We are the ONES, but not the only ONES…
Christic Henry (LT 38) #freshestclassever
eNews Guest Editor
It took Darryl Jones (LT Class 20) over 6 years to get me to apply to Leadership Tallahassee. As a community big brother, fellow South Side advocate, housing colleague, and business development mentor, he would bluntly say “you need LT and LT needs you” and illustrate how beneficial and impactful his class experience was and how the relationships he formed has increased his ability to help others exponentially. I fully believed him… but I’d applied before and wasn’t accepted so I believed that maybe Leadership Tallahassee just wasn’t for me. I was content to run my real estate company and work my love for the community without the distinction of being an LT Alumni.
Darryl did not give up on me…and I am so glad he didn’t.
See, you need champions who are so confident in their own purpose that they can recognize the necessity of yours. Our community is filled with amazing super heroes working their purpose…there is so much altruistic love-in-action happening that never reaches social media or is openly awarded or recognized. We are all making a difference in diverse spaces and leaning on the power of our connections with one another to serve our neighbors and community.
We are the Ones… but we are not the ONLY Ones.
Even as I pen this article, my flow is interrupted by calls from other non-LT community heroes responding to calls from folks who are in need…three homeless college students who have been attending classes for three weeks and are still looking for somewhere to live; one family whose rent was increased $600 a month are looking for a “meat pantry” because they cannot afford to purchase meat for their children to eat; one young man with a past felony who is faithfully attending trade school while living in his car because his record is a hindrance to find housing.
I know I cannot bear the weight of these needs alone–and being a part of Leadership Tallahassee has meant that I don’t have to.
As a graduate of LT Class 38 and with the distinction of being recognized as 2021 Servant Leader of the Year, I am even more compelled to make sure I am recognizing and connecting more folks like me to this organization. Folks who aren’t afraid to lean in, who are powerful in their vulnerability, who understand their assignment and are tackling the difficulties of the day regardless of the polarizing rhetoric of the hour.
There is a quote by Jon Gibson that says, “Leadership is not just about what you do but what you inspire, empower and encourage others to do”.
Helping a family eat another day is impactful. Helping college students find housing stability is impactful. Helping an ex-felon find options other than their vehicle for shelter is impactful. Your service collectively and directly to a neighbor or cause is not small, is not insignificant. Such acts yield hope and a greater sense of our own vulnerability and need of one another to survive even as we serve others.
Thank you Bro. Darryl for not giving up on me; I promise to do the same and work to bring other community superheroes into the fold.