Black History Month: Stepping out of the Shadows

She sits in a corner speaking to no one because she is timid. She is afraid to speak because her thoughts are jumbled, clouded; she is unsure of herself. Someone calls out to her, asking her to speak, but she refuses. She stays in the corner. She continues to be silent for the rest of the day. This silence continues for days, weeks, months, and even years. She does not even smile. It is easier for her to say nothing because she has no voice. Someone calls out to her again, begging and pleading with her, to come out of the corner. She listens to this voice, but is still hesitant to leave the corner because it is her sanctuary, her place of refuge. After some contemplation, she decides to take one step out of the corner. The voice calls out to her again, urging her to take more steps. She does not want to leave the corner, but she realizes that she must do it sometime, so she continues to take more and more steps until she finally steps completely out of the corner. Now she stands proudly, waiting. She even smiles a little bit because this is her first big step towards a new future.

Eventually, she leaves the corner altogether, and goes off to faraway lands. She becomes a new person. She becomes bold, confident, and gregarious. She is sure of herself, unlike before. She is so happy with her new self that she cannot help but to smile all the time. Her old self has peeled away and her new self has taken over. The voice calls out to her again, but it is not begging and pleading as it once did in the past. This time it applauds her for new transformation, and it urges her to continue standing like one of the tallest trees in the forest, and to rise above all expectations. So, she rises, and she rises, and she rises.

But then she stops. She stops because she has finally become the person she has always wanted to be. So, now she stands proudly, smiling, waiting to take on the next big step.

For most of my life I have been afraid of change, but I have realized that change is inevitable and that is what life is all about.

Change can be good in many ways. Someone once told me that I should “be the change that I want to see,” so I urge all of you to take this advice and strive to become the kind of person that you would like to be.

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