Remember when Muhammad Ali, the self-proclaimed and arguably "greatest of all time" was banned from boxing during his prime only to come back and win the heavyweight title?
Maybe you're not into sports or you're not familiar with those iconic figures because of your age or lack of exposure to their greatness. Whatever the reason, and there could be a myriad of them, I'm sure at some point in time you've heard the expression "still got it". For those not hip to the phrase, "still got it" means still possessing the quality, talent, or characteristic that makes something or someone unique. When Ali reclaimed the heavyweight crown after being banned from the sport for 3 1/2 years, his fans could be heard shouting, "He's still got it! The greatest of all time!" Michael Jordan switched back to number 23 from the number 45 (the number he wore during his minor league baseball stint with the Barons) during the 1995 Eastern Conference Playoffs against the Orlando Magic and those who quipped, "45 is not 23" had to enjoy a slice of humble pie and a tall glass of he's "still got it". Jordan and the Bulls lost that series but went on to complete a second 3-peat from 1996-98.
The point is, no one can take away your gift of greatness. It is a gift from God. Your gift doesn't always reap instant rewards and praise. The was a Great Depression. You can be the greatest loser of all time or the greatest liar or the greatest thief. Some would call you a member of the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a lawyer, or a politician but I'll do my best to refrain from being tangential.
In my last post I spoke of having the honor and privilege of playing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. One of the greatest human beings to walk this planet. A man who didn't necessarily want to be seen or known as the face of a movement but accepted his God given role as its leader, King just wanted to do God's will. He was assassinated for it. However, the bullet that took his life could not take his greatness for we now have a national holiday commemorating this man and in some homes you can see his face included in the Trinity of Jesus, JFK and MLK. One could argue that that was a time of great men. Men were still gentlemen, wore suits and stood for a worthy cause. In history books we read about the "greatest generation" being those who withstood the hardships of the Great Depression and fought in World War II not because it was cool or going to earn them fame, but because as Tom Brokaw states in his book "The Greatest Generation", it was the right thing to do. Being great doesn't always make you popular. Some might dislike you or even kill you because of it. Just ask Jesus Christ.
What makes you great? Are you a great singer? Do you possess great typing skills? Are you a great athlete or great teacher? Maybe you're a great parent or great listener or great lover or great friend. Whatever it is, that makes you great, OWN IT! It's your gift. Let NO ONE take it from you with their most valiant effort. God gave it to YOU for a reason. Only YOU can use that gift in the way God intended it be used during your time on this earth.
I've been called many things in my life. I've only won a few awards and if you Google my name, many guys will appear on your screen before you find me. I don't have tons of friends on Facebook, very many fans or followers on social media @boogiejones30 for the Twitter and Instagram folk. In fact, I don't know if there's anything about me that is "great". I make the best of what I've been given and if I love you, I do my best to show it and let you know. It has pushed some out of my life and brought many closer to me. That's the extent of my greatness.
After my last post, I received an angry email from someone because they weren't mentioned when I talked about my journey to letting my light shine. They vowed to no longer read this blog. I let that feedback rob me of this form of expression and to those of you who enjoy reading these posts, I apologize for not having a thicker skin. This blog is mine. It is written by me so that I can get things off of my chest or give insight to what my life is like as a working artist. Recently, a dear friend of mine suggested that I write, not knowing that I have this blog that I use from time to time. I then thought of how my girlfriend and a few other friends have enjoyed my posts and realized that maybe one of the many gifts I've been given is the written word. Why should I let one person's opinion or whatever they were going through at that time prevent me from using that gift?
If the great ones allowed one person's opinion stand in the way of them sharing their greatness with the world, this place would be even darker than it already is. Don't misunderstand. I am not saying I'm a great writer, but I do acknowledge that this gift of writing is mine to share with the world, with YOU. I have to admit, writing the first few lines of this post were hard. My fingers were stiff on the keys and my thoughts were scattered. It had been months and I was worried that maybe I'd lost it- that those of you who read this would not think, "he's still got it". Then I remembered that's not why I started writing in the first place. This blog isn't for the praise and approval of others. It is a form of self expression, take it or leave it. I enjoy doing it and hope that through my expression someone somewhere is enlightened or moved to do something that contributes a note or verse in this song of life.
Urban Creek Records a game changer in the music industry. Maybe I'll find that I'm a great uncle to my nieces and nephews or a great friend to those in need. Maybe one day I'll find myself as a great husband or a great son. I may already be those things and have yet to embrace them. No one can take away from you what God has given as a gift. Accept it and share it.