A Blessing In Disguise

Move Forward
Happy Hump Day, y’all!

While I’ve been having a somewhat interesting week, I am also embracing the opportunities to feel, to write and to share my thoughts with each of you. In this somewhat challenging time of dealing with a layoff, I am carefully considering each and every option. Before I go further, I wanted to thank an “ole” college guy, Lloyd Lawrence, Esq., who reminded me that my reference in the e-mail about Imamu Amiri Baraka to the Civil Rights Act of 1954 was erroneous by 10 years! In 1954, Lloyd reminded me, the Brown vs. Board of Education case was the event that occurred prohibiting segregation in schools. It too was a huge landmark in the Civil Rights Movement which caught Dr. King up and carried him to the front and center of the Movement! What a sacrifice for a cause … and quite a critical cause, as well.

Sometimes things happen to us that are beyond our immediate control. Yet, if we learn how to detach from a situation like this, and not allow our ego to get involved … as if it is a reflection of ourselves, we will fare much better and gain much from the experience when viewed in this manner. I am sure that many of us have experienced situations where you worked at a place and saw many inconsistencies … that were beyond your control. Humility teaches one to deal with such situations not having to “win” and appear that you’ve come out on top. What is the top? Is it a power trip or one where each of us are faced with exhibiting self control? I could go on and on about why, for example, the closing of the company I worked for is a blessing in disguise. I could complain about how things went. Yet, I choose to be grateful for having been able to work at a place for over three years and gained some valuable job related skills as well as even more valuable self preservation skills.

I have gotten many messages from friends and concerned others. This means a lot to me. It is when times are toughest that you get to see who your “real” friends are, right?! It is not the first time you’ve heard that either. How about “If it doesn’t kill you, it will only make you stronger!” That’s another one my parents used to tell me. It is times like these when we can look at the lives of people like Dr. King, Muhammad Ali … shucks, even my own parents who overcame greater obstacles as they came face to face with them daily, often, multiple times daily! Well, now I am faced with constructing a new plan for continuing on my journey and many of you are here with “me,” so to speak. Meaning simply, you know the experience of working hard on something and having dedicated yourself tremendously and the reward was not comparable to the service you provided. Here is where the lessons one can learn are from volunteering and doing good things just because you can do them – NOT because you will get a certain reward, which can sometimes be ones motivation or reason for doing something! This was the message that was sent out by Dr. King and many many organizations that celebrated the “Legacy of A Hero” who showed that being willing to help others is probably the most important thing one can do as a human!

Well, I am up early as I have some steps to take towards stabilizing my situation in the aftermath of this change … for that is all it really is! Keep your eyes open for the blessing in disguise, as it may be your turn to help someone, or take advantage of an opportunity to continue along a wonderful journey. Be well, namaste!


John I. Cook, Director

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