What Will You Do With Your Gifts? (Lessons from “Choose To Bless The World”)
On Friday I was just entering the shady building where I live when my best friend E called. I have a special ring tone for her (it’s an old fashion phone ring) and it makes me smile just to hear it. I answered the phone and I said to her, “I need to do something with my gifts.” I had just finished a meeting that made me feel like the woman in the Alicia Keys song, “Superwoman”. Yeah, I felt like I had under my dress, “…a vest with an S on my chest,” and that I could possibly fly. E’s response to my declaration of doing something with my gifts was, “You do. You just need a handler. Someone like A or T.” A and T are amazing women and when I finally grow up I am going to be a combination of them.
Then I realized what I was saying to E. It is not that I am not “doing something with my gifts.” What I was saying is that I need to get paid for using my gifts in a positive manner. And on Friday I did use my gifts for the good—most of the time I do, but sometimes I use my gift of words to take on the poverty pimps and some people think I shouldn’t do this—but it was not about being paid. I use my gifts to speak up and out for those who are like me but not as capable as me as standing up for themselves. This goes back to the Cost of Truth.
I do not need to be paid to do something with my gifts. What do I do with my gifts? I will tell you:
I stand on truth.
I speak up when something is not right.
I wear the internal psychological and external scars of the damage done to me by poverty pimps and batterers and emotional abusers when I expose them.
I advocate for women like me who you might think are not like me.
I refuse to wear the shame of being stigmatized because I am still a survivor and moving towards a woman living and loving her life.
I fight with integrity.
I fight fiercely and with honesty for others without care or fear of the consequences.
I stand on truth.
What Will You Do With Your Gifts?
I am going to create and organization or a program within an organization called, “Who Speaks For Me?” Because I know that when a woman is marginalized and harmed while incarcerated she can scream at the top of her lungs when the gatekeepers are abusing her and her voice goes unheard. I will Speak for these women when their voices will not be heard because of their isolation and stigmatization. I will bring together other allies to speak for them until they can stand with us and speak for themselves and others. And until Change happens I will not be silenced. And when Change happens I will not be silenced.
“Who Speaks For Me?” That is my truth and I stand on this now and forever. This is my gift. What are your gifts? How will you use them?