A new weekly feature from Lloyd Marcus…
Lloyd’s Life Lessons: The Turning Point
I talk often about gratitude because I believe it pleases God and is a key to success. In 1993, I was enjoying a successful 15 year career as an award-winning art department supervisor at an ABC affiliate TV station in Baltimore. Mary and I had the good life; a beautiful home with a swimming pool, two cars, designer wardrobe, hair cuts by stylists and dinners at expensive restaurants.
Candidly, I was young, spoiled, impatient and ungrateful. Part-time on weekends, vacations and etc, I pursued a second career in music as a singer/songwriter. I remember having a temper tantrum in my kitchen smashing dishes against the wall frustrated because my music career was not progressing.
Due to a series of events which I explain in my book, “Confessions of a Black Conservative”, I resigned from my “great job” to pursue a music career full-time. Remarkably, my amazingly supportive wife agreed to risk everything for me to pursue my dream. It was a crazy decision. We did not have sufficient money in the bank or a plan.
My unthoughtful choice confirms that God still takes care of idiots. Despite falling six months behind in our mortgage, we did not lose our home.
However, over time, we lost our cars and everything which made us hotshot “yuppies” (Young Urban Professionals). As a matter of fact, we were reduced to driving an old car formerly owned by Mary’s parents which was passed around the family to whoever needed a vehicle.
One day, the car died at the foot of the hill at the entrance of our community. A few men who were down on their luck, alcoholic or whatever were hanging around the entrance. They kindly attempted to help me get my car started. The car would not start.
Neighbors drove by watching me and “these men” working on my piece of crap car. I thought, “Wow, I was the community celebrity who worked at the TV station and had the annual VIP party written about in the Baltimore Sun Newspaper society page. Look how far I have fallen.”
We pushed my car to the side of the road and I walked up the hill back to my home.
As I walked, I said, “Thank you Lord that I do not have an important appointment today.”
Folks, I can not explain it, but somehow, I knew my small statement of gratitude was a crucial turning point in my life.
Little did I know our remarkable adventure was just beginning. Things financially went from bad to much worse. And yet, Mary and I survived and most importantly, we grew in our faith and as human beings. We learned that it is not all about us. We also learned to be grateful for EVERYTHING!
Lloyd Marcus, Proud Unhyphenated American