Yesterday, I had an opportunity to transform the lives of a group of young men, a group that I believe will transform the lives of other people, young and old, around the world.
A week ago, a friend of mine, Ms. Shanice Harrington, teacher extraordinaire, texted me and asked me if I had a few minutes to talk. I responded yes. She went on to let me know that she was working with a group of black boys in an after school program who weren’t understanding the importance of their roles as leaders at Seawell Elementary School, which just so happens to have been my elementary school. She wanted me to FaceTime in and chat with them. So that’s exactly what I did. Being that I was working from home that day, I put on a shirt and a tie (while still in my basketball shorts, which I knew wouldn’t be seen) and I called Shanice on FaceTime. At that moment, I stepped into the lives of those five young men. We chatted and connected about everything from my job to their ages to my first (and only) pair of Air Jordans to who my favorite rapper/NBA team/NFL team/college team was.
It was fun, but it wasn’t enough. So, yesterday morning, I texted Shanice and asked her if the boys were meeting again this week. She said yes and gave me the times. I said I’d be there. At 2:45, I was in their classroom and they all re-introduced themselves to me, much like they had the week before. The difference is, this time, I required Joshua, Jabraon, and Amari to shake my hand after their introductions. This time, we felt like friends. They knew me and I knew them. I didn’t talk at them, I talked to them. Ms. Harrington sat and listened, interjecting every so often with points she wanted me to touch on, but, most of all, she let us enjoy one another’s company. At the end of it (which I hope isn’t an end at all but instead another beginning), I felt like I had made a difference in these leaders’ lives.
If you have the opportunity, make a difference. Don’t expect anything from it except that someone somewhere will benefit from it. Tomorrow is not promised so, today, leave a bit of goodness behind for the world to hold on to.
Make making the world a better place a priority.