Years ago, I wrote this rant to a group of high school students I mentor. Today, she finds herself out of a job on Capitol Hill due to the changed administration. She said she kept the note tucked away. Today, she shared how my message is helping her get through this transition. You never know how words can affect people. Make sure to keep it positive. I’m sharing this message. Hope it helps for those down and unemployed.
Hi Doc – It’s been a rough transition for a number of us, but I am reminded of something you had told us years ago. I knew I had it jotted down somewhere, dug through my old notes today to find it and wanted to share it again. You had said, “When it comes to feeling tired or ‘burned out,’ just think of the Manong cutting asparagus in the hot Stockton sun or the Auntie caring for three small children in Navy housing on a hot and humid Norfolk, summer day.. How does your discomfort really compare to the menial tasks our Uncles and Aunties underwent daily to open the doors of opportunity for us 2nd generation-ers, doors that remain eternally shut to them. We all should feel privileged and honored to do the work that we do. I do. Once we recognize the only enemy we truly have is within ourselves, only then can we begin to conquer it by doing [community] work that defines and redefines who we are and what we can be.” (Dated 2005) // So thank YOU for sharing these words with us back then and for YOUR commitment to young folks like me, allowing us to go forth. Your words have inspired me in tough times and as of late, have been helpful in focusing in on the important work that remains ahead. Thanks, Doc! (I hope you knew that I was listening)