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Saturday, October 17, 2009


Life has a way of presenting us with defining moments. Defining moments come for some with the passing of a loved one, for others it is related to personal accomplishments, and still for others it is the moment of their deepest pain or failure. For me, one defining moment was at 14 years of age. One Wednesday evening, my mother while dropping off my friend at home asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Quite candidly and without hesitation he said, “An Architect!” I can still remember the impression that left on me, one that has lasted from middle school through my first architectural job in high school for John S. Kane, to my collegiate experience at Ball State and Howard University respectively, to my study abroad in Italy, until now at the age of 35. There is something captivating about the idea of creating something from nothing.

Defining moments showcase the idea of seemingly creating something from nothing, much like the process a seed endures. A seed is an ingenious creation. It can reproduce after its kind when properly cared for and nurtured. The seed’s potential is marked by what is on the inside. You never really see what is on the inside of a seed until the moment it penetrates the surface of the earth. It is the germination process that gives it its expression of life. It is the pressure that forces the seed to perform at its maximum potential, without that constant pressure there is no future harvest.

As I reflect on the community that I live and serve in and it’s defining moments and the seeds sown, I have come to the realization that the power of community and its defining moment is not the success of its economic plan or the structure of its education system or the faith of its believers. The power and defining moment of community is rooted and defined by you and I individually and the realizations of who we are. Not what we do by occupation, or what things look like at the moment, or what we have amassed as possessions, but who we have been ultimately designed to be as individuals. That identity is related to purpose. Each person has a purpose for living that is as different for each of us as our individual finger print. Life’s pressure has a way of maximizing our potential at the crossroad of our defining moment. What we make of it will inherently define us.

The seeds sown in my life have guided me on the pathway of scholarship and service and of faith and family. For the last several years, I have found myself in several different circles of influence whether it be social, cultural, religious, professional, political, or scholastic. Those circles of influence are a byproduct of accomplishment or recognition of one’s efforts and call to service. I am a product of my surroundings, books that I have read, things I have studied and also people in this community who have helped shape my view of the world.

Once a month, I will be writing for the Herald Bulletin with the hopes to inspire you with vision and broaden my own prospective of the world we live in today from a local perspective. It is my hope that what you read will give credence to you reaching and or exploring a defining moment in your own life and all of us arriving at a defining role together as community.

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