Where is YOUR Absurd?
It is often said to Achieve the impossible, one must go beyond what is thought to be possible and in recent days, never has it been more evident than in the appointment of Sylvia Simms, a phenomenal Parent Advocate and Founder of ” Parent Power” to a place of honor.. What is so special about her you ask? She is a mom and grandma in North Philadelphia. A Bus Aide. Has a high School diploma. And Oh yes, she DARED to believe change could happen for the parents in the Philadelphia School District. So armed with nothing more than that belief coupled with passion and determination, she raised her voice, got other parents behind her and began attending every and anything in the City that affected the children and their families. That drive and dogged determination, got the attention of people in places that could make a difference and they called Sylvia to the table. She stayed there through a series of conversations along with asking for guidance where needed. Sylvia Simms may never say this but I certainly can. It was not easy. She suffered at the hands of those who thought she should not be doing any of this work, who tried to belittle her because as she puts it, ” She speaks the language of her people with no apologies and had no degrees” and were just downright awful because they could be. What they all failed to see in their nearsightedness, is that true power comes from within and she has the degree called life living right there among the people she loves so dearly.
Not to be deterred , this brave woman pressed on in faith and on January 28th 2013, she was Appointed to the School Reform Commission by the Mayor of Philadelphia, the Honorable Michael Nutter. Sylvia is an awesome example of what is possible when you not only dare to dream but believe that change was inevitable, inspite of what she was told countless times. So, today as I congratulate my sister, she is also the backdrop for what I am about to say next.
Far too often, I hear these words from people; ” It has always been this way and things will never change.” At what point, will we begin to understand that those are the words of someone who is defeated before they even began? Why is it that so many of us, see and knows what needs to be done but are so unwilling to do the absurd for the benefit of more than themselves? Why can’t we understand that in order to truly be successful about anything, money or the lack thereof cannot be the first thing that passes your lips? Why are we not willing to take the risk of suffering and being in need to get to the next step? What you have essentially done is put out into the universe subconsciously that you want to help others only to a point as you must be compensated. Why is it so hard for others to comprehend that if you begin your passion and stick with it no matter what, you will then reap awesome rewards, monetary and otherwise as a direct result?
Look at Oprah who started out just wanting to change lives… the Universe opened the door for great opportunities that allowed her to land right where she is today. It didn’t just magically appear either. She put the intention out and then worked hard inspite of what things looked like.. I have become so annoyed and refuse to give any energy to those who want things to be perfectly in place before they begin to truly step out on faith. It is not ever ok to allow anyone to take all the risks then jump onboard when you see that a change is getting ready to happen. It bespeaks of a lack of courage and faith among other things. If Sylvia waited for someone to compensate her so she could work on behalf of these families, she would still be unknown and just another face.
So I ask you, where is your “absurd?” What drives you to do what is needed despite not having money or the limelight? what would make you lose sleep, time with your family and face certain failure time and again to see the fruits of your labor? If your answer is nothing, that’s cool too. Just do the rest of us a favor and step aside while the true work gets done.