I was driving home after morning block rehearsal at band camp just now listening to NPR. An interview with M.K. Asante was on and I was instantly intrigued. He was speaking about his new book “Buck – A Memoir” — essentially his life story. It is not a pretty story–it is a POWERFUL story. And yes, I purchased it for my Kindle and will begin my journey through it’s “pages” over the weekend.
What resonated with me so quickly was not just the material (teenager growing up in Philly, etc.) but the life lessons he experienced to go from the streets of Philly to becoming a tenured professor at Morgan State University. The portion of the interview I caught was focused around life’s lessons and how they are everywhere if you just open yourself up and step outside your comfort zone (sound familiar?). The two main points I heard were:
1) He had no use for school. A teacher put a blank piece of paper in front of him and said, “Write.” He didn’t want to do the assignment–he wanted to get thrown out of class, so he wrote “F— School.” The teacher looked at his paper and said, “Write more.”
This was THE defining moment in his life. (You never know the impact you will have upon another person. Even the simplest thing can change a person’s life forever….in a good way or a bad way.) As you can imagine, I was hooked!
The second thing he said was about learning from everything thing, even from people you would never think could teach you something:
2) “A bum on the street asked me if I knew what “soul” was. I said, “You mean like Soul Train?” He said, “No. Soul is the graceful survival against impossible circumstances.”
Wow. That was all I could think. We are so quick to discount people because of outward appearances, physical looks, etc. Everyone and everything is here for us to learn from and yet we do not open ourselves enough to take in all of our world.
Much to think about……and must return to band camp…and much to write about band camp too.