Pulchritude, Fortitude and Gratitude

Studio Opening PartyThe movie ends with a very competitive spelling bee. A young girl spells the last word of the competition, pulchritude, while envisioning the members of her community who helped her reach this pinnacle point in her life. She realized that she had a talent, a special skill, but was only able to achieve her shining moment with the help of her family, friends, spelling coach and other community members. At the end, she tied with the final competitor due to her purposeful mistake of spelling “xanthosis” incorrectly. Her competitor was aware of her mistake, and questioned her intent to make such an error. She informed him that she had wanted him to win so that he could please his father. After a quick exchange, they agreed to battle each other until the end, with heartfelt support for each other’s efforts.

I just described to you the ending of the movie Akeelah and the Bee, one of my all-time favorite movies because of the wonderful lessons of commitment, loyalty, support and endurance the movie portrays. The above recap of Akeelah’s story was included in my appreciation speech to the community at the studio’s open house on August 11, 2010. I believe that to achieve a goal at a satisfactory level, you work on it alone. However, to achieve a level of greatness, a whole community needs to embrace the passion of the goal. The studio on 1705 Mount Vernon Road is “our” studio, a studio designed and built by the community. The love of the community will allow it to blossom and flourish over time.

As Akeelah walked to the stage for the spelling bee, her spelling coach uttered this quote:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination. It is our light more than our darkness which scares us. We ask ourselves – who are we to be brilliant, beautiful, talented and fabulous. But, honestly, who are you to not be so?”  -Marianne Williamson

I truly thank the supportive figures in my life who have showed me the power of belief and have allowed me to see that the light is not scary, but it can be a safe and tranquil place.

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