WE DO NOT— BECAUSE WE KNOW NOT! WE NEED EACH OTHER. IT IS ALL ABOUT LOVE.
No one will ever heal our community for us. The challenges faced by the African American community are a direct result of slavery, but no one cares to even examine, much less, feel responsible for slavery. They simply do not care. Complaining, waiting for, or even wanting help from outside our community has proven to be unproductive.
Our challenges and our wounds are ours alone to heal. We do not even know why we do the wacky, self-destructive things that we do. Because we have never dissected the realities of American slavery, we cannot connect the dots from the culture of slavery to our negative conduct. We don’t realize that most of our self-destructive behaviors today are simply the negative mental legacies of slavery. The Root Cause.
Our self-destructive soul food diet was once all we had to eat—but not today. We once beat our children to stop them in an instant from offending a white person who could make them the next Emmitt Till—but not today. We awaited birth wondering whose sperm impregnated our beloved. We once hated the child and took it out on them—but there is no need for this today. It was once foolish to encourage our children to excel academically—but not today. It was once foolish to expect to excel in a profession—but not today. There was no shame in having been to prison when the charge was vagrancy (simply not having a job)—but not today.
Rage created by others could once only be unleashed on one another—but not today. Papa was a rolling stone, and marriage and fatherhood were hollow when any white person could take your wife or child at any time—but not today. One exhibiting a poor work ethic was once a brave prince of our community—but not today. Today, these and other self-destructive behaviors are simply the negative mental legacies of slavery. These behaviors once made perfect sense as they were absolutely necessary to survive the horrific 200+ year ordeal of American slavery.
Today, they are destructive to self and community, yet we continue to unconsciously embrace them because we have never meticulously examined, boldly confronted, nor bravely dissected the culture of slavery. Thus, today we cannot connect the dots because we are severely disconnected from our still defining experience—slavery. Lifting The Burden. No one can heal from trauma without talking about it. By locking it in a dark closet and never speaking of it, we don’t shield future generations of its impact. Instead, the culture—dictated by the trauma—continues without future generations even knowing from whence they came. Being unaware, the negative mental legacies of slavery can interact with contemporary American culture, causing new negative mutations like those that bemoan today’s elders.
In this way, what was once tolerable becomes worse as we become warped personifications of ourselves. Rather, today’s science tells us that the only way to productively heal from trauma is to consciously and explicitly confront it—verbally and mentally. By this process, the trauma and its resulting behavior are lessened. Its negative hold on us is broken, and we can begin the process of healing. The Beauty Of Our Situation. While our contemporary negative behaviors strike unconscious and self-inflicted wounds, this is also the beauty and the promise of our situation; we can immediately begin to release ourselves from the negative impact the moment that we become aware of it. Released from this burden, we can consciously choose an alternative path which establishes our empowerment as our agenda, goal, mission, and vision.
We Have The Power.
The power of a single individual—focused and inspired to achieve something positive—is simply incredible. Think about it, everyone who we truly admire from our history was simply a focused and inspired individual—just like you too can be. When just a few focused and inspired individuals come together, you have what I call a “Margaret Mead” group. For Margaret Mead said it best, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” When the masses support a “Margaret Mead” group, life as we know it changes in powerful and magnificent ways.
Take for example the abolitionist movement, the ending of child labor, women’s suffrage, the civil rights movement, the labor union movement, the voting rights, and civil rights acts. Consider the success of other immigrant groups which mutually aid one another to rapidly and dramatically improve their condition in America. Not being saddled with negative mental legacies of slavery, they act as their own best friends and family, rather than, as their own worst enemy.
The Humongous Lie. During slavery, terror and horror were utilized to convince us that we had no power to control our lives, that no one of African descent could aid us in any way, and that our condition was the will of God. This was done so that we would not value our lives at all yet always value the lives of the oppressor. Folks, all of this was a humongous lie. Let’s stop acting like it is true! Realize that today we can and must control our destiny by using our incomes to elevate our community economically, by using charter school laws to take control of our children’s education, by compelling our children to earn high academic achievement, by encouraging our community to dream and to accomplish magnificent dreams, and by ridding our neighborhoods of the bloodsuckers that we allow to steal, kill, and poison our community.
Let Us Heal. We start the process of healing by simply knowing that negative mental legacies of slavery do in fact exist today. We can then educate one another about these legacies, allowing the light of consciousness to break their hidden power over us. Next, we can go about consciously choosing to acquire high character, virtue, values, and life skills; in other words, we can consciously empower ourselves. Then, we can minister one to another by time tithing, which is giving one tenth of the time which we control, providing voluntary service directly targeted at healing/empowering our community. For our youth and those adults needing serious empowerment, we must volunteer in ways that facilitate a long term empowering relationship. Because we are human and social beings, true empowerment can only be transmitted by a meaningful long-term relationship with one (or more) empowered adult(s). Yes, ideally this would be an empowered parent, yet it certainly need not be. Any empowered adult can gift someone with such an empowering relationship! Hence, we can empower one another by gifting one another with the only thing capable of transmitting high character, virtue, values, and life skills—a meaningful long-term relationship with an empowered adult. By consciously and specifically gifting (delivering) such relationships with our time (time tithing), we can heal/empower ourselves.
This We Can Do. This we can do ourselves. We need no one else’s approval, apology, resources, or assistance. What was, was. It just was. And what is, is. And what is will continue to be (now and forever) if we don’t wake up! We innately know the new reality which we desire for our community. When we turn our concern into concerted action (via time tithing), we create a magnificent new reality for ourselves and for all of our future generations. WE NEED EACH OTHER. Clearly we now have the capacity to heal ourselves. Yet, we need each other in order to heal. Not aiding one another has seriously constrained us, but we now have the power and freedom to heal ourselves; we just need to stop reacting to the actions of others and instead consciously create a magnificent reality.
IT IS ALL ABOUT LOVE.
The love of self was taken from us, and it is the love of self which we must reclaim. Love yourself, your people, and our rich and proud heritage. Always act with love in relation to one another. Decide what you care about the most—education, single parenting, delivering a meaningful long-term empowering relationship to a child (or another adult), aiding people returning from prison, or clearing our community of crime and drugs. You decide what your passion is, and then find a way to engage. When enough of us time tithe with love specifically directed at healing our community, then our community will, in fact, be healed. Do all that you can, and know that it will be more than enough.
Just believe in your personal power. Believe in the power of a few like-minded persons. And know that our community can easily mobilize more than enough power to rapidly heal/empower ourselves by simply committing to time tithing—one person at a time. When we do this, when we create a healing community of love, we will thrive beyond our wildest dreams. Rest Assured. For twenty years we have struggled to identify exactly what it is that constrains African Americans. We remained confident that if the root cause could be accurately identified, then healing could finally take place.
The short story “Listen to the Ancestors” provided the revelation. The document/holistic plan for the healing of our community entitled “The Transformational Agenda” was then rapidly assembled from 20 articles we had written over the past 15 years. This gave birth to the holistic strategic plan that we now call The Transformational Agenda. We tested, by presenting the findings in a 9-hour experience, now entitled The Transformational Agenda Retreat, which proved to be transformational. Four years, 35 retreats, and 300 participants later—we have committed our lives and all our resources to “…communicating The Transformational Agenda so that African Americans may heal.” Please understand that THE RETREAT IS THE TRANSFORMATION.
Almost all participants enthusiastically report it to have been among the most important experiences of their life. Experience the Retreat for yourself, and then strongly encourage all African Americans, and especially anyone who you personally love to attend as well. You will never be the same again. You will feel different and you will behave differently because you will be transformed.
Four hundred years of programming leads many of us to often say, “It has never happened and never will.” Yet finally, “We can simply join together and make it happen.” Grandfather in “Listen to the Ancestors” said it well, “Create a healing community of love and you will thrive beyond your wildest dreams. You must “be the transformation” you must “be the change you wish to see.” Please carefully examine The Transformational Agenda.