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BellaOnline's African American Culture Editor


Looking Ahead

For many, looking ahead does not paint such a pretty picture. With the many problems that we face, one may find it hard-pressed to look ahead with much hope. Yet, that is exactly what we must do: Look ahead.

As we celebrate Black History month, there is much that we can look back on. However, if we only look back, then we may risk not accomplishing something for ourselves and the next generation. We must, as those who have gone before us, look ahead with hope, vision, and determination. That no matter what “today” looks like, we cannot allow it to dictate our hope for better tomorrows.

It is key to remember our past; to know our past; to celebrate our past: good and bad. Why? So that we will never forget what it took, and what it takes to get where we are at, and where we are going. Our past is rich in history and diversity. Our ancestors have left rich legacies. But we cannot rest on their accomplishments or dreams. We have to have our own. We need vision. Without a vision, the people perish.

I applaud all those who have come before us and paved a path. The trailblazers that have lit a path that continues to shine. But my heart aches for those who have not had the opportunity to walk this blazing path. Many that are crippled by their surroundings, their communities, their lack, and sometimes their families.

Perhaps we have rested too long on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. Maybe we have relied upon their achievements to get us by, and have never contributed to the pot of growth and development. People change, ideas change, the world changed. We have more advantages now than those who came before us, but we are allowing them to slip through our fingers, and die with a generation.

We cannot rest on the shoulders of those who have gone before us; we must stand upon them. Because when we rest, we may have a tendency to get lethargic and lazy. However, when we stand upon their shoulders, then we can reach and lift the next person up.

As we celebrate our history, we celebrate the lives and dedication of those that worked so hard that we may enjoy the liberties that we have. We must also, however, realize our responsibility to ourselves, families, children, and communities to continue fighting, and breaking barriers, and changing lives. It is imperative that we do not linger too long in the past, wishing for what was, and for who used to be and the accomplishments already achieve. We have to begin looking forward, setting new goals, and achieving high marks that will have long lasting, positive affects on the next generation.

We have not arrived, as long as there are children dying from hunger. We have not arrived, as long as we have communities filled with children who'd rather be in a gang than obtain a diploma. We have not arrived, as long as we have children taken the lives of children. We have not arrived, as long as there is no vision or hope.

Looking ahead, holds hope within itself. When we look ahead, we determine within ourselves to strive for a better tomorrow. Looking ahead, means that we have learned from the past, and know that the key to success of those who have gone before us, was held in their hope for a better tomorrow for their children, and children's children.

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Content copyright © 2015 by Ruthe McDonald. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Ruthe McDonald. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Ruthe McDonald for details.


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