A great man is one who collects knowledge the way a bee collects honey and uses it to help people overcome the difficulties they endure - hunger, ignorance and disease!
- Nikola Tesla

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
- Franklin Roosevelt

While their territory has been devastated and their homes despoiled, the spirit of the Serbian people has not been broken.
- Woodrow Wilson

Novak Djokovic: Believe in Your Dreams

By Milos Rastovic

Novak Djokovic, Serbian Tennis Player, became the first tennis player in history who won all nine ATP Masters 1000 Tournaments. On August 19th, 2018, Djokovic beat Roger Federer in the final match at the Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati, OH. During the final match and after, the audience at the stadium in Cincinnati was cheering “Nole, Nole.” Echo of the long desired win from the stadium in Cincinnati passed like a thunder to the homeland and other countries and continents where the Serbian Diaspora lives. Djokovic received a salve of greetings from his funs.

After the final match, Djokovic expressed his feelings about the success: “Definitely one of the most special moments in my career. Achievements, making history of the sport that I truly love is a great privilege and honor and something that I’ll be very proud of for the rest of my life.”[Western & Southern Open, August 19, 2018, Novak Djokovic, ASAP Sport] Although Djokovic failed to win this tournament five times, he still has kept coming back. According to him, the trophy was a big motivation, and he did not want to think about making history too much because he had “some failed attempts.” His strong will and fighting spirit made him persistent and never gave up his intention to win: “That’s something that I was hoping is going to happen again, and I believed that it will and it did. It was by far the best performance of the week.”[Western & Southern Open, August 19, 2018, Novak Djokovic, ASAP Sport]

Djokovic won 70 ATP single titles including 13 Grand Slam single titles and 31 Masters Series 1000 titles. At the Press Conference, he said that he takes care of all his trophies: “Most of them are actually in Serbia. My parents, my father especially is very proud, and he keeps them –we have a tennis club in Belgrade and we have a little trophy room. Se we keep it there.”[Western & Southern Open, August 19, 2018, Novak Djokovic, ASAP Sport]

As a journalist for the American Srbobran, the oldest continuously published Serbian newspaper since 1906, I had a chance to meet with him again, and asked him a couple questions. Three years ago in Cincinnati, OH, Djokovic became an honorary member of the Serb National Federation, the oldest Serbian Fraternal Society in the United States since 1901.With a smile, he remembered when he became an honorary member of the Serb National Federation. The honorary presidents of the Serb National Federation were Mihajlo I. Pupin and Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American Scientists and Inventors, in 1929 and 1935. On behalf the Serb National Federation, I gifted him the books Serb National Federation First 100 Years, and Serbian Americans, by Dr. Krinka Vidakovic Petrov, in order to further introduce Serbian-American history which is more than 200 years long. He delightedly accepted gifts. Although he was tired from all matches, he kindly responded to my questions.

After winning the Wimbledon and success in Cincinnati, how much your family supported you in a successful coming back to the tennis court?

- “Family is the pillar of a society, life and development of each person. It is the same in my life and career. Without the support of my family, it would be difficult for me to compete on this high level of playing tennis. I am very grateful to God what I achieved as a husband and father of two kids, two angels who gave me a lot of energy, power, love, and additional motivation to compete on a high level.”

Based on your life experience, what are the most important ethical values which would you like to pass to your children?

- “Authenticity in life is very important. Every person is unique. My wife and I agree to pass these kinds of values to our children in order to be independent, self-supporting, and strong. Love, peace, happiness, and enjoyment are emotions and general postulates that we stand for every day. We are all people who learn from our mistakes. We should be sincere, just, and try to go through life with a smile.”

As a bridge between the homeland and Serbian Diaspora, you reduce differences and distances between Serbs wherever they live either in the homeland or other countries and continents. What kind of emotions or knowledge do you take from your trips about the Serbian Diaspora and what would you like to see more in the common work of the homeland and Serbian Diaspora?

- “Although I have family in Serbia, I feel as a member of the Serbian Diaspora. I do not live in Serbia for a while. I meet many of our people who escaped from the homeland to America, Canada, and Australia during the war. These people are nostalgic and enjoy when they have a chance to see me, some other Serbian tennis player or athlete who plays in their new country. That kind of love, support, and friendship, you could feel. It is nice to see that they are all together, and they perpetuate our culture and customs. I am convinced that better time is coming for all Serbs in the world and Serbia.”

As an honorary member of the Serb National Federation, what message you can deliver for its members, especially for young people such as students and all other who tirelessly work to preserve and perpetuate Serbian ethnic identity in the United States?

- “Do not stop dreaming. Do not allow anybody to convince you that dreams are not real. Dreams are real because they create reality. Dreams motivate us. Be creative, inventive, and believe in yourself. You should believe that you can make your profile, life, and career which do not have to fit to usual norms of the society. You can make anything in this world, if you believe and dedicated to it. I love all of you and thanks for your support.”

Translated from Serbian into English by Milos Rastovic

Source: American Srbobran


Новак Ђоковић: Верујте у снове

Новак Ђоковић је постао први тенисер у историји тениса који је освојио свих девет мастерс турнира. Након победе у финалу у Синсинатију, стадион се орио када је публика клицала „Ноле, Ноле.“ Ехо дуго очекиване победе се коначно са стадиона у Синсинатију пренео као муња до матице и многих држава и континената где живи српска дијаспора. Одушевљење и салве честитки Новак је примао. Као новинар „Американског Србобрана,“ најстаријих српских новина које излазе у континуитету од 1906. године, имао сам прилику да се поново сусретнем са њим.

У Синсинатију пре три године, Новак Ђоковић је постао почасни члан Српског народног савеза, најстаријег српског добротворног друштва у Америци које постоји од 1901. године. Са осмехом на лицу се присетио када је постао почасни члан ове организације чији почасни председници су били српско-амерички научници и проналазачи Михајло И. Пупин и Никола Тесла 1929 и 1935. године. У име Српског народног савеза поклонио сам му књиге „Српски народни савез – првих 100 година“ и „Српски американци“ др Кринке Видаковић Петров заједно са издањима „Американског Србобрана“ како би се више упознао са српском историјом у Америци која је дуга више од 200 година. Одушевљен поклонима љубазно се захвалио.
После освајања Вимблдона и успеха у Синсинатију колико Вас је Ваша породица помогла и подржала у настојању да се успешно вратите на тениски терен?

- „Породица је стуб друштва, живота и развоја сваке особе. Тако важи исто у мом животу и каријери. Без њихове подршке тешко да бих се могао такмичити на овако високом нивоу даље. Јако сам захвалан Богу што сам се остварио као муж и као отац двоје деце, два анђела која ми дају пуно енергије, снаге, љубави и додатни мотив да се такмичим на високом нивоу.“

На основу Вашег животног искуства, које су за Вас најважније моралне вредности које бисте сте желели да пренесети Вашој деци?

- „Аутентичност у животу је веома важна. Свака особа за себе је јединствена. Жена и ја смо сагласни да пренесемо ту врсту васпитања и вредности на нашу децу да буду независна, снажна и самостална. Љубав, мир, срећа и радост су емоције и начелни постулати које се ми трудимо да заступамо сваки дан. Сви смо ми људи и учимо из наших грешака. Треба бити искрен, праведан и трудити се да са осмехом шеташ кроз живот.“

Као мост између матице и дијаспоре, Вашим успехом и врхунским радом смањујете разлике и удаљености између Срба где год они живе у матици или у другим земљама и континентима. Какву спознају носите са Ваших путовања о нашој дијаспори и шта је оно што бисте желели да видите више у раду матице и дијаспоре?

- „Ја се осећам човеком дијаспоре иако имам фамилију у Србију. Ја не живим тамо већ неко време. Сусрећем се са много наших људи који су избегли у време рата поготово у Америци, Канади и Аустралији. Ти људи имају носталгију и радују се када имају прилику да мене, неког другог тенисера или спортисту виде када наступа пред њима у земљи где живе. Та љубав, подршка и пријатељство се заиста осећа. Лепо је видети да су сви заједно на окупу, да негују нашу културу и обичаје. Ја сам уверен да боље време долази за нас Србе широм света и за нашу земљу.“

Као почасни члан Српског народног савеза, какву поруку имате за њене чланове, пре свега младе, ученике и студенте и све оне који вредно раде на очувању српског етничког идентитета у Америци?

- „Не престајте да сањате. Не дозволите да Вас било ко убеди да снови нису реални. Они су реални јер они креирају реалност. Снови нас мотивишу. Будите креативни и иновативни и верујте у себе. Верујте да можете да створите свој профил, живот и каријеру. Не мора да се уклапа у неки калуп друштва. Можете да направите апсолутно било шта на овом свету ако чврсто верујете у то и ако сте посвећени. Волим их све и хвала им на подршци.“

Милош Растовић, „Американски Србобран,“ Питсбург, САД

 





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