“Don’t ever think someone may not understand where you come from or who you are. Revive the sense of community we are gradually losing. This is how we have to approach our future as a people.”
At just under twenty-four, Anthony and Kristen want for a peace that is beyond their years.
Moved to Los Angeles from Rhode Island, they said, “It is a miracle we even made it here, we both come from backgrounds of being very poor.”
Perhaps that is what matured them, but the light that they invisibly shone was deeper than the humility learned through any school of hard knocks. Not knocking the wisdom that is to be learned through trials. But still, I couldn’t exactly put my hand on it, and even as I write, I continue to review the feeling that I felt emitting from both Anthony and Kristen, a peace that could fully be seen in the loving attitude toward their son, Israel.
“Things are going better now that we are here, but it is still hard to stay positive,” Anthony noted while Kristen listened intently.
Our conversation ranged from talking of the cultural differences of the West coast as compared to the East coast, faith, parenting, and some sharing of our life histories. Another one of those we don’t know each other, but now we are family for a moment experiences.
I asked, if you had any words of wisdom, advice or counsel for the world, and the world was undividedly listening, what would you say?
“There’s no one single perfect thing I could say to an imperfect world. There’s such a wide spectrum of complex issues from one end of the earth to the other. From the slums in southeast Asia to the hustlers in the inner cities of America, to the billionaire corporate owners. I can only give one bit of my own imperfect advice, Seek God. Above, within, or around us— Seek God.”
“Protect our children at all costs. Hold utmost responsibility for the well-being of the children we bring into this world. Preserve their innocence during their youth and nurture their minds. Be proactive in their development and encourage their imagination. While you complain about the minds of the younger generations remind yourselves who raised them. Instill good values and spirituality, and never be afraid to speak out against the worldly traditions of today’s society to your children.
Be your son’s or daughter’s role model instead of celebrities and reality show actors. Let your child be the difference, the diamond in the rough. The gem among hundreds, that is the most important thing you can do in this life as a parent.”
I asked a second question, looking towards the future, as close or as far as you want to. Where do you think we will be, or how do you advise us to approach the future?
“Looking towards the future I advise that individually and collectively we look to the example of two great men who defined a portion of our past, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali (Did not tell you that Anthony is an amateur boxer.)
Learning from them, let’s be ambassadors of our cultures, express our arts, stand up against our oppressors, exude confidence, and always remember that sometimes we must FIGHT and fight hard. So float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.
“Tie strong bonds with the good people you meet through the guidance of spirituality. There are fun times to be had, places to see, goals to accomplish, but even the most successful man is empty without spirituality. At the end of every hard day, find time to reflect and include prayer and meditation. Discuss with people topics of substance and share good values. Don’t ever think someone may not understand where you come from or who you are. Revive the sense of community we are gradually losing. This is how we have to approach our future as a people.”
I can’t top what Anthony and Kristen encapsulated with their words of wisdom.
Council that was inspiring to hear, and a spirit that I am certain was the genesis that drew me towards them.
Like Kristen said, “Tie strong bonds with the good people you meet through the guidance of spirituality.”
Not saying that I am any great spiritualist in any form, but one thing is undeniable. The more we simply keep our chins up and eyes open to the world, perhaps the more we can feel, hear and see in our fellow humans.
Anthony, Kristen and Israel, thank you for letting us into your hearts. Our wells are filled.