As I reflect on my personal and professional journey, the word “significant” resonates strongly for me as we celebrate Black History Month in 2021. Black History is American History. With so much to be shared, I would like to highlight the power of reflection, celebrating the now, and recommitting our mindset with excellence for a more perfect future.
As we reflect on the progression from Carter G. Woodson’s inception of a week’s acknowledgement for people of color in 1926, to dedicating the entire month of February since 1947, we have to see the significance. I have both parents to thank as they were excellent role models of how you can contribute while sharing your gifts, talents, and passions within your communities. My mother served as the first black teacher with a contract position within the Phoenixville Area School District. My father launched and taught classes in the Districts’ first Community Television Station for students to pursue careers in mass communications. The more we understand the breakthroughs of the past, we can then realign our targets, goals and ambitions for tomorrow. In the previous generation, my grandmother, who just celebrated her 89th birthday, was responsible for leading the civil rights movement in Phoenixville where many men of color were being employed for the first time at the US Post Office and Local Police Departments, while successfully integrating black families into the social circles at our YMCA. This is where my love of basketball grew, with friendships and teammates that continue today.
As we remember the legacy of the late great Kobe Bryant, who was a teammate of mine during High School Summer leagues in Philadelphia, PA, the significance of his impact on the world was extraordinary. From a teammate to spectator, I learned so much from him not just about the game of basketball but how to be a resilient human being. Kobe’s legacy for family and relationship with his girls has etched yet another high mark on what is possible. I pause and celebrate these significant moments in my life that we all share together. My uncle Butch who served in the United States Air Force and passed away last month demonstrated that we have one history. As a leader in our family and faithful servant to our Country, we celebrate Uncle Butch and his contributions, knowing that he was and we as are Americans, people of color, and citizens of our planet are on the right trajectory to excellence.
Finally, we can choose to love and to recommit ourselves to build and strengthen ourselves from the heart. It is not just about an intellectual awareness, it’s about a deeper recommitment to elevating the human experience. Having the self-awareness to stop and think from the heart will be the gateway to success. This love will be the most significant contribution for my children to witness as I set the stage for them to carry the legacy forward. You could have all the knowledge and understand great mysteries, but without love we are nothing. This is the day to recommit to a more perfect future.
Author – Thomas Ramsey
Relationship Lead & Facilitator
InteraWorks is a global learning company on a mission to elevate the human experience at work. Specializing in professional development and performance enablement, we offer top-rated learning programs based on four defined conditions that must exist for individuals, teams including Effective Edge, Best Year Yet, and the Essentials series. Our integrated learning framework and online tools generate immediate and sustainable breakthroughs in performance. Through decades of working at all levels in enterprise companies across many industries, we’ve built a reputation for helping people and organizations harness their focus, mindset, talent and energy to produce results that matter most.
We’ve defined four conditions that must exist for an individual, team or organization to be effective within the arena of performance and development; Accountability, Focus, Alignment, and Integrity. We’ll continue to explore these and more in our blog and look forward to your engagement and interaction with us. Stay tuned as we engage the edges.