I recently met a young brother at an appointment; he was 19 and clean.
His mother introduced herself; she told me that her name was Jean.
He must handle his own affairs;” I am only here to support him in this situation.
I speak to my son everyday about the character in handling his own obligation.

The young man was tastefully appointed, sport coat, shirt, and also a tie.
What was it about him that made him get it… I repeatedly asked myself why.
It was a stark contrast to the to the routine and common look of the first young brother.
He walked in, doo rag, jeans at mid-thigh, without a concerned, supporting, mother.

I was impressed and curious so I asked the second young man what do you do?
He looked me in the eye and said sir I am a freshman at Tuskegee U.
I came home to take care of this and will soon finish with my first year.
I am working real hard at my math and science, “I want to be an engineer.”

My mind shot back to the earlier young man, who was the first to appear
I could only think of his plaid boxers and how he showed off his rear.
I had to make an important decision that day about both of them.
The young man in the coat and tie; I really was not worried about him.

You must attend business appointments in a distinct and certain way.
Given the politics and economy, patience of the powerful is so much shorter today.
Please young man don’t attend business appointments with a doo rag and sagging.
If you do, it is a simple fact that every time behind the shirt and tie you will be lagging.

I did what I could that day to help them both. The contrast between these two was so provocative. I try everyday to reach and teach. I took the time to explain to the young man who came into the business environment sagging and doo raggin, the reasons why it was so inappropriate. He asked if he could excuse himself. He went to the restroom and returned without the doo rag with his pants pulled up. What a difference a few well placed minutes can make? Tomorrow is Monday. I will get up and try again this week to make a difference in the lives of our urban youth, especially our young men. Will you help me?

I wonder if the second young man will also become an engineer. I am not too worried about the first!

Read, learn, and share…..Have a Family Meeting!

C. Randolph Keller

2012 All Rights Reserved.

This entry was posted in African American Leadership, Conduct and Behavior, Education, Mentoring, Motivation. Bookmark the permalink.

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