From the time they are born, we can’t wait for them to grow.
“Say mama” we mouth into their chubby little faces.
“Come on, walk!” we prod, pulling them up by their pudgy little hands.
“Oh, grow up!” We chide when chubby charm gives way to adolescent attitude. We hurry the years along, then, rushing past the little moments, only occasionally stopping to look and wonder at how fast they’re going by. Sure, we notice and sometimes comment. Occasionally we admire them and remember how it used to be, but we’re busy and the dishes and laundry are piling up. There’s no time to sit and chat.
Then, one day, they take our advice. They grow up.
Then, we wish…
wish we had listened more than we talked
wish we had observed more than we critiqued
wish we had sat more than we ran…
with our feet up and our hearts open, enjoying our time together.
Because time was all we had.
If only we had known then, what we know now.
Today’s #MondayMorningMotivation is inspired by anti-racist activist, author and speaker, Tim Wise who spoke this morning at Oakwood University as part of a month-long Black History celebration. Wise has been an untiring advocate for civil rights, improved racial relations and justice for decades. His words were–and always are–both powerful and inspiring! The best part of his speech came at the end when he admonished us not to lose heart by the current state of affairs, but rather to look to our history of progress and strength as evidence that we can–and will–overcome the systemic and systematic racism that still exists today. I will share Wise’s talk as soon as it is available, but suffice to say that he aptly expemplified the image quote above “we rise by lifting others”. Tim Wise’s success is well-deserved, but has been achieved precisely because of his commitment to helping others, and it is this merging of love with action that I wish to emphasize in my posts this month.
This month I will be focusing on two themes–love and Black history. Why? Because Black history is not just about struggle and oppression, it is also about the power of love to overcome. The love that Tim Wise has for justice and coalition-building among the races compels him to share his knowledge of American history–which includes both “white” and “black” histories–with his audiences to raise the veil of ignorance threatening to undermine social and political progress.
I will share what I can about the history that is so often overlooked, but is so relevant to all Americans. I want you to know about the love of mothers and wives who nurture and affirm black men–sons, husbands, lovers–too often threatened by socioeconomic oppressions and injustices. I want you to know about the hidden figures behind Hidden Figures who made this country great even when it meant personal sacrifices that most would be unable to bear. Love and Black history…it’s appropriate for this month, but it should not be confined to it. My hope is that the more we learn about one another, the more we’ll want to know. There wouldn’t be a need for “Black history” month if his-story included everyone’s story. Maybe one day we’ll get there. After all, we rise by lifting others!