Harold has more than a decade of teaching and counseling experience, enabling him to reach others with truth, transparency, and strength. In addition to over a decade of service to the United States Army, Harold has launched several successful businesses, and now focuses all his humor, experience, and enthusiasm on being of deep service as an Entrepreneur and Creative Director with the goal of inspiring people to
develop lives that display purpose, freedom, and legacy!
In today's episode we tackle such topics as the school to prison pipeline, government assistance, systemic poverty, and playing the race card. From being homeless, to living in government projects, to finding himself in college and the military, to ultimately becoming a successful entrepreneur...this is a story you won't soon forget.
I have great admiration for Harold's genuineness and teachableness, how he wants to learn from those who've come before him, how to be an agent of change for his own generation. I love and appreciate his activist heart. The idea that activism boils down to being authentic is so true...those are the people who inspire because their passion comes from the depths of who they are, the experiences they've lived, and the empowerment they desire to bestow on the powerless.
Harold's insight into his friend's racist comment shows such maturity. He saw the root cause and didn't focus on the offense to himself. He knew racism was taught and that his friend was just repeating what he'd been told his whole life. What a productive way of combating racism - by educating people in the truth, dispelling falsehoods head-on, and having a conversation with the offender. The most encouraging part to me is that an initial negative comment and interaction yielded a lasting friendship because Harold took the time to have a hard conversation with someone different from him. And it ended up changing both lives for the good.
How gracious of Harold to be so understanding towards people ignorant of their racist words. Understanding that people are products of their environment helps in our healing process as it did in Harold's case. He chooses to engage in dialogue and to educate so that relationship can prevail. Now the ball is in the offender's court and they get to choose how to respond - transform and learn from their error, or leave in a huff of humiliation and anger due to their pride getting hurt. His response of: "Just let me know that you get it and not only that you get it but you're doing what you can to understand what you don't get." is genius! We can't be afraid of conversation. This is where the work starts! Harold, I get it and thanks to you and so many others who have vulnerably shared their stories, I'm learning.
I'm astounded by how deftly Harold is able to articulate the problem of systemic poverty (which is a by-product of systemic racism) from his lived experience. Let's review this again: If the government replaces the father figure in that home, then the government dictates how that home is run because that's typically the father's role. What profound insight! He's lived this, he knows that one of a father's roles is to foster and nurture their children's identity. and to affirm his wife. How incredibly sad when the government becomes the one who gives you your identity, provides you a false sense of self and security, thus, ending up stifling people's mental growth, relational growth, and the community growth. I can see why Harold was drawn to counseling others and encouraging them to think about the legacy they are leaving.
I'm so glad Harold spoke to the oft misunderstood mindset of white people, that one black person is representative of the entire group. We don't have that expectation of white people, nor should we of any grouping of people. He articulated so perfectly how his black experience is different from another black person's experience and we need to be respectful of each individual and their preferences. This is a timeless courtesy that should be extended to all people despite gender, age, sexuality, religion, ethnicity.
I appreciate how Harold has taken the negative expression of "playing the race card" and turned it on its head and is using it as a tool of awareness instead. He intentionally plays the race card to help make his counterparts more aware of their racial bias.
What a beautiful way to describe oneself as a connector and unifier.
What a gift to the world Harold is. He delights in educating people, bringing people together, and encouraging others despite where they are. May we all learn to be as accepting, authentic, and as gracious, as Harold has.
Frederick Douglass - "It is easier to build strong children than to build broken men."
Frederick Douglass - "Some know the value of education by having it. I know the value by not having it."