The Summer of '77
I am a big believer in that everything happens for a reason. Whether it's tough to believe that or not, I really do think that God places people, things, events, etc in our lives at the perfect time (even if we don't think so). This event was one of those small moments.
A few weeks ago I read an announcement that Spike Lee was coming to my school in honor of Black History Month. I was beyond thrilled. As someone who loves film and has a younger brother who is an even bigger film enthusiast (hi, Joe!), this was a once in a lifetime chance.
I don't think that I have ever listened to someone so intensely while at school (oops…) He talked about how he began his film career thanks to his good friend who gave him a camera and how that summer he filmed everything in New York City. As interesting as his past was, it wasn't his past that stirred my attentiveness but more so his attitude and work ethic. He continued to talk about his thoughts towards film, the recent marches on how #BlackLivesMatter and more.
After speaking for about 30 minutes, he turned the mic over to the audience for a Q&A segment. Soon enough, a fellow classmate asked "Do you have any advice for us graduating seniors?" I didn't realize in the moment but this was what I needed to hear. Prior to the talk, I thought about writing a post on choosing to pursue a career that you love or solely working towards monetary gains. Spike answered that question for me.
He stated it very simply, "if you have a job that you hate, you're (going to be) miserable." He continued to say "when you have a job you hate, you need a crane to get your ass out of bed." Then, he ended his answer with a little tip to us lovely Millennials.
"You guys as Millennials are great ... but you want things instantly. You want to snap your fingers and be rolling. It doesn't work like that. There is no such thing as overnight success. Whatever you choose to do, you have to bust your butt. Those (who are) half-stepping it are not gonna make it. (That's why you can) never lose why you're here."
Thanks Spike and cheers to your life-changing summer of 1977.