In the spirit of giving, this week we feature a brief story by Zig Ziglar about famed American contralto Marian Anderson. She was the first African American to be named a permanent member of the Metropolitan Opera Company. Enjoy!
Marian Anderson got her start by scrubbing floors for 10 cents an hour so that she could buy a pawnshop violin. The church she attended recognized her rare talent and raised money for a professional voice teacher to work with her. When the teacher pronounced her ready, she went to New York where critics crucified her. She returned home to regroup. Her mother and her church encouraged her and paid for more lessons.
Because of the intense racial prejudice in America, she went to Europe and took the continent by storm. She came back to America and sang at the Lincoln Memorial with more than 60,000 people in attendance. She sang “O Mia Fernando,” “Ave Maria,” “Gospel Train,” and “My Soul Is Anchored in the Lord,” among other songs.
One day a reporter asked Marian what the most satisfying moment in her life was. Without hesitation, she responded that (it was) when she was able to tell her mother that she did not have to take in any more washing. The reporter asked, “What did your mother give you?”
Marian Anderson responded, “Everything she had.” That’s greatness, and giving everything we have is our key to greatness.