You Are Not Invisible
When Larry, an advertising executive for a major marketing firm, stepped up to the curb to hail a cab in his three-piece suit with his Brooks Brothers briefcase in hand, three taxis passed him by. The fourth one rolled the window halfway down and demanded to know where he was going before opening the door. Then, told him to pay in advance with a 20% tip knowing full well that this practice was discriminatory and way out of line.
Larry was running late. Did not have time to argue. He had 15 minutes before the investors meeting. So, begrudgingly he obliged.
When Larry got on the elevator, the blonde on his left nervously clutched her purse, while the elderly gentleman on his right kept his eyes glued on Larry's hands the entire elevator ride. All Larry was trying to do was get to work like everybody else, but it seemed like he had to navigate through a maze of psychological bullsh*t just to get there.
Larry was scheduled to make a power point presentation. He did not have the time or the wherewithal to respond to every intellectual insult or racial slight. Instead, he contained his anger and put on his happy face so he could make it through the day with dignity.
But every now and then, he wondered what it would be like to be treated like a man, independent of his race. Not a stereotype. Not an archetype to be profiled, pondered and studied. But simply a man... a man with his own ideas, feelings and aspirations.
There is a collective experience among men of African ancestry that the larger society is either unaware of or unwilling to acknowledge. When you are made to feel paranoid or overly sensitive for speaking your truth and giving voice to your personal pain, it is only a matter of time before you start to feel invisible – like your ideas don't matter, like your thoughts are not worthy of merit, like your talents and contributions are not worthy of recognition and respect.
But here's what you must remember: Before you were indoctrinated into a system that placed limits on who you could become and what you could achieve, you beloved, believed in your greatness. You believed you could fly, change the world and shape your destiny for generations to come. The thing you must always remember is by virtue of your DNA you were genetically coded for survival, which also means you were spiritually created for greatness. You were born with an inborn knowledge of everything you need to succeed. You've listened to what you cannot do long enough. Now it's time to take stock of what you can do. The truth is you can do anything you set your mind to, because success is in your blood. You can surpass any stereotype, rise above any circumstance and soar beyond the limits that people have place on you or that you have placed on yourself. Your ancestors are proof that you have what it takes to not only make it but to live with a sense of personal power and pride.
No matter what other people think about you, no matter what has been said or researched, no matter what you have been taught to believe, no matter how many hurdles you have to climb: You are not invisible.
Today, stand in the knowledge that you are powerful beyond measure, your presence is needed and necessary, your ideas are important. Know that you are worthy, capable and deserving. And most of all, if you remember nothing else, know that you are unequivocally, without a doubt 100% man.
About Cassandra Mack
Cassandra Mack, MSW is the founder of Strategies for Empowered Living Inc. and author of, "The Black Man’s Little Book of Encouragement: Strategies to Manifest Your Greatness and Keep Your Head Up When Life Beats you Down." For more information go to: www.blackmansbookofencouragement.com
Remember – You hold the pen that writes the chapters of your life, Cassandra Mack