‘People saluted you because you had promise’

Nov. 17, 2009

Lawrence Toliver, right, spent a career at chambers of commerce and for more than 20 years served in Charlotte. He was at Charlotte’s Tuesday Morning Breakfast Forum on Nov. 17 when Thomas commented on how important mentors were in his life. Here is Toliver’s response.

091117Toliver5“We’re from the same generation, if not from the same parts of the country. I know when I’m talking to an exceptional child, or someone that used to be an exceptional child. And that’s you. Understand what I mean?

“I’m saying that most of the people in this room were exceptional children and folks recognized you. I mean, you’ve always been respected. You always had people looking out for you.

“I mean, I’m looking at folks in this room, and I could say that to everybody in this room, probably. Somebody was always looking out for you.

“There was something about you that has been exceptional, and people have saluted you because you have promise. You had promise from the time you came here, brother! And everybody around you knew it. And nobody had to tell them….

“We must allow our hearts to respond to what the heart knows. And my heart knows that you were exceptional from the day you came here. And when we recognize exceptional people, no matter whether they’re children or they’re 99, respond to them as though they are exceptional and they will BE exceptional.”