Four Bones

Four Bones

During this time each year, I find myself reflecting on my life. Not only do I celebrate Christmas and the anticipation of a new year, but also, in between both, I look forward to another year on this good earth with a birthday. 

As I look back over the past sixty-seven years, I do so with a focus on the things I’ve done right, my successes. Doing that allows me to realize how much I’ve done right, the good stuff I’ve done throughout my life. Without reflection, I find it’s too easy to forget the positive things I’ve accomplished and instead focus on my failures.

This year, I realize that much of my success is because I have relied on (4) bones.

The first is a Wishbone. I remember as a child, this was well before chicken tenders and boneless wings; my siblings would fight over that oddly shaped forked chicken bone that, according to ancient Romans, was a symbol of luck. When snapped apart evenly by two people while making a wish, both would have their wishes come true. Like a child, I’ve never stopped believing that my wishes equate to my dreams and aspirations, and when combined with strategic goals, there is nothing I can’t accomplish.

The second is a Funny Bone. I’ve learned that life is no dress rehearsal; you will have ups and downs. The key is not to take it personally. When you don’t take yourself so seriously, humor offers a new perspective. Any psychologist will tell you that humor leads to laughter, which is healthy. Laughter is a natural stress reliever.

Of course, I could only have achieved my level of success with a Backbone. Synonymous with fortitude, a strong backbone has allowed me to encounter adversity with courage.  It has provided me with the fearlessness to speak truth to power. It has held me up in the face of rejection and many hardships I have encountered over the years. It has given me strength during times of uncertainty and despair.

Finally, success is only achievable if you get up off your Tailbone. When starting my paper fourteen years ago, the biggest challenge for me getting started was the uncertainty. Would the community accept another Black newspaper? Can I convince businesses to advertise with me? My greatest fear, however, was that I had absolutely no experience in running a newspaper. I didn’t even know how to get started.

Here’s a secret most folks won’t tell you: uncertainty is something you might as well get used to. You will never know with any guarantee how something will turn out unless you get up off your tailbone and try and keep trying and then try some more. 

So, whatever your path as you prepare for the new year, I offer you my recipe for success: 

When you “find your passion, you will find your paycheck.” Add these four bones and see what the Lord has in store.

By Wane Hailes

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