I AM AWESOME.
Ever since the day I was born, I have been told that I am great.
Born in Africa to a poor couple, my parents made the appropriate sacrifices to create a life for my family. After sometime, we found ourselves in a townhouse; suburbia, USA.
Afraid of the dark, I consistently slept with the lights on until the age of 9.
My mother once came into my room and shut off the lights as I lay awake. Approaching my bed she said “God has not given you the spirit of fear, but of love, courage, and of a sound mind.”
To speak to what exactly qualified a mind as “sound” was the least of my concerns at that age; the verse never quite held value. Seven days from that date, sharing in a time of prayer with my family, my mother began to lecture me on the source of our courage as Christians:
“You can do all things through your GOD who gives you strength.”
She went on to explain: no matter the magnitude of threat, the grip of fear, or the overwhelming feeling of anxiety, there’s something inside you that overcomes all that fear and enables you to be bold.
Today I am often told that I am bold, courageous, adamant, and unrelenting in my individuality.
I know I am awesome.
It’s not a matter of arrogance, it’s not a matter of imagination; this is fact.
Knowing this has enabled me to acquire the greatest friends, sit on boards, meet with some of my idols, and influence the lives of some local youth. Knowing this has enabled me to move throughout various social circles and areas of society where “my kind” was uncommon, and to do so with confidence. Knowing this has enabled me to work on teams, and to develop deep relationships with those around me. Knowing this has given me an ungodly level of self confidence and self esteem, a spirit that even a bullet could not hold down.
Let me be clear: you are not awesome on your own all the time. Sometimes we mess up, sometimes we do things out of hate or fear, letting jealousy and resentment overcome self control. In your lowest moments, it’s what is inside that creates the courage to fail fast, correct your mistakes and move forward.
I say all that to say this. There is something in you that is awesome. Yes, really. No matter what the media is telling you, you are awesome by the inheritance of that “awesomeness” within you. So this post applies to everyone, but I’m writing this from the perspective of a young black man who continues to see people like me: men and woman, bruised and broken…killed…wrongfully.
There is nothing they can do to kill your spirit. Live large, live fast, live by your own assertions.
So continue to kill it in classes, continue to read and study the past and educate those around you. Continue to innovate and continue to create. Continue to push for peace, unity and equality, continue to evangelize, continue to lobby and defend your beliefs. Most importantly, continue to be yourself.
If nobody else tells you today, I’ll tell you: You can do anything.