Originally created 02/11/06

Secretary shares inspiring message

To be successful isn't a matter of aptitude, but a matter of attitude, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson told the Paine College community Friday.

Mr. Jackson delivered the convocation address commemorating the 123rd anniversary of the college's founding at Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel in hopes of inspiring its students.

Part of that inspiration was explaining the difference between being involved and being committed.

The chicken was involved in the eggs you had for breakfast, but the pig was committed to the bacon, he said.

"What you withhold from life, life will withhold from you," Mr. Jackson said, calling on students to commit themselves to their dreams.

Recalling an African proverb his father would tell him, he said if you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there. A recent study of successful people found that 85 percent found their way to where they are because of their attitudes, he said, asking students to examine their own attitudes.

"People who are shooting for nothing in life usually get nothing," Mr. Jackson said.

Rely on self-motivation, drive and self-reliance in making things happen, rather than letting things happen to you, he said.

"You have something to give so please give it," he said. "The future of our nation, indeed our world, will be in your hands."

If you attempt to fly, people will step on your wings, he said. It's up to you whether you let them keep you down or you take them with you.

"The message is simply this: That within you lies the power to seize the hour and live your dreams," Mr. Jackson said.

His words made an impression on graduating senior Stacy Rozier.

"It just inspires me to go ahead and live out my life and dreams," she said after the convocation.

As secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Jackson oversees a $32 billion dollar budget, serves as a member of President Bush's cabinet and is 11th in line to succeed the president.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

Words of Inspiration

The following are excerpts from U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson's speech at Paine College:

"We've been all the way to the moon and back, but we have not learned to walk across the street and shake the hand of our brother and sister.""It might be insane to live with a dream, but I can tell you it's madness to live without one.""Strive to get to the top because the bottom is overcrowded.""When you begin to have faith, your burdens begin to get heavier but your knees won't buckle.""You are greater than you think you are."


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