“Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.”
I want to continue on my conversation on how my family impacted my life. Please understand, my family is not exclusive to people I am related to by blood. They are childhood friends, teachers, and mentors who accept me for who I am and teach me a great deal about life (directly and indirectly).
In the next few blogs I will talk about people my family exposed me to who influenced me. I will not specify names because there are SO many people who I admire, and if I forget some names I will regret it. I do want to speak generally and provide thematic messages on the importance of surrounding yourself with high quality people.
One thing I forgot to mention when discussing my immediate family was their talent for exposing me to great people. My father, mother, brother, and sister had a network of people around me to teach me mostly good, exposed me occasionally to bad, but definitely entertained me to the fullest.
Walk with Kings, but don’t lose the common touch
One of my father’s favorite pastime was playing dominoes. I remember him playing at least twice a week for hours each meeting with the same 3 men. These men were diplomats, nor politicians, they were people he trust. Initially, it didn’t make sense for my dad to “associate” with these blue collar workers. My father was a banker, entrepreneur, and leader of the largest black chamber in the country. Why would he spend most of his recreational time with people “below him”. Watching them play dominoes and occasionally running an errand for them, I was able to socialize and learn from everyone at the table. I started getting tips on how I maintain my car, and the best method in keeping a great lawn. Most importantly, witnessed how 4 different types of black men can interact and work as a team. Even though they had different education levels, different professions, even different socioeconomic statuses, they had one thing in common: They are black men that was surviving a world I had not experienced yet. As I grow older, I began to realize a very important lesson he was teaching me: give all people the same respect. Every person can teach you a lesson, the question is will you learn and apply it.
It takes a group of diverse people to make a society thrive, and it takes a functioning community to prosper. In order to fulfill many of my goals, it requires me to talk, relate, and understand different types of people. It would be total suicide if I believed I was better than someone because of what little resources I have.
People are people are people. No person is better or worse than the other: we are just different. Let’s appreciate our diversity and learn from one another so we can be the best we can be.