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JOYFUL..“What they call you is one thing. What you answer to is something else.”

  • Broadcast in Business
Courtney Elizabeth Anderson

Courtney Elizabeth Anderson


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This episode is part of our JOYFUL ART OF BUSINESS™ series wherein we explore how to combine the positive benefits of our professional endeavors (“business”) with the overall positive emotional return on our efforts (“joy”). Our episode topic is, “What they call you is one thing. What you answer to is something else.” - Lucille Clifton

This quote is pragmatic and powerful. I do not have the power to change the hearts and minds of other people. I do not have the power to to stop people from saying things that are hurtful, cruel and abusive. I have been called more insulting names than I can remember in my life. This quote is a reminder that what someone else calls us is not our issue, it is what we answer to that matters. 

Here is another quote from Lucille Clifton, “come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed.” - Lucille Clifton 

Again, the strident self image of the episode title quote resonates. We have more to rejoice in our lives than we acknowledge. You and I determine our destiny. We define who we are.

About the author of the quotes: Lucille Clifton was born June 27, 1936 and died on February 13th, 2010. Her first book of poems, Good Times, was rated one of the best books of the year by the New York Times in 1969. Among many prestigious awards, she won the National Book Award, for “Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems, 1988-2000”; the 2007 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize; and the Frost Medal, from the Poetry Society of America. (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2010/02/remembering-lucille-clifton.html) (also, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/17/arts/17clifton.html?_r=0) 

What do you answer to?