Today we commemorate Veterans Day in America. I wish to express thanks to our veterans and honor their service. I also want to feature one veteran who was laid to rest last week.
During 84 years of living Colin Powell (1937-2021) was an American Patriot, politician, diplomat, statesman, US Army veteran, four-star general, national security adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 65th United States Secretary of State, and first African-American Secretary of State.
Powell was born in Harlem, NY, son of Jamaican immigrants, raised by caring parents in a humble home, educated in public schools, and graduated from high school without any definite life plans. While at City College, he found his calling in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). He became commander of his ROTC unit and began an historic military career and gave direction to his life. The rest is history… literally.
After being wounded twice during tours of duty in Vietnam, he was awarded a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and a Soldier’s Medal. Also he served a tour of duty in Korea and received a total of 11 military decorations that included the Legion of Merit.
Gen. Powell served over US Army Forces Command and was appointed by the President as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the US Department of Defense, and was the first African American officer to receive that distinction.
Colin and Alma Johnson Powell were married more than 59 years and raised three children. Together they founded America’s Promise Alliance, because they were dedicated to the well-being of children and youth of all socio-economic levels and committed to young people having the necessary resources for success.
General Colin Powell was more than a successful veteran. He was a successful man, who was an inspiration for others as they worked to succeed in life. He had a strong faith in God, was active in church, and taught Sunday School where he shared hope. Colin Powell was a rare human example by which following his footsteps would lead others to find inspiration and to live with hope.
I did not know Colin Powell personally, however I did have the privilege of hearing him speak at a motivational business seminar about ten years ago. I was in the audience to be motivated and learn from those who had successfully “been there and done that.” Of the many top speakers on the program he was a memorable personality. He was a man who impacted world leaders as well as an ordinary person like me.
I am thankful to General Colin Powell, for making a difference. I am thankful to God, Who gifted him to be an inspiration and to share hope.
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”
13 Rules of Leadership:
1. It ain’t as bad as you think! It will look better in the morning.
2. Get mad then get over it.
3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
4. It can be done.
5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
7. You can’t make someone else’s choices. You shouldn’t let someone else make yours.
8. Check small things.
9. Share credit.
10. Remain calm. Be kind.
11. Have a vision. Be demanding.
12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
(Colin Powell, 1937-2021)
“LORD, lead me in Your righteousness because of my enemies; Make Your way straightbefore me.” (Psalm 5: 8)
“Do not fear for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you for I am your God. I will strengthen you,surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41: 10)
“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'”
(Jeremiah 29: 11)
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)