By Aiyana Ma’at
So, we recently had the opportunity to go on News One Now on TVOne with Roland Martin. He had us on to discuss the disparities in dating that black women face and the show was good…. I love how vocal so many of you were on the topic.
But, that’s not what I really wanted to talk about today…..
Rather, I wanted to share what I learned from being in Roland Martin’s presence for the brief time that we were there. It can really be summed up in just a few words.
It’s so simple yet so profound at the same time. And, while it’s simple it’s something so many of us don’t do for a variety of reasons.
But, I’ll stop beating around the bush—-here’s what I learned from Roland…..
#1 BE YOURSELF.
#2 FOCUS ON WHAT YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT AND BELIEVE IN.
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to listen to this clever, intelligent, and hilarious man you’ll quickly come to the conclusion that he’s the real deal— passionate, opinionated, clear about what he believes, and unafraid to speak his truth. You may not always agree with him. Hell, I might not either. I don’t know where he stands on every issue.
But, that’s not the point.
Let me reiterate the qualities I just mentioned again: Passionate, Opinionated, Clear about what he believes, and Unafraid to speak his truth (and simultaneously the truth of so many other African Americans in this country and around the world.)
Can you say this about your own life? Is there any where you are authentically YOU? Where you show up, speak, and do from a place where you bring the beautiful, the ugly, and everything in between….and you’re ok with it because you know that it’s your truth?
I love people like Roland….folks who (unbeknownst to them) reinforce for me that:
- It’s OK to be me.
- It’s OK to be you.
- When you focus on what’s in your heart and your gut you can never really go wrong. (Even if you have to re-evaluate or double back later.)
- We waste time when we try to fit in, make ourselves digestible for other folks, and not offend.
- When you let your light shine through you automatically give others permission to do the same.
So, that’s what I learned from Roland the other day. The opportunity to dialogue about a topic that is important and relevant to our community on his show was awesome. The ability to elevate and increase exposure for our brand was amazing but the take away lesson…..priceless.