Esmeralda Magdaleno Ayala
English Language Arts 9
15 February 2018
A watch ticking. Tick, tick, tick. Footsteps echoing through the halls of silenced people. A crisp white shirt with a black tie, long black pants without a single crease or wrinkle. That is the image, the image of a person who is successful. You can tell that they are smart, quick witted, and make very good decisions. These are people who persevere and can be trusted. Some of those people are known, some are not, for example, Maya Angelou who wrote her famous 1969 autobiography I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, and her 1978 poem “Still I Rise”. Another example would be Oprah Winfrey, who won the Cecil B deMille Award at the 2018 Golden Globes, and with the speech she made, she inspired many. Both are successful, have a goal, and do whatever it takes to reach out for it, they make people aware about what is wrong in the world, and what is unfair. Those types of people are the ones that think outside the box, and end up being successful. For example in Oprah Winfrey’s speech, she took the initiative and voiced her opinion making people aware of female unfairness around the world, in the past and present. There are a few things that these people have in common, which helped them become successful. Those who have family support, passion, and confidence are those who become successful.
Support is important to become successful, especially if it is from the ones you love the most like your family. Your family support is important because they help you become who you are and who you want to be. One example may be found in Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the 2018 Golden Globes “So I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault, because they, just like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue.” This can show that not only women, but also men, all have insecurities and if they let their fear control them then they can be physically or mentally abused by other people. It can also show that all families make sacrifices for each other. The ones that make the biggest sacrifices are the ones who brought you to this life, mothers. Some families are living paycheck to paycheck, and mothers to sacrifice their own food so that their children can eat. Other mothers work extra, wearing themselves out more, to try to get their children what they want. Your family supports you and they can help you go down the right path. They can also help you go down the right path by giving you advice and moral support. They also help you not lose track of what your goal is and be blinded by something that really is not worth it. For instance in I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings there is a moment where Maya is going to graduate and everyone in The Store was happy for Maya because she was going to graduate, but her Momma goes beyond the limit, not buying a new dress but designing a new dress, just so Maya can wear on her special day. “My class was wearing butter-yellow pique dresses, and Mamma launched out on mine. She smacked the yoke into tiny…” (Angelou 171). This can show that Momma is proud of Maya for all that she has done in school. It also shows that Mamma loves Maya enough to make something handcrafted especially for her. That normally takes a long time to make but in the end it turns out beautiful, depending on the person who does it. This can make Maya notice that her family loves her a lot, and it can give her enough support to keep on doing well in school. She may also see that her family wants her to have a good future, so she may work hard and try her best to help her family, and make them happy.
Passion is your desire to do what makes you happy. It can be important because it can make a good impression on a job interview. By just explaining what your passion is can impress your future boss. It can show that you are serious, dedicated, and passionate about your job. Some examples of passion can be found in Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, “She said she was going to give some books and that I not only must read them, I must read them aloud, she suggested that I try to make a sentence sound in as many different ways possible” ( 98 ). This can show that Mrs. Flowers is helping Maya to find her passion, or start the spark so that she can continue her passion for literacy. In some ways passion can make a person responsible, they can remember their passion and show it in their own way, it can make them creative, open minded, and responsible. For instance in I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings it shows some background and interesting facts about Mayans flourishing passion, “As I ate she began the first of what we would later call ‘my lessons in living’ she said that I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of literacy. That some people, unable to go to school, wee more educated and even more intelligent than college professors.” This can show and make Maya aware of that learning is about listening to experiences and not reading about them, it can also mean that it is better to have real life experiences, not just reading about the same experience in a book. Passion can be sometimes confusing to find, but once you find it, you can use it to your advantage.
Confidence is such a strong and difficult thing to acquire, but it is useful to those who obtain it. Confidence is in all of us, but some of us, it is harder to express and show. Some people may be scared of what other people say, but that is the point of confidence, to not show to other people that you are scared so they will not say anything to you. An example of confidence may be found in Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise” ” ‘Cause i walk like I’ve got oil wells pumping in my living room.” (Angelou, 7) This shows such a strong presence of confidence that other people will not say nothing about it. It can also show that no matter what, the person, in this case it is Maya Angelou, will still rise, no matter how much hate they show her or what they tell her so she won’t feel as confident. Another example can also be found in Oprah Winfrey’s speech in the 2018 Golden Globes, “It is an honor and it is a privilege to share the evening with all of them and also with the incredible men and women who’ve inspired me, who’ve challenged me, who’ve sustained me and made my journey to this stage possible.” This shows that the people who challenged her are the ones that show hate to her and try to put her down but she does not give up because she has a high level of confidence. It also shows that people supported her, no matter where you are if there are people that show you hate there will always be people who support you. That support can help you gain more confidence. Some people become confident over time, once they start to get comfortable with being heard and noticed. Other people may feel threatened by the ones that show them disrespect or make them feel more insecure and smaller that they already are. Those types of people can become successful, but they just are maybe too afraid to show it. It can be something of their past that traumatized them, or they just do not have an opportunity to be heard. Everyone has a voice, but it is that some just are too afraid to use it.
So in conclusion, Things such as family support, passion, and confidence help a person become successful. Being successful does not mean just fancy cars, accessories, or clothes. It means that you have a job that you enjoy and it has a adjustable schedule when you have emergencies. A successful person can also be seen as if all the years of education were worth the job that they have right now. When you start to study and when your in school, there are lots of open doors open for you but it is your job to choose the right doors, to open the doors, and not get blinded by something like money. So you get a job that pays well but you do not enjoy. A successful person will have support from family, passion, and confidence. Family support can help you stay on track towards your goal, and not get blinded by something like money. Passion can help to guide you towards your goal and enjoy your job. Last but not least, there is confidence, now this can help you a lot, you just need to find it.
“Oprah Winfrey Receives Cecil B. De Mille Award at the 2018 Golden Globes.”YouTube, YouTube, 7 Jan. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN5HV79_8B8.
Angelou, Maya. “Still I Rise.” Poets.org, Academy of American Poets, 25 Oct. 2016, www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/still-i-rise.
Angelou, Maya I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Ballantine Books, March 2015