"Mama used to say take your time young man; don't you rush to get old; take or in your stride; live your life."
I can only imagine what it must be like to be a young person growing up in the world today. Every generation has certain mistrust for their elders. Youth always feels like parents don't understand, and parents always want their young ones to do better than they did. Evolution naturally wants the world to be a better place, but in order for that to happen we've got to do some things differently. Young people today have reason to be disappointed in us as elders, because the game of capitalism has bamboozled many of us growing up in the 60’s, 70s and 80s. As parents and grandparents, we have provided material things and greater opportunities, but we may not have taught our kids how to fight, and we have gotten too old (and lazy) to do so. There is nothing wrong with enjoying life, but sometimes you have to fight for what you need.
Back in the day when I was growing up there was a lot going on in the world, like wars, assassinations and Jim Crow, but somehow we found a way to have fun! We played skelly and freeze tag, and run catch and kiss. Girls jumped double dutch, and we played stickball, handball, true dare, consequences, promise or repeat. We found a way to have our fun irrespective of what was going on in the world, and we are still finding ways to enjoy life, but the enduring lesson of our elders was the need for education. Our parents fought hard for our opportunity for education and that is helping each generation evolve. We have fought wars for “freedom” in every generation, but we may need to teach the next generations how to fight for things like wellness, community awareness and healthcare for all if we want to take the human race to the next level of evolution.
President Obama recently inspired Morehouse's graduating class by sharing that “… along with collective responsibilities, we have individual responsibilities,” the President said. “As Morehouse Men, you now wield something even more powerful than the diploma you’re about to collect -- and that’s the power of your example. So what I ask of you today is the same thing I ask of every graduating class I address: Use that power for something larger than yourself.” I think that is an important message because we create our reality via imagery. That’s why if we can dream it, we can be it. We can work together to change the world by using the discipline to change ourselves. Discipline is learned through redundant messaging, leading by example, and creating healing atmospheres. These are the keys to change. Simple things like sticking to a diet, doing push ups regularly, daily meditation are ways to change the world by changing ourselves. We seek progress, not perfection.
My own son recently gave validation to my life by thanking me for being a great health/dietary example. Because of the example I tried to set, he began consciously making nutritional changes at 17 years old, despite peer pressure. He started his son on that path at birth two years ago. We are what we eat, and in this free market system, we have to fight for the well being of our families and ourselves. Our parents had to fight for justice; it’s up to us to fight for wellness. The best way to start is by being an example to our children. That would be good for everybody. Universal health care for all seems like a no-brainer, and “Obama care” is the law and it should be implemented nationwide without further resistance. Wellness is beyond politics, and it is worth fighting for.
“And finally, as you do these things, do them not just for yourself, but don't even do them just for the African American community. I want you to set your sights higher,” President Obama said. “It’s not just the African American community that needs you. The country needs you. The world needs you.”
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