Shame & Race in the Workplace & Beyond: When the Elephant Is Destroying the Room

Like any other weekday, I went through my morning ritual of prayer and meditation, and then sat down with a cup of tea to check the morning headlines before starting my workday.  The last few weeks had been quite heavy and intense with the numerous protests against racism and police brutality after the most recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.  As a black male, I saw myself in George and Ahmaud, and Breonna could have easily been a member of my family.  With these events stacked on top of the COVID-19 virus wreaking economic havoc and social discord, along with provocative presidential tweets and the political rollercoaster of having national emergencies during an election year, I thought I was mentally prepared to see pretty much anything come through the news feed.

CZD Feature Student of the Month: Dredon Lackey

In life, God blesses each of us with wonderful gifts… things we do exceptionally well with less effort than most.  Since we are not born with an instruction manual that tells us what those are, we can spend a significant stretch of our journeys searching for what we do best.  In fact, many of us don’t discover our gifts until the mid to late portion of our lives, and those who do know their gifts often don’t develop or pursue them.  As a result, many people go to their graves without ever knowing what they were capable of doing.  However, there are a select few individuals who have a finger on the pulse of what they are meant to do well before the rest of us.  By the age of nine, Dredon Lackey had already...

I See You

I see you. How many pictures did you take before you found one you would post? “My hair’s too messy.” “My smile looks weird.” “I look fat from that angle.” “I should try another pose.” Don’t you ever get tired? Tired of putting yourself under a microscope? Tired of trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations? Tired of letting other people’s social media pages...

Enough 1 (& Done)

I’m done. Done being pushed around by life. Done feeling like a spectator to my own story. Done trying to meet everyone else’s expectations. Done living based on what other people think. Done giving the best of myself to people who don’t appreciate me. Done sacrificing for those who always put themselves first. Done allowing others to dictate my schedule. Done making ZERO time for ME.

Enough 1 (& Done)

I’m done. Done being pushed around by life. Done feeling like a spectator to my own story. Done trying to meet everyone else’s expectations. Done living based on what other people think. Done giving the best of myself to people who don’t appreciate me. Done sacrificing for those who always put themselves first. Done allowing others to dictate my schedule. Done making ZERO time for ME.

Coulda Woulda Shoulda

Much of my life has been spent playing it safe.  However, right before I met my wife, I made a decision to step outside my comfort zone and live my life free of regrets.  Things that I normally would not have done in a million years, I did.  Had it not been for that change, my wife and I would not be together today. In order to get myself in a state where I actually had the desire to step outside my norm, I imagined what it would be like to reach the end of my days and reflect back on my life if I kept playing it safe.  This exercise gave me the perspective and motivation to make a change. Regrets are typically the result of living life based on fears and the expectations of others as opposed to the results we truly want.  Fortunately, even though we cannot change the past, we have the chance to change the present and future based on what we have learned.  However, we must remember that eventually our time here will be up, so we shouldn't take tomorrow for granted. I wrote the poem Coulda Woulda Shoulda to express what it would be like to live a life of fear and eventually run out of time.