AGE HAS NEVER DEFINED ME AND NEVER WILL.
In 1989, during a Houston press conference to discuss My Dream of traveling The Great Wall of China, a reporter for Houston’s largest newspaper surprised me with a question I’d never been asked: "Is it possible that after forty years of "dreaming the dream" that's all it’s meant to be? Aren't you actually afraid to attempt such an impossible dream--especially at your age"?
I agreed with the reporter that my Great Wall obsession had been with me for a long time. After all, my Great Wall Dream started when I was a fourth-grader. BUT, my goal has always been to ACTIVATE my Great Wall dream, not to simply be a Dreamer of Dreams. I suggested The Reporter research my background and document my many accomplishments and successes-- before implying that my project---ALL THE WALL--- might be a publicity stunt. I also emphasized this fact: “I have never lived according to the numbers. Age has never limited my possibilities”.
As a teacher of students with special needs, I found I could motivate reluctant learners through music. Not only did I compose songs to encourage learning but I also used songs to teach students to believe in themselves regardless of "labels".
We never OUT-GROW our need to motivate ourselves; we must always set goals that are ALMOST beyond our reach; and, we must believe NOTHING will stop us from pursuing life's possibilities:
These are the lyrics to one of the motivational songs I wrote for my students:
"WHY would you want to be somebody else--not you-- you're so very special!
WHY would you want to be anyone other than you---you're so unique!
YOU could search the whole world over--and you'd never find but one-of-a-kind--and that one is YOU---let me hear you sing it!
WHY would you want to be just another face in the crowd---it's fun to be different.
WHY would you want to be silent, when you can be loud---just-speak-out!
THERE IS so much that needs to be done--and it's waiting for just the right one--to do it!
ONE person can make a difference--one voice above all the rest---
It's easy-- so simple-- believe in yourself---believe in yourself---
Just believe in---YOU!"
A long time ago, I stopped pleasing others. I also stopped hoping and praying for others to believe in me, love me, or even like me. Somewhere along the way, I realized that anything and everything is possible when YOU believe in YOU!
After completing my journey of The Great Wall of China, Chinese Leaders treated me to a Press Conference. This time, a Chinese reporter asked me to make a one-sentence statement regarding my long "love affair" with China's Great Wall. I didn't hesitate in my response:
"The Great Wall of China inspired me as a child; challenged me as an adult; and empowered me as a woman."