|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 12
|Craig Impelman Speaking | Championship Coaches | Champion's Leadership Library Login
STAY POSITIVE – KEEP MOVING FORWARD (HARRIET TUBMAN)
John Wooden Video Clip (92 sec.): Coach Wooden is asked: "What is the significance of doing your personal best?"
Harriet Tubman (1822 - 1913) was an extraordinary American hero. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped from slavery in 1849 and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately 70 slaves.
In 1869, to raise money for the home she was running that sheltered orphans and homeless people of all races and religions, Tubman wrote a biography with Susan Bradford. In her book, "Bound for the Promised Land", Kate Clifford Larson related a story Tubman told her biographer:
"When she was eight years old, Tubman worked as a house servant to a young married woman, Miss Susan. Harriet, young and untrained, was ordered to sweep and dust the floors and furniture. She swept with all her strength, raising a tremendous dust. The moment she had finished sweeping, she took her dusting cloth, and wiped everything spotless.
The dust which she had set flying only settled down again on chairs, tables and the piano. Seeing only the settled dust, Susan suspected that Harriet had not done her work. Taking the whip from the mantle, Susan beat Harriet repeatedly on the "head and face and neck." While enduring a fifth beating, little Harriet received a momentary reprieve.
Susan's sister Emily appeared at the door. Emily scolded her sister for her cruelty and impatience. Emily instructed Harriet on how to clean the room properly to prevent the dust from resettling on the furniture. Emily's kind instructions to the child saved Harriet her whippings for that day as they did for many a day after.
Instructive and moralizing, this tale offered nineteenth-century readers two versions of the southern slave mistress, one wicked and cruel, the other saintly and patient."
Harriet insisted on the story of a kind southerner because she wanted to offer encouragement to the northern public for reconciliation after the Civil War as early as 1869.
Rather than being bitter, Harriet Tubman always communicated in a way that she hoped would help others: "Stay Positive and Move Forward".
Yours in Coaching,
The New Year
Come you with dangers to fright us? or hazards
Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)
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