There Is Greatness, and There Is Greatness!


Good Day!
I am going to go out on a limb and write T.G.I.F. Yes, I am well aware of the fact that South African activist who served over 25 years of his 95 years on Earth in a prison in South Africa for standing firm against the racist system of apartheid, Nelson “Madiba” Mandela passed away on Thursday. Yet, I quietly think he was ready to go and as he often suggested in his many many words of wisdom, when a person has done all he can in his lifetime, he may rest in peace. I think of others like Mother Teresa who never ran a country nor was imprisoned. Or Gandhi, though a lawyer never held the highest office of India either nor imprisoned for 27 years. There is no one who lived such a remarkable life nearly like a modern “Jesus”, if you will. I think he was ready and was called home by his Creator. There is greatness … then, there is greatness. Mandela … needless to say … is greatness.Last night, I had the pleasure of attending an event held at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort in honor of Ms. Essie “Big Mama” Reed. I also wrote an article for on the event. Her story is so moving that there were moments of silence during the event as a woman who has known Big Mama and got her started overcoming tremendous odds, holistic medicine Dr. King, in which one could feel the pain. Essie’s husband had left her over 20 years ago with two baby boys. They were already struggling but Essie’s heart was so big that she “scrimped and scrounged” and pulled together a “home” for over 20 children, plus her two, to escape life on the streets of Fort Lauderdale at such a young age. Dr. King stated in her introduction of Big Mama, that wires and pieces of metal and steel stuck out of the ceiling and walls all over the structure. Big Mama stated as she took the microphone that there was also a toilet that had fallen through the floor. But the children told Dr. King that there is no other place that they would rather be than in any structure with Big Mama! So began the Team of Life and the story of Big Mama. This, too, is greatness.

For Thanksgiving this year, Mama’s Team of Life located in the Sistrunk area of Fort Lauderdale, gathered food and turkeys and fixings and trimmings. From what they gathered, they were able to serve over 15,000 families in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami Dade counties. Tell me, is this greatness?! Some may say, “Oh, that’s nothing!” Yet I beg to differ and ask anyone who would do what she did to care for less fortunate when she, too, was less fortunate, to drop me a line in response to this e-mail telling me so! It was the extreme difficulty, and in her own words – her love of God, and the fact that she has so much love in her heart to give that people like Dr. King and her husband, Mr. John Weaver, a well known realtor in Ft. Lauderdale, were so compelled to help her and ultimately, build a dream. Upon meeting her personally after talking on the phone with her for two days, the love really did emanate from her; her words and her movements as well as her smile and laughter. Even when Dr. King spoke of her dreaded beginnings and escape from deplorable living conditions, Big Mama still had a smile on her face. When she spoke, she teased that she might sound like we are in church. She praised her Creator for people like Dr. King and her husband John Weaver, and another gentleman I met, Mr. Ryan Paton, also a licensed mortgage broker, who they both agree is like her “white son”! I also got to meet Sam, one of her two biological sons who was also in attendance.

What is your calling? Is is simple and humble? Is it to help others with achieving their goals, which can be very important and instrumental in improving this human journey? Is it one like Dr. King and her husband, John? Don’t miss it, whatever it is. Thank you so much for your inspiring love Nelson Mandela. Thank you for your tireless efforts and love for others, Ms. Bessie “Big Mama” Reed! Happy Holy Days, All!
Namaste and Peace,

John I. CookEmoji, Director

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