As we transition into the month of March, I would like to remind all that the month of February is about LOVE and also, for HONORING those who have paved the way for so many. With that being said during the year of 2011, I received a letter from Alameda County and for those of you residing outside that State of California, Alameda County is in Northern, California. And it encompasses the cities of: Fremont, Newark, Milpitas, Hayward, Union City, San Leandro, Oakland, Pleasanton, Livermore and Alameda California. I was invited to be a speaker at their annual Black History Celebration.
Their desire was for me to share my literary journey as well as, details pertaining to my novel. I agreed to participate and spent most of the day prior to the event polishing up my speech. As instructed, I was going to discuss my journey as an author. And because I do this often, I was prepared.
The night prior to the event, I retired to bed feeling very confident because my only challenge was in preparing my dress attire. My game plan was set; I was ready. If only life could be that simple!!!
I awoke the next morning feeling as though my speech was all wrong and that it needed to be revamped. Two hours before I was set to depart for the event, I was at my computer re-writing my speech. For whatever reason, I was moved to take the focus away from myself and place it on the audience.
I made several phone calls and shared my revised plan of action and most stated, "Mary, this is your moment, you were invited to share your journey," However, in the end, I knew that I was called to do something more profound. I'm going to share with you a small portion of what I presented.
"I always state that HERO'S are born every day and History exists all around us. I also hold the belief, that we all have been blessed with many talents, passions, desires, gifts, dreams…etc. And for those of you who may feel as though you're working your 9 to 5 faithfully but you're still sitting on a dream. You may be feeling as though, there is a book inside of you, a song within your heart, a instrument to be mastered, a painting to be painted, a promotion to be explored or perhaps a return to school; the only person stopping you is you. Yes, the barriers you hold and continue to maintain!!!
My gift to you is to simply encourage you to follow your dreams. It takes courage to follow your passion because to do so may cause a shift or a discomfort. However, if others can do it, so can you. Just put together a realistic plan of action (realistic for you) and go for it. Your gifts have already been bestowed,"
Be mindful of the following three points:
- Hero's exist all around you, just look around and take notice: They're in our class rooms, in our hospitals, tutoring your children, preparing the food you eat and growing and harvesting our vegetables. Those who feed us spiritually and those who keep us informed on a micro and macro level. They're coaching our youth, teaching ZUMBA classes (smile), Agency's committed to ensuring that children and families are safe, Drug and alcohol counselors, Mental health workers and those who have overcome adversity. They're school bus drivers, Mentors, Small and large business owners, those who work at homeless shelters, Author's, Poets and Writers. They're also Volunteers, Stay at home Moms and Dads, Grand-parents, Uncles, Aunts and the list can go on and on. Just stop for a moment and take a look around and if you look closely, you will see them.
- Be mindful of the importance of displaying GRATITUDE and APPRECIATION to those who have stood and are standing on the front-line. As a Nation we may not understand the depth of their contribution but it is important that we recognize it.
- Most importantly, be mindful that you are on a customized assignment to shift you to where you need to be. As you JOURNEY through LIFE, never forget the LEGACY that you are also leaving each and every day. Yes, a HERO does exist within you.