That phrase caused a lot of heat for President Obama.
Of course, many just took that one sentence of his entire speech and took it out of context and blew it out of proportion. And of course, there was a better way to phrase what Obama was trying to get at.
But I’m not here to debate and argue about politics. Surely, we got better things to do.
I used to check out youtube trends for youth ministry purposes. The website shows what videos are trending for the day and so I could keep up with what a lot of my kids would be watching. Of course, it didn’t take long until I started enjoying all the daily trending videos. As for many things in youth ministry, what started out as research turned into a (guilty) pleasure. It’s one of the “few” sites I visit everyday, along with the Awesomer.
One of the videos that were trending the past week was this (it’s about 3 minutes long):
After watching the video, the first thing that came to mind was the “You didn’t build that” phrase.
And that’s because I believe that they’re always people who helped you along the way.
For Steve Harvey, when he was 26 and broke, that couple took him in and helped him out as he try to launch his standup career. And I’m sure that couple weren’t the only ones in Steve’s life who helped him along. That’s why I fully believe that success isn’t fully because of your own doing. It’s also because, a lot of times, luck has a major role in success stories. But more because people have helped you along the way.
And for us to think that we got to the top on our own? That just might be a result from us being too self-involved or egotistical or refusing to give credit, because we feel there’s no credit due.
I heard someone say, “I’m my own man! I did this for myself! Ain’t no one there to help me!”
But I am a firm, firm believer that there’s someone always there that helped you.
That challenged you.
That pushed you to see a bigger picture of yourself.
That someone took time to invest in you. To believe in you.
Perhaps, it’s because my parents placed in me the importance of interdependence over independence.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “it takes a village to raise a child.”
It also, in my opinion, takes a village to make someone successful.
I think we often miss out seeing or acknowledging the village that helped us be who we are, because we don’t look in the right places.
Maybe when we think of someone helping us out, we think of someone gifting us with money. Since no one gave me money, no one helped me out.
Or maybe because we take them for granted. Or we remember how much they made life harder for us. Like parents. Always there, so easy to take them for granted. And good parents enforced discipline, so we remember parents making us do something we never wanted to do or we remember the times that we got punished over the reasons why those punishments occurred.
Or maybe because we don’t want certain people take credit for what we’ve accomplished, because if we were to give credit, we may be made to feel obligated to return the favor or something. I don’t know.
I just know that I believe that I am not my “own man” but I’m a result of all the clouds of witnesses that God had placed in my life.
I’m a result of people’s investment in me. Many people went out of their way to pour their time, life and love into me.
And I’m fairly positive that your story is no different.
Take time today to thank God for the people in your life who’ve helped you along your journey.
If they are still with us, you should give them a little shout out today.