Friday, July 27, 2018

Help Us To Connect The Dots And See

A few weeks ago I came across A Great Work by Brian Courtney Wilson and the lyrics immediately caught my attention. The vocals and music are masterfully performed but it's the lyrics, particularly those that I am going to explode in this post that struck a chord (no pun intended) with me. I write this post 150 miles from where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta are entombed giving this post that much more significance for me. In fact, yesterday, July 26th, my daughter and me shared some bonding time as we took that 150 mile ride to Atlanta to visit the World of Coca-Cola, the Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum and the King Historic District. As I toured these locations, the words from Mr. Wilson's song kept playing over and over again in my mind and spirit. So I decided to provide my interpretation of a portion of the song that in my mind powerfully speaks to how our outlook and perspective ought to drive our behavior and aspirations. I'll place my interpretation in italics in parentheses under the bolded lyric lines.

So what should be considered as we proceed
(We must always be thinking, reflecting, planning and acting.)

Is that this work did not begin with you
(It's not about us.  We are not all of that and a bag of chips and the opportunities that we take for granted were not always here. Things were not always this way.)

Our mothers' mothers and fathers' fathers planted seeds when we were but the faint notion of a dream in their mind they hope for a harvest a legacy, a great work
(Our ancestors had faith that one day even when they knew it would not be them, that generations would come from them that would live free, produce, contribute and be recognized for their contributions. They knew within their spirits that one day offspring somewhere on future branches of their family trees would have opportunities that only God knew was coming. They knew that one day that future children spawned from them would indeed be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.)

So may your next step forward
(We must keep moving forward and not go backwards. Let's cut out all of this nonsense such as sagging pants; underachieving; settling for mediocrity or less; calling each other derogatory names and terms; acting as if we are crazy/stupid; Get out there and VOTE; etc. etc. etc.) 

Help us to connect the dots and see
(We have got to connect our history with our present and our future. We have got to understand the shoulders we stand on and the ancestors who have fought and died in order for us to be where we are today. We have got to connect the dots and see the connection between us and the people who gave their lives in order for us to have the opportunities that we are experiencing in this present time. We have got to connect the dots and see that we are from greatness and we are great.)

This picture of greatness
(We must visualize and then bring the vision to reality)

In fact I hear God say, that you are his workmanship, His masterpiece, created for such a time as this, for great works, a great, great, great work
(We must see ourselves as that cliche goes "God made me and God don't make no junk!" We must understand that we are on the face of the earth for this period of time to make the world a better place. We are here to make life better for others, our children and our children's children.We were created for whatever is taking place at this very moment. We are here because of all of the others who have gone before us. There is no reason for us not to be great.)

So go be great
(We have no excuses. Get out there and be nothing less than great.)

Don't get discouraged
(It's going to be frustrating, tiring, disappointing, hurtful and hard, but don't you dare give up.)

Go be great
(In the words of Nike, "Just Do It!)

Don't you get weary
(Even though you are going to be challenged, keep on going.)

Go be great
(Cannot repeat this enough)

Keep marching for justice
(Don't settle. In the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "The time is always right to do what is right.")

Keep pressing toward the mark
(Keep moving forward toward lofty goals. Keep your eyes on the prize and don't get distracted by foolishness.)

In this wonderful world
(No matter how bad or crazy it may seem, there is still hope. As long as there is life, there is hope. When all is said and done, we are truly blessed and must always be grateful for what we have not complaining about what we don't have. The world is wonderful place and there is no better time to be alive.)

I am inspired by A Great Work each time I hear it. I listen to these words repeatedly and they hit me as if I were hearing them for the first time each time I listen to the song. It is my hope that my interpretation will spark some thinking, reflection, debate, and ultimately action. It is my hope that we will all strive for greatness and stop settling for mediocrity or just any old thing done in any old kind of way.

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