”…I’m still not clear where the money goes?”—Kevin, Prospective Client
I was meeting with Kevin, another one of the dubious prospective clients Mark sent my way regarding the Bright Futures Initiative. I stopped by his office to see when I could get on his calendar to discuss his company becoming a corporate sponsor. I shared with Kevin how another corporate sponsor was supporting the work. The first thing out of his mouth is “…well, how much does it cost?“ I answered his question by reluctantly disclosing the cost of this type of sponsorship (I hate discussing money before mission.) Then, Kevin says to me “…well. I’m still not sure Where the Money is Going…” I’m glad I could answer “…to date, 40% of the revenue generated has been paid to the young people who are part of this work…” With that, I was focused on getting the fuck out of there.
I’m out the door, heading for my car, with several thoughts floating in my mind about this work. Shit like:
"...the miracle is you; the magic is in what you will to do...."
"...Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself..." --William Faulkner
"...don't give your power away anymore, fearing yourself, fearing being you..."
"...the past, the tales of my wreckage, can be the scars of a warrior. But only when I stop being played by this fucking game called life..."
"...Until the Lion learns to write, we always glorify our hunters ..."
Sitting in the front seat of my car later that day, it came to me that these young people can learn all the creative and cutting-edge stuff about using technology, media and entertainment to do all kind of cool shit and make a lot of money but if they ain’t committed to giving back and making a difference in their communities, we ain’t doing shit. I came to the realization they can receive the absolute best in expert, innovative and captivating subject matter content, local learning and training, but if they don’t have the will to use that creative technology applications shit to transform the lives of other young people who ain’t making it out like them, we ain’t done a damn thing. I like to think--no, I like to believe If these young people can see it, they can and will become it. I like to believe they will become difference makers in the communities that empowered them and they will be able to give back to their churches and communities. I like to believe they will be motivated and equipped to create Bright Futures in their communities. But if it don’t happen, it don’t matter where the money is going, we ain’t doing shit but blowing smoke, or in the words of Shakespeare, we’re “…full of sound and fury signifying nothing…”
Where is the Money Going? The money is going to make sure these young people don’t grow up dependent on Democrats or Republicans. It’s going to free them to focus not on today or tomorrow but on where they imagine they, their families and their communities will be 30, 50, 75 even 100 years from now. It goes to instill in them the belief that "...the miracle is you; the magic is in what you will to do...."
As I write these words, I’m thinking about the conversation I was having with one of my former high school football teammates. We were at the induction ceremony for our high school football team into the Sports Hall of Fame. Our former Coach said during his words at the ceremony, "...We knew this team would be good but we also believed you all had the potential to be great…” Damn we said to one another, “…they never told us that…” We went undefeated, we were ranked third in the State of Michigan that year and went to the first ever Michigan High School State Playoffs. We did all that believing we were good. What if we had known they believed we could be great? What might we have been able to accomplish? What if these young people not only believe they are good but also believe and even know they could be great? What kind of difference will they make in this world if they know this? As I write these words, I’m thinking about Matthew 19:26 that states “…Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Where is the Money Going? The money is going to make sure a hundred years from now these young people and the communities they come from ain’t in the same shitty damn place they’re fucking in now. That’s where the fucking money goes, asshole.
Read more about the Hunter story In These Rooms.
The Struggle Continues...
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