I did not choose my race. No one did. I was born into a world with preconceived notions about my race and others. We all were. I entered a world with plenty of recorded and unrecorded history. We all did. I cannot account for any of the history that predates me. No one can. And so, I cannot be given credit for nor can I be condemned for the circumstances that I was born into. And the same can be said for everyone. I was not born a slave; even if my ancestors were up to a certain point in time. And so, I cannot say in earnest that I know what it means to be a slave. I was not born during the Jim Crow era. Despite the fact that my parents were; I cannot say in earnest that I know what it means to be economically, socially and politically disenfranchised and unequally protected by the law. The world that I have been born into is not perfect. And the society that I was born into is not completely fair; but, it is far more fair than it was at its beginning.
Now that I am here, I am accountable for my choices and for my actions; as we all are. So, it really doesn’t matter that I didn’t have a choice about my looks, my race, nor the surroundings that I was born into; because I have limitless choices when it comes to how I process the good and the bad, the struggles and the challenges and the goodwill and ill-will. I can choose to be a part of the problem or I can choose to be part of the solution. Being part of the solution means being that which I desire to see in the world. I cannot entertain spite, resentment and hostility when dealing with bad, the challenging and those of ill-will. Reciprocating these things will only perpetuate the problems we all face. I choose to work to develop myself, to encourage others, to seek justice for the wrongs that currently exist. With respect to the past, I prefer to learn from it not live in it. With respect to the future, I prefer to treat it like it truly matters. And this means putting my present time to its best use. There are specific ways that I am doing this. For example, I strive daily to be the best father I can to my 11 year old son. This effort requires being a role model, a proponent of self-development and a humble student of life. I am Black. But I pride myself in being a part of the solution which means producing value that benefits me and the world around me.