Condoleezza Rice: Standing Proud
By: Andrea from The American Moms
Condoleezza Rice has a long list of firsts— first black woman to serve as our country’s Secretary of State, first black woman to serve as the national security advisor, first African American to serve as provost of Stanford University (and also the first female, first minority and youngest person to hold that title), and she and another businesswoman became the first women to become members of the Augusta National Golf Club, a club infamously known for its all-male membership.
She credits her success to the way she was raised and the lessons she learned at a young age.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, surrounded by racism, her parents taught her to walk proudly in public and to realize her future had no limitations. “They refused to allow the limits and injustices of their time to limit our horizons,” Condoleezza recalled. “Then, I couldn't have a hamburger at the Woolworth's lunch counter. Still, my parents had me absolutely convinced that I could become the President of the United States. Instead I became the Secretary of State.”
That life lesson to walk proudly and reach your full potential has served her well her whole life. When she wanted to quit piano lessons at age 10, her mother refused to let her—telling her she still had much to learn. So she pressed on and it impacted the rest of her life. While she was Secretary of State, she played regularly with a chamber music group in Washington, D.C. and performed at diplomatic events, embassies and even performed for Queen Elizabeth, and with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and singer Aretha Franklin. And, even now, in her post-Washington, D.C. life, she travels the country playing in benefit concerts to raise money for children’s music programs. All because she was taught to believe her potential was limitless.
Though so many of us dream of her running for president of the United States, she has publicly declared that her future plans only consist of being an educator—not a politician.
All the same, every one of us can benefit greatly from Condoleezza Rice and her invaluable life lessons of standing proud and no matter what life deals us and to keep moving forward— because the human spirit is irrepressible. When we come to believe in ourselves that way too, we never know what “firsts” it might lead us to accomplishing.