As I read my devotional today, I was reminded that our paths are already destined. I was also reminded that we have people that come into our lives at the right moment.
We have those people who experience all sorts of hardships, but with ease they grow. They don’t just focus on their growth, but they also make sure others are growing too. They can even see things in you.
Many of my mentors have been Black males. Maybe it is because they are like that father figure… in this case, he swears that he is my dad. He is only about five years older, but he has been that big brother, father figure all of my adult life.
This particular person is Charles. I met him my senior year in high school and fast forward almost 20 years later, he has never let me down. We have had our moments where we both have to take a step back, but without a doubt do I know he has been placed in my life for a reason.
You have those people that say one thing and mean another, but not him. He says it and he follows through. Even when I can’t always see what he means or says, he has been a constant in my life. We have been able to see the joys of falling and rising through our many situations in life.
He was the first person to truly help me get my foot into he world of teaching. I didn’t like even want to teach and he pushed me and I swore he was wrong for even thinking I was going to teach some kids… naw… I’m going to dental school… and I even went to get a post- baccalaureate in Biology (another accolade … prob can look that one up too…🤦🏾♀️) because I was going to be a dentist. He knew that was not the case.
He believed in me then and now and he always shares with me just how amazing and proud he is of me. He is one of those people that I look up to. He is an amazing father, husband, and friend and each time I am in his space I applaud him.
His upbringing was similar to mine. His aspirations and his humility, and his drive to always help in any capacity is mind-blowing. He is always doing something; whether it is going to his weekend drill, going on Boy Scout trips with his sons, going to eat dinner weekly with his daughter, trying to find ways to be a great husband, or while balancing taking care of our future.
Even when I’ve been confused and even upset with him, he has shown me the truth behind friendship. I still remember one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done when I was in college and how he effortlessly came to save me. We talk about that very often with him saying “sometimes my kids don’t listen, but I’m glad you did my child.” He thinks he is my dad and if he really was, I know he is extremely proud of me because he says it all of the time, but I’m very proud of him too.
When you grow up in certain environments, it’s always amazing to see the growth!
As minority men, they have extra weight on their shoulders and the entire world does not always see this.
This week we will take a look at minority males in all aspects!
First, we have Mr. Carter!
What does it mean to be a Black man?
It means always being a King that has to fight for his thrown. It means always having to be ten times better than our anglo saxon counterparts.
Do you feel that your experiences differ from others in the majority?
My experiences differ from others in the majority because I have to fight ten times harder to be successful And remain that way. The majority doesn’t have to be perfect and explain themselves frequently even though they know they are right in their hearts.
What inspired you to move towards your career?
I was inspired to move towards my career because education is the only thing people can’t take away. I also traveled the world in the military coming to the conclusion that children are the future of every country.
Do you think it’s necessary for us to point out that we are Black?
A black man in education is powerful beyond measure. Little black boys and girls can see us as leaders instead of the thugs and brutes the media displays us as. Children need to see themselves in all positions of honor to help them believe their dreams are possible. Educators are the gatekeepers of knowledge.
Do you see the need to encourage one group more than the next?
As a black man, I encourage all. I encourage African Americans in a different way than caucasians. African Americans are encouraged to rise above their history and stereotypes. Caucasians are encouraged to put themselves in the shoes of others and understand “White Privilege.”
What is your mantra?
My mantra can be summed up in the “Golden Rule.” Treat others how you want to be treated and mankind would be better.
This latter mantra is important and this is one of the many things that I have learned from Charles. Whether it is something big or small, you have to always be mindful of how you treat people. It’s important because you never know what child is looking up to you and/or which child has a goal and need that extra push.