“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right...Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.” – Kofi Annan
I love this quote for many reasons but what it says to me most is literacy is more than reading, more than a skill, it’s ESSENTIAL. Literacy is a bridge, a tool, a bulwark, a building block, a complement, a platform, a vehicle, an agent, a human right, and a road.
It’s time we start treating as such.
The "voices" of Black History”
“You can’t lead the people if you don’t love the people. You can’t save the people if you don’t serve the people.” – Cornel West, philosopher, political activist and social critic
“When we’re talking about diversity, it’s not a box to check. It is a reality that should be deeply felt and held and valued by all of us.” – Ava DuVernay, filmmaker and culture-shifter
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama, first Black president of the United States
“What I’m really praying is that we, as a people, understand that we are interdependent upon each other. We don’t want police to leave; we want policing in our world. But I think that people aren’t comfortable with each other.” – Lynn Whitfield, actress
“The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.” – W.E.B. DuBois, author, social activist and educator who was also the first Black man to graduate from Harvard with a PhD. DuBois cofounded the NAACP in 1909
“When I was born, I was colored. I soon became a Negro. Not long after that, I was Black. Most recently, I was African American. It seems we’re on a roll here. But I am still first and foremost in search of freedom.” – Harry Belafonte, singer, songwriter, activist and actor
“I’m very proud to be Black, but Black is not all I am. That’s my cultural historical background, my genetic makeup, but it’s not all of who I am, nor is it the basis from which I answer every question.” – Denzel Washington, actor, director and producer
We coach & teach people, NOT sports or subjects
I learned a lot during my time running golf schools for the Golf Digest Schools but the most important lesson I learned was this, “we don’t teach golf, we teach people to play golf”. Simple but brilliant. It acknowledges the relationship between the teacher/coach and a student. There is a person learning while a person is teaching.
As like many of you, I’ve had a lot of teachers and coaches in my lifetime but the ones I remember most are the ones who were teaching me as a person, preparing me for the challenges of life. They weren’t teaching me basketball, or chemistry, or golf, or entomology. They were teaching ME basketball, chemistry, golf and entomology.
THIS is why I think of my freshmen & JV basketball coach, Steve Perry, often. Coach Perry was an excellent basketball coach, yes, but more importantly he was a life coach before life coaching became “a thing”, basketball was his tool for doing so. He was old school, tough with high expectations. He didn’t put a pretty little bow on everything. He wasn’t warm & fuzzy, but his occasional rye and gentle smile assured me he was proud of us and cared. Looking back, it was clear he knew he was shaping us for our futures.
Thank you, Coach Perry, I love you and will always appreciate you.
Oh, by the way, we only lost 3 times over the two years he coached. But rest assured, each loss became a learning opportunity. Running a lot has an uncanny ability to do that.
Word of the week, “two-fer”
Humanity & Unity
Let’s face it, we’re in this together, though it seems we’ve tried everything to deny it.
No matter our religious belief, background, culture, ethnicity, race, political affiliation, country of origin, gender or sexual orientation, we’re all united by one thing, we’re ALL members of humanity. We can’t spell HUMANITY without the word UNITY, but it can be spelled without the word ME.
Choose UNITY. Something to contemplate, maybe even dare to try, for once.
“You gotta serve somebody”
You ever had a bad day, bad week or maybe a bad year?
You ever felt sorry for yourself?
You ever felt alone in a crowd?
You ever felt lost?
You ever felt unworthy?
You ever felt invisible?
If you’re anything like me, you have, it’s a terrible feeling.
But might I suggest there’s a good solution, and it doesn’t cost money, SERVE SOMEBODY.
In previous blogs, I’ve referenced my older brother Bernie, Jr., and I’m sure I’ll reference him again.
About a year and a half ago, after a 7-year battle with ALS, little Bernie bravely surrendered and passed on. Over his 7-year battle, I had the privilege of caring for him in the most intimate ways, ways I never
could have imagined. It’s a “privilege” I never asked for and one I would have preferred to not have received, I’m sure he’d agree.
But let me tell you, having the opportunity to serve him was one of the greatest gifts of my life.
While serving him, I’ve never felt more worthy, needed, purposeful, seen, important and never felt closer to God.
Is patience really a virtue?
YES, but not always.
Should we be patient about injustice?
How about educational inequity?
Lack of Literacy for All?
If being impatient about these things is not virtuous, well so be it.