So.... I'm now 3 full weeks into my new job as a para-educator at a local middle school in Lexington, KY. It's wild, unpredictable, stressful, and I absolutely LOVE it. Too a normal human being, which I clearly am not, the set up doesn't actually equal up to the punchline. Who in their right mind would love a job that is wild, unpredictable, and stressful? Before judging too harshly let me explain first.. Following a 10 year indie career as a hip hop & spoken word artist, the last 5 years of my life has been motivated by the creed, "the children are our future". Not just through anecdotal social media statues but through real action and sacrifice. Back in 2014 I started my own local nonprofit, Believing In Forever Inc and have attempted to empower youth from that platform through education, mentoring, expressive art, and community service. We've facilitated everything from in-school mentoring programs, to mentoring for sons of single mother households, youth open mics, free tutoring, youth coat drives and more! My passion has always been seeing under served or under represented youth, succeed. That passion has now became my purpose. Which brings me back to my statement from earlier. The wildness of middle school kids cursing and screaming the n-word at the top of their lungs throughout the day, the unpredictability's of the range of emotionally and psychologically trauma these kids face at home on a daily basis, and the stress of trying to help them navigate their challenges on the way to succeeding, would all seem like hell for most people. But for me, it's an opportunity. Having the chance daily, to teach, mentor and pour into these youth is nothing short of what I prayed for. Having the opportunity to do what I love and get paid for it. Many times when we look at a problem and begin to assess the complexity of the issues at hand as well as the solution, we often don't account for ourselves and what part we play in the problem and/or the solution. We often undercut our own potential impact by viewing problems within our communities from a window's view almost, as if we are watching and then providing commentary from a distance. But what if the element missing to positively impacting certain issues consist of "us", the individual? What if the only missing piece to the puzzle is YOUR voice or YOUR action? That's how I tend to look at the world. What part am I playing in the problem and what can I do to make things better. Everyday that I punch the clock, God is giving me an opportunity to make things better and I'm grateful for the chance to do His work. If my team is down by 5 points with 2 minutes to go in the 4th quarter I'm not thinking, "How are we going to win this game?" but instead I'm thinking, "What can I do to help us win this game?". Don't become content with commentating idly on your community from the outside, and start actively activating your God's given gifts and talents to make a change on the inside. Have a blessed Monday! Carama, signing out!