Magic Johnson And Me:
Inspire, Aspire And Paying It Forward (VIDEO)
February is Black History Month. Good Enough Mother has joined forces with Coca-Cola to highlight the theme of Pay It Forward. Here is the story of someone who inspires me.
Even though I played sports as a kid, I was never much for watching them. I used to get jazzed about the track and field state finals (which I made one year) but beyond that, the joy of being a sports spectator was pretty much lost on me.
Except for the summer of 1992; that’s when the Olympics were all about The Dream Team.
Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson stormed the court as the first Olympic team made up of professionals and man did they take us for a ride, dominating the games and beating each opponent by an average of 44 points!
Magic Johnson was center stage, leading the team to victory and garnering Most Valuable Player.
It wasn’t the first time we had watched him with rapt attention. The year before the Olympics, Magic faced a phalanx of cameras and told the world he had tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Those who thought it was the end, didn’t know Magic Johnson well at all.
Born in 1959, Earvin “Magic” Johnson grew up in Lansing, Michigan, one of 7 children, raised by his father who worked the assembly line for a car manufacturer and his mother, who was a custodian. It’s said he got his incredible work ethic from his parents and one that is now in full bloom. Magic has put his name and muscle behind his numerous entrepreneurial activities, which is how our paths crossed.
As some of you may know, one of the shows I host is a talk show for African American women called Exhale on Aspire. Aspire is a cable network owned by Magic Johnson and Intermedia partners, whose mission is to provide uplifting programming for African Americans. Exhale is one of its original programs and, if you follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you know we just wrapped up filming for the second season.
Magic Johnson is inspiring me by providing a place for programming that reaches an audience that is, in many cases, under-served. How do I know? Because I get cards, letters, emails and tweets from people telling me so.
That’s the same thing Steve Harvey and Coca-Cola are doing with their Pay It Forward campaign. Together they are inspiring people to aspire to greatness, a message that is especially important for young people to hear.
So here’s the deal: you also have a chance to inspire a young person and it’s super easy. All you have to do is go here to nominate a deserving young person.. heck you can even nominate yourself. Then be sure to join Steve and Coca-Cola for a Twitter chat, Thursday, February 6th. Don’t forget to follow both Steve and Coke on Twitter.
I’m sure we all remember the time someone believed in us.. a little of that goes a long way. Won’t you let someone know how much you believe in them?
Because a great mentor can make all the difference, Coca-Cola has teamed up with Steve Harvey to give two young people the apprenticeship experience of a lifetime. Visit Coke.com/PayItForward to nominate an aspiring youth and help pay it forward to the next generation. In addition, each winning youth gets a $5,000 scholarship to assist with his or her pursuit of higher education.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by the Coca-Cola Company via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the Coca-Cola Company.