“This is the No Excuses Newscast!” That’s what my college professor told our television broadcast class on the first day. Our mission each week was to produce and report a TV newscast that was broadcast on the college network. The number one rule was no excuses. No excuses about why something wasn’t perfect. No excuses about late or missing stories. No excuses about typos. No excuses about inaccurate timing. No excuses about misspellings. No excuses about an unbalanced story. Whatever we broadcast in our final product had to stand alone with, you got it, no excuses!
It seems this is the perfect week to speak of no excuses. I can hardly keep my tears from streaming as I think of all of the senseless killings. Innocent black citizens and innocent police officers shot and killed. There is no excuse for judging a book by its cover. We all learned this as small children. There is no excuse to choose to forget this rule. Treat others as you’d like to be treated. These are simple ideas that are so easily forgotten and ignored. Maybe it is our children who know better. Maybe it is time for us to step back and be the students. Why is it my children give absolutely no thought about the color of a person’s skin, their sexual orientation, the neighborhood they live in, or the amount of money in their bank account before deciding if they want to play with them, but the adults in this country struggle with all of it? When will we learn from our past that there are no excuses for this behavior. When will we accept and embrace our differences? What will it take? How many murders? How many marches? How many peace rallies? How many wars? How long will we continue to do things that only produce negative results? This question applies in all aspects of our lives.
The YEARS I spent thinking negative thoughts about myself were a waste. You know where they led me? Those negative thoughts of not being good enough physically or in my job led to more negative behavior. It led me into a hole of self doubt, broken relationships, anger, frustration. Do you see the similarity? These killers have self doubt and self hate on the inside and it is all they can spew to the outside world. WE KNOW BETTER. We know that negativity only breeds more negativity. We know that finding the good in people and in ourselves breeds more tolerance, love, and peace.
When I decided to stop focusing on what is not right about me and started focusing on what is I became the best me. Everyday is my no excuses broadcast. Some days I fall down but tomorrow is another opportunity for my next no excuses newscast. We all have the ability to be our best. We have to choose to tap into it. Are you ready to do that? Have you had enough of your war within and your outward judgement?
Now is the time. Lead the charge. Enough talk and more action. Treat others as you’d like to be treated. I would love for others not to judge me based on my gender and religion. I would love for them to CHOOSE to be intrigued by our differences and find beauty in that. At the very least I would like for people to accept that I am different and move on with their own lives.
Negativity breeds negativity. Fear breeds fear. A black man driving in an affluent and predominantly white neighborhood is exactly that. Nothing more. Nothing less. Thinking anything else only feeds the beast. Do not feed the beast. Replace every negative thought with a positive one. See what that does for you and for everyone around you.
YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU KNOW. You are the change that is needed. You accepting yourself and others with no excuses is the answer. It sounds simple because it is. It appears hard to implement because it is. Do the work and reap the benefits for yourself and others.