Two weeks ago we decided to come down to Houston and help. The impact of Hurricane Harvey hit home. We knew our help would be small. But we believed that little things can make a big difference in times of need. An unexpected lift. A helping hand. A comforting conversation.
People came together. Strangers became saviors. Distant neighbors became lifelong friends. A city rich in contrasting colors spilled into the streets with total disregard for tints or pigments. A Muslim boy gave blankets to a Catholic woman. A white cop helped a black family onto his boat. A liberal pulled sheetrock out of a conservative’s walls. No one asked for documentation or green cards.
We learned a lot, but remembered even more. Core values and shared beliefs that were somehow lost or buried or forgotten, all washed up on our doorstep. People became people again. And we waded in our sameness. Our tears flowed in the same direction. Our smiles were the same shape. And, when life was flooded, we all reached for the same thing: each other.
Boats were sent for animals and loved ones. Family heirlooms and wedding albums were pulled out of windows. Silent memoirs were plucked from soaking shelves. Cars and clothes and TVs and toys and fine china and pricey furniture were left to float on their own. In the moments where life mattered most, we all remembered what really mattered.
With as much damage and destruction that our city and state endured the past 9 days, I hope a little of what was in that rain remains. I hope it soaked into all of us – just enough to move forward without forgetting what it left behind. And, when the streets are dry, and homes are rebuilt, and strangers become strangers again, I hope we remember what was in that Water.
I’d love to connect with you as we work to create a new Path for education and employment at Besomebody, Inc. Please feel free to leave a comment, or send me a message here.
When I was 15, and bussing tables at the neighborhood Fuddruckers, my dad would come by every Sunday and order a burger and fries during my shift.
When I was 19, at the The University of Texas at Austin, and decided to major in Communications instead of Medicine or Engineering like the rest of my family, my dad told me the words on the “paper” (diploma) didn’t matter, my happiness did.
Everyone is blind, but you.
Everyone is blind but you.
No one can see what you do.
That picture in your mind,
That dream that you define,
That vision, that mission, that truth.
Sitting here during a couple hour layover in Boston. Headed to New York. Was in Cincinnati last night. Austin the day before. Dallas the day before that. Will be back in Ohio Wednesday. It’s been a crazy week of movement. A crazy year of it really. A year ago at this time I was moving from Austin to Boston. It happened so fast. Instinctively. A sudden, life-changing decision that subtly blended “seizing the moment” and survival mode.
As part of this #besomebody journey, I run into a lot of people who feel ‘stuck.’
Stuck in between what they have to do, and what they want to do. Stuck in between the job that pays the bills, and the dream that lights the fire. Stuck in between a bad relationship and the chance for a better one. Stuck between the fear of past failures and the possibility of future success.
America is a nation of immigrants, explorers and revolutionaries.
Two-hundred and forty years ago, we started as a small and scrappy pack of rebels, driven by a dream of “liberty and justice for all.” An outpost of outcasts, we penned our vision on street sides and carved our values in stone. We marched for peace and fought for freedom. And through it all, with each passing decade and each changing generation, we climbed… together.
I truly believe we’re in the midst of racial crisis in this country.
I truly believe that what’s been bubbling beneath the surface for a long time, is now boiling over into our sentiments and sentences and streets.
Floating in an ocean of unforgiving answers.
Bathing in a potion of uncleaned seas.
Staring at the surface of unsanitary standards.
Glaring at a purpose that falls far short of me.
Why do you love me from a distance?
What is it about me that you’re scared to see?
Hidden in layers of leased resistance.
Hiding in temporary states of free.
I think I get it now.
I think I understand why it happened this way.
Why I fell so hard down that hidden hole that it seemed like I was sinking into a cement sandbox. And every step was a collision between the angry earth and my stubborn soul. And every breath was a force of fucking nature. And every thought was a weapon of self-destruction.