On Monday I wrote this newsletter that talked about my time in DC and how a Dean at a failing university turned his career, the college and his path around. It reminded me of two other people I had the chance to interview earlier in the year and made me really question myself. When the Dean ended the talk he said, ‘Take a step back, realign with your values, and work on what you believe in. During the same time I heard from another speaker who talked about fines and fees that people have to pay while in prison and she mentioned how these fees stick with them even after they are released and if they are unable to pay, their right to vote gets taken away. It could be a young person in Juvi whose grandmother is paying for his time behind bars and the grandmother is now in debt, hindering his overall relationship with her and his chances at any career moving forward.
There are so many ways things aren’t right, especially when you start to examine what’s happening in larger leadership roles and different institutions and systems. One thing that’s been crossing my mind more recently is the role that business plays and how advertising can lead you to buy things that you don’t need; honestly. There are several cases of this and sadly in lower income communities there are more amounts of advertising for certain products, mainly tobacco, that aren’t good for you, but are being plastered everywhere. Sometimes I pass by this school on my way to work and I see kids playing basketball then I see older people rushing to work. I always think about the influence things have on us growing up and if you were not surrounded by the things you were, who would you be? If you were a fetus what would you be? Think for two seconds- if you weren’t inside the room you are in today, didn’t hang out with certain people or had a different job -who would you be? Would you be the same person? Chances are not. If you grew up somewhere else, would your life be different? I believe we are all born where we are for a reason and where you come from should not determine how your life plays out, that if you want better for yourself, you have access to it, that if you want more, you have the ability to grow and prosper in your choosing. If you’re wondering whether you’ll be okay, know that whatever your dream is, whatever it is you like to do, or whatever it is you hope to pursue, you are entitled to your own dreams, you are entitled to a better life- despite anything or anyone around you. No matter what is going on around you, find strength within you, within your mind and your life, you are entitled to your own dreams.
P.S. You can subscribe to my newsletter mentioned above, here .<3