Tyrese Gibson: Inspirational Guru
You know me; I write what I feel, and say what I think, despite criticism or disagreement. And I was compelled to write today, because an amazing work crossed my hands via my Barnes & Noble Nook that I must share with you.
On my Facebook newsfeed today, I happened to see a link a friend had shared of Tyrese Gibson (you know, the singer/actor) on TBN with Steve Harvey. As I watched the 19-minute video, I found myself enthralled, on the very edge of my seat, mesmerized and hanging onto the words this dark chocolate man was speaking. I have always loved Tyrese; how can you not love songs like Lately and Sweet Lady? 2 Fast 2 Furious had you counting every block in those rock hard abs, and the Transformers franchise made you want to bite his bottom lip every time he said, “Bring the rain!” And don’t even get me started on Baby Boy. But here, I was seeing more than just the sensuality and sex appeal for which he is often lauded. In this video, you saw his intellect, spirituality, and wisdom. And ladies, it’s sexy as hell.
Tyrese did the interview with Steve to promote his new book, How to Get Out of Your Own Way. The journey is a memoir of sorts that gives Tyrese’s perspective on life based on where he’s come from and where he’s been, an inspirational work to uplift and elevate his audience to pursue more than their current circumstances and show them how he progressed, and hopefully, by his example, do the same. After watching that video, I bought the book. I was too impressed with this gentleman (and this new persona of him I had never experienced) not to see what else he had to say.
I was immediately inspired. It’s been very rare that I’ve been able to say that about a written work. I’ve certainly been entertained, informed, and enlightened by a book, but never in my experience have I been inspired. And I’m only on page 50! His work starts with his childhood in the hood of Watts, and the pictures he paints of the dual emotions of that environment, the childhood delights we can all laugh aloud about to the cruel reality of the gang-infested, bullet-riddled streets of inner city living, are vivid and lasting. It immediately brought to mind some of my childhood memories of summers I spent in southeast Washington DC with my cousins. And the work is written in the same voice with which he speaks; it’s as if he’s sitting right there with you, just having a conversation.
I was hesitant about my dream. You know this because you’ve been following my blog since I began this year. I’ve had doubts, and I’ve expressed them openly. I’ve been discouraged and down-right pessimistic at times. I didn’t believe it was possible to get The Grim written, much less published; I complain about the financial investment and the lack of support. I wonder how I’m going to accomplish this vision that God placed on my heart and spirit, and I condemn myself for being so bold as to think that someone like me could even accomplish such a thing. But Tyrese’s work reminds you that you deserve better, and pity parties have no room in the circle of greatness. And I am certainly striving for just that: the hope and volume that accompanies greatness.
Sometimes, the vision God gives you is so overwhelming. Tyrese talks about how he never expected that the road God would take him down would be this prosperous. The sheer volume of what I see happening for myself, while it may not be on a Tyrese-type scale, still overwhelms, even terrifies, me because I can’t imagine that I’m worthy or deserving of it. But I must learn to love myself as much as God loves me, as impossible as that may seem, and recognize that I don’t write just for myself, but because God has planted a seed in me to speak. And like Moses, I must do so, even when I’m stutter of speech, because somebody needs to hear it. And maybe that somebody is you. And who am I to deprive you of that encounter to which God expects me to expose you?
I’m going to use How to Get Out of Your Own Way with my Young Bright Minds group, and I pray you read it yourself and encourage your teenagers and other youth you may know to read it. They have to know how not to make the same mistakes everyone before them made. And everyone needs to know that no matter how old you are, where you are doesn’t have to be where you stay. This book will inspire you, too.
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