I have learned that people come into your life for a reason. While many of these people you will not see day to day, they leave you with lasting lessons. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up over twenty years ago; well I was going to be a dentist.
I realize that dream was there to keep me centered and focused. The first real professional I saw was a dentist that came to my school and spoke to us when I was in elementary school. I don’t remember much of what he said, but he didn’t look like me. He didn’t look like many of my classmates. He was different and at this time, those kids that sat with me in the auditorium probably couldn’t see themselves with his white coat and having the knowledge to talk about our teeth.
As I have grown and walked through my jungle, I’ve come across so many that have inspired me without even knowing. It might be because of the way they carry themselves, the knowledge and confidence that they have or a combination of things.
One of my first “big girl jobs” was as a mental health technician. I honestly cannot remember a whole lot about that job except being around kids that desires love, and so many things that we take for granted daily. I recall a story of a young boy being molested by his male family members. I recall a story about a young girl having a baby by her dad. I recall stories of teachers having improper relationships with their students and when I worked at this particular job, I met a young man who helped me to understand… he taught me how to give without giving too much of myself. He taught me how to listen.
I was impressed by watching him as my supervisor handle such hard and harsh caseloads. He did it with ease and he not just gave love to the kids we served, but he taught them laughter and he taught them how to smile… for many it was possibly the first time that has smiled in a long time… and laughter is extremely contagious….
Growing up, I didn’t have many Black make figures in the school house and many of the kids we served together probably had that same issue and this is why he has stood out to me. I watch his Facebook page (I’m not a stalker…🤦🏾♀️) and I see his positive messages.
This is another person everyone needs in their space even if it is for a short period. I have no pictures of us together but I remember the last time I saw him chatting in the parking lot of I believe it was Food Lion/ nail shop and he and I were able to exchange pleasantries.
Thank you Marlon for teaching me to smile and laugh through those tough moments and giving those kids the same thing…
He answers questions that can help us all:
1. How do you describe yourself?
Dependable and loyal
2. What do you do for a living? How did get into this field?
QP in mental health field
What do you do to promote positivity amongst your race? Do you think it’s necessary? Racism doesn’t exist, right? (I’m being extremely sarcastic here).
I support my own and I encourage us to develop partnerships with each other rather than compete. Oh it exist in every area of life and institutions.
Are their challenges as a black man in this field?
Yes but we are in demand. The challenges comes with being paid what we are worth. Black men get results across all races in this field but the compensation can be weak at times. It feels like economic slavery but if you are strategic and good at what you do you can break the ceiling.
What are challenges that you have had as a black professional man?
Finding my place in this field because I’m not licensed(tried that route but that’s another story for another day) the opportunities are limited.
What are ways that you have overcome obstacles that have been in your path?
Being attentive, and innovative with interventions. Also being relational, once you win people to yourself you can give them the tools to be successful
What is your day to day mantra?
My mantra is a quote by D.E Hoste. The man who does not learn to wait upon the Lord and have his thoughts molded by Him will never possess that steady purpose and calm trust, which is essential to the exercise of wise influence upon others, in times of crisis and difficulty.
How do you manage everything that you do?
Just do it. And what I don’t get done today I start tomorrow
What or who inspires you?
Inspirational well-known speakers from politics to religion/preachers but my greatest inspiration would be LOVE. Love can fuel a passion to move pass anything if you allow it.
Any advice for young men who are facing challenges being black and trying to move up?
I tell young men this in a question form. What problem/issue do you wanna solve? Once they answer this and move towards the solution they will not only move up but bring others up with them.
Any last words for our readers?
Last words. In life it’s great to have mentors but choose your own path, because you have to live with the roads you travel. Also remember these two sayings in its entirety 1. Misery loves company but so does pleasure. 2. Perception is reality when its unchallenged. These two things require your thoughts to go beyond what you heard or what was taught. It is extended intelligence that keeps you from accepting half thoughts or half truths.
He is amazing!!!