Written by: Haseena Shaheed-Jackson, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
In 2021, we must be courageous, focus on building communities and being united. Let us briefly examine each of these values.
We must have courage in the pursuit of our purpose. God provides us with the talents that we need; however, we must be brave to use our talents to in our purpose. In the Bible, Timothy struggled with fear. The reason for his timidity is not known. Apostle Paul wrote to him in 2 Timothy encouraging him to continue to run his race. Giving up was not an option. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. – 2 Timothy 1:7.
Apostle Paul was a role model for Timothy. Frankly, he is a role model for us all. Apostle Paul underwent much adversity and never once through in the towel. Apostle Paul chose to fight, winning his battles. As with Apostle Paul, we must choose to fight. We cannot give up on the pursuit of our purpose when faced with uncertainty and adversity. We must choose to continue running our race, the race for which we have predestined.
For 2021, my word is courage. I must have the courage to pursue what I can be and not focus on that which is. I will encounter obstacles, but I must not give up on living in my purpose. The resilience and perseverance to continue pressing forward. I must live my life facing the adversity. I will add value to people who will, in turn, will add value to others, being intentional in growing, resulting in transformation and changing our world.
I challenge everyone to live in their purpose. Never giving up. I recall in the movie of Martin Luther King, Jr. He became discouraged and tired. His friend Ralph Abernathy said to him, “But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and are saved.” – Hebrews 10:39. This scripture will forever resonate within me. Know who you are and whose you are. Be courageous.
One is too small a number to achieve greatness and make a difference. It requires a Community. Community brings people together, with the result being impactful and significant. Community enables us to collaborate, connect and serve one another. Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. It is best to have someone walking with you. There is power in numbers, thus community.
Recall the story of Nehemiah in the Bible. The Jews were in distress after having been exiled from Israel. Nehemiah began a movement that built a community among God’s people. The people collaborated in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and creating solidarity. Another example, Jesus used community to spread the gospel. Jesus initially picked twelve disciples to help in the spreading of the gospel. The twelve expanded into many others resulting in the birth of the Church. Without all of these people coming together, the gospel would not have been spread as Jesus had directed in the Great Commission.
I reflect back on community as a child. Neighborhoods were a community. Everyone in the neighborhood banded together to help and watch over one another. Today, we have gone astray from this concept and thus need to return. It takes a community to make a difference and to achieve greatness. One person is too small a number to achieve great results. It takes a community to spread and foster change. Let us return to building and creating communities. This world needs everyone collaborating and working together to effect change. This world needs every person working collectively and collaborating.
In John 17, Jesus was praying for himself and his disciples prior to his death. He said to the Father, “May they all be one as you Father, are in me and I am in you.” – John 17:21 Jesus desired for us to be united and be one with the Father.
In this world, we have team sports, i.e., football, hockey, basketball, etc. The ultimate purpose of the team is to score and be the winner. No matter the type of sport, the team is united. They stand together in pursuit of their purpose. Take this same analogy and apply it to mankind. The people of this world are diverse, but we have similarities and an underlying purpose. Our underlying purpose is to make this world better, adding value and valuing every person. The effectiveness of fulfilling this purpose is being united. We must unite. We are called to serve in unity. We have a cause that is greater than one person. Unification is similar to community. It will take everyone working together-collaborating, connecting, and partnering. With the current state of our world, the pandemic, and these times of uncertainty, we can overcome it together.
History shows that there is power in being unified. In the 1950s and 1960s, the U.S. made strides to become “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” The fight began to combat discrimination against blacks, which was launched with President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The Montgomery Bus Boycott ended Jim Crow laws and segregation. Legislation was passed to correct and address women's inequality, i.e., the Equal Pay Act and Executive Order 11375.
History shows that when people unite, change and transformation can occur. Let us stand together and make this world a better place.
Join me this 2021 in embracing being courageous, building communities, and fostering unification.
Haseena Shaheed-Jackson, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Mrs. Haseena Shaheed-Jackson is a Certified Coach, Speaker and Trainer under the John Maxwell Team. She is the author of Reflections Within and Messages from the Spirit. Her mission is to add value to people so that they will add value to others by intentionally growing resulting in transformation and changing their world. Growth is a continual process that never ceases. It is a lifetime commitment that must become a habit. Ms. Jackson is the Owner of Faith, Hope and Spirit, LLC which offers training, coaching and speaking in the areas of growth, development, leadership and influence. For over 30 years, she has held positions in leadership and management for a variety of companies and organizations where her responsibilities included mentoring, coaching, development and training. She hosts a monthly networking group, Connecting and Collaborating to Thrive (CC2T). CC2T focuses on developing relationships and establishing a community. She actively seeks to form partnerships with others to make a difference and be impactful.