The Cosmopolitan Review
Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 8/23/2012, 2:49 p.m.
I had the wonderful opportunity to be in the midst of a wonderful group of women.
The ages ranged from 22 to 92. The 92-year-old, needless to say, was full of wisdom. She spoke of how her career didn't begin until she was 55 years old, and since then she has retired five times from five different jobs.
A 24-year-old told of how she was so worried because after having gone to school for so many years, she wanted to take a year off before going to law school but was afraid people would say that "she wasn't serious" about her career if she took a year off. Of course, the rest of the women who were listening were all over that one.
I admit I was the first to tell her, girl, you can't worry about what other people say or think, you must do what's in your heart, what's most important to you. Others reminded her that most professions actually prefer that you have a little real-life experience whether it is for school, work or play. This is especially so when it comes to law school, as the law is applied to real-life experiences--believe it or not, it's not all textbook.
There was another young lady who traveled back to Kenya to find her long-lost father and actually found him, while another was about to embark on a trip to Trinidad, to find her roots. Bottom line, it was a good time to share, hear, support and encourage.
As always these days, the conversation eventually turned to what we are going to do about our youth, who act out their state of hopelessness by shooting one another. All of my weekly followers--and I know there are a lot of you out there--know this topic is high on my list of priorities. One of the elders in the group stated that in her opinion, the reason why the young men (and women) behave so violently is because they are broken. Broken in spirit, broken in dreams, just plain broken and in despair. Of course, they would never admit this because maybe they can't articulate it in this fashion. But, if you believe that man is inherently good, then maybe this is a plausible explanation. Having said that, we still need to resolve what we going to do about it; and this is a serious question.
There was another mother there, who, with tears streaming from her eyes, told of how her son was expelled from a private boarding school. She wondered where she had failed. Hey, let's be clear, being the "only one," is not easy. This is especially so when you are in an environment that doesn't support your values, your culture and some of the people are downright mean-spirited.
I gave her son credit for finally standing up and refusing to take it anymore. Yeah, he has to repeat his junior year. Yeah, mom spent a lot of money and yeah, it doesn't particularly look good on his record. The flip side is, he freed himself from a humiliating situation designed to break his spirit, douse his dreams and make him feel less than a man. Having taken a stand, both mom and son are now free to pursue a nurturing environment without compromising who they are at the core. A year from now, I'm sure they will see--as my mom always says--"Even when things seem their worst, it's usually for the best."