A special message to my Facebook friends,
For a range of reasons, I think I may need to clarify something, very important. Me, I mean.
My entire adult life, and certainly my entire professional life, I have essentially been a public figure. I founded Operation HOPE, for instance, when I was 26. Facebook — different from my Blog, the HOPE site, the Bryant Group site, LinkedIn, even Twitter – sees a slightly different side of me. In short, this is just about as personal, as the public sees of me. Right here. So when I post something light, or funny, or even cute or inspiration (such as the adorable kid dancing from earlier tonight), please understand that this was me — relaxing, if only a bit. And if only for a moment.
There are very serious things going on in the world today, and anyone who knows me, knows I am very engaged with all of it (as appropriate to do so). But I have also learned to laugh at everything. And I mean — everything. Ambassador Andrew Young, a civil rights icon and Dr. King's right arm, made sure I understood how critical a role 'laughter and joy' was, and would be, in and to my life.
We all need a sense of humor. The one thing that Black people have had to have our entire lives, is a sense of humor; because we have been dealing with this madness, such as Ferguson, MO, our entire lives. And our parents lives, and parents parents lives.
Did you know that Dr. King never smiled or joked in public? Even though he had an enormous sense of humor. He was simply afraid that he would somehow abort the entire mission, or his movement, if everyone did not take him seriously. He was probably right.
I have decided to take a risk — and show the world many more sides of me than simply a serious man on a mission. I would think that the 2M plus clients we have served, the 2B plus in capital we have directed to underserved communities, and the 22k plus volunteers, is more than enough assurance that I and we are 100% serious about what we do.
And so, when you see me playing around here, or cracking a joke, or allowing myself to laugh or have a light moment, or hoping that I brought a simple smile to your face ~ please know, that this comes from a good place.
Wishing all of you peace and light, and a great week. And a special thank you, to my FB friend who positively inspired me to write this post. It probably is the longest thing I have ever written on Facebook. Or ever will again. Remember, this is me on duty, and where possible, off duty too.
John Hope Bryant