"Be the change you wish to see in the world", the famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi has been quoted countless times over the last century and a great deal in the last several weeks since the unconscionable murder of George Floyd. Mahatma, meaning 'great soul' is what Gandhi embodied with his peaceful protests, prayer and fasting for the unification of the Indian Empire - Hindu and Muslim and every cast within that empire and the world. The great soul Martin Luther King, Jr. (and his father Martin Luther King Sr.), dedicated his life's work to advocating for equity for blacks, most notably during the Civil Rights movement. His powerful speeches and peaceful protests, encouraged understanding, promoted love, and changed the world. One famous quote by #MartinLutherKingJr is "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend" could not be a truer statement. Another powerful statement "shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating tan absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will." could not be more timely than this precise moment.
That is what brings me to this place in my life when I'm doing something. Opening up the conversation with friends and colleagues - black, white, Hispanic, Muslim, Christian, Hindu Jewish, left, right, Democrat, Republican and Independents by putting these words on this page. I am a Patriot, passionate about our country and our way of life. I am a Believer. I am an over-comer of much in this life. My childhood experiences fueled my drive and passion to survive and thrive with self-preservation and success as my goals. My personal evolution has brought me to pursue wisdom, love, significance meaning and impact instead.
Sure, I have personally advocated for the oppressed, abused and forgotten through my efforts of supporting a child through a monthly donation, being a child advocate with CASA for children in the foster care system, and expressing outrage of physical, sexual and emotional abuse or injustice anywhere I saw it. But my views often remained within my inner circle- never truly speaking up publicly about it. Up until now that is.
It was just 12 days ago that a dear woman I consider a friend and kindred spirit was given the opportunity to speak while I and others of this magnificent women's worship group just listened, really listened. As I listened to my friend Trudy share her heart and her perspective as a black woman and mother of a black son, my heart ached and the tears streamed down my face. I was deeply moved. Listening to her gave me just a glimpse of her perspective. Up until then, I really thought I 'got it'. I mean, I've had black friends most of my life and even spearheaded a diversity & inclusion initiative as a National Recruiter some twenty years ago. I simply assumed I was okay in my world & didn't need to do much else on this front. I was safe in my blind assumption that we, as a nation and a people were further along than we actually are. God opened my eyes that day & I now see through a different lens.
My #awakening to the reality and gravity of the race issue in America is compelling me not only to lean in and listen up, but to advocate and speak up. Many know me and my brand for providing integrative wellness retreats to leaders and teams; mental, physical and spiritual. Well, this issue IS a wellness issue. America as a whole is sick and has a heart problem in need of repair and emergency surgery!
After all, "the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing", the profound wisdom uttered by Edmund Burke encourages me to do something. I have a voice. My voice matters. #BlackLivesMatter. #AllLivesMatter #LoveWins and true #LeadershipSpeaks #InspiredInsights
Join leaders and people from every nation and tribe throughout the U.S. tonight at 6:30PM CDT to Lean In & Listen Up! Disrupting Racism - Awakening to Black Perspective. Click below to register and get your free ticket. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lean-in-listen-up-disrupting-racism-awakening-to-black-perspective-tickets-109638630094