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Thursday, April 14, 2011

To Change the World: Mission Accepted ( Maroon TIger)

The African-American race is one of change, one of progression, one of self reliance. In fact, the namesake of our school, Henry Morehouse, developed this institution with the idea that Black people could be more than uneducated Negroes.
Yet the cancer of complacency has taken root in our culture.
In my ethical leadership course a couple weeks ago, Dr. Preston King, a distinguished professor of political philosophy, posed a question to the class. We had previously been assigned to read “Uplifting the Race” by Kevin Gaines and the class discussion focused on interpreting the book for modern ethical leaders.
“Must we still uplift the race?” King asked.
The class was divided in answering this question.
One student wholeheartedly believed that the African-American race remains one of the most under-appreciated and disrespected of all time. As such, we must all continue to make sure that we engage in activities to advance our people as a whole.
Another student chose to focus on the need to uplift our social classes rather than the entire race. It was his belief that Blacks have “arrived” with the election of President Barack Obama and we no longer have any excuses; we cannot expect others to help us anymore just because we are of the same race.
I stand decidedly on the fence.
I know that I will change the world. I know that I have the opportunity to do so with each word I type, each activity I slave over and each class that I take.
But I realize I can’t do it on my own.
Though I can mentor a child from the West End and can put together a dinner for the homeless, what impact am I truly having if I don’t bring others along for the ride?
Many people say they wish to impact one life and they will be happy. I want to impact millions.
We as Men of Morehouse should want to impact millions.
But that requires us to objectively reevaluate our personal missions. We must step off our golden pedestals and realize that life is more than the money, the cars and the clothes.
For Morehouse can keep its crown if I must uplift only myself to get to it.
Our mission in life should be to uplift life. We must live today as if we won’t be here tomorrow. We must spread the knowledge we have for the ignorance of others makes us look bad. And we must do that now.
Walter Weaver said it best, “The eyes of your country and the eyes of your people are upon you. The success of the venture depends on you.”
Let’s jump in the driver’s seat together. It’s time to change the world.
Tre’vell Anderson is a sophomore at Morehouse College. Hailing from Charleston, S.C., Anderson majors in political science pre law with a double minor in leadership and international studies. He currently serves as a member of the Bonner Foundation Advisory Board and the International Model United Nations Association.

Tre’vell Anderson
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