Standing out places a bullseye on your chest, but the reward is recognition of your uniqueness.
So, imagine a little girl who has carried the pain of being bused to school as one of the first children of colour in her neighbourhood to desegregate white schools. What will she do as a prosecutor when she has the opportunitiy to confront a leader who had the authority to change her experience decades later? Imagine a third generation immigrant who was denied the right to speak his family’s language because it would limit his chances for success. Now imagine his campaigning for the United States presidency on the fact that his daughter is in a dual language program which celebrates their heritage and their contributions to their adopted country.
Or, imagine a single mother who struggled with raising her children while pursuing a law degree. So, when asked what she would do if she confronted strong opposition as president, she promptly responded, “I have a plan.” Now imagine, an elder statesman who believes his record speaks for itself. When asked how he compares to his opponents, he simply says, “I’ve already done it.”
In the highlights above of the Democratic Debates 2019, we saw examples of what it means to stand out. To “stand out” means to be very noticeable; to be much better than other similar things or people” (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/stand-out). And, when you stand out, people will always have something to say as demonstrated by the comments shared by current college students all across the North American continent.
But, no matter what is said about you, stand out anyway!(Mitchell, 2019).
And, there is no better game that demonstrates the possibility of impossibilities like the game of chess. In the scene depicted below, the only piece left standing on the board is the pawn which is considered the serf, the least valuable piece, at the beginning of the game. However, “If the Pawn reaches the opposite side of the chessboard, it has the unique ability to promote to another chess piece. The pawn can become a Queen, Bishop, Rook, or Knight” (https://www.chessusa.com/chess-rules.html).
The least valued has the potential to become the most valued in the end.(Mitchell, 2019).
So, never discount your difference. Never undervalue your contribution. Instead, find your message and celebrate your journey with lessons from Dear Little Brother…, Dear Little Sister… and more at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emOifCZt7dg .
On this International Reggae Day 2019 (https://www.carnifest.com/international-reggae-day-2019/; https://repeatingislands.com/2019/06/20/international-reggae-day-hails-reggae-sunsplash/), I leave you with a bit Bob Marley’s legacy and the reminder of how a little song is still impacting generations of people for good decades after his death.