I just finished watching TV One’s story about Tammy Terrell, a phenomenally talented sister whose life was cut short by a brain tumor at the age of 24. That’s tragic.
The TJMS is in the midst of commemorating “Take a Loved One to the Doctor” season. With all of the sickness and death that surrounds and impacts us all, we can’t help but realize that life is way too short. With that in mind, I pray the serenity prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
What does this all mean? Well, I’m not sure if Tammy Terrell – like many of us or our family members – could do anything to prevent the illness that attacked her body; who can, especially when illnesses like cancer strike? However, when it comes to preventable diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, HIV/AIDS or other STDs, there are clear-cut preventative measures that we can take to save our own lives.
Likewise, when it comes to our destiny, you may feel unsung in some way because people on the job don’t give you credit for your contributions, effort, talent and abilities, or maybe your family and friends take you for granted and don’t take the time to thank you for all that you do. If we’re honest, while we may not be Teddy Pendergrass, Stacy Lattisaw or Tammy Terrell, all of whom are featured as unappreciated artists on TV One’s “Unsung,” that doesn’t mean we don’t have our own stories – personally or professionally – that make us feel unrecognized, unappreciated and, indeed, unsung.
Here’s what I’ve decided and invite you to consider. The fact of the matter is we don’t really know how long it is that we have on this earth. Some people, it seems, die too soon. Death always seems unfair and untimely. I’m not trying to be morbid, but I am suggesting that if not yesterday, then today is the day that we begin to appreciate every moment of every day our lives. Let’s make every single moment count. Let’s stop letting fear and rejection or fear of rejection stop us from going for our dreams and our true hearts’ desire. That’s what impressed me so much about Tammy Terrell; she lived out every ounce of her dream as long as she could.
My friend, this is your life. What are you going to do with it? Accept that some people or entities may never see you or I for who we really are. That’s the part of the prayer that helps us to accept the things that we cannot change. But the next part of the prayer speaks to courage. I challenge you and myself to change the things that you and I can! You can change what you do on a daily basis to be a better you. You can change by making one step towards your goal and dreams. You can give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done when no one else is willing.
My point: We don’t have to live a life of being “unsung.” We must sing our own songs and dance to our own beat. Everything that you are and that you are supposed to be is simply waiting on you to do the work. So, let’s do it.
The last part of that serenity prayer says “Grant me the wisdom to know the difference.” Yes, some people make it their business to hold you down. Some people will take the credit for your work. Some people will never say thank you or “job well done.” Reality check: These are some of the things that we cannot control. On the contrary – what you can control is how you see yourself, and you can control what you’re doing to make your own dreams come true. You can control how you put an end to those sicknesses and diseases that are preventable. So, do it. Make healthy choices for yourself, your relationship and your family. Do this every moment of every day.
Our lives do not have to be unsung if we realize that it’s our responsibility to sing our own song. Do-re-me-fa-so-la-ti-do!
Love, Deya Direct! – a life and song in progress …
Deya “Direct” Smith, is a producer on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and host of Girlfriend FM and Beyond the Studio celebrity interviews on BlackAmericaWeb.com. She is also a motivational speaker, actress and social commentator. She can be reached at DeyaDirect@aol.com.