Transitional Education and Consulting Services
Poetic expression has long been a part of the national consciousness. There is as much diversity in poetic style and quality as there is in the voices that share their particular glimpse of life. Listening to understand, rather than critique, those diverse voices might provide us with greater insight on our human condition. We are all connected -- beyond race, beyond gender, beyond physical characteristics or ability, we are connected! When we strive for success we will stand on the mountain that others have built or we will languish in the hole that others have dug. We are connected! As a community we cannot afford a prison industry populated with African-American and Hispanic males who will become the poster children and justification for profiling, redlining, steering and exclusion. We are connected! The young men and young women who have strayed; the men, women and children who are trapped in the glass cage of poverty, able to see out but not get out; they are still our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and neighbors.
We should make every effort to help those men, those women, and those children who want to be successful. It is not welfare, it is spiritual warfare and we cannot afford to lose. The village concept is real. While it takes a village to raise a child, it takes strong families to make a village, it takes strong adults to make strong families, and it takes well-raised children to make strong adults. We are all part of this cycle and real men and real women will not wait to be asked or begged to do what needs to be done. Personal success achieved without love and compassion is moral failure. Our challenge is to make new friends and break old stereotypes; to blend our separate stories into a single narrative that is centered on love, mutual respect, support, and accomplishment. We can achieve success when we become men and women of concern, conviction, courage, and commitment.
Foreword: There are those who have touched my life in emotionally intimate ways and I am grateful for their enduring friendship. This work is a collection of reflections and feelings some in my voice and some in the voice of people who have influenced my life. There are voices of hope, despair, love, rejection, loss, anger, confusion, cynicism, optimism and joy. Perhaps you have met some of these voices or maybe you will find your own among this collection. I am grateful for the opportunity to share them with you. In reading them, I hope that you are able to find comfort, encouragement, cathartic release or an opportunity to focus on your own reflections.