No. 1108



It has been said, and rightly so, that we can choose our friends, but we can’t choose our relatives. As a human being, you, me and every other person who has ever been born is the confluence of a genetic pool that goes back thousands of years. We are unique, as no other person who is living, or has ever lived, has the same DNA, fingerprints, and even a voice print.
Yes, we are truly one-of-a-kind. The irony of all this is that we had absolutely no choice as to the color of our skin, where we were born, the identity of our parents, and the social and economic conditions into which we were born. We just showed up with all the potential given to us as unique human beings, who were created in the image of almighty God.
Now the question comes: what are we going to do with all this fantastic potential we have been given? It is here that the powerful hand of fate enters the picture. The word “Fate,” according to the dictionary, is defined as “the power supposed to determine the outcome of events before they occur; destiny.” Some people call this power chance, others call it luck, but based on my understanding, I choose to call it the power or hand of God.
If you were born in the United States of America, or have even become a naturalized citizen, you can thank your lucky stars, because fate, or whatever you choose to call it, has definitely smiled on you. You are one of the most blessed human beings on earth. In a little over 240 years, our nation has become the envy of the world, as our standard of living is the highest in history. Even though we have problems, there are thousands of people who line up each year to enter and live in our country.
There are two words that make it possible for you and me to plan, succeed and achieve our personal goals. These two words are Freedom and Opportunity. Over the years I have said many times, give me opportunity and then get out of my way.
Earlier I talked about “Fate” and the fact that we had no choice as to the color of our skin, where we were born, the identity of our parents, and the social and economic conditions into which we were born. Now, what I want you to see very clearly, even here in great prosperous America, is the way fate smiles on some people and in contrast does not smile on others. For example, my story and probably your story, are radically different from the story of a young baby born in a low-income housing unit, to a mother on crack cocaine with five other children, each with a different father and the child grows up in squalid conditions, and not even knowing who his or her father is.
My chances to succeed were so much better than this child’s, simply because fate smiled on me and blessed me more than I deserved. Neither of us had a choice, the day we were born. Again, here is the point I wish for you to see very clearly. When I watch the news on television each evening and see crime, murder, car jackings, purse snatchings and all the rest, I know that fate did not smile on most of the people who are committing these heinous acts. In 2016, there were more than 750 murders in the city of Chicago alone. I believe with all my heart that illiteracy is the root cause for much of this violence.
It is too late for most of this generation, but not for future generations -- and this is why our Bookcase for Every Child project is so important for those who will follow us. As time goes by and you learn more about our project, I hope you will choose to get involved. It has been said that “a society becomes great when old men and women plant trees whose shade they will never sit in.”
(Editor’s Note: THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY – Begin your day on a positive note – 365 days for $12. This will benefit the Bookcase for Every Child project. Go to to subscribe.)