I met world-renowned Motown legend, Ms. Diana Ross, in pre-pandemic Toronto. The year was 2019. She is famous for being the lead singer of The Supremes. Today is her birthday, she turns 78.
I remember being up close and personal with her when she delivered all her greatest hits such as Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and Do You Know Where You’re Going To the theme of course from her hit film Mahogany (1975) where she shared the spotlight with actor Billy Dee Williams. Mahogany prompts its viewers to question their own life journeys and reimagine the future. The theme song itself, asks if we truly know where we are headed and propels us to think about what it is we would truly like to do. In Mahogany, the main character Tracy Chambers (Diana Ross) saw the bright lights and achieved the fortune and fame she was looking for but at the cost of losing herself and someone very special to her who loved her. The film serves as a reminder that success can mean many different things to different people and that certain ambitions do come with a price tag.
For many, success might mean buying a new car, earning a diploma, or being employed at a high-paying job. What we often forget is that success can still mean many things to different people. Success can be unquantifiable. As a counselor and life coach, I have the privilege of witnessing individual growth right before my very eyes. I have seen people soaring to new heights having earned a greater sense of self-confidence. When people can get out of bed after healing from their depression and trauma, that to me, is a success that should not be overlooked. Given the challenges experienced by members within the BIPOC community, I certainly do know that some material accomplishments are important and necessary, but I do want us to be careful and critical of hustle culture. Oftentimes, we experience systemic barriers, and limitations are placed on us as were placed on Diana Ross’ character in Mahogany and this really impacts how we view success and ourselves. Nevertheless, mental, and spiritual healing can be worth more than silver and gold and healing is a success in its own right.
Happy Birthday Ms. Ross! God bless you and thank you.
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