Wednesday, June 30, 2010
What made you start a Foundation for youth? Understanding, believing and living my purpose
I often get asked the question, “What made you start a foundation for youth?” Although the question may seem simple on its face the answer is indeed complex and to do so, it is necessary for me to open up about events in my life that are not common knowledge and have only been shared with the closet of friends.
There was a time when I was a child where I casted a shadow but in my life there was little light. Due to difficulties at home I was sent to live with my father’s mother. My father’s name is Kenny Jackson and I knew who he was, but that was the extent of our relationship. The lack of relationship with my father created a meager relationship with his side of the family and due to this inadequate relationship the transition to living with my Grandma Jackson was a strained and scary one, to say the least.
I wasn’t the only person living with my Grandma Jackson; there was also her oldest daughter and 2nd oldest child, my Aunt Pam, along with Aunt Pam’s son and my cousin Vernon. Aunt Pam and I bonded immediately as if our connection had been ordained and determined before I took my 1st breath in this world. Her energy and love was undeniable and genuine,it showed through whether she was smiling at something silly I did or said (I always loved to be the clown) or she was frowning from frustration due to my disappointing actions at home and at school. Never did I question her sincerity, because never was her sincerity questionable.
One day I came home and went up to my Aunt Pam and handed her a piece of paper that had some writing on it saying,
“Aunt Pam what do you think of this?”
After reading what I had written she asked,
“Mir (That’s what she and her son called me) where did this come from?”
“I wrote it.”
My Aunt then said,
“Yes Mir I know that, but where did this come from?”
The piece of writing that I gave to my Aunt Pam reflected my emotional and mental state at the time. I didn’t know it then, but this was my expressive attempt to get someone to see me. I had been acting out in school and at home shouting, “SEE ME!” finally someone did.
My Aunt rather than continuing to try and get me to admit what was obvious as much as it was obvious I did not want to just said, “Mir this is really good you should write more and when you do let me see them, I would really like that.” This positive statement of reinforcing encouragement along with her slight smile was enough for me to do just that. Anytime I wrote I would give it to my Aunt Pam first, sometimes before it was finished because I knew that smile was waiting for me and I was just too impatient and too overwhelmed with warmth inside to wait for the completion of the current piece.
The troubles I had in life are not unique in any way or measure to me. There are so many youth in or community, society and the world over screaming “SEE ME!” I believe that I went through that phase of my life because I was being prepared for my purpose. This purpose wouldn’t be revealed to me until I was ready to receive it, which was much later in life. Even when I first began the Nurture the Creative Mind Foundation I truly and honestly had no plans of building a foundation, I Just saw the foot prints before me in the sand and I humbly accepted each one by placing my feet in one at a time.
Knowledge has a cycle and the cycle of knowledge is only complete when you share and apply it. I started the Nurture the Creative Mind Foundation because it is the purpose I was prepared for and it would be a sinful injustice for me not to live out that purpose. A dear friend told me that Gandhi said, “Be a positive role model, be the change you want to see in the world.” What I want to see is a society that embraces more than it shuns, one that actively encourages rather than passively, I want to see a society that is forward thinking and acknowledes the world’s greatest asset, our children, understanding that a positive investment in our youth today greatly lessons the need for negative investment later in life.
- This post is dedicated to my Aunt Pam. Thank you for seeing me.
- The above picture is of the very first Nurture the Creative Mind Class, NCM class of 2007