Individual and Collective Purpose

By: Howard Williams

One day a black 27 year old well educated young man said to me ” I do not want to be the smartest person in the room. I want to be around people smarter than me, who challenge me intellectually.  I want to learn how to have purpose in my life”.

I was lost for words. I did not know what to tell him. So I said to him, find those people and surround yourself with them. The young man replied. That is easier said than done. He then said there is a difference between one teaching you to survive in life and one teaching you how to have purpose in life.

It took me a few months to grasp what the young man was saying. I had to look up the word purpose to find out what it really meant. I’m a little slow! We teach our children how to survive in life and yet not teach them to have a purpose in life. 

So we all must begin to find our individual purpose in life. And at the same time the African American community as a whole must find it’s purpose in life.

For real prosperity in the African American community there must be a collective purpose and a collective goal.

For those of you that don’t know me. I am passionate about the future of our young black males and it does not look good. Their mothers are begging all of us to come together and figure out something, anything to make it better for them. Things cannot continue going the way they have been going for years. We cannot just write more than half of our young black males off. Or blame them entirely for their situation. That would be immoral.

As most of you have heard. An idle mind and idle time is the devils work shop.

The path we make for all of our young black males, not just the path we make for our own sons will determine all of our futures.

Be Careful



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