After attending ADCOLOR®’s 2018 12th Annual Conference, I was inspired and indelibly impacted by its content. Addressing bias, ethnicity, gender, race and privilege were resolute to its “MOMENT OF TRUTH” theme. Testaments that were shared implored personal actions and inclined individual commitment, not simply in words, but beseeched behaviors to induce cultural change readied to fight the coercion of bias and contempt of any one who is different.
Witnessing others’ authentications unmasked childhood racial scars in my own being. Peeking tersely back at my rural farm boy childhood as a person of color, one will find evidence of cerebral racial battering, separatism, personal property set afire, shot at like target practice, constantly being told that the darkness of my skin depicted uncleanness and insignificance and told that I would never amount to anything.
To mentally counter these derogatory and damaging rudiments, I harbored my only solace, my mom’s unwavering love and encouragement, which remains my guiding light and “MOMENT OF TRUTH” to this day—“Son, they simply don’t understand. Just be the best you can be, even if you must be a floor sweeper, be your best.” Throughout my upbringing, I questioned the possibility of ever becoming a “professional of color” in any form or fashion, especially in the enigmatic Diversity, Equality and Inclusion ecosystem.
Nonetheless, even though my childhood represented the personification of someone from a depressed background, I chose to surround myself with people who appealed to the heart, and simultaneously gravitated toward and read positive mental attitude books. Over time, I learned that I could use adversity and discrimination to become forever embittered or enduringly strong. Choosing the latter, I began my transitory mindset and career trajectory to become the professional you witness in the words penned to paper in this writing.
I later discovered that truth, in fact, is our state of being, the embodiment and actuality of our whole self. It requires us to harness our collective energies to create a culture of humanity, understanding and representation. Truth’s destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.
Simply stated, there is a law in the Universe that you can count on as an absolute truth. It is the Law of Reciprocity. What you send out, you get back. What you give, you get. The good news is, you get to choose what you give. Although tough and intimidating, truth amplifies our relevance, who we are and who we need to be. It requires transparency, heart, passion and pursuit.
So, will you steer away from your mystiques, comfort zones, conscious and unconscious biases and make your “MOMENT OF TRUTH” count? Do you have the courage to make the toughest journey ever made? And it is just 14 inches…the trip from your head to your heart. Until you have the courage to take that journey, you will never inspire those around you to come from their hearts and share their “MOMENT OF TRUTH!”