“I Hope You Learned Your Lesson, Son!”

failure to listen - Obama

It’s Friday, y’all!! I’ve gotten to see another one! So, T.G.I.F.!! What about you?!

Today is also the last day of Black History Month 2014. Have you gotten anything out of it?! It is important not to just go through life following everyone else’s definition of “life” and who “you” are! Over the years of modern history in this country, we have witnessed how the circumstances and challenges faced by individuals propelled them to take on the patterns of society, and challenge them. In some cases, as the protagonists challenged the “norm” of behavior (racism), changes occurred that benefited the populace in general.

Growing up with a father like mine was very interesting for me. The main reason is that he did not experience the kinds of things that he literally pushed me towards. While in many ways, he was my role model, I knew he had never been to places that he encouraged me to go to … like a boarding school, and an ivy league university. As Black History Month 2014 comes to an end, I can hear my father saying to me, “I hope you got your lesson done, boy!” He was referring to my homework for that night. My sister, Edna, was often responsible for sitting with me until I got my “lesson done,” so to speak. In my personal life today, I try to be sure that I get my lesson done … and develop a deeper understanding of things going down around me. That way, my personal and moral compass can be adjusted as need be to allow me to live a life of loving, listening and learning … and of course, sharing.

I think that America, these United States of America, to be exact, has learned some valuable lessons with our present POTUS and his wife doing some things that literally “shook up” the status quo and the way things had been done by presidents and first ladies up until the Obama years at the White House. Healthy eating as proposed by Michelle as well as an expansion of civil rights as fought for “tooth and nail” by President Obama are just a couple of initiatives they put into motion. In looking at “Black History”, it is clear that there were many people of color, including Native Americans whose stories intertwined with “negroes” until they (we), too, became known as African Americans. The list of such persons begins somewhere during the revolts against slavery in this country and abroad (ie. Toussaint L’ Overture), which wasn’t that long ago, and continues up to the era of Rosa Parks and MLK, Jr. which further manifests itself in the fact that we’ve had an African American president for two terms. In my Bernie Mack voice, “America, did you learn your lesson?”

May we take each day as if it is our last, enter into an agreement with our Creator and promise to do our best to move humankind forward. “I have a dream!”

Peace be with you,

John I. Cook, Director

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