The Christian bible says in Isaiah 55:11 -
"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it."
In other words, you get what you ask for.
There is even a belief that the magical" word "Abracadabra" may derive from an Aramaic phrase meaning "I create as I speak"
Again, in other words, you speak things into existence.
I say all this because, on this date 20 years ago hip-hop legend Tupac A. Shakur died. He was gunned down at age 25.
During his short life he spoke, wrote and sang prolifically about dying young.
Just a few examples of the titles or lines of his extensive catalog of songs and poems are:
"In my mind, I've always been an A-list Hollywood superstar. Y'all just didn't know yet."
I regularly speak about dangers of telling young black men that they are part of an endangered species and suggesting to them that they are undervalued in society's eyes because it creates a hopeless paradigm which leads to underachievement and recklessness.
Last school year I facilitated an after-school goal setting workshop with 4th and 5th grade boys of color. At the rite-of-passage ceremony, each young man stated his name and declared "I am better than average! I am destined for success!" because I empowered them with success skills like goal setting techniques and personal development training. Each one was awarded with a certificate of accomplishment recognizing them as being "Better Than Average"
A couple of school years ago I facilitated an after-school goal setting workshop with 4th and 5th grade boys of color.
At the rite-of-passage ceremony, each young man stated his name and declared "I am better than average! I am destined for success!" and was awarded a certificate of accomplishment recognizing them as being "Better Than Average"
I have continued that affirmation ritual at every single workshop and seminar which I have facilitated since.
Each time the young men emphatically announce "I am better than average" they are empowered with a strengthening and resolve of their identity . That is the first step in changing how they perceive themselves, what they believe they can and deserve to accomplish, what motivates them to achieve and how willing they are to do what is necessary to be successful.
We as parents, teachers, pastors, mentors, community leaders and as a society in general must teach our young people to think and speak about themselves with their ideal success at the front of their minds so that they breathe life into those futures -- not death. We must teach them to think of themselves as capable architects of the lives they want to live because when it comes down to it; they are what they think, say and do.
I am a simple man who has lived a complicated life. The lessons I've learned from the experiences I've been through and the challenges I've conquered have helped me develop a philosophy that life is meant to be lived at a level better than average.