Whether we’re wrapping up work or getting that last-minute shopping done, I know we’re feeling the hustle and bustle of the season. And if you’re like me, you’ve already turned your attention to the next year.
So here’s my holiday gift to you: Venus Williams introducing sister Serena (and Serena’s acceptance speech) at the Sports Illustrated 2015 Sportsperson of the Year award last week.
It was hilarious. And we can use a bit of hilarity as we’re wrapping up work–or presents.
First, Venus and her big sisters introduce Serena. It’s a joy to watch them. If you watch and listen closely, you’ll glimpse the bubbly little girls within, brewing with promise and dreaming of adventures.
Courtesy Sports Illustrated
Next is Serena accepting her award.
Courtesy Sports Illustrated
So pause. Watch these speeches, and share their joy and giggles–and inspiration. And remember why all of our hustle and bustle is worth it.
I will admit it: Motivation was harder to find this week.
But I woke up this morning, saw the news, and now my heart hurts for Bamako, Mali.
So many places affected by such senseless violence. And I thought: What inspiration could I possibly offer when so many people are feeling such grief and fear?
My thoughts went to the first Inaugural Address by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt:
So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
And to the “Freedom From Fear” speech by Aung San Suu Kyi:
Fearlessness may be a gift but perhaps more precious is the courage acquired through endeavor, courage that comes from cultivating the habit of refusing to let fear dictate one’s actions, courage that could be described as ‘grace under pressure’–grace which is renewed repeatedly in the face of harsh, unremitting pressure.
Enrich your intellect and spirit by reading her full speech.
These speeches–from two different people, times and places–remind us that periods of great trial are nothing new. They also remind us to not give in to the grief and fear we rightly feel.
Read or watch the speeches. Heed the advice for the days, weeks and months to come.
Welcome to the Week!
Two speeches from last night’s Emmy awards presentation touched and inspired me: those from Tracy Morgan and Viola Davis.
Morgan, in a triumphant return onstage, presented the Emmy for best drama. Before doing so, he gave powerful remarks about where he is now after the tragic accident last year that took the life of his friend, James McNair and left him with severe, life-threatening injuries–including brain injury. Poignant, funny, even a bit ribald, he made good on his promise to come back.
I’m here. Standing on my own two feet. –Tracy Morgan
And, in a moving and historic moment: Davis’ acceptance speech.
(Begins at the 2:09 mark.)
Last night Davis became the first African American to win an Emmy for lead actress in a drama. (Sidenote: She’s been one of my long-time favorite actors, ever since her role in the Pentagon Wars.) And I am likely on safe ground to declare that she’s likely the first Emmy winner to quote Harriet Tubman.
‘In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me, over that line. But I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line.’ That was Harriet Tubman in the 1800s. —Viola Davis, quoting Harriet Tubman
But what’s most important–and triumphant? That Black women are making it to the line, and over it.
I hope both sets of remarks touch and inspire you not only today and this week, but also on the days when it seems to be a long, tough slog toward living your dreams and achieving your goals.
I’m here. WE’RE here! Now let’s get to work.
[My message is] one of hope and acceptance, yes. Hope for the best and accept what comes. You know, we–I think I have been as blessed as any human being in the world. Becoming president of the United States of America, and governor of Georgia, and the work of the Carter Center, a big and growing family and thousands of friends…and living to 91 at the first of October…so everything’s been a blessing for me. So, I’m thankful–and hopeful. –Former President Jimmy Carter
Today’s Monday Motivation is a lesson in grace and courage.
Last week, former President Jimmy Carter announced he has cancer, which now has spread to his brain. He detailed his diagnosis, and also said that he’d be cutting back on his many activities at The Carter Center.
Courtesy The Carter Center
But the one thing he would not cut back on is teaching his regular Sunday school class.
Yesterday he made good on his promise by teaching the class, as he has done 688 times before.
I cannot imagine the strength it took for him to face this diagnosis head on, share it publicly and to deliver the news directly, with humor and grace.
His press conference last week and his Sunday school lesson yesterday are themselves lessons in strength, and the power of speaking clearly and frankly.
There are those who talk tough, and there are those who, through their actions, show that they are tough.
President Carter is a wise man, a thoughtful man and a strong man.
I’m thankful for his example–and hopeful.