You know, I wrote this for January, 2007, but find that with very little editing, it is just as aplicable for 2008. And so, here you go...
1. Learn to love ourselves.
2. Raise our children.
3. Practice "No" love. In other words, there is a lot of love in the word "no." It is NOT okay to have children, as an example, and not take care of them. This sort of "no" love to others, is actually "yes" love to yourself.
4. Get an education. Non-negotiable. In the 21st century your college degree is your new high school degree!
5. Stop being so emotional. The left brain is dying for lack of oxygen.
6. Be passionate about something, and decide what we are for, and not just what we are against.
7. Own something. Start with a home. Leased cars don't count (smile).
8. Become a political free agent. Talk to everyone and make everyone fight for your vote. Support leaders who support you. It's about people and good leaders and not political parties. Solutions, not rhetoric. At the end of the day, it's not about the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party, but the Get It Done Party.
9. Admit you NEED JESUS (smile again)!
10. DO SOMETHING! There, I said it (smile).
DO SOMETHING #1 -- Embrace our low-wealth, inner-city and under-served communities (in America) as emerging markets waiting to be born. Everyone else is.
DO SOMETHING #2 - Understand that in 2007, we can't be BLACK FOR A LIVING (this one is for my black folk family only - smile again)! We must become good leaders who happen to be black, and not simply black leaders.
DO SOMETHING #3 - Give back to our youth! Start with volunteering once a week, once a month or once a year as a mentor with my friend Susan Taylor and Essence Cares, and of course we can always use you as a new "silver rights" soldier and HOPE Corps volunteer, teaching topics from financial literacy to dignity, at the organization I founded, Operation HOPE.
Okay, let's go....
Onward, with HOPE
John Hope Bryant