As etnrepreneurs gear up for 2019, let us remember that there are two basic motivations of the entrepreneurial spirit. The first is the business side of the endeavor and its bottom line, otherwise known as ‘show me the money.’ The second motivation is self-fulfillment. Some refer to this element of entrepreneurship as ‘personal satisfaction.’ At the core of the vague term ‘personal satisfaction’ is what is best described as a spiritual sense of purpose. This spirituality is sometimes linked to one’s faith tradition, but is not necessarily so. Rather, there is a commonality in this spiritual sense that translates across the boundaries of specific religions. Most importantly, there is tremendous power where this spirituality and business overlap.
I received this email a while back. Truth is, when faced with touchy issues, even the well-spoken can find themselves tongue-tied with no idea what to say, let alone do.
“Terry, in two weeks I will visit a lifelong friend who has spreading colon cancer. Two years ago, I visited another lifelong friend who was suffering from lung cancer. It was on New Year’s Day. I searched for the right words, but they did not come. I was embarrassed when I caught myself avoiding eye contact. He had to sense my discomfort. Instinctively I knew that this would probably be last time I’d see him alive. Two months later he died. Long story short, I struggled for the right words then and I will struggle for the right words and the right behaviors in two weeks. What do I say and what do I do?”
My hunch is that I’m not the only one who can identify with this conundrum. And because I didn’t have all the answers, I shared it with my global network and asked for their advice. Here’s what they suggested:
As a country, we observe Memorial Day by honoring those who have served their country and sacrificed so much. My father was only twenty-two years old as a young soldier in World War II during the Holocaust and on the anniversary of his death a decade ago, I wrote this Memorial Day poem in his honor.
For those who put themselves in harm’s way for their families, friends and country,
For those whose lives were taken in war-torn lands far from home
And for all those who carry the wounds of war proudly and with honor,
Let us say a prayer of thanks and remembrance of courage and of valor.
We struggle to resist the temptation minute to minute this time of year. It begins with Halloween candy and proceeds to Thanksgiving dinner, exploding with holiday eating extravaganzas with the year’s tastiest foods. By the New Year, the scale shows our over-indulgence. It’s no coincidence that 12% of gym members join in January.
Maybe this year we’ll wake up to the fact that 30 million Americans suffer from the obesity-related disease of diabetes. Did you know that the ten states with the highest rates of type 2 diabetes are here in the South?
Dr. Nwoye is an educator and inclusion specialist. As president of Diversity Frontier, he focuses on unconscious bias, diversity policies and practice. He is the author of two books and more than 50 articles that share tools from his experience tackling social issues such as achievement gaps, race, and gender. Dr. Nwoye served as the Director of Multicultural Education at Illinois State University and as chief investigator on discriminatory issues.
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Here’re two men I want you to meet. They’re happy, lead productive lives and at peace with themselves, except, well, maybe they’re not.
Guy #1: Seems that he has everything going for him, a successful career, a beautiful home, expensive cars in his driveway and a family that adores him. He shows up at church every Sunday and never misses his daughter’s dance recitals.
Guy #2: He gets by comfortably on his pension and social security checks. Not into the social media “stuff,” he spends his days writing letters to the dwindling number of folks he’s known for decades. His biggest source of pride is his only son, a high-level administrator at a prestigious university and holder of two degrees from Ivy League universities.
Now if you were to ask either one of them “How ya doing?” they’ll probably respond, “Just fine.” But beyond the façade they may in fact be dealing with an affliction within…loneliness!
I just love the U.S. I have no desire to visit there, but I am thrilled by their homeland history where feudalism was eclipsed by the American struggle for independence, where from slavery there was an elevation, to a capitalist economy which paved the way to become an epitome of Justice, Liberty and Fraternity.
But, of late, the essence of feudal vices being emanated from their very core of social life is a grave concern for all who love freedom and liberty. I am worried that it may lose their pristine essence of the land of liberty, for which many aspire to embark upon.
Editor’s note: this article on anti-Semitism was originally published as an op-ed in The Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Russian President Putin got my attention when he suggested that Jews with Russian citizenship might have interfered in the 2016 US presidential election. “Maybe they’re not even Russians,” said Putin. “Maybe they’re Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, just with Russian citizenship – even that needs to be checked.” Putin reminded me why my great grandparents made the harrowing journey from Russia and the Ukraine to the United States. My ancestors weren’t the only ones. Between 1881 and 1924, over 2.5 million East European Jews sought to escape the relentless persecution and ghettoization. The slice of history was captured in the movie Fiddler on the Roof, but while Hollywood entertained, it didn’t fully show the history of anti-Semitism in Russia and Eastern Europe, or its ongoing ripple effect.
Thanksgiving isn’t just food, family, football, and Black Friday. Not that there’s anything wrong with stuffing yourselves and your loved ones and then heading for the couch and TV or the shopping mall. All are fine American traditions celebrating the abundance in our lives, topped off with delicious left overs. But they seem more removed than ever from the holiday’s intended purpose.
That purpose was demonstrated at the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service held at Pilgrim Congregational Church. We sat in the pews listening to the harmonies of a choir made up of talented congregants from faith groups across the city. The graceful music surrounded and filled us as religious leaders representing Baha’i, Catholic, Humanist, Jewish, Muslim, and Protestant communities offered prayers and poems of gratitude and compassion.
We came to America without a clue
When November rolled around and Thanksgiving, too
Stories of pilgrims sailing in hope
The Mayflower and Plymouth Rock – Who knew!