Noel Pinnock, Contributing Writer – The ancient Egyptians built pyramids as tombs for the pharaohs and their queens. There are about eighty pyramids known today from ancient Egypt. The three largest and best-preserved of these were built at Giza at the beginning of the Old Kingdom. For thousands of years, the largest structures on earth were pyramids. The most well-known of these pyramids was built for the pharaoh Khufu. It is known as the ‘Great Pyramid.’ However, these pyramids cannot be rebuilt despite our technological advances and sophisticated software application, because the blueprints could never be found. If the architects of one of the world’s most prized wonders would have left the blueprints for their magnum opus, then we would be able to duplicate them exactly as they were constructed in the past.
Mark Twain once said, “The trouble with the world is not that people know too little, but they know so much STUFF that ain’t so!” This is true in today’s society, especially as it relates to building our future. It appears that we have lost the thread that was woven in the tapestry of sustaining and cultivating communities that work for the betterment of its residing constituents. I can remember when mentoring and encouraging others was a cultural norm rather than a special event. Neighbors looked after one another, and lessons from yester-years were shared openly and candidly. In a previous d-mars.com Business Journal edition, I wrote:
The African proverbial phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child,” is certainly applicable to certain levels of our life. This phrase is not limited to young children, teens, or young adolescents, and it is by no means exclusive to a specific gender, class, or ethnic group. It originated from the Nigerian Igbo culture and proverb “Ora na azu nwa,” which means it takes the community/village to raise a child. The Igbo’s also name their children “Nwa Ora,” which means child of community.
You see, the blueprint of our existence was established on this village philosophy; whereby, everyone in the village played an integral role in the lives of everyone in the village despite gender, class, and other demographical differences. Encouragement was a cultural norm and direction and guidance were unbiased and non-selective. Nowadays, it appears that this blueprint of building our communities has become a faded image on the easel. People really seem not to care about each other anymore. Many people possess the ‘it’s all about me’ mentality.
We need to re-engage the people in our communities, because our villages continue to expand everyday. Take the time out to mentor a young person in your community, and encourage him/her to mentor someone else in the community. Continue this process until everyone in the community has a person in their network. With the advent of social media mediums like Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as wireless apps, connecting with people could not be easier. It doesn’t really take a lot of time to send a message of encouragement or offer a suggestion on an education/career decision. All it takes is an unyielding desire to sincerely care about someone else’s future. Malcolm Gladwell in the Tipping Point described the conditions of creating an epidemic and identified three major factors that contribute to epidemics:
- Change doesn’t happen gradually but dramatically.
- You have to have something contagious.
- Small things have big effects.
So, I submit to you that these conditions can be applied to creating an epidemic of hope in our struggling communities. We don’t have to re-invent the wheel, and if we borrow the blueprints from our forefathers and foremothers, we will not only be able to duplicate what they did, but do it even better. This is especially true if we want to see tangible and significant advancements for our future and the next generation’s future. It was the smallest encounters in our lives that have had the most profound effect on us. Wouldn’t you agree? If you do, then are you ready?
Noel Pinnock is an author and host of “MBK – Houston Movement” on MJWJ Global Radio Network. To read more about Noel, please visit www.noelpinnock.com.