Check out the write up below the Ghion Cast video which goes into additional details about the very things I discussed with Duan and Reneca in the YouTube clip below.
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
This quote above, which has been distilled to “be the change you want to see” so it can fit nicely on bumper stickers, has gained new significance to me over the course of two and a half year journey. I realize what Gandhi was saying back then; takes a lifetime of searching outward before we realize that the answer is within. The easier path being external, too many lash out in order to change the world. The harder task—yet the only way we can change the world—is to first change ourselves. All else will fall into place the minute we figure out that the brokenness of the world can only be mended if each one of us commits to healing ourselves.
This was the topic of conversation with the Assistant Director of CSU’s Black Student Alliance Duan Ruff and his enterprising wife Reneca Ruff. Over a one hour session, we discussed everything from race in America, politics, food security and self-empowerment. It was one of the most profound interviews I’ve ever conducted; unfortunately a choppy WiFi served to interrupt the recording a few times so the Ghion Cast above is an edited version where I spliced together clips from the interview.
Another interview is in the planning stages as my hope is to procure a more robust camera and microphones so I can produce the video in a more professional matter. But we do as we must for must in the present until the means present themselves—never wait for the perfect moment to continue perfecting your craft. In a way, this is how we all move forward. Duan, Reneca and I could have spent the hour talking about the various injustices we all have experienced in life, but a life spent in rear-view mirrors begets only backward movement. Ahead. In spite of the circumstances and the blows that come for all of us—the only way to find healing is to move ahead. See the child running in the picture above, he would be standing in place if he was looking back. Redemption is found forward; only regret resides in the past.
There is a reason that the three topics outlined in the title are positioning, empowering and enhancing. If we keep positioning ourselves in a place of subservience and being victims, we will never redemption. Isn’t it about time to stop asking for others to do for us what we can do for ourselves. There are endless ways we position ourselves that are harmful and serve to diminish us. Labels that are not of us nor define us, ideologies that splinter and divide us. Unless we position ourselves to win and think with logic instead of emotion, we will keep losing the race before it ever starts. This applies to everyone reading this irrespective of identity or ideology for all of us are living in states of perpetual economic and societal anxieties these days. After positioning ourselves, we must enhance ourselves through empowering our communities.
This is the essence of heal talk and the conversation I shared with Duan and Reneca. Stay tuned, more will come. Consider this the kimsha (taste), the full course meal is coming soon and this meal is one will focus on ways to heal. It is time for all of us to heal. Stop letting a few divide the many; none in this world can claim a monopoly on pain nor is our pains made any less if we acknowledge the pains of others. As we heal within, let us hold hands with others who are trying to heal as well. This is how we change the world; not by lashing in but by looking in and then letting love be the light that drives out the wounds felt by all. #HealTalk
All else will come in due time when we first are able to do within us what we advocate outward.
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Check out the Ghion Cast below that talks more about the very notion of identity that serves to divide us and keep us enslaved to labels that are not of us.
The Dynamic Duo in the #HealTalk interview
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.