I wrote this article one year ago, and tonight she debutes on Broadway in "On the Town". Look what can happen in a year.
Misty Copeland has been a personal friend of mine for the past ten years. During that time I have watched her career develop and flourish as she became a soloist for ABT- one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world- in August of 2007. I have watched with pride and admiration as my friend reaped the rewards of hard work, ambition, talent, and being a truly good and kind person, and it was honor to make her an ambassador for SJSA & Be In The Know About Bullying. Misty wanted to be an ambassador not only because she wanted to help our children, but because she wanted to help me. She recognized the goodness in me, the way I recognized the goodness in her. I whole heartedly believe that people who are good recognize that same quality in others.
Misty did not want to help me because I had "made it" or because I could offer her something in return. She wanted to help me because she saw what I was doing and she believed in me and in what I was working to achieve. True leaders and good-hearted people do not wait to help someone until they have made it, when that person no longer needs the help...they do it in the beginning, when their help will make a difference. They recognize the greatness in something or someone before the rest of the world catches on. That is why I find irony in ABC's caption for this video. Misty has most definitely broken through countless barriers or her journey, but she has been breaking through those barriers for over a decade, it just so happens that the world at large is just recognizing it now.
To all of my FB family- the intellects, the athletes, the community leaders, think about when and why we choose to help people. There is someone in your home, or your town right now who needs your support. Celebrate them now....not when they are on ABC, or running down a field, or standing on a stage receiving their diploma. Without people like you, we would not be watching Misty soar right now. We become better by helping others become who they are meant to be.
"Just A Thought"
Sean L. James