By Dan Yount
The Cincinnati Herald
Former Cincinnati Vice Mayor, mayoral candidate, college professor, ABC commentator and lawyer Yvette Simpson said she had a dream of becoming a lawyer with a focus on addressing injustices in our society as a young girl growing up in poverty in the Village of Lincoln Heights, north of Cincinnati.
Through hard work, diligence in her education, and family support, she accomplished that goal. She graduated from Xavier University and then the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
However, after spending several years at one of the large law firms in Cincinnati, she said she felt something was missing. That was her purpose in life. She said she realized that purpose is something bigger than a a profession, a company or a title. Yes, she was finally making good money at a highly respectable profession, but there was more she needed for her personal fulfillment. And that was working to help people overcome injustices they faced.
Simpson had been giving speeches to young people, corporate leaders and other groups about improving their lives when she was encouraged to write a book about her struggles and how she overcame them.
Thus, her new book, “On Purpose, The Power of Authenticity and Intention,” was finished this year and introduced on October 14 to a well-attended book signing event at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Norwood in partnership with The Cincinnati Herald.
“This book was birthed in the midst of a one-in-a-generation global pandemic,” Simpson said. Simpson said the inspiration for the book came from the sudden losses of both her mother and father during the COVID pandemic.
Her book was also inspired by a two-week trip to Tanzania, Africa, organized by a friend who invited her in 2017 to join a group of volunteers with Village Like Outreach Project. There she mentored children, worked with the engineering team to explore methods to clarify and purify drinking water, and danced with children “until she nearly passed out…while learning from the villagers so many important things about her heritage and culture.”
“I dreamed about how I might translate the experience I was having, giving my entire self to something bigger than myself in Africa to something as meaningful at home,’’ she writes.
“It’s beautiful to think about making a contribution, making a difference, and leaving things better than we found them,” she writes. “So after a world-changing pandemic that cost millions of lives, upended families, and devastated finances, let’s take stock of our lives, think about how we spend our moments, and consider making a shift. I think we will be better for it. It may be the silver lining of this otherwise catastrophic event that reshaped our generation.”
“It’s a culmination of a life’s journey in pursuit of fulfillment, the kind of fulfillment that can come from waking up every day living a life that feels real, authentic doing work that lifts you up and makes you fell more connected to who you are and putting your head on your pillow every night knowing that you gave your all to make the world better,” she writes.
She notes it is important not to confuse purpose with career. “Purpose is your reason for being, your North Star. This book with help you discover your purpose,” she writes, as she becomes your guide along your journey in this interesting, inspiring, easy to read, self-help manual.
In preparation for this journey of self discovery, Simpson said she asks people, as she has asked audiences across the country, “Do you love yourself as you are right now, and do you appreciate what you have right now and are you willing to make the best of that? You really do not need more; you just need to be responsible.”
She also advises that what people say about you is not true, for only you know what it true about you. “So say those true words about you to yourself every day, that you are beautiful, loving, caring and responsible.”