We recently got back from a 6 day vacation. I saw Stevie Wonder give a 4 hour concert in Columbus with my wife, son, and daughter. We visited my Alpha Phi Alpha line brother and his family in Charlotte, N.C., where I played 2 rounds of golf with my son and spent time talking with my daughter. We attended a Delta Sigma Theta Cotillion. I reconnected with a friend that I had not seen in over 30 years, and we worshipped at his Church on Easter Sunday.
Watching the debutantes with their parents and escorts, my heart swelled with hope and pride. Their long lists of achievements and goals were extremely impressive. It was a pleasant real life reminder that not all African-American young people are aspiring rappers, ball players, or gang bangers, all of which are fairly routine portrayals I might add. I am by no means knocking entertainers or athletes, but attainment of these dreams statistically goes to the very, very, few. This elegant cotillion celebration of academic and social achievement by these high schoolers was truly moving. I am thankful for the rejuvenation of optimism.
My long afternoon conversation with my friend of 30 plus years was often focused on our respective mentoring programs. We spoke of the challenges, rewards, disappointments, and the times when we wondered if it was all worthwhile. Spending time with my children and our “niece” (my frat brother’s daughter), along with this conversation, have rejuvenated my belief that I can and must continue trying to make a difference in the lives of young people through mentoring and coaching, 2 integral parts of my life. My passion has also been rejuvenated.
Second Calvary Baptist Church in Charlotte was a beautiful spirit filled church. Perhaps, as only southern hospitality can do it, the people were welcoming and friendly. I saw church lady hats, colorful hairclips and bows, and young men decked out in their Easter finest. I witnessed the baptism of 4 young African-American boys and their beaming faces as they received their baptismal certificates. The choir moved me so with their singing of some old spirituals. The sermon was thought out and extremely well delivered. This Easter Sunday propped my faith up and reassured me that our household emphasis on faith and family to our children has been an investment well placed. My faith has also been rejuvenated.
This is neither a religious post nor a post to convert people to Christianity. It is however a post about restoration of optimism, passion, and faith. It took the Resurrection to make this trip happen (i.e. a long weekend Easter college break that caused a quick Spring family vacation). I think that the message is a simple one for me, out of the darkness of Jesus’ death comes the joy of, and enthusiasm for, life.
I am rejuvenated and I hope you are too!
Read, learn, and share……Have a Family Meeting!