What If?

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What if you learned that there were people God put you here to reach, but you hadn’t?

I came across this tweet today and it reminded me of something that has been on my mind for a few years now. I’ve wanted to share it on Facebook, in a blog post or somewhere, but I didn’t want people to think I was crazy. So here goes…

I used to get so frustrated seeing all the negative images everywhere, glorified ‘ratchet’ behavior and the normalization of immorality. I hate ‘reality’ shows and most things on TV except for Shark Tank, 20/20 and SEC football. I used to read crappy books and complain endlessly about street fiction.

There are lots of commentators, twitter peeps and comment sections full of people who agree with me. I used to love it when we would get together and bash these things (and sometimes the people who offer their support to them). But nothing ever changed. In fact, each day there seems to be more and more of the same.

Then a thought came to me: What if it’s because YOU are not doing your job to offer an alternative?

Man, so many excuses came to my mind. “I mean if people didn’t support that crap, it would be gone” being my number one solution. It’s true. Numbers drive business. Whether it’s TV shows, films, news, products, distribution is dictated by demand. Despite this fact, it was a great way for me to blame someone else and continue trash talking.

It made me think of the many incredibly talented lyricists who ‘quit the rap game’ because there’s nothing but ‘crap’ music out there. I always called BS on that. If God gave you a gift for something, there is a purpose behind it. Somebody out there needs to hear whatever you have to say. Stop being scared of not getting the most airplay on pop stations and the people who believe in you will support undoubtedly. {See how easy it is to point out someone else’s BS.}

As a publicist, my job is to CREATE and GROW demand; to share products/ideas with people and convince them that they not only want it, but they need it and a lot of it.

What if I could create a demand for things I wanted to see more of? I didn’t know. I never tried. Plus, that’s hard work, involves lots of trial/error and plenty of money.

The idea stayed with me and I would like to give it credit for my book turning out the way it did. It wasn’t perfect or exactly what I THOUGHT people wanted to read. Sure, there are some unsavory elements to it, but for the most part there is minimal cursing and sex. I thought about making it sexier, grittier and create UNBELIEVABLE melodramatic twists, but it turned out fine for the purpose it serves.

Given that my book is no bestseller (yet), I again considered doing something different with my current work-in-progress. Maybe I could create a more diverse cast to attract a wider audience as it’s rare to see a work written by an African American with African American main characters make the top of the Kindle list.

But what if I could be that author that did achieve it with aspects I believe in?

Usually ‘what if’ has such a negative connotation—you go through all that could go wrong. But what if things went extraordinarily well if you decided take a leap a faith in the midst of what looks 100% unchangeable, unfixable and even unbelievable? Sometimes, the ‘if’ isn’t time-consuming or require a lot of money. Absent the fear of failure, ‘if’ can be easy. See something you don’t like, do the opposite and what you think is the solution vs. complaining about it. Pay attention to your inner voice/soul/conscience, people and understand your role changes with each situation–you may be the leader, follower, cheerleader or simply the beneficiary.

What if I talked to that coworker about an idea I had? Heck, what if I applied for that job with a description that matches only about 20% of my resume?

What if I said hello to him?

What if I leave a positive comment on her wall?

What if I encourage this stranger?

What if I pull that old childhood dream from the recesses of my mind, dust it off and just go for it?

What if I write that blog?

What if I share that scripture/quote that brought me peace/encouragement?

What if I shoot that movie?

What if I share a link to that web series I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT?

What if I write that book?

What if I allow that person to love me and myself to love them back?

What if I start that business?

What if someone told me no or ‘that’s crazy’ and I pursued yes anyway?

The concept that small moments can lead to big change isn’t a new idea. Every day we experience these moments. You have a gut reaction to do something and as small as it seems the person eventually tells you how much they needed you/what you did at that very specific moment.

What if we did more of that? What if we did EXACTLY what we were called to do?

“God has a sense of humor. He will give you a big job to do and no money to do it with. He’ll want you to be the point of influence for mighty change and not give you the benefit of the credentials to go along with the position. He’ll use you from LITTLE places to provoke BIG CHANGES, according to how you see yourself. But if you don’t see yourself as significant and you define yourself by your circumstances, you will miss your opportunity because often your circumstances do not predict your predestined purpose and calling.” T.D. JAKES, Calling, Romans 8


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