Stop Running and Get Back To Leading!
By Mike Ramey
In the past two months, I have heard from two dear brothers–friends of mine–who have finally stopped running away from what God has called them to do, and have started doing it!
The fact that more and more Black men are getting the training, lacing up the gloves, and stepping into the ring of leadership is not regarded as one of the ‘big’ social issues of our day. You will not find this matter being reported in our newspapers, nor by the mainstream press (MSM). However, you CAN find it being discussed in cyberspace.
Bottom line? In spite of the bad economic times, flaky people and social pressures, it may be time for you to change your direction and get back into the ring.
Do what you KNOW you’ve been called to do and get back to leading!
NO APPS FOR FAILURE; NO PROTESTS FOR SUCCESS:
Speaking of social media; on many of the smart phones that I’ve come across, I’ve never discovered an ‘app’ for failure. Seems that button has been wiped away. Of course, I’ve yet to find apps marked ‘common sense’, ‘class’, and/or ‘courage’–which makes me a bit of a ‘negative Neal’.
Nevertheless, many who are successes now, WERE failures way back when! Sure, they may have ‘retreated’ for a season, licked their wounds and patched up their cuts and bruises. Eventually, a real man has to take a real look at himself in the mirror and take a stand to better himself–regardless of the ‘way’ that society may seem to be marching (or, protesting) at the moment.
If you’ve been a regular reader of my columns, you know that I’ve spent time in various classrooms working with students. Any teacher or college professor–if you care to ask them–will be happy to tell you of the mountains of energy and linguistic skill some students put into making excuses for not coming to class on time, not coming to class prepared or not turning in their assignments on time. But, these SAME students manage to deceive themselves that they will get into good schools or good careers without hard w.o.r.k. and preparation. They have become expert running away from what they COULD become, and are ‘settling’ for the here and now. Some of them–sadly–have been ‘spurred on’ by their parent(s) who ‘settled’ for less, a long time ago.
Funny thing about running away from your potential. Once you ‘age’ into adulthood, you find out that society–no matter how much it try to make boys into girls–still operates much in the way the late General George S. Patton, Jr. stated: “Americans love a winner, and will NOT tolerate a loser!”
A POSITIVE EXAMPLE IN A NEGATIVE TIME:
The 761st Tank Battalion should be a household name, much like the Tuskegee Airmen. Not only do they hold a score of battlefield records, but they helped to liberate more than a few concentration camps AND have photographic proof of their deeds. At a time when a U.S. military structure did not believe that a Black man was capable of little more than holding a shovel or a baker’s pan, THIS group of brothers proved to be so expert at handling tanks that Patton PERSONALLY sent for them to come to Europe and fight for the cause of freedom during W.W.II.
What was the 761st ’s secret to success? Maintaining excellence! While other tank groups were shipped overseas, the 761st was kept in training because of their race. However, they took that negative and turned it into a positive by honing their skills and become EXPERTS at tank warfare. When white American tank forces were being depleted and pummeled by the Germans, Patton himself remembered the 761st. It wasn’t all that difficult for him to issue the call-up order for these ‘Black Panthers’ (the 761st Unit ID) and move them from the training field–to the battlefield. (You can learn more about the 761st in the documentary movie “761st”, and book and movie called “Liberators”.)
Here’s the lesson. It’s easy to maintain excellence when you are riding high, everyone wants to hear what you have to say, and your skills are sharp. However, when the clouds form, the rain falls, and the phone stops ringing, are you willing to stay on the battlefield? Are you willing to train in and–if need be–expand your knowledge base with minimal support and encouragement while being forced to march in place?
FEAR NOTHING FROM THE SHADOWS OF YOUR PAST:
One of the ‘modern tricks’ that teens like to use on the authority figures is to get the adults to talk about their pasts. Not for wisdom, but in order to ‘get’ something on them. Thus, when a teen engages in wrong behavior, they can whip out ‘the past card’ from their deck of excuses and say: “Well…you USED to act like this!” This ‘tactic’ does little for the growth of a teen because the adult they feel they have ‘played’ is not going to be forthcoming with needed future information. In short, the teen has ‘won’ the battle against authority, but ‘lost’ the war because they have lost the trust of a potential future resource.
We’ve all sinned. We’ve walked into forbidden minefields and have suffered a host of scars and wounds. Even when we have grown past our sins, and they have been LONG forgiven by Jesus Christ, there are still some Pharisees (male and female) who are quick to ‘tweet’ items from your past to a broad audience.
In the words of the late Senator Sam Irvin: “I refuse to yield to intellectual terrorism!”
We all have a past. We all have enemies. We all have people who won’t forgive nor forget our wrongs. However, they can’t stop nor hold hostage the man who is destined to LEAD, once HE runs AT them, instead of FROM them!
If you’ve been letting ‘haters’ ‘manipulators’ or out-and-out ‘intellectual terrorists’ block you from a project, a job change or getting married because of things from your past; DO NOT YIELD to them! BE the leader that you have been created to be and let the ‘haters’ stew in their own ‘hater-aide’. You’ve been stalling long enough, brother! Isn’t it time to get your train moving and get to work on that item you’ve been called to accomplish? Your efforts are needed more than ever in our crazy, modern world. All you have to do is to make the firm decision to STOP running away, develop a backbone, face life and “Come Out Fighting!”
RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites and gracious blogs around the world. To correspond, email email@example.com. © 2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.