Black Enterprise’s Yvianne Hyacinthe shares how her brother’s support shaped her sense of self
In recognition of our very first Black Men XCEL Summit, celebrating the best of black male achievement, the Black Enterprise staff is sharing their stories of the men who’ve had an extraordinary impact in their own lives…
Executive Administrator to Multimedia Sales Yvianne Hyacinthe (Photo by Seimond London)
Who is the man in your life who’s inspired you to excel?
My younger brother, Hayden Hyacinthe, besides my father and husband, is the man in my life who has inspired me to become the mother and woman that I am today.
How would you describe the impact he’s had on you?
Hayden impacted my life by showing me from a very young age that no one should take advantage of another just because they are genuinely a nice person. He saw how others took advantage of my kindness and took it for weakness. Once I moved out of my parents’ home at the age of 20, and got a roommate from college to share an apartment with, he was so protective of my every move.
What’s your fondest memory of him?
My fondest memory of Hayden is how he always called me—on a daily basis—to make sure I was taking care of myself since I no longer lived at home. He wanted to make sure I ate, which I barely did because I wasn’t a very great cook at the time; my mom always did the cooking at home.
What’s the biggest lesson he taught you?
The biggest lesson Hayden taught me was to feel the freedom to express my needs and my hurts without ever having to raise my voice or get angry because he said it takes away from being happy. Life may be difficult or unpredictable at times but we have control of it and should know how to maneuver the obstacles in it. He showed me that I should always be loved unconditionally and no less. He told me never to lose track of who I am and always remember where I came from and never let anyone make me feel less of a human being because I am a beautiful person inside and out.
What are you doing to make him proud?
I do the best that I can on a daily basis to live the way he feels I should. He emphasizes always that we have one life to live, and he wants me to live it to the fullest. And to also remember that our mom is no longer with us, therefore I am the one who replaces her and should be a positive example for all my younger cousins as well as my daughters and granddaughter. He continues to make sure I take my medication for hypertension because he says if I can prevent having another stroke, I should do as my doctor prescribes—and I do. As a matter of fact, every day at work at 11:00 a.m. when I take my medication, Hayden is the first person that comes to mind.
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