The iconic James Baldwin once said, "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."
I have been burned out, bummed out and trying to rise above the clamor of the noise of ism's, violence, the pandemic, lost lives and so much more. While the external world around me seemed to be going up in flames, my personal and inner worlds were really at peace.
You know the old saying, "knock on wood," well that is and was exactly what I was doing. I went inward to protect my peace. So, my words were few. I found myself wanting to take a back seat and sit in the back of the world.
In wanting to protect my peace, I also did not want to make decisions...about anything. Yet, that's not what life is all about. My dad once said to me that I could either be a leader or a follower. But leaders get to make choices. Followers must take the choice given to them.
When my granddaughters arrived in town, I realized that I could no longer shrink back because I did not want to confront the maddening, deafening sounds of the world around me. The first day they were here the ten-year-old wanted strawberries. While I'm unpacking their clothes, I hear an ouch and a loud, "Nana I cut my finger!" Running to the kitchen I see she is holding out a bright red pinky. Placing a bandage on her finger I asked her why she didn’t wait for me.
"Well Nana, I'm big enough to do this by myself...all you need to do is teach me!" Choice made. She will be a leader one day. Taking that chance on herself and having her outcome in mind, she made a choice. And by day's end she was successfully cutting up strawberries.
Watching them over the past three weeks reminded me that I needed to get back in the game, no matter how many times I get cut. No matter how bummed out and burned out I might have felt. If we keep at it, well perhaps, just perhaps we can change the world. Maybe we can start conversations that help us heal what ails us and keeps us apart.
As I think about Father's Day and my dad, I am reminded that while my mother gave me my temperament and social justice focus, my dad gave me my dreams to change the world.
Today, I am facing the changes that are solidly in front of us. I have found my second wind and while my dad is not here to hold my hand...he is standing so close that I know he's still got my back.
My dad was a girl’s dad before it became popular. And we were daddy's girls who knew we could do everything except fail. Today I am fast forwarding that life button once again.
Today I honor my dad, this man who dared to place the world's hopes and dreams in his daughter. Earlier I found myself humming that old Patti LaBelle tune, "New Attitude,"
"Runnin' hot, runnin' cold
I was runnin' into overload
It was extreme, ex-ex-ex-ex-ex-extreme
I took it so high, so low
So low, there was nowhere to go
Like a bad dream
Somehow the wires uncrossed, the tables were turned
Never knew I had such a lesson to learn
I'm feelin' good from my head to my shoes
Know where I'm goin' and I know what to do
I tidied up my point of view
I got a new attitude."
I don't know about you but it's time to hit that fast forward button...I’ve got work to do. Thank you, dad!