Today in the pouring rain, 10,000 or more brave souls joined 400 plus proud Morehouse College graduates --- all crowded under ponchos, hats and even program books -- to hear their President "bring the message," to and for young black men of the future. And rain or no, the President did not disappoint.
And yes, I was one of those 10,000 being pounded by rain that seem to come on schedule. But no regrets here. Dr. King, my personal hero Ambassador Andrew Young, and countless others in the civil rights movement dealt with much, much worse, for much, much longer.
President Obama spoke directly to young black men who come at a critical time for America, as well a critical time of and for the traditional African-American experiencein America.
Young men who, if pointed in the right direction and truly inspired to make a difference, could very well remake and reset the very future of Black America. A Black American community that is arguably at a historic tipping point nearly 50 years since Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech on the Mall in Washington, D.C.
"Operation HOPE is the global leader of financial diginity. This includes the financial literacy empowerment, financial inclusion, and the ecomomic empowerment of the working poor, the underserved and the struggling middle class here and around the world. We call this the new 'silver rights' movement for all."
If I don't like me, I'm not going to like you. If I don't respect me, It's hard for me to respect you. If I don't love me, I don't know how to love you. If I don't have a purpose of my life, I'm going to make your life a living hell.
Let me start by saying I am not a medical professional, and on the topic of the medical sciences, I hold zero credentials. I know nothing in the medical sciences which can be relied on.
That said, I believe this -- most disease is not disease at all (in its origins). It is dis-ease, that turns into disease.
We are all 70% water. That is our makeup, and yet we obsess about the physical body.
We are, to quote author Deepak Chopra, "not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings, having a human experience."
To quote David Brooks in Social Animal, "the human mind can take in 11 million pieces of information at any given moment. The most generous estimate is that people can be consciously aware of forty of these." Brooks goes on to note that "some researchers have gone so far as to suggest that the unconscious mind does virtually all the work and that conscious will may be an illusion." He concludes this section by noting "the conscious mind merely confabulates stories that try to make sense of what the unconscious mind is doing of its own accord."
Today I was speaking with one of my HOPE Team members, who recounted a story to me of a friend who had passed, and the subsequent conversation with that friend's parents. The parents, were obviously and understandably in grief over their loss. The question though, that one of the parents asked the priest, got me thinking about a larger issue. The parent asked, "if there is a God, why did he take my child?"
It is a good question, but in my view, respectfully the wrong one. God gave life, breath and discernment to mankind. God gave this one creation of His -- this one 'animal' in His Kingdom -- the ability to think, reflect, to love, to grow and to evolve in our consciousness. To the point, I want to say again, God gave us consciousness.
He put us in charge of His planet, and asked us to do a good job taking care of it.
He also put us in charge of the other animals, and asked us to be responsible to and for them too.
Importantly, He also asked us to take care of "the least of these God's children."
The short version here, is that God placed his children -- mankind (and of course this is shorthand for mankind and womankind) -- in charge of things. Most important of all, He gave us free will.
To do as we like.
To select the red pill, or the blue one.
To go left in life, or to go right.
To do the right thing, or to do something else altogether.
The old model of racism was based on race and the color line. The new model of racism is rooted in class and poverty. The old racism was obvious in signs that read White Only, from the southern states in the U.S. to South Africa. The new racism is more obvious in Misery Row.
Whether it is a feature on a boulevard in an urban city or a rural town, or whether it is at the entrance of a military base, the Misery Row looks pretty much the same. Predatory check cashers, next to rent to own stores, payday lending stores, title lending stores, and liquor stores.
One group of financial predators takes advantage of your financial problems and misfortune, while another associated group benefits by helping you to forget you actually have any.
Operation HOPE Hosts Top Medical Leaders for Discussion about Preventive Health and Affordable Health Care
ATLANTA, May 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recognizing National Women's Health Week, Operation HOPE (HOPE) hosted U.S. Surgeon GeneralDr. Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA for a discussion on the relationship between physical and fiscal health in America. The Surgeon General was joined by Chief Medical Officer of Centene Corporation Dr. Mary Mason and Chief Medical Officer of Peach State Health Care Dr. Dean Greeson. Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, dean and executive vice president of the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) moderated the discussion at the Operation HOPE Financial Dignity Center at Ebenezer in Atlanta.
As the fourth installment in the HOPE Forum series, the event covered the important topic of "Investing in Your Health." The in-depth discussion explored the impact of health care on the economy and how individuals can invest wisely in personal health to improve the nation's overall well-being.
Dr. Benjamin, who has served as the U.S. Surgeon General since 2009, spoke in great detail about the significance of preventive health measures and promoted her pet project, "Walking to Fitness," a new campaign she is helping to lead.
Operation HOPE Founder and CEO, John Hope Bryant underscored the linkage between physical and fiscal health for individuals and families, especially those in underserved communities.
HOPE Founder and Chairman in South Africa to sign historic agreement focused on developing empowerment opportunities for youth and women
Pretoria, South Africa– May 16, 2013– Global financial dignity nonprofit Operation HOPE (HOPE) announced their goal to fuel entrepreneurship, increase life skills, and hone leadership tools for youth, women, and families in rural communities within five provinces, during an official renewal signing ceremony on April 23rd, at the Peace Corps South Africa office in Pretoria. (watch the Chariman speak about volunteering)
Through the renewal, both organizations will continue working together to expand HOPE’s financial literacy initiative, Banking on Our Future. The initiative aims to reduce the 25% unemployment rate in South Africa by promoting financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and dignity through empowerment training sessions. Community growth and development is measured before and after each session using HOPE research and assessment tools.