Today’s teenagers, particulary African-American and Hispanic, are faced with many challenges that continue to hinder progress in practically every conceivable notion of the “American Dream.” I feel we’ve come a very long way and I think we are progressing in the right direction, for the most part, but we’re still climbing an uphill battle. So what do you see as the biggest challenges facing African-American and/or Hispanic TEENS today?
Let’s determine what our issues are and figure our ways to help our young brothas and sistas…
Altruistic Leadership, guiding others with the ulitmate goal of empowering them and improving their wellness, intellectually and emotionally is essential to my identity as a man and my purpose in life. I’ve mentioned several times before that helping others is an obligation for me as a human being, as a man, a leader, provider and academic. Giving back fulfills an expectation in each one of these roles I play. So my message for today is, “We can’t save the world, but we can all do our part.”
What if we begin seeing the true power of our own influence as individuals–as community and school leaders, mentors, church and mosque members, parent, concerned citizens as opposed to resting most, if not all, of the responsibility on entertainers like rappers and athletes? Please don’t get me wrong, though. I definitely believe celebrities have a role (there will be a post about them in the very near future) in the upliftment of our communities and serving as role models for our children, but that’s indirect influence. How many of us have actually been inspired to give back to the community by watching those ‘NBA Cares’ commercials? Definitely not me. I applaud celeb servicemen like Jim Brown, Seattle Seahawk Shaun Alexander, rappers T.I., Common and Ludacris. They’ve all done tremendous work in their communities through youth programs and financial donations. I also think that Dwayne Wade winning ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ at the BET Awards this year was epic. Wade represents what I think most of us would like to see from our professional athletes, especially African-American enterntainers who are idolized by our young brothas and sistas.
But my point here is that each one of us has a role to give back to our respective communities, but it’s even more important that we instill a giving spirit in our youth. To help a young person recognize that there is a greater purpose outside of himself is essential to his soul; and actually, it’s essential to our soul as a people. An individual grows as his community grows, a nation grows as all of its communities grow; therefore, responsibility to our communities and the people within them should be of the upmost importance. Altruistic leadership and community service can change a community one person at a time. It teaches our children humility, respect, instills a sense of work ethic, balance, and in the long run, it will make them better parents for their children. Just imagine if all of us, you, me, and our children, implemented a uniform system of caring for the downtrodden, the voiceless, the sick, feeble, and disabled?
As rewarding as it is for me in my personal journey, nothing is more fulfilling and exhiliarating than helping to instill the same feeling and committment in others, which is why I try to involve my family and my young bros in as many community involvement projects as I can.