I’m breaking topic today to share this with you.
My heart hurts hearing about Kobe Bryant’s and his daughter’s passing. While I am by no means a sports fanatic, I’ve enjoyed following his career and philanthropic efforts since throughout my adults year. When I was “just a teen mom”, he was being drafted out of high school into the NBA. I remember being so inspired by how he was able to accomplish his dreams that I submitted my first poem into a contest and then entered my name to be on stage for a local competition because I knew I could use my words to impact the world the way he was with basketball. Over the years, I watched him face some challenges, yet always stand to face them with excellence and dignity. The work he is his family do together is family goals for me. As I’ve watched the world respond today to his loss, it’s not lost on me that more are commenting on his humanity than his athleticism. The feedback on his excellence, his ability to be human, his giving back… it has choked me up a few times.
When we lose someone great, it is easy to remember how fragile life is. It is easy to make comparisons to our own lives. It’s easy to say to ourselves, “I will never have that impact but this hurts.” Friends, you may not be Kobe. In fact, many of you here can’t even allow yourself to dream big enough to imagine having an impact like his. But if you show up, respect others, use your gifts, leverage your talents, and live your best life, you never know what you will and can become. Our possibilities are truly limitless when it comes to impacting others. The world may never televise and mourn your death, but if live your life with excellence in all you do and in a way that impacts others and makes their life better, you will be remembered similarly: not for what you did but for what you did but for who you were.
It’s never too late to become what you once thought impossible. Start today. Be the person you’d like to be remembered for being starting this moment.
My heart goes out to Kobe’s wife – for her loss of her baby girl and husband – and to his other kids for the loss of their sister and father. I can’t even fathom.