Humanly, we like everything to be neatly pigeonholed. We want the world and the events in it to make sense. But in trying to give an explanation for everything, we sometimes miss the point. As I visited my family in Gilbert, Arizona, a few years ago, I was taken by surprise when my 7-year-old granddaughter kept saying, “Why?” No matter what I said, she just kept asking why! She was at that inquisitive age.
There are many things that happen in our lives, and we may never know why. Acceptance that the why may prove elusive sets the stage for a fifth vital lesson from the book of Job. We all face things that often make us wonder. “Why me?” In fact, after being on the radio for nearly 11 years, enjoying the trip, lately, I’ve run into quite a new streak of technical difficulties. It certainly has caused me to pause and wonder why. I’ve even wondered if it is the good Lord telling me it’s time to move on, or that He has a new path for me to travel along.
Les Brown quote: The wealthiest place on the planet is the graveyard, because …
My example is, about 25 years ago, I wrote a stage play about the United States Colored Troops who fought in the Union Army during the American Civil War. At the time, I was working as project director of the African American Civil War Memorial. The idea came for me to write a stage play. I began to write the play, had dreams about it, and still to this day, I think of the play that I never finished.
My dream even showed me the neon sign outside the theater, displaying my sponsors, it showed me the crowds coming to see the play. It was up to me to make that dream a reality. I was no Berry Gordy, who actually created his dream, Motown, which still lives on.
My story fits among those who allowed dreams to go to the graveyard, to die when they die.
Or, maybe, there is still time. I can take the bull by the horns and make my dream a reality. That goes for me, you and every person on the planet. We must stop wondering why and get the job done. That dream wouldn’t come to you if you were not meant to get that done.
Let’s take the example of former D.C. Councilman Frank Smith. God gave him the idea to create a monument to the 209,145 United States Colored Troops, the only national monument of this type, and he took the bull by the horns and got it done. Was it easy? No! I was project director, and watched him take steps, one day at a time, as he came up with plans, then changed those plans when necessary. That monument stands as a testament to someone who did not let their dream die.
Councilman Smith made his dream a reality. Today, at least before the worldwide pandemic, hundreds of thousands of visitors come from around the world to see this monument, with busloads coming to find names of family members who have been engraved on the Wall of Honor.
And he’s still going. Councilman Frank Smith is about to open a brand new museum to continue to pay tribute to these soldiers next Spring. If you don’t know, now you know. According to the website of Mayor Muriel Bowser, “The redevelopment of the Grimke Elementary School and the parking lot at 912 U Street NW will bring a new arts and cultural destination to the heart of the U Street Arts District. The Community Three Development team will rehabilitate the historic Grimke Elementary School to include a new permanent home for the African American Civil War Museum.”
That’s all we need to do folks — we must get started, and don’t stop! Dr. Smith had some major hurdles along the way too, but whenever he got knocked down, he just got right back up and found a way to get the job done. Get started, don’t sit around asking ‘why?’ Get the job done!
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrant.com, email email@example.com or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.