Greatness is learned

A friend once told me that a person who’s average is “the best of the worst and the worst of the best.”

In other words, there’s nothing significant about the life of a person who’s average.

So why have some of us grown comfortable with being mediocre?

Marianne Williamson, spiritual activist, said it best, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

Despite what the older folks say, our generation truly is powerful.

We should believe in ourselves and not fall victim to fear. When we walk around campus we should sweat greatness. Unfortunately, there are indications a decline in greatness is present.

According to The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, the black college student graduation rate nationwide was 43 percent in 2006. Furthermore, the graduation rate at FAMU for 2006 was 35 percent.

So what can be the cause of FAMU students’ lack of academic achievement in recent years? Is our graduation rate so low because our professors aren’t teaching? Or is it because our facilities aren’t adequate enough?

The answer to both is “no.”

The truth is many of us have failed because we fear the potential we possess. None of us should come to school and be satisfied with passing all of our classes with a “C.”

Now, I understand that occasionally a “C” may be the best possible grade you can get while working with some professors, but to not strive for something higher is a waste of your time, money and energy.

There is nothing in this world that we, as the future leaders of America, cannot accomplish. But in order to have success in the future we must let go of our failures.

If Michael Jordan had focused only on the fact that he didn’t make his high school varsity basketball team, his legacy would not exist.

Moreover, there’s nothing wrong with failing. But to accept failure and have no desire to overcome it is unacceptable. When I failed at a task that first time and felt like I couldn’t get it right a second time, my Nana always said, “that’s nothing but the in-a-me (enemy).” In other words, the only thing that could hold me back was me.

After the summer break the fall semester has finally arrived, and the days of accepting mediocrity are over. Because of our fear of individualism many of us are caught up with fitting in, and we leave no room to develop our gifts and talents. Thus, we deny ourselves the opportunity to step outside of the norm and accomplish things that have never been accomplished.

Holding on to fear, which ultimately holds us back from reaching greatness, is no longer an option.

Brent Hatchett is a junior broadcast journalism student from Detroit. He can be reached at brenthatchett@