“You know, I love all kinds of activism. I certainly think blacks deserve to have something whether it is affirmative action or an opportunity that should be opened up to them. But at the same time I believe that people of color are not the only poor people in America and all over the world.”
“Respect your parents. What they tell you is true. Hard work, dedication and faith will get you anything. Imagination will drive itself. You can get anything you want, but you have to have faith behind all your ideas. Stick to your goals and have an undying faith.”
- Russell Simmons
We wanted to quote Russell Simmons this week again (one of many times that we have quoted Simmons here on our blog in our inspirational quotes archive) as a follow up to our quote from Don Lemon last week. I believe both of these public figures are inspirational to our children and the community.
It’s ok to come from different view points and have a discussion or a debate. Especially when ultimately everyone wants the same thing, people growing into the best person that they can be. Self-empowerment (as Don said) and recognizing your self worth. The important bottom line here is to have the discussion. This discussion which has been brought up several times over the years by many public figures such as Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey, Jay Z and Common. I remember on the Oprah show when Jay Z was on, and they politely disagreed with each other about his lyrics. But you believed that they walked away with respect for each other even though they viewed the topic differently. I love interviews like this because it brings up a discussion. It is an important discussion to keep having. Whether agreeing or disagreeing have a discussion with your kids and each other and keep it moving.
I really like the second quote above by Russell Simmons “Respect your parents…” The message really helps to mold your/our way of thinking. And if not your parents, your grandmother, or your aunt or older brother, sister etc. To discuss helping people, improving yourself, helping each other, treating one another with kindness and respect, I can’t think of a better or more important discussion to have. Even if it starts with a disagreement it might end with an agreement or at least an understanding.
And just one last thing, living in New York is one thing, but living in Harlem is a bigger feeling of community, and focus and passion towards helping those that need it. At least this is the Harlem that I have come to love. People here in our community black, white, spanish, artist, corporate, community organizers, politicians, rich, poor, moms, students whatever, all seem to step it up a notch or two and this is a great thing. I was speaking with someone the other night at a Harlem event (at the HarlemGarage) and we were discussing Detroit (the woman I was speaking with was from there) and the turmoil that Detroit is going through right now. She said she wants to go help in some way. We both shared an enthusiasm on how we might help – help is really where it all begins. That’s what I’m talking about. People that give a sh#! (pardon my French) and walk the walk don’t talk the talk. I think Russell, Don, everyone that I’ve mentioned above are perfect examples of people who care and act. And if you disagree, just wikipedia any one of them.
Keep it moving, have faith, keep having the discussions. We all want the same things, though we may get there in our own way, style and time.