“No Room For Mediocre”by Wendy Gladney on 11/12/18
Madeleine Albright said, “There is plenty of room in the world for mediocre men, but there is no room for mediocre women.” History will show 2018 as the year of the woman. Whether we look at what came from the #MeToo Movement or the results from the midterm elections where a record number of women around the country were voted to various positions. People have fallen in love with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and when she fell and broke several ribs, we were even willing to give up our own to help her heal. We have examples all around us every day of women who are anything but mediocre. Even when we fall, we get right back up.
There are many women whose shoulders I stand on that exemplified mediocrity was not acceptable. The roll call would be too extensive to list here, but I must shine the light on a few. At the top of my list would be my paternal grandmother Rebecca Ruth Reed Harris, aka “Mother Dear.” She was the first born free in our family at the turn of the century and she left the South in the early 1940’s to head West in hopes for a better life. She attended an Historical Black College (HBCU) in Texas and after graduation and marrying my grandfather they moved to California with their children. She taught her entire legacy to honor God, family and commitment to making the world a better place. She was my first example and teacher. There have been several other women that I have looked up to and took note including, Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks, Dr. Dorothy Height, Eleanor Roosevelt and Ambassador Diane Watson to name a few. Each of these women knew to accomplish what they set out to do there was no room for mediocrity.
When I looked up the meaning of mediocre it was defined as, “of only moderate quality, not very good.” When you stop and think about it when was the last time you said, I will take if even if it isn’t good? Whether we are talking about the food we eat, the products we buy or the people we invite into our lives, we should want the best. To be our best we must strive to do the things that will help us rise to the occasion. This means we must know what we want, know where we want to go and what we want to achieve or accomplish. What I have learned from various conversations with women is that sometimes we don’t think we even deserve the best. We must change our self-talk and incorporate the necessary discipline to become our best. When we put in the work it is amazing what we can accomplish. When women do well everyone around her rises.
The question we must ask ourselves is what are we doing with our lives to be an example for the generation of young girls and women coming behind us that would encourage them to be and do their best? Some of us talk a good game, but are we truly walking the walk? When I was younger, I heard a saying that has stayed with me over the years, “I can’t hear what you are saying because I see what you are doing.” Do your words and actions line up with one another? Do you take time to give back and mentor? Even if you only have time to help one young girl or woman you can make an impact. You may not think so, but someone may be watching you and you may be the only example in their life. Don’t let the dash between the day you were born and the day you lay your head to rest be one of mediocrity. Your legacy depends on it.
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Visitand . Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.