Change or Get Left
I have the tendency to get really excited when I see folks living well; I’m about to shift that excitement into high gear.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of freshman at Towson University. I started out working this way, and even though I spend most of my time with corporations and large associations, from time to time I need to be with young students. I need to hear and learn from them.
Yesterday, I was blessed (made happy) by the response of a class of almost 2,000 to the needs of others.
While I was taking questions, a young man stood up and with some difficulty, he divulged that he was feeling disconnected. He told us that in high school, he had been a member of a speech team and it had helped him find his voice. He said that he felt that when he came to college, he lost his team and his ability to communicate.
I asked if anyone had been on the speech or debate team and several young folks raised their hands. I asked some to come forward and before I knew it, about 30 young folks came rushing to the front where they stood all around the young man and created the team he needed. He smiled and I could see that all of them would do well.
Then a young woman raised her hand and said that she was feeling very lonely and certain that she would not fit in. She confessed that she was afraid of being ostracized because she was gay.
I told the audience that I didn’t want her to feel that way. I also told them that I didn’t need to out anyone (do folks even still say that?) but I wanted to see the representation of those who were gay, knew and loved someone who was gay or just knew that everyone should be love.
To my joy and surprise, everyone stood and cheered. The outpouring was real and powerful.
One young man jumped up from the back bleachers and ran to the front. He fell, got back up, and then climbed over chairs to get to her.
When the young and beautiful white man, reached this beautiful black woman, he picked her up and actually spun her around. He held her face in his hands and even though I could not hear his words, we all felt his love.
He held her for some time and others began to do the same.
I wanted to drop down and weep.
I learned later that a group of boys had made a few comments about the young man, but when they saw what he did for that young woman, their only comment was "That's awesome."
I’m still crying. I could go on, but there is not much more that needs to be said.
The world is changing; get in or get left.
I love you too.
Be you, be well, be Love,
Bertice Berry, PhD.