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By: Roy Douglas Malonson, Publisher of African-American News & Issues & Author of column series We MUST Understand

We MUST Understand that there is nothing wrong with success. There is nothing wrong with reaching for the stars to attain a level of comfort and satisfaction. But, as with all things there has to be certain limits and values that a person keeps and upholds in order to reach a level of effective success. For some people, success can be one of the most valuable assets that a person can have. While on the contrary, it can serve as a detonator when placed in the wrong hands.




I often say that, ‘success without a successor is failure’. But I have learned that there are more failures to the term, “success”. For, in my lifetime, I have seen on numerous occasions how success has become one of the major causes of failure, for certain people. There are people that get a little something and it seems as if it changes them forever. They are no longer the same person they once were and they arrive to a point where they outgrow the very people that helped them get to where they are. It’s like they get big-headed when they get a little something, and don’t know how to act. It reminds me of the old saying, “Be careful how you treat folk on your way up, because you just may see those same folk on your way back down!”

Over the years, I have been called some of everything under the sun. Some of it may be true, while the vast majority isn’t. However, nothing that people say about me bothers me because I know who I am, and I know the price I have had to pay to get to where I am in life. I don’t take for granted where I come from, by no means. No matter how successful other folks may think my wife and I are, there is one thing about us that will not change. That factor is the element that we don’t change. We remain true to who we are, period. To this day, neither one of us has ever forgotten where we come from.

I will even use myself as an example. It has happened so many times that I can’t count at this point.  People that have never met me before will come to my office looking for me. Prior to meeting me, they already have a preconceived notion about who I am and what I represent; based off of what they have heard or been told, probably by some other folk that don’t know me either. So when I walk up to greet them and ask, “May I help you with something?” With their opinion already formulated of who I am they will respond, “No, I’m here to see… Mr. Malonson!” Not knowing the whole time that, they are already talking to the person they are looking for. Sure, I have my overalls on and I’m just the basic everyday regular person you run into; but that’s just my point. It’s the perception that they already have about me. My clothes, status or resources does not define my character and it does not constitute who I am. There is nothing wrong with having a little something in life, but it just shouldn’t change who you are.

I hope that I am getting through to our audience because what I am conveying is a very valid point and one that is prevalent amongst members of our community. I use the term Mis-educated a lot in referring to certain folk from our communities, because people get to a point where they feel like they have arrived and they say, “the hell with everybody else”. That’s just not a good way to be, because one day it will all catch back up with you. So once again, please understand that success is one of the major causes of failure, especially when in the wrong hands.

Throughout the years, my wife and I have helped many people. Personally, I have empowered folk and then they get bigger than me. Then it places me in a dilemma to where I have to make one of the hardest decisions in the world. Do I fight the people that I fought for? Of course, it shouldn’t be that way but that is the way that it is. It’s just like our president. This man has made it all the way to being the most powerful man in the world and he is self-destructing on the platform that the American people have helped him to secure. It’s almost as if he is totally oblivious to the same people that elected him into office, can impeach his ass out. But that’s just what I mean, “Success can be one of the major causes of failure!”

                  Concluding, I would just like to reiterate that there is not a thing in the world wrong with attempting to better yourself or asking seeking help to reach success. But, when you get to a place of success, don’t let it change you and don’t forget about the people that helped you to get there.