“If you ever see a turtle sitting on a fence post, you know he didn’t get up there by himself.”
Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown
Actually, there are quite a few people to whom this quote, or something similar, can be attributed. For example, author Alex Haley said, “Anytime you see a turtle up on top of a fence post, you know he had some help.”
In the case of the Willie Brown quote, he said it a few weeks ago at a NAACP convention, where he was presented with the group’s award for outstanding achievement. He was essentially saying that no individual ever achieves such an honor alone.
Do you remember back in 2012 when Obama said, “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own”? He went on to say, “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Whoa! Obama took a whole raft of shit from Republicans for saying that. The sentence “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that” was publicized by his political opponents during the 2012 presidential campaign as an attack on business and entrepreneurs.
But Obama was essentially saying the same thing that Willie Brown and Alex Haley were saying about the turtle on the fence post. You know he had some help. He didn’t get up there by himself.
Obama wrapped up his remarks by saying, “The point is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”
Oh how I miss Barack Obama.
Written for today’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.