I recall meeting with a senior executive at an agency in regards to their Diversity program. I told one of their staff members that it seemed as though the program was all smoke and mirrors. As you can imagine, when they found out what I said they were not happy about it.
When I said this, it was not with any malice. I have so much respect for those who have come before me, the legacy they have built and the work they have done. I did not intend to tarnish anyone’s legacy. I said it because it was what others were feeling but would not say out loud for fear of repercussions. I said it because the reality is that for this generation and for those who have come behind the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, the thinking is that things have become stagnant. There are a lot of programs that have been put in place and considerable money spent on the programs but the return on investment just isn’t there. The policies and the programs don’t match. There is a lot of talk about what is not working but there is not as much progress toward creating real change. The kind of change that will take us to the next level.
We sit back and we wonder if the old ways of getting things done is working or are systems being put in place to pacify and give the appearance of change or wanting better with no true intent on making the necessary changes. Is it all just smoke and mirrors?
If you think about it, it kind of makes sense. A lot of our lives are all smoke and mirrors. The appearance of things being okay when they aren’t. We are trying to be something we are not. We are searching for something that may not exist. Looking forward to the next thing we are going to accomplish that is going to give us that sense of hope, belonging, success. But when we cross that hurdle sometimes we still have that same feeling of emptiness. Its smoke and mirrors, we looked good during the process. We gave the impression we had it all together. It was a false impression.
The truth is a lot of us feel invisible. Not everyone feels valuable. Not everyone is lucky enough to find their purpose or their destiny. You have to be taught how to find that. You have to be given tools that will get you to those places. Learning these things is valuable, it is something we should invest in doing.
The challenge now is how do we bring back a message of hope, inspiration, unity and authenticity. How do we convey the message that there is no knight in shining armor coming to save us and that we have to save ourselves. We have to make it happen. Not just the smoke and mirrors appearance of making it happen but the pulling the curtain back and being honest about what we find back there that isn’t working and then fixing it kind of stuff.
Right now through my campaign the most important thing I am trying to do is to change mindset. But it is also the hardest thing to change. But I believe that if we are able to change our mindset, if we are honest about the things that keep us from realizing the changes we want, the possibilities would be endless. We could start to work with each other from a place of purpose and develop a society where we are in agreement. We have become so caught up in fighting for basic needs and feeling good about the fact that we are fighting. We are so caught up in always talking about the worst of everything, criticizing and knowing every reason why something can’t happen, that we are like the hamsters on the wheel in a cage going nowhere.
We all want the same things:
You want to see an end to homelessness; so do I.
You want affordable housing; so do I.
You want people to not have to rely on food pantries; so do I.
You want a decent education for your children, affordable healthcare, climate change, peace on earth; so do I.
But in order for that to happen, we have to be honest about some things:
Some people with money are afraid of being broke.
We have people in this world who have everything and behave as though they have nothing.
There are people who are profiting off of the struggle of others and they are not willing to give that up.
People who are struggling have not been given the tools they need to get out of struggle mode.
People won’t be able to change their lives on their own.
Some people are so accustomed to a world of struggle that they can’t see a world without struggle and issues.
Some people thrive off of fighting and that’s their purpose.
There I said it. Let’s put it on the table. Now that it has been said, how do we change it? If we want these things, you and I have to work together to create it and make it happen. We cannot be afraid. We can’t think about the possibilities of it not working. We have to operate from a space and place of strength and of knowing that anything is possible. The one thing I have said that will always be true is that, “we cannot allow the perception of losing something to keep us in the fear of doing something”. Listen, Donald Trump was right when he said, “black people have nothing to lose”. That wasn’t because he was going to look out for the minority community; it was because he knows that there is so much more that is owed to the black community and quite frankly enough has not been done.
See it’s all smoke and mirrors because of people’s own personal agendas. We want “x” but we support”y” because we are afraid of losing. We want “x” but we support “y” because of what we are getting out of it personally and sometimes at the expense of others. We are afraid of what other people think and what it will feel like if we are not on the winning team. Instead we should be creating the winning team or remembering that nothing beats a fail but a try.
It’s all been smoke and mirrors. But now is the time clear out the room. Clearing out the room, taking the fog out takes a lot of work. It requires faith. It requires perseverance. It requires trust. The main person you need to trust is yourself. You have seen where inaction has taken you, you have seen where electing the same people has gotten you. It time to get rid of the smoke and mirrors. Who’s with me? #Taylorfor2021