Tip of the Week
Tip: Elvis taught us some really good lessons!
I can’t help it…I love Elvis! If he were still living, he would have been 78 years old on January 8. I can hardly imagine what he would have looked like if he had lived that long. But, because he died at 42, we will never know for sure. I wish he had taken better care of himself.
It was once said, “Before Elvis there was nothing – after Elvis there was everything!” I think that is true for a number of reasons! There are many things that interest me about Elvis Presley that I wanted to share with you. I believe he taught us a lot of really important life lessons!
1. Elvis loved his parents…especially his mother. The first song he ever recorded at Sun Records was That’s Alright, Mama for his mother, Gladys. At that time, he was just getting started in the music industry and he had a job driving a pickup truck in Memphis.
I have actually been to Sun Studios and seen the very spot where that song was recorded. Some people say that Elvis was never the same after his mother died at a fairly young age. Certainly he loved her very dearly.
2. He was always respectful of older people. If you have ever seen recordings of him on TV, he always said, “Yes, sir” and “Yes, ma’am” to those who were older than he was. Some people think of that as a southern quality, but I think of it as just having good manners. Showing respect for older people is something that never goes out of style. And, who couldn’t remember Elvis’ famous line that is still being used by people to this very day? – “Thank you, thank you very much!”
3. Elvis loved the “underdog” and those who were less fortunate than he. If you are a fan like I am, you may have heard that he often bought people cars or other kinds of items when he knew they were in need. He tried to help people get on their financial feet. He was empathetic because he was poor when he was growing up and he never forgot that, even when he became famous. He would go out of his way to help people because he had the resources to do so.
4. He cared about people of other races. In 1968, Elvis was to perform a concert in the Astrodome of Houston, Texas. His backup singers were three African-American women called the Sweet Inspirations. He was told that because of their color they would not be allowed to sing there. Elvis politely said that he understood, but that if they were not allowed to come, then he would not be coming either! Management then had a miraculous change of heart and the Sweet Inspirations sang with him in the Astrodome.
5. Elvis never gave up. The first time he sang at the Grand Ole Opry he was afterwards told that the best advice he could be given was to go back to Memphis and continue driving his truck. That was probably the worst advice ever given to anyone in the history of the world! He did not let other professional singers persuade him to quit. He continued on despite their negative opinions and comments.
And, I saved the best for last.
6. He didn’t try to be anyone but himself. When he first got started in the music business, he was asked who he was trying to be like and he said, “No one! I’m just trying to be myself.” If you look closely into his eyes in that televised interview when he was asked that question, it is as though he had never even had the thought of trying to be someone else. It is as if he could not even understand the question! Those listening to his comments found that hard to believe because they were convinced that everyone tries to be like someone. But, Elvis was different. He was not trying to imitate someone else nor trying to be anyone else. He was just trying to be himself. And, we can look back these many years later and see the truth of that statement. He certainly was unique!
Elvis wasn’t perfect. He made a lot of mistakes in his life – many of which I wish he hadn’t made – but there were still things to admire about him. He never forgot his roots and his poor, inter-racial neighborhood. He remained true to his southern upbringing. His music was greatly influenced spiritually by both black and white churches that he had attended while growing up. He was deeply affected by the death of his twin brother, Jesse, at birth, as well as the loss of his mother later in early adulthood. The list goes on and on…there are just so many things that made him who he was.
As we start this New Year, I want to encourage you to be the best you that you can possibly be this coming year. You don’t have to try to be someone else because you will make a poor imitation of another person. Just be who you were made to be and do it with all of your heart. It is great to learn from other people, but in the end, make life fit you. That is the secret every person must find for themselves. I believe that Elvis found it for himself and I trust that as we enter this New Year, each one of us will find it for ourselves, as well.
Tip: Elvis taught us some really good lessons!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm