“Compassion has the power to turn everything аrоund.”
Each of us has a turning point in our lives. A moment in time when our purpose becomes clear, and we find the answer to that age-old question – what on earth am I here for? My life-changing moment came in my junior year of high school. Riding on a school bus one day, I gave my very first speech. At the time, I was addicted to crack cocaine and looking for a way to escape from the world of addiction.
First Lady, Nancy Reagan, was espousing the popular slogan – “Just Say No” – which I found personally frustrating. As her Just Say No Campaign swept the nation, my frustration grew. It stemmed from the seemingly unending days I spent battling my addiction. If overcoming addiction was as simple as just saying no, many people would have been free from drugs, alcohol, and other addictions by the end of that sentence. Just Say No may have been a catchy slogan, but it was not a realistic statement for the men, women, and children like me who were struggling to overcome addictive patterns and behavior.
As I shared my exasperation with my friends and bus riders, I felt a power in my voice that I’d never heard or experienced before. I was surprised to see that every head, including the bus driver’s, was not only turned in my direction but tuned into my words. They were paying attention to what I was saying and finding credence in my opinion and belief that just saying no is not enough.
“Once a роѕіtіvе rеlаtіоnѕhір іѕ еѕtаblіѕhеd, роwеr іѕ сrеаtеd.”
Word of that impromptu, passionate speech must have gotten around, because, shortly thereafter, I was approached by the High School Career Association Trainer. She believed I had a voice that needed to be heard – one she wanted to help develop. Because of her compassion, her faith in me, and her guidance in the right direction, I continued speaking and debating. Eventually, I was nominated as the Civil Affairs Coordinator, a role that allowed me to participate in many debates on the dysfunction of civil rights in America.
Unfortunately, after I graduated, my life was overtaken by drugs and alcohol. Thankfully, in 1999, I found the turning point I had been looking for. I was delivered from drugs and alcohol. That deliverance reset my life and gave me a much-needed focus and clarity. I called upon those long-abandoned speaking skills and began training my voice and preparing for my next assignment. Since I had given many talks on civil and judicial injustices in America, I focused my speaking on those issues.
My passion for personal and social justice continues to this day. There is always hope. There is always a possibility. There is always another chance. I’m always eager and prepared to address injustice, encourage positive transformation, and speak to, and for, marginalized individuals.
“The beauty of knowing your own strengths is in accepting that it doesn’t mean never failing. Instead, it means never quitting as you hone your skills and gifts.”
I’d love to speak to your business, ministry, men’s group, church, or organization on the power of recovering your life, resetting your mind, honing your strengths, and overcoming failure. It can be done – this I know firsthand. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org