I have always loved Bob Marley and this song was always stirring. Recently, I took the time to learn the true meaning behind the lyrics. They are somewhat prophetic and have become transcendent of race alone.
“We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind. Mind is your only ruler, sovereign. The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the other man who uses his mind…”
Those lines were taken from a speech given by Marcus Garvey in Nova Scotia during October 1937 and published in his Black Man magazine
Bob Marley made them iconic in 1979…
“I carried Bob Marley’s Redemption Song to every meeting I had with a politician, prime minister, or president. It was for me a prophetic utterance or as Bob would say ‘the small ax that could fell the big tree.’ The song reminded me that freedom always comes with a cost, but for those who would prepare to pay it, maybe ‘emancipation from mental slavery’ would be our reward.”
This is my friend Armando. Or as most of his friends call him, Mondo. Mondo needed a ride this morning at 3am to DFW Airport. We had a great conversation along the way about his work, his passion. He has been a teacher for over 16 years and is a strong advocate for at risk or underprivileged children. Five months ago, he accepted a position as Director for The Fellowship Initiative in Dallas. This program was created through JPMorgan Chase.
“The Fellowship Initiative (TFI) provides intensive academic and leadership training to help young men of color from economically-distressed communities complete their high school educations and better prepare them to excel in colleges and universities. TFI is part of the firm’s broader ongoing efforts to provide adults and young people with the education, skills and resources that contribute to greater economic mobility. To date, more than 200 JPMorgan Chase employees have worked with TFI Fellows as Mentors, coaches, role models, speakers, or volunteers in various capacities. Since its launch in 2010, the program has been expanded and will recruit new classes of Fellows in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.”
Mondo headed up to Chicago this morning to learn more and share knowledge with the director of TFI for that area. Mondo is tasked with developing the program in Dallas and currently has 40 boys in the program.
As a long time friend of Mondo, I can tell you he is incredibly passionate about his work. He is definitely being called by God to do this. I hope you will take some time to read about the organization. I have attached a link.
As I begin migrating my Facebook blog content to this new site, today marks the 1 year anniversary of my inaugural blog. Reposting here…
February 23, 2018
This is my inaugural blog post for StreetLights. This page was created to share stories from the road and amazing passengers I meet in my travels as an Uber/Lyft driver. I will also be blogging about depression and recovery, love and kindness, and as always, music! I hope to shine a light for anyone going through depression or dealing with a tough time in life. Street lights guide us and help us see hazards along our journey. We all need light and we all have the ability to create light for others.
With that said, I have chosen as my first official blog to tell you about a very good and kind man I met yesterday, and am now honored to call my new friend. His name is Marshall Foster. He is a professional photographer. Marshall arrived at Terminal D, DFW Airport yesterday and had requested a ride to North Dallas. He was returning from a photo shoot in Uganda, where he was contracted by a humanitarian organization to photo document some of the work being done. I have included with this post a few of Marshall’s photos, with his permission. Below you will also find contact information for his website and Instagram. I encourage you to explore his work. You will clearly see his talent and his connection to every person he photographs!
Marshall believes God has called him to be a photographer, and after I had a chance to check out some of his photographs, I understand why. He is an amazing photographer. Marshall believes his work is helping make a positive difference in humanitarian efforts in places like Uganda, South Africa, Zambia and several other countries struggling with famine or dealing with natural disasters or some type of health crisis. He is a humble and kind man doing extraordinary work.
the length of the trip gave us time to discuss a great many things including God, love, kindness, and even depression. during the conversation, he mentioned something he and his girlfriend Leila do every night before going to sleep. They each tell the other three things they are grateful for. Occasionally they include one “annoy” as Marshall called it. Hey, everyone has a frustrating day from time to time. I think that is a great habit to focus on gratitude as well as form a positive, real perspective on life before falling asleep. He stated it was a great way for both of them to spend a little time every day, even if it is on the phone and they are on different continents, to have a positive and meaningful conversation. What a great practice!
I explained to Marshall, I too have felt God’s call. The Lord has given me two clear directives. The first is to support, love and be present for my family. The second is to share my experiences and struggles, to shine a light on depression, and also focus on kindness. This includes sharing stories about people just like Marshall who wake up every day challenging themselves to be kind, be helpful, and to change the world!
I hope you will like the page. I encourage everyone to join a group I created in the page called The Kindness Club. I am inviting everyone join and become ACTIVE members by finding ways to share kindness, both as an individual and as a group. The Kindness Club will be a place where we can all participate in the discussion. Everyone can share their stories of kindness and we can unite in a common goal of creating joy for others. Can you imagine meeting up somewhere as a group with a plan to bring kindness and joy to many people. We could make someone’s day. Or, we could make several people’s days. Join now and share your ideas on how we can collectively share kindness