We Shall Overcome – It has been the calling cry that signaled the hope, optimism and perseverance of a people enduring oppressive oppositions or situations. We Shall Overcome has often been associated with the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950’s and 60’s in the United States. When you hear the phrase, We Shall Overcome you think to those times.
With the election and presidency of Barack Obama some have naively assumed that racism has ended. I have recently had Black and White individuals tell me their stories of someone who either asked or told them that “Black people should be happy now” and “Do you believe racism will go away now?” Yes I know, this is a ridiculous assumption, but I’m sure some of you have either asked, thought or received similar questions.
So when shall we overcome?
Deep in your conscience you must believe that we can overcome the divisiveness and individuality that plagues the world. We are all caught in the inescapable network of mutuality. I can not be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.
Since I’m remixing Dr. King allow me to lace this one over on you.
We shall overcome when the people of various nations sit down together at the table of brotherhood and begin to talk to one another. We shall overcome when people stop to consider others over themselves. We shall overcome when we walk the darken paths of pessimism with the light of optimism, hope and of goodwill.
Before we can overcome some will be misunderstood, cursed at, dismissed and find themselves under attack and scrutiny over their opposition to the status-quo, but you will overcome.
The hopes of tomorrow depend on what we achieve today. We can not allow ourselves to continue on an endless spiral of damnation to our own possibilities. I can not allow the negativity of a few influence, dictate or govern my aspirations and potential.
We can and shall overcome when we practice the religion of love. Love for one another. I am not violating my beliefs because I can accept others who do not believe as I believe and neither are they.
Our common ground is where we are Today. Once we think about what we’re fighting for and why we are fighting over it, then we can begin to work towards a resolution.
We shall overcome is not just an Old Negro Spiritual, but a banner of hope for all who chooses to consider its meaning.
The fights over land, the struggle over real estate, the discrimination over lifestyle, the hatred over complexion, the argument over beliefs the misinterpretation of policy is what continue to divides us. The solution is simple, but the journey to it appears difficult, but we shall overcome.
We shall and can overcome only if we take a moment to learn from those who came before us and some who may be among us now.
On this day in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia such a person was born. Much has been made of him and his life. He is revered as an icon too many, often revered to levels that it seems unobtainable to someone like you or me. I admit he made great achievements in his life, but once I began to study and learn about him for myself I gained a valuable lesson that appears to be overlooked when people speak about him.
He is often characterizing as a “Dreamer”, a “Hero” and a “Visionary”, which is true. These terms are normally associated with greatness and usually taught only to be admired and not aspired. That’s where we make the mistake.
Don’t allow yourself to be put into a box.
I conclude by paraphrasing a quote from an interview I watch from a very successful, prominent developer, businessman and entrepreneur Mr. Michael V. Roberts, Sr. I think he’s works along with many others are excellent examples of overcoming.
“Do you think outside the box? And if so, who put you into that box? Why do you limit your potential by allowing yourself to be placed into a box?”
We shall overcome, but it begins with getting over yourself.
It begins with us.