They will love you, they will support you, they will irritate you, and frustrate you – they are your Family. Close at home or far abroad, no matter where you are, you will know that you are part of a family.
As human beings we are fascinated by the accomplishments of the celebrities that we see splashed across the news. I don’t know about your family, but my people are avid news consumers and they speak in awe of the accomplishments of those who have fought for the advancement of our people all across the world.
One such great was His Excellency Nelson Mandela, the first black President of South Africa (1994-1999), whose sacrifice led to the downfall of apartheid in South Africa. But, the untold story is the support of his wife, Winnie, who worked among the people while he sat in prison for 27 years. She ultimately served as a Member of Parliament in South Africa from 1994-2003, and from 2009 until her death. Together they sacrificed their family for the future of a nation. At her passing this week, April 2, 2018, the world remembered the contributions of the woman who stood resolutely with Mandela (Madiba) as he used his political will to force the overthrow of a heinous system.
Another power couple is President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. Known as the beloved 32nd President of the United States, he took the reigns of the country in the wake of the Great Depression. Eleanor matched his commitment to leading their people through a difficult period. As the longest serving First Lady of the United States (1933-1945), she was affectionately known as “The First Lady of the World,” serving at the United Nations from 1945-1952. She championed the rights of women, becoming the first Chair of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women.
Like the Mandelas, when Franklin lost the use of his legs due to illness, Eleanor went and gave speeches in his place. Why? It is simply because they had a family that rested upon the success of their people. How did they encourage each other? They did not entertain fear. Franklin said at his first inauguration address, “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
Eleanor matched him in word and in action by living out her truth. She reminds all of us who face the future that, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.”
Today, the world is advancing to a place where we’ve never been before. We have many battles ahead for the future of our families that have to be waged strategically, and technologically. So, it was with great pleasure that I listened to Tim Cook, Apple CEO, share in a Town Hall meeting on April 6, 2018, that Apple will lead this change.
Cook told interviewers, in the presence of a town hall gathering, that Apple was about family. He shared the position of their founder, Steve Jobs, regarding their decisions to protect the privacy of individuals and their families, while making “a little bit of money.” It seems to be more than talk, as Apple is moving to advance their stance through education. Cook said that this will involve retraining teachers and supporting students, to ensure that safeguards are built into new technology. That’s certainly a family that I could get behind. What about you?
So, as you live each day, don’t forget! Whatever success you see in the public space, remember that behind the scenes, “It’s a Family Affair.” Check out the offerings from my family affair on maturity, leadership, and change at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD
Remember, Dear Little Brother, … is around the bend. If there is a brief delay, it will be because, “It’s a Family Affair!”