“The tragedy of life is not found in failure, but in complacency. Not in you doing too much, but doing too little. Not in you living above your means, but below your capacity. It’s not failure but aiming too low, that is life greatest tragedy.”* -Benjamin E Mays
I graduated from high school with my diploma with a very average performance (2.0). I had a great educational opportunity to learn and excel as many others did, but I was happy and complacent with ‘getting by’. As one of seven children in my family, my Dad working long hours from morning until late evening and my Mom busy with the latest ‘additions’, it was easy to slip under the radar of their time and attention. Under-achieving was easy, and life was “okay”.
When faced with ‘what’s next’ the summer following graduation, I began to notice many were leaving the area for college. I just kept working, making money, and letting the future take care of itself. It was then that my parent tuned-in and noticed a ‘need’. They had my hand-writing analyzed (of all things) and gently told me I had a low self-esteem. My mother gave me the third book I ever read, called Psycho Cybernetics. After actually reading it, and with her help , I learned that I had many things for which to be thankful: innate talents, and unlimited potential among them. After enrolling at a local community college, I began to actually apply myself, enjoy learning, realizing I could actually qualify to enroll in a university and become an architect. After several years, I was awarded the outstanding Senior Award for the Bachelor of Science Degree and have had an enduring and satisfying career as an architect.
Waiting to be unlocked in me and in every person is the knowledge that we have un-limited possibilities to dream and reach those dreams.
What are the dreams locked inside each student enrolled in the Clover Park School District and who will unlock them?
* Benjamin E. Mays was born the youngest of eight children on the ragged edge of poverty on August 1, 1894 in the Epworth Community of Greenwood, South Carolina. His parents, Hezekiah and Louvenia Mays, were born into slavery and became tenant farmers in Epworth. Although Benjamin loved the farm, at a very early age he was imbued with a thirst for education. After graduating with straight As from high school at S. C. State College in 1916 at age 22, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Bates College in Maine in 1920, and later earned his Masters of Arts degree (1925) and Doctorate of Philosophy in Religion (1935) from the University of Chicago.