“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” -MLK
“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” MX
This was an interesting conversation. A different perspective about the Civil Rights Era v. todays Barack Obama Era.
Ta-Nehisi Coates grew up in the post-civil rights era, son of a publisher and former Black Panther; he’s a contributing editor and blogger for The Atlantic magazine and author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, 2 Sons, and An Unlikely Road to Manhood.
The day after I wrote my last post on Tumblr I was able to speak with a random young lady who had recently graduated from Western Washington University in 2011. We were both volunteering at the Seattle Community Resource Exchange, an event that gave aid and resources to Seattle’s homeless populations and anyone else who needed the resources being offered. Listening to her speak was like listening to a younger version of myself speak. The level of pride she had for her college degree and the hard work that she had put in to receive it felt familiar. I mostly did my best to listen to her speak about her not knowing if she wanted to commit to going to Graduate school or if she wanted to follow her dream of becoming a professional sky diver instructor. Ironically we had both read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” and I reminded her of the 10,000 hours that it takes to master anything. After a long conversation there was no concrete answer but she agreed that commitment was something that was definitely necessary in this case. While I believe I helped this young lady, it honestly helped me more than anything. It reminded me that nothing happens without hard work and dedication. COMMITMENT… One can not be successful without commitment.
For many recent graduates upon gradation we were hit with the harsh reality that the real world wasn’t as eager to accept fresh blood. That and student loan payments… Myself and many others returned to the drawing board re-evaluating what direction it is that we wanted to go with the rest of our lives. I personally have returned to this drawing board more times than I’d like to admit, however I am thankful to have had the opportunities to do so. While there are many directions that any of us can go without first committing ourselves to a goal there is no way to get the 10,000 that Gladwell speaks of. While I have returned to the drawing board I only hope that I will soon find what I am looking for.
Today I received a phone call from an old friends mother that I have neglected to call in quite sometime. I never want to be the person to burden anyone when I am down, but rather share good news, resources, and opportunity. She let me know I wasn’t the only one going through hard times, and reminded me that this economy was effecting everyone. This was something that I already knew, yet I suppose we get so lost in our own world of issues that sometimes we forget. She had told me someone close to us had recently fell on harder times losing possessions much more valuable.
After ending the phone call it made me think how much I have to be thankful for. My health, my families health, my possessions, the roof over my head, my transportation, great friends, my girlfriend. If not having career in the midst of the worst depression since the 1930s is the biggest problem I face on a daily basis, I must say I have a lot to be thankful for.