What a game (times 2)! First it was the NCAA men’s semi-final game that came down to three seconds and a buzzer beater from Gonzaga. Then it was the women’s championship game which also came down to a last second shot. But that time it didn’t drop in the basket. The thrill of victory and the hill of reaching higher with your play.
What a feat! That’s because of how those ship workers got the cargo vessel unstuck. This 220,000-ton behemoth ended up blocking the Suez Canal shipping lane for days. The ship might have been named the “Ever Given” but the mindset of those workers might be described as “Ever Sure.” They applied all their skills, equipment, resources, experience and sense of the possible to save the day.
What a change! Those are words folks might want to say when it comes to civic/social issues. It’s something we have as a goal of SAIC in order to go from See America In Color to Say America I Can. In one sense, the approach isn’t a David vs Goliath thing. It’s really David and the slingshot teaming up with Goliath and the arsenal to defeat inequalities, inequities and insecurities. Wouldn’t it be nice to also get past the culture wars?
A shift to move past race, gender and equity social hangups might require an initial heavy-lift to forge #HometownStrong community partnerships in social change (see highlights at the end from SAICs Friday Night Flights and the Women in Public Service Panel). This involves change at the local level that’s less about a political agenda and more about a higher purpose of working together across organizational lines and roles for the benefit of those we serve.
There’s also the need for change at the system level where things have become problematic. Whether it’s with a new approach to issues like the filibuster, voting rights, gun rights or other reforms, there comes a time when one has to reprogram the system. Think about how that might have happened in the telephone system when we were running out of ‘800 toll-free’ numbers. Biz/tech leaders came up with an expansion of the system with the addition of 877, 866, 855, etc.
Then they had to reprogram systems in the network to increase capabilities so the new numbers would work. SAIC helps us do just that by adding ‘smarts’ to civics the way biz/tech leaders do with systems and gadgets. But it’s also about how we pull together as a Dream Team, whether to beat a tough challenge, move a big obstacle or engage with a city of 2000, 220,000 or more people. According to the author of the book “Think Outside the Building,” we have to watchout for bureaucratic hurdles, ego roadblocks and process potholes that can cause things to derail or not prevail. Plus, from SAICs deep dive in American history, the ‘Black to America’ story and Hometown Strong comebacks, we found it also takes some:
This helps with “finding your fuel.” It’s how you power-thru those moments of fear, setbacks or when others might sell-you-out. Dr King understood this well because before he gave his famous March on Washington speech, he was already doing his part of ‘interpreting the dreams’ of Americans. That’s what his powerful refrain at the end of the speech was about. He had delivered bits and pieces in previous speeches. But it was Mahalia Jackson, who sang just before King spoke and later said to him “tell them about the Dream, Martin.” It’s the ‘I Have a Dream’ part of his speech that folks remember most.
Before Barack Obama became U.S. President he was an emerging author with the book “Dreams of My Father.” It’s been said that at his first book signing, only 10 people showed up. But he kept hustling his way to the top. Before Tyler Perry was the billionaire he is now, his first stage play was a disappointment where only a handful of people showed up. But he kept hustling his way to being a showbiz mogul today. Even a farmer knows that hustling is simply about sowing, watering and nurturing the seed and letting nature grant the increase. Well what SAIC has learned from Dr King and others in the game is that hustling is about sowing, watering and nurturing the concept and letting God grant the increase.
With the David and Goliath story, Goliath had a combat assignment, but David had a calling. Long before we showed up in our work, we were given a calling. Think about how parents spend months coming up with the name for their child. It’s how that child will be ‘called’ by name and recognized. Well, that’s what your true calling means. It’s a way by which you’ll be ‘called’ by significance and recognized for valued service. Your calling might also give you ‘naming rights’ where you get to name stuff before they come into existence. SAIC represents a calling and as founder/creator, it comes with ‘naming rights.’
We could list many names of those from history who expanded their capabilities and reprogrammed their skillset from assignment to calling. Some might not have realized at the time the impact they would have. Rosa Parks turned a bus seat into a movement. Harriet Tubman turned a social strategy into an underground railroad to freedom. They made an impact then to the point where we look back and say “what a change!” We can do our own impacting today to address voting rights or other areas of reform when we’re resolute in our conviction to the point of being “Ever Sure” as Parks and Tubman were.
So if you saw the NCAA basketball men’s semi-final or women’s final games you saw team play at its finest. If you read the story about the stuck ship you know that it took the coming together of the local workers to do something spectacular. Well, all this is possible when we up-tempo our diversity, equity, inclusion game and up-civics our campus, company and community. We get there by finding the fuel from dreaming, hustling, calling and impacting to the point where we feel it in our bones.
You can join the conversation and support our efforts with SAICs “Dear America 2021” Impact Statement at the Facebook ‘Hometown Chat’ Page here http://www.Facebook.com/seeamericaincolor.
Tracks: Beyoncé – I was Here – https://youtu.be/i41qWJ6QjPI
Cynthia Erivo – Stand Up – https://youtu.be/sn19xvfoXvk