|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 11||Issue 526|
|Craig Impelman Speaking | Championship Coaches | Champion's Leadership Library Login|
FOCUS ON YOUR DESTINATION, NOT ON YOUR DETRACTORS (BOOKER T. WASHINGTON PART SEVEN)
Booker T. Washington was an American educator, author, orator, and adviser to several presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Mr. Washington was the dominant leader of American educational innovation and reform. He is a great American by deed and an American Treasure by example.
In 1872, at the age of sixteen, Washington left his hometown of Malden to somehow make the 500-mile trip to Hampton, Virginia where he hoped to enroll at the Hampton Institute.
In his 1901 autobiograph Up From Slavery, Washington described an experience he had on this trip that demonstrated his approach to life:
"I had been traveling over the mountains most of the afternoon in an old-fashion stage-coach, when, late in the evening, the coach stopped for the night at a common, unpainted house called a hotel. All the other passengers except myself were whites. In my ignorance I supposed that the little hotel existed for the purpose of accommodating the passengers who traveled on the stagecoach. The difference that the color of one's skin would make I had not thought anything about. After all the other passengers had been shown rooms and were getting ready for supper, I shyly presented myself before the man at the desk.
It is true I had practically no money in my pocket with which to pay for bed or food, but I had hoped in some way to beg my way into the good graces of the landlord, for at that season in the mountains of Virginia the weather was cold, and I wanted to get indoors for the night. Without asking as to whether I had any money, the man at the desk firmly refused to even consider the matter of providing me with food or lodging. This was my first experience in finding out what the color of my skin meant. In some way I managed to keep warm by walking about, and so got through the night.
My whole soul was so bent upon reaching Hampton that I did not have time to cherish any bitterness toward the hotelkeeper. I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him."
Are you focused on your destination or your detractors?
Yours in Coaching,
No Use Sighin’
No use frettin' when the rain comes down,
Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)
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