“I don’t think the dreams die, I think that people give up. I think it gets too hard.” Tyler Perry
Do dreams really die or do people give up achieving the dream . . . and it is the determination and ability to persevere that really dies? How does one keep pushing ahead when it seems like with every advancement comes double retrogression? What is it that gives us the ability to keep getting up only to be knocked down again? The answers are played-out and re-played-out in the life of Tyler Perry.
Tyler Perry was born Emmitt Perry Jr. on September 13, 1965 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is an actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, producer, author and songwriter. Wow, what a handle! Some say, “Wow, what a man!” I have never met, or seen this giant man of physical stature as well as “stature of success.” My only contact are the images and stories generated by his thoughts flashed on my TV screen, or the screen at the movie theater. Whether you are staring at the tough, overactive, somewhat street mentality of Madea or Perry as a serious actor, you come away thoroughly entertained, challenged in thought and astonished by a man who once lived in a car, and contemplated . . . taking his own life. Who is he? What is it that makes him tick? As I began my research, the answers I received only served to generate more questions–questions like:
Who is Tyler Perry and can a single article define him?
What is the core in his psyche that allows the constant flow of ideas and concepts and the implementation thereof?
How does such a talented man have the business acumen that he has? What or whom does he connect with to achieve the “wholeness” he seems to exemplify?
What can the rest of the world learn from him?
In answering the first question “Who is Tyler Perry?” I decided to see what others say about him. The answers went something like this:
“He has a way of getting inside of people. He’s generous and sensitive. He’s a genius, but also very intelligent. He gives a lot to people. He connects with his audience.”
Nia Long says, “If you’ve ever worked with Tyler Perry, it’s the most well-oiled machine you’ve ever seen operate. You get there, you’re treated like a queen, you have fresh flowers in your trailer every day. It is the most unbelievable thing ever. Everybody is on point.” Nia worked with Tyler on the film The Single Moms Club.
While these answers are insightful and informative, they did not get to the core of the questions above. I needed something deeper–something that reached into my spirit, soothed my soul and connected with his spirit. Where would I find such a thing? I decided to “cyber on over” to Perry’s official website to see what I could find. The first video I looked at was a collage of celebrities explaining what the “Tyler touch” meant to them. I listened, but the core of my being remained “untouched.” I was still clamoring for something more! I was not sure what, but I knew I would recognize it when I found it!
The second video was the voice of the man himself . . . explaining his method of reaching other people, sort of getting beneath the veneer and striking an inner core. Four words were the essence of this: “Listen! Hear! Question! Arrive!” He compared such action to godliness by saying that “This is what God does. He asks the question, but He already knows the answer. He just wants us to figure it out for ourselves” . . . and this is what Tyler Perry does when he talks with people. He coaches and leads them to answers deeply embedded within. He helps them uncover things that are beneath the surface, sometimes hidden, but known . . . and sometimes unknown. Why did this strike a tender chord with me? Because that is exactly how I communicate with God? I ask Him questions–questions that lead to more questions–more questions that lead to self-analysis and an analysis that uncovers the most painful answers that I do not want to discover. But it is through this process that I discover who I truly am–my likeness and oneness with the One God.
Rest assured, if Perry has perfected this process with others, he practiced on himself beforehand! He has learned that putting God first and foremost instills intelligence that generates ideas, maintains peace of mind and guarantees unlimited success–success that yields to divine order, spiritual law and the exchanging of human thoughts for divine thoughts. I was beginning to connect!
I had begun my discovery of the “wisdom of Tyler Perry! A second point he makes is that God’s time may not be our time! What does he mean by this? He’s saying human will has its own aspirations, time clock and pathway to get from point A to point B, and is never in line with divine will. All true activity must be God-inspired, God-directed and God-implemented, to be successful in thought, word and deed. Achieving things before one is spiritually ready for them, leads to disappointment, disharmony and defeat.
Accept where you are, perfect your thoughts, and perfect actions will follow. Be patient, trustworthy, confident, and recognize that everything you need, you already have, and it will reach fruition at the appropriate time and place! This recognition reminds me of a song that I sang in church as a child, “You Can’t Hurry God,” and let me hasten to add, “and you’re wasting your time trying to!”
The third point that put me in touch with the wisdom of Tyler is: Establishing good works. He used the biblical verse that says, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9: 4). At first glance, one could gloss over the significance of the words, “works of him that sent me” and concentrate on just the word “work.” It is important to distinguish between the works of man and the works of God–the works that Jesus is referring to. This distinction is also what Tyler is espousing. All of the work that one does, must have a spiritual foundation to reach the heights of spiritual growth and development. The effect of this growth and development, is not measured by money, prestige and power. Many people have achieved those, but lack the qualities that bring mental success: peace, comfort, enjoyment, satisfaction and grace.
Good works cannot be superficial and totally self-promoting. They must be rooted in “Do unto others as I would have them do unto me” and “Thou shall have no other gods before me” if they are bring health, happiness and true success. These are the ingredients that have made Tyler Perry the man he is today, and I believe this article has done a pretty good job of stating that.
How does such a talented man have the business acumen that he has?
The business acumen of Perry, comes from “being about my Father’s business” and not his own. He understands that such a business has as its center and circumference love, not fear, Soul, not sense, truth, not error and the expressions of divine Mind, not the human mind. Thus, he listens for divine ideas, directions from truth and government of Principle. These never lead toward failure and discontent, but glow in the sunlight of abundance and serenity. The “bottom line” becomes less important because it is replaced with the “straight line”– the line that bends not from the forces of adversity and power, but holds steady with the forces of strength and mercy. This is the wisdom of Tyler Perry!
What can the rest of the world learn from him? Listen! Hear! Question! Arrive! Be mindful of what you are listening to, hear with ears of faith, hope and quietness–ruling out the persistent voices of fear, impatience and self-glorification, question your thoughts, motives and actions every step of the way, and you will arrive in the most comforting and satisfying place for you.
Perry says, “The question that a lot of people ask me all the time is how did you make it? The truth be told, it was nothing but the grace of God.” What is this grace, but the divine influence acting in one to make him morally strong? Each of us is equipped with such grace. Find it, tap into it, and begin . . . the “wisdom of Tyler Perry!”