"Seeing the world not as it is, but as it can be"
"Where there is no vision, the people perish." - Proverbs 29:18
Your Success Newsletter - Jan-Feb, 2005 - Published Bi-Monthly
|Making A Difference Near and Far
You have something to offer, no matter who you are!
The highlights of our November 2004 tour included the opportunity
to be exposed briefly to New Zealand’s Maori culture and Australia’s
Aborigine culture. Both cultures, like the American Indian, represent
a native population that has survived being “discovered” and in
many cases experienced the ravaging of their land and their people,
only to have history rewritten to imply that they were the savages.
Oh what a familiar scenario.
I’m sure some readers are already too bored, too depressed, or too
defensive to want me to continue along this line, so let me fast
forward to today. As Martin Luther King might say, or in fact he did
say, “where do we go from here.” What are the Maori people doing
today to successfully live and work in a multicultural environment?
How are the Aborigine people coping with the reality that in their own
homeland, others often consider them as the underclass?
My own conclusions are that the Maori people are more assimilated
into New Zealand society than the Aborigine are into Australian
society. Whether we consider that good or bad is less important
than those who are intimately involved and affected. In fact, I would
not have even shared my conclusions except for the fact that there is
some important common ground between the Aborigine and Maori
people. They both have strong cultural beliefs, firmly rooted values,
and not too surprisingly, have some very strong supporters in the
The Aborigine and Maori people think and act strongly (and rightly
so) in their right to live in harmony and in support of each other, and
think so much of their ancestral teachings and culture, that both
enjoy a surprising level of respect, even from those who may not
particularly understand or like them. You probably now know where
this is leading.
African Americans, like American Indians, Australian Aborigines, New
Zealand Maori, etc., etc., all have a story to tell. From the cradle to
the grave, most of the world’s people of color (and many not of color)
have suffered the indignities of suppression in one form or
another. That is the common ground. What is unique is the course
of action taken with regard to fighting those indignities. The
Aborigine and Maori people as previously mentioned, use the
strength of their ancestral past to help their current situation,
whether it be to continue in relative isolation, or taking the direction
of greater assimilation.
We are moving into January and the celebration of the life of Rev.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That period of reflection will be followed by
Black History Month. If my recent travels reinforced any of my
beliefs, it was the belief that our rewards will be in keeping with our
course of action. Many of us learned it earlier in the form of “As you
sow, so shall you reap.” No, every effort will not yield a visibly
positive result, because life is not a mathematically perfect equation.
In addition, the increased knowledge and strength often borne out of
apparent failure is not likely to be gained by any other method.
Whatever our lives lack, could be in part due to our refusal to call
upon our strong ancestral foundation and the principles of sacrifice,
self-reliance, persistence, faith; and I don’t even need to quote them
all. What is certain, is that if we keep on doing what we’ve been
doing, we will keep on getting what we’ve been getting. If that
sounds old to you, ask yourself, is it any older than the issues we
claim are holding us back?
I plan to keep on doing what I’ve been doing, because most of the
time I like the results. When Dianne and I confirmed our trip to New
Zealand and Australia, I went into action looking for an opportunity to
make an impact, to mix business with pleasure, to learn from our host
countries, and to leave a little bit of hope somewhere that we visited.
I had a vision that I could make not just a trip, but also make a
With the help of Ken Janke, President and CEO of the National
Association of Investors Corporation (NAIC) here in the United
States, my vision became a reality in Sydney, Australia on Thursday,
Nov. 18th. It was there that I was given the opportunity to address a
session of the Australian Shareholders Association (ASA). During
that session, I had the opportunity to meet Stuart Wilson, CEO of
ASA, Ken Lee, Honorary Treasurer of the Security Investors
Association of Singapore (SIAS), and others, including approximately
sixty ASA members and guests. What will be the result of my
efforts? I sincerely do not know, but I am certain that I have made a
positive impact on a number of individuals, many of whom may have
never before been in the company of an African American who was
sharing information about the benefits of organizational involvement,
investing and social responsibility.
Someone, somewhere, believes just a little differently today, because
I decided that I would “step out of the box” and make a difference.
And what about those that would belittle my experience or impact?
You don’t even want me to answer that!
If we want to recognize Dr. King, truly celebrate Black History Month,
honor our ancestors and their sacrifices, strengthen our foundation,
and take the next step toward our bright and limitless future, we need
to take immediate action.
No one can define exactly what we should do, but here are some
ideas. If you’ve “heard them before” it may be because they have
- Increase your faith
- Be happy about who you are, but ...
- Don’t settle for who you are (You have greater potential)
- Look for a mentor (You will probably learn something)
- Mentor someone (You will definitely learn something)
- Look for one more good trait in your significant other
- Every day ignore at least one negative comment directed at
- At every opportunity to spread negative gossip about
- Learn your job better than you think you need to
- Prepare for the next job (The one you have probably will not
- Develop business skills
- Stop looking for “something for nothing”
- Go to a Black History program
- If you know everything, teach a Black History program
- If you know anything, and are asked, participate in a Black
- If you are not African American, go to a Black History program,
so you will know as much about Bill Pickett (WHO?) as I know
about Billy The Kid.
It was lovely to meet you and
Dianne. I am so pleased to
hear you had a good
experience in Australia! We
will have to find a way to
get you back and especially
back to Brisbane! We need
more people active in
shareholder rights here in
Australia - keep the faith!
General Manager, Marketing
Rapid Ratings Pty Ltd
Level 3, 488 Queen Street
Brisbane, Qld 4000