I recently returned from a Jumpstart we supported in a Dominican community in upper Manhattan. While there, we did some filming, so I had a chance to go out into the community to meet some of its leaders. What I saw was beautiful and hopeful. I saw a vibrant, family-centered community endowed with visionary leadership, passion, and promise.
For example, I met one lady who became involved in her kids’ school out of concern for their education. She organized the parents of this school, then got involved in another, and another, until she had organized the parents in 43 schools. She is now a powerful leader in her community. Not only was I impressed by her creative, passionate leadership, but also by her values. She told me that money meant nothing to her, except for helping to meet her basic needs. She does not make much money, and most of what she makes, she gives away; loving relationships and community are what give meaning to her life.
Much of what the mainstream media communicates is shallow or even misleading, not necessarily because they get basic facts wrong (which they sometimes do), but because they show us a tiny sliver of reality. Often, it’s a sliver that they choose to share because they think it’s the most important one, or worse, they are trying to influence what we see as truth.
But most damaging is this: much of what our mainstream media communicates is divisive, dire and dark. They fail to show the beauty of our world, and give little sense of why we can be hopeful. Apparently, the tycoons of our media conglomerates do not think beauty and hope are good for their ratings and bottom lines.
Yes, we have many dark places in our world, but I see beauty everywhere, and I see great potential for transformative change. I saw this in the mother who became an educational leader in her community, in a passionate principal of a local high school, in a husband-wife team who have committed decades of service to their community, in a physician healing patients with food as medicine, in a spiritually motivated attorney using business to serve others, and in many of the other wonderful people I met during my recent trip to New York.
I hope you all are having a great day, and perhaps take some time now and then to reflect on what is beautiful in your life, and what is truly important.
Until next time,