Sunday, July 21, 2013

Some personal reflections

Next month I will have been in the same job for 22 years. I must admit that there have been times I've wondered whether I needed to move on to something else. That's a long damn time!

But there are also lots of reasons why I've stayed. Watching the African American community stand up for their children these last few days and hearing our President say this...
We need to spend some time in thinking about how do we bolster and reinforce our African American boys. And this is something that Michelle and I talk a lot about. There are a lot of kids out there who need help who are getting a lot of negative reinforcement. And is there more that we can do to give them the sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them?
...has reinvigorated me more than I can say.

 How do I express what it feels like to be privileged to spend my days doing just that in my own small way in my own community? I am not only affirmed, but challenged to raise my game.

But to be honest, its not me that is doing the work. Its my job to make sure that the resources are there for some amazing people to do it. There were a few people missing the day we took this picture, but it will give you an idea of who some of them are.


These are the people who work every day to lift up children who are in trouble - mostly young African American men in this community. Each of them has a fascinating story themselves - but they all share the mission President Obama talked about...giving young people who are often told that they don't belong "the sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them."

If you'd like to learn more about how we do that, you can visit our web site or Facebook page

Years ago I adopted a quote from Gandhi as my signature at Daily Kos:
Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it.
This small group of dedicated people isn't going to eliminate racism and other barriers faced by every child. But they are letting one child at a time know that someone stands beside them and cares. I am immeasurably blessed to be a part of that.

6 comments:

  1. Second pic looks just like the salon editorial staff pic!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear SP,
    I have never seen you offer an insignificant syllable. You are powerful, honest, insightful and wonderful. I read you several times a day and pass it around all the time. Thank you for all you have meant to my life!

    Smilingl8dy

    ReplyDelete
  3. This small group of dedicated people isn't going to eliminate racism and other barriers faced by every child. But they are letting one child at a time know that someone stands beside them and cares.

    ************************

    And I thank You...

    PrettyFoot!

    ReplyDelete
  4. We are imbued with the belief, thanks to movies and television, that everything can be solved in 2 hours. After all - they do it in an episode, don't they?

    People with a firm grip on reality and with open hearts towards one another's efforts, all understand that change takes maybe a lifetime. Maybe more. But that in addition to Gandhi's wonderful and clear observation it is critical that we start: every journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

    Those who cannot be bothered, those who cannot devote themselves to an issue, need at least to get out of the way of those who are stepping up and stepping out. We need to respect and possibly honor one another's work even if it is not ours. We do need to pay attention to the content of character more than ANY other factor.

    Thank you, "smartypants' for showing us dedicated people who change both the world AND an individual child's life. THAT is the great and glorious good.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for sharing a bit about your work. Nothing quite as rewarding and long-term beneficial as helping kids reach their potential.

    ReplyDelete