To stand as you are …you must at times arch your back and lift your chin …even when you feel the weight of the world on your back – Kenda
I was asked recently what did I find most difficult about being minority , which did I see as a bigger challenge – being African American Or being a woman … I would usually give a long social commentary on how it is hard for me to separate the two because it was a unique exist that I can not fathom separating… but on that day I said my bigger challenge is being the 1% of the population who stutters AND of that 1 % being an even more rarity of a woman that stutters AND yet an even smaller percentage of the previous stated small percentage who are African American & female who stutter… YEAH …
I am a shy extrovert .. not necessarily by nature but by circumstance. It has become a part of my life to weigh every word I say , perceive the interpretation and response of the listener …always concerned if I was understood. Some people confuse I need to be understood as a need for acceptance , nothing of the sort at all. I have come to value communication and expression in much higher regards than most. The bible states that “Life and death are in the tough.” and it is true. You can seal your own fate by what comes out of your mouth , delay or redirect a blessing all because of what you say and how you say it. The wrong words can rip a person deeper and quicker that hollow tipped bullets from an M16.
I leave you with one of my favorite quotes that I try to keep in mind when ever I talk to ANYONE. Sometimes I shoot off at the mouth ..I am human BUT if you use this as guide..you have more agreements than disagreements –
“Before you speak ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, it is true, does it improve upon the silence?”
― Shirdi Sai Baba
“Lessons Of Redemption” is a journey of a boy that traveled a rocky road of choices and consequences; some of which were not his own and met his manhood at the crossroad. Please understand, THIS IS NOT A FICTION BOOK… THIS IS A MEMOIR. Do not expect the usual depiction of urban life with colorful language with overused metaphors and hood life tall tales. Prepare yourself to have a very intimate conversation with author about real people in real life altering situations with the turn of every page.
Yes, one can reference “The Wire” …one may even reflect on “The Corner” but Kevin Shird gives a poignant narrative in black and white with no filter. The resolve and resilience that young Shird builds upon as you walk with him through the chapters of his life will make you pause when you realize the young man you are rooting for did in fact MAKE IT and you smile. AGAIN …THIS IS NOT A FICTION BOOK but rather an honest & truthful testament of not only redemption but forgiveness and accountability. How was Shird able to realistically accept Pop’s illness of addiction and build from the mistakes; how did becoming a part of the problem as a player in the treacherous game of drugs lead Shird to being an instrument of change as Co – Founder & President of the Mario Do Right Foundation sitting with decision makers in Washington, DC working on solutions?
The beauty is the reader knows how the story ends by looking at the life that Shird has built through his personal lessons of redemption that he shares earnestly.
Tupac asked once, “Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? “ Definitively, I can answer yes, I read his story – “Lessons Of Redemption”. This is a must read for all.
Essence Bestselling Author –
“For Every Love There Is A Reason “
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