Ready for a trivia game? Who said the following? “I don’t have no plans of slowing down because the number says I should. I don’t pay attention to that. I wake up with new dreams every day.”
Here’s a hint. This woman recently sang for a Super Bowl commercial titled“ 5 to 9,” since it’s a spinoff of her sensational movie hit made 40 years ago. The commercial, which advertises building websites that support dreamer’s “side-hustles,” stays true to this entertainer’s philosophy of working hard to fulfill your passions.
I enjoyed this singer’s TV specials. It’s always fun to check out her outfits, wigs, and hear her contagious belly laugh. Until I did research for this column, I believed the myth that she had ribs removed so she could have a tiny waist. Her answer to that is, “Oh, that is so BS! My waist is little because nothing grows in the shade!”
This past December I got to watch her Christmas special. She told the story of how her family, living in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, had very little. Even though other kids made fun of her patched clothing, she was grateful for her coat of many colors.
She also told the story of how she and her siblings looked forward to the little Christmas presents given to children at church. When she received hers, she worried that it wasn’t fair that her mother didn’t get one. So she tried to give her mother her gift.
In keeping with that philosophy, here’s another admirable quote. “No, I’m not going to get mine (my coronavirus vaccination) until some more people get theirs. I don’t want it to look like I’m jumping the line just because I donated money. I’m very funny about that.” (She donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University for vaccination research.) “I’m going to get mine though, but I’m going to wait. I’m at the age where I could have gotten mine legally last week. I turned 75.”
This humanitarian continues to give today, and in1995 started a foundation, Imagination Library, that gifts books to young children throughout the world. Inspired by her father’s inability to read, she set up a program that gives away over 1 million books each month. She says, “When I was growing up in the hills of East Tennessee, I knew my dreams would come true. I know there are children in your community with their own dreams. They dream of becoming a doctor or an inventor or a minister. Who knows, maybe there is a little girl whose dream is to be a writer and singer. The seeds of these dreams are often found in books and the seeds you help plant in your community can grow across the world.”
There is so much to admire in this woman who keeps giving back, has brought joy to millions, and who wakes up with new dreams everyday. Dolly Parton.