8 Audacious Actions
“No matter how many powerful people hurl negativity at you while you pursue your goals, you can keep stepping forward and accomplish them.”
Negative People And Situations Are Unavoidable
NEGATIVE PEOPLE AND SITUATIONS are unavoidable. To thrive in your career and find joy in life, enduring negativity will become necessary during some part of your journey. For me, enduring negativity started as a child. My mother was not a mommy type who doted on her children and showered them with love, affection, and compliments.
When we find ourselves in places where processes, people, policies, and politics are pushing us downward, it’s time to push back.
When negativity is normalized at home, I suppose it’s easier to deal with outside of the house. Whether that is right or wrong, I believe that’s why I was able to endure negativity in the workplace.
AT SIX YEARS OLD, Ruby Bridges faced and endured negativity for trying to do something so basic—go to school. Ruby was the first child to desegregate a formerly all-white school in the south on November 14, 1960. On her first day at William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, she had to walk past an angry mob of white people protesting her attendance.
To protect Ruby and her mother, the United States president sent four U.S. marshals to escort her into school daily. As she arrived, more than two hundred protestors shouted cruel words and threw things at her. They threatened to poison her while marching around the school, carrying a coffin with a Black doll inside. Every day, Ruby faced the same crowd of parents who did not want their children attending the same school because she was Black.
Because of this, Ruby had to be taught in a classroom all by herself. But Ruby was a courageous young girl and endured the hatred and went to school every day. In the early 1990s, Ruby volunteered as a parent liaison at William Frantz Elementary School. Today, a statue of Ruby stands in the courtyard.
The story of Ruby Bridges reminds us that no matter how many powerful people hurl negativity at you while you pursue your goals, you can keep stepping forward and accomplish them. Ruby also models the power of returning to the place where you endured negativity to infuse it with your newfound positivity. That’s what walking up the down escalator looks like.