“I’ve seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.” ~ Michelle Obama, FLOTUS.
It’s so interesting to me that people continue to be surprised by #45’s actions. I mean … it’s not like he appeared out of nowhere or just started demonstrating the behavior we see now. He’s been living in the public eye since the early 1980s, being his authentically racist, sexist, elitist, boorish, etc. self. He’s just being who he has always been…
“When people show you who they are, believe them.” ~ Dr. Maya Angelou
I didn’t really become an Oprah Winfrey fan until I retired and started working from home. At the time, I was surprised at how spiritual she was because I recalled people questioning her beliefs, her faith, her Christianity.
Since she launched her OWN network, I have come to realize the questioning was and is because her worship looks different, because she honors others’ beliefs … because she lives authentically and offers space and grace for others to do the same.
“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” ~ John 4: 23-24, MSG
Our purpose is sometimes revealed in unexpected, sometimes sad, even violent ways … like when we experience something personally or something happens to someone close to us and we feel compelled to act.
Candy Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving after a drunk driver with a history of arrests for intoxication, hit and killed her daughter.
Whose life will be saved by the protection you put into place while serving your purpose?
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes we’re exposed to something for the very first time and we don’t believe it’s possible to live without this …something in our lives. Think Misty Copeland, the first African American female principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. Misty wasn’t introduced to ballet until the relatively late age of 13 yet was dancing en pointe three months later. What if she had never taken that first class?
Now she’s creating opportunities for young kids of color to discover the discipline of ballet.
Who needs to be exposed to your passion?
“I’m 5’2″; I started when I was 13, I’m Black, but I’ve made it happen. I’m very lucky to be where I am … it’s possible.” ~ Misty Copeland
I first experienced the Air Force Academy graduation “March On” in 2013. I was there for the graduation and commissioning of my cousin, Wes Cobb, and I still remember that moment of giddiness during the ceremony when I realized the graduates were going to MARCH TO THEIR SEATS!
Yesterday, as I watched the 2017 Academy graduation, saw the precision execution of the “March On”, listened to the call for excellence, I thought about Army 2nd Lieutenant Richard Collins. Killed before he could serve his country, lynched, according to some, for being black, Collins is another victim of the violence perpetuated on people of color in American.
And I wondered how the almost 300 officers of color commissioned feel about their oath to “support and defend” a country which doesn’t always provide a safe space for them…
This weekend another young black male died violently, this time on a college campus, allegedly stabbed by a white male member of a hate group. This newly commissioned Army officer, on the precipice of a “limitless life” had sworn to “support and defend the Constitution” of his country…this America where he is hated and hunted because of the color of his skin.
And I grieve for what has been lost, for his family, his classmates and his fellow Americans who understand that America is great because of people like Richard W. Collins III.
“As a United States Army Officer who gladly puts his life on the line everyday…there’s no greater conflict within me. How do I feel about my country? And how does my country…feel about me? Are we only to be Americans when the mood suits you?”
Lawrence Fishborne as Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin O. Davis in the movie, Tuskegee Airman
I write a lot about the struggles we face on the way to being who we are purposed to be…those experiences we experienced as negative when they happened that turned our lives around; the choices we made that taught us what wouldn’t work; the tremendous effort expended that didn’t turn out as expected but showed us what we were capable of.
Yet as parents, we often try to shield our children from these very experiences, which enable their development…to their and our detriment…
“Children learn to navigate risks—not through discussions or TV shows—but by actually taking risks.” ~ Tim Elmore, Growing Leaders.