As we begin 2018 and people begin to reflect on the previous year(s), I would like to share a little reflection of my own. A former Chairman of The Board of Directors for The Northwest Chamber of Commerce, which is housed just down the street here on Route 66 in Bethany OK, I was asked to write an article for the neighborhood newspaper i.e.“The Tribune.” Inside this article was to contain my perspective on Chambers of Commerce and where I saw our chamber going for the next year; Instead, I wrote an article based on my opinion of “community.” Going into 2018, I feel the following snippet from the article is just as, and possibly even more pertinent today as it was then. So much more so, that you may say this became the overall belief system for which Choppers Hair Design is based…In fact, this article, in its entirety, hangs inside our salon to this day.
From The Northwest Chamber Chairman James Helton; January 18 2007
Upon sitting to write this very short piece for the “Tribune”, I was pondering all things chamber of commerce and what came to mind was a story I heard not so very long ago. I was watching Dr. Maya Angelou on television and she was speaking about a situation she encountered while on a Hollywood set, preparing for a cameo in a movie. Stepping out of her trailer after conferring with the director, Dr. Angelou was confronted with the belligerent profanity of two young African American men arguing and beginning to tussle. Approaching the scene, somewhat puzzled, she attempted to interrupt, but was confronted by one of the individuals and he began to vehemently curse her. Very calmly Dr. Angelou said, “I want to ask you something.” The young man screamed curse words, and very aggressively waived his hands in the face of this very calm woman. And again she said, “I understand all that, but I want to ask you something.” Finally the young man somewhat subsided and very hatefully said, “WHAT?” She simply, calmly and very compassionately asked, “Do you know how important you are?” The man stood staring dumbfounded and speechless and again she asked, “Do you know how important you are?” Dr. Angelou began to explain to this no-so-gentle man, that African and African American race went to great lengths and suffered incredibly so that he may stand here today. This man’s head sank in shame as he stared at the earth beneath his fee. Placing her hands on either side of his face, raising his to hers and having no tissue, Dr. Angelou wiped away the tears of what was then a very young Tu-Pac Shakur.
As this New Year begins, I ask…Do you know how important you are?