned her Bachelors and Masters degree, but also earned her Doctorate from the University of Houston. She exemplifies how it does not matter how you grew up, you have to work hard to get what you want.

The reason why I am writing this is because I am an African American and I understand the pain and suffering of being stereotyped by others. I understand the circumstances and the pain of slavery and at times, it infuriates me, but at the end of the day, it already happened. It is time for everyone to take advantage and go to college to obtain a degree so that you can be successful in life and set an example for those who are looking up to you because like it or not, you are a role model to those that will be taking the same path.

About Cheval John

Cheval John is the Founder and CEO of Vallano Media, LLC, a marketing agency which helps small to mid-sized businesses use social media correctly to build a loyal following and in the process become more profitable. Cheval is also the host of "What's The Word?" a podcast about finding out what inspires people to choose their respective careers and how social media impacted their lives and business. He is the author of two books including the Amazon Best-Seller, "8 Lessons Every Podcaster Needs To Learn." He has spoken at Social Media Week Lima in Ohio and at Social Media Day Houston 2017 about topics around live streaming and podcasting. Cheval has been featured in media outlets like Ebony Magazine and was named a Houston Top 25 Social Media Power Influencer in 2016 and 2017.

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