Sunday Snippet: "Uncle Phil" James Avery (1945-2013)

“Monetary success is not success. Career success is not success. Life, someone that loves you, giving to others, doing something that makes you feel complete and full. That is success. And it isn’t dependent on anyone else.”

You might remember last week when I highlighted a quote from Will Smith about dealing with the pains of hardship. Many of us know Will Smith best from the Fresh Prince TV show, which is also where we were introduced to one “Uncle” Philip Banks, played brilliantly by the late James Avery. He passed away from complications following heart surgery late last year, but not before he was able to leave a lasting legacy.

Surely, he enjoyed a great deal of professional and financial success through his acting career. He will always be remembered best as “Uncle Phil,” but did you know that he also provided the voice of “Shredder” in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series from the late 1980s? Avery was also in such shows as The A-Team, Iron Man, Gargoyles, CSI and That ’70s Show. He was extremely talented both as an on-screen actor and as a voice actor.

But it’s not really about the money, it it? It’s not really about the vocational success either. These are important and valuable, to be sure, but there’s so much more to living a full a complete life.

Several years ago, I wrote a post on the five factors of success, citing not only finance, but also the success that you have with having a loving family and getting that sense of fulfillment in your life. You don’t want to have any deficits. You want your life to have meaning. You want to do what you love and you want it to matter.

And Uncle Phil mattered… especially when he was able to bust through some small-town racism to free his son and nephew from jail. This clip may be almost 20 years old, but it’s sadly just as relevant today as it was then.