By Atiba Madyun
I will be on CGTN America’s program, The Heat tonight at 7pm. Then a guest tomorrow night on Party Politics Chalkboard Conversations podcast with our partner Meghan C Enriquez of True Conversations.
I hope you will watch the live taping of the podcast and join the conversation, ask a question or make a comment about what you hear. Sign up here to join the conversation tomorrow. http://www.true-conversations.com/chalkboard-conversations/
I don’t know how deep Meghan is going to prove but I’m willing to have a real true conversation about my journey and how Party Politics and Chalkboard Conversations grew from a vision to what it is today, a baby ready to grow very fast and extend across continents. Here is a glimpse.
When I look ahead it feels like I’ve lost more than I’ve gained. I mean, it hasn’t been easy. But when I look back like I will tomorrow night, the journey doesn’t seem so hard. On my plane ride in 2014 from South Africa in 2014, I watched the movie Mandela for the umpteenth time in tears. At Robben Island I lay on the hard, cold floor where Nelson Mandela “Madiba” and his comrades slept for sixteen years while in prison for fighting against apartheid system that oppressed people of color.
That evening at the home of the late Ahmed Kathrada “Uncle Kathy” who was in prison with Nelson Mandela for 26 years, I sat at the feet of a wise man right there with his rocking chair. And I learned the power of leadership is not how loud you talk, it’s how patient you are. And it’s not about telling others what to think, it is about encouraging others to think for themselves.
That’s what the Chalkboard is about. And I love reading your thoughts and insight. And I love to run into people on the street who never comment who say they love the Chalkboard. But this is just the beginning. As fast as I want to go, a little patience and having more of you with US will make this go further and faster when the time comes. Not everyone understands the impatience I have, because I’ve learned to quiet that part. Experience is the best teacher, everything I need comes when it’s time to make the moves. It’s strange but true.
My excitement is that there is much more to come. When I go on The Heat, my travels prove that this show has great bandwidth. It reaches hundreds of millions of people around the globe. This year, I’ve seen the show myself in Cuba, Costa Rica and last week in Hungary. And my cousin, messaged me excited that she was flipping stations and saw me on television in Dubai.
I share this because, the journey ahead to right what’s wrong with our country will not happen without looking back. It will happen by connecting with cultures inside and outside our country.
Today, I feel your anger in your posts and comments. That’s a human emotional energy I want you to harness. Anger that is not channeled will harden your heart and cloud your ability to strategize and act. But I’d harnessed it can be a useful tool.
Looking ahead at times it feel like we’ve lost a lot of progress. But if we look back and see where we have come from, I think you will understand why I believe as former president Obama often says, “I am more optimistic about our future than ever before.”
That doesn’t mean it’s going to get easier before it here’s better. In fact, it’s going to be harder. But if we find ways to have fun together, and harness that hate and anger, strategize and act, we will find ourselves in a better place.
I believe this because I can see how good and bad incidents are bringing us together. After each attack on humanity we love a little harder. Clutch our children a little bit more. And we are forced to ask the question, why?
Forgive this long lost, but keep reading almost there. 😜
When I was a child, I had to explain to my friends what Ramadan was and why my family was fasting. Now, my friends some of them on the Chalkboard, know when it starts and ends. They know because more people in the world of other faiths know more about Islam than when I was a child. That’s what I mean by looking back we can measure how far we’ve come.
We cannot overcome what is wrong until we recognize that coming together across party, cultural, religious, racial, sexual and gender lines is necessary to combat those who want to do harm. And that we have a responsibility to ask why do they hate us so much. What is the president’s agenda. Why is racism and sexism bearing its ugly head.
See, we are inextricably linked by the air we breathe, the water we drink, the foods we enjoy and our words and actions.
To change the course of history we have to get outside our comfort zones. My first appearance on television was not as easy as I thought. In fact, I was very uncomfortable. Looking back I am at ease because I got comfortable with being uncomfortable.
My travels have taught me the more people I get to know the broader my perspective becomes. That’s why I encourage each of you to share more love and get to know someone new everyday. Set in motion an energy of love that will eventually become an unconscious habit you repeat every day.
I hope you agree, we need more love in the world. Together we can build a world where the party of US that LOVES will far outnumber the party of THEM that HATES.
Atiba Madyun is founder and president of Party Politics US by putting the party before the politics amplifies and attracts the unheard voices by creating fun, innovative events and safe space where genuine conversations are possible. Chalkboard Conversations is a platform of Party Politics US created in 2015. It’s physical boards have captured stories of thousands. Today, it has more than 4,000 members in a private Facebook group. There people of all walks of life both citizens and elected officials talk and cordially debate the issues of the day by sharing news stories and moderating the conversations. To learn more find Atiba Madyun on Facebook and ask to join the conversations. Join US!
True Conversations is known for its hallmark “true conversations” style interviewing which is reperesentes across the multiple podcast shows hosted on the TRUECast NETWORK, a podcast network for all, panel discussion, True Conversations Podcast, innovative training and speaking for leaders, healers and every day people, events and open arms vibe.