Doing what couldn’t be done

Published 9:58 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2016

By Charity Strothers

Graduation marks a triumphant completion. For me, it marks the end of senseless early mornings and the death of sleepless nights.

I can remember my grandmother taking me shopping to find the most appropriate interview attire to downplay my nicely formed baby bump. I was five months pregnant when I interviewed for a seat in the school of pharmacy’s class of 2016.

Email newsletter signup

Less than three months post-partum via a C-section I was an emotional wreck the first day of class.

Pharmacy school was no easy task, commuting 45 minutes to school, working two jobs, and studying far more than I slept. I’ve lost friends, missed out on memories, and forfeited plenty of sleep. I was a single mother with a dream.

While graduation is an opportunity to celebrate, I want to take the opportunity to motivate. The question I am asked most often has nothing to do medication, but how I managed all of my responsibilities.

My answer is simple — faith. I was in good company. Somehow we allow ourselves to get swamped in our lives, failures and accomplishments. We forget to inspire others. Yet, we easily identify scapegoats to blame for turmoil that plagues our community.

What are we doing or giving to make things better? If the answer is “nothing,” then we are failing. The only thing that stands in the way of being is doing. It takes just one step. One foot in front of the other, left foot, right foot repetitiously, enthusiastically and persistently.

This journey was not easy, nor was it glamorous. I’ve been frustrated, overwhelmed and angry. I’ve punched a time clock more than I’ve vacationed. I’ve endured heartbreak and betrayal. I’ve felt like a failure more than I’ve felt affluent.

I was determined to stay the course. Being bold brought me to the occasion, and being humble allowed me to rise to it. I did this for the little girl who calls me “Mommy,” to show her she has a choice and to set the standard, not the exception.

On May 8, I will graduate as Dr. Charity B. Strothers. However that amounts to nothing if my greatest accomplishment serves only to advance myself singularly.

For the person with just as many doubts as dreams, I share this poem:

It Couldn’t be Done

By Edgar Albert Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done

But he with a chuckle replied

That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one

Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin

On his face. If he worried he hid it.

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn’t be done, and he did it!


Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;

At least no one ever has done it;”

But he took off his coat and he took off his hat

And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,

Without any doubting or quiddit,

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn’t be done, and he did it.


There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,

There are thousands to prophesy failure,

There are thousands to point out to you one by one,

The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,

Just take off your coat and go to it;

Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing

That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

Charity Strothers is a professional pharmacy student at Hampton University. Email her at