Champions keep the ladder down for others
Over the last several days at my school, I have had the honor of attending a program entitled Mass Communications & JournalismWeek at Norfolk State University (NSU). Every year, the Mass Communications Department puts on this event which includes numerous guest speakers, workshops, Q&A sessions with media professionals, round table discussions and an awards ceremony (I actually received an award for having the highest GPA in the graduate program). One of the main goals of the week is to allow all students in the program to meet and network with these professionals and get a thorough understanding of what life is like in this particular field. One of the professionals really stood out for me and I considered him to be the most phenomenal feature of the entire week.
The program’s keynote address was delivered by a man named Jonathan Mason, an NSU graduate and now the Director of Sales for New York’s WABC and WMBM. As he spoke, I was moved, not only by his eloquence and humor, but also by his overall message. He spoke on his humble upbringings, how he hailed from Pennsylvania, attended NSU and ended up working in sales inNew York and having the opportunity to meet and work with world famous individuals and acquire much success. However, through it all, his message was simple: When you reach the top, keep the ladder down for others. The impact of his words was both mesmerizing and profound. The whole audience erupted in applause at that line. I firmly agreed with what Jonathan said that night. Often in society, individuals achieve wealth, fame, and power and they either choose to spend it lavishly on themselves or, in some cases, choose not to spend it at all and be selfish with their earnings and their knowledge. Either way, I believe that both choices are morally wrong.
It was apparent that Jonathan’s words of wisdom weren’t just something that he had made up and threw together in a moment’s notice. He was genuinely speaking from his heart and soul as a champion when he spoke in depth about how the children of this generation are already looking up to people my age. Jonathan focused on the fact that no matter what we achieve, no matter how far we go in life and no matter what our definition of success is, when we do eventually “make it”, we must ALWAYS give something back. Essentially, it is our responsibility to make sure that the youth of today become the leaders of tomorrow. The only way to do that is to ensure that we keep the ladder down and allow them to the reach the top.