Everyone Has the Capacity to Be Great

The following post republishes an excerpt from B.K. Fulton’s new book, “The Tale of the Tee: Be Kind and Just Believe.” Fulton, an African-American Christian,  entrepreneur and philanthropist, co-wrote the book with Jonathan Blank, who is Jewish, a lawyer and an activist. The two men did not know each other prior to June 14, 2020. A single act of kindness began an e-mail thread that provides the basis of this book. — JAB

by B.K. Fulton

What can we learn from [the] people who change the world for the better in spite of the obstacles? What their work tells me is that the real genius in the world is in recognizing the genius in others. My hypothesis is that we all have the capacity to be great. God distributes talent generously throughout our species and all of us get to have the life we are willing to work for. It is in our naked self-interest to invest in everyone – every girl and every boy on the planet – because we have no idea where the cure for ALS is coming from. We have no idea where the cure for cancer is coming from. We have no idea where the cure for Alzheimer’s is coming from. What we do know for sure is that the cures that will help your family and mine are randomly distributed somewhere out there in the world. What we do know for sure is that the cure we need right now might just be [reading this message]. What we do know for sure is that the antidote for all that ails us is YOU. I challenge you to decide to be GREAT. Because if a person on the margins can achieve at the highest levels, what is our excuse for dabbling in mediocrity?

Before I invented anything; before writing my 8th book; before my AR firm won the top 7-figure prize for the global 5G challenge in 2020; before I ran a multi-billion dollar company for Verizon with over 40,000 employees; before I made my first movie with Lionsgate . . . I was a person on the margins. I almost flunked out of engineering school. It was reading about people like Mr. [Lewis] Latimer that changed my life. I realized that if he could change the world at the time he was alive with very few resources and limited support, I could change my trajectory if I applied myself. The stories of success and innovation helped me to stop seeing the world through a prism of sorrows. Instead, I learned to look at the world through the lens of achievement. This shift in my world view has made all the difference.

Life is a journey. When we learn better, we must do better. We do not get to choose where we start, but we do get to choose where we end up. I am thankful for all of those that sacrificed – every ethnicity and every gender – to show us what it means to be human and how the pursuit of excellence allows us to pay forward the gift of our very existence. Complaining about tough times, complaining about what we don’t have, blaming everyone else for what we have failed to do as people is an inadequate contribution to the future of our success.

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One response to “Everyone Has the Capacity to Be Great

  1. This was same lesson my father told me he learned as a very young marine working with men in the Civilian Conservation Corps building the Blue Ridge Parkway in 1934/1935. For him, it was a life changing lesson. One he later applied in training and leading young Marines and soldiers before and during two wars, WW2 and Korea.

    Now, if only our colleges and universities would seriously take this timeless lesson to heart, those institutions would change the world.

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