Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|My Fireside Chat To Our Members!
For the first time in a long time, I actually am taking what really can be called a mini-vacation. However, while I sit back and reflect on things, remember that many important things are taking place as I speak. There are no guarantees with the places we are trying to reach at this point; and that is the reason for this chat.
I want all of you "flawed" people who thought they could not reach and achieve their dreams, to see just what we have accomplished and are capable of doing by ourselves. Some of the greatest moments of my life reside at this organization as we accomplished things we were never meant to accomplish. We did it anyway, because there was nobody to say "no" and because we are as capable and anyone else out there. What do those at the top of the game have that we don't have? Do they have "halos" over their head or some "Devine presence." No they don't. They are just ordinary people like ourselves, afraid the rest of the world may find out. As a Black Man in western culture; I got lucky with (at the time) a group of "Mod Squad" teachers who actually fought to keep me from being streamed into "trade school" even though I excelled in my grades, and ensured that I attended university where I found out that I was as capable - if not more so - than any of the other "shining lights" of intelligence. Even though coming out of that idealistic environment did not change things for me in the real world, the empowering knowledge that I was as capable as anyone gave me the ability to reach for any goal I aspired to and the knowledge that I could make a difference in the world.
Eventually, as we grew as an organziation, there came a time when we needed to align ourselves with larger organizations to grow and get our message out there. This is where we are now. The organizations we are dealing with right at this moment have not responded with a definitive yes or no, everything is in flux. What I want to impress on all of you is that we may very well get rejections at this point in time. What does that mean, do we throw a temper-tantrum, do we pack up our toys and give up. No! We respond, by being diplomatic, sincere and forceful in our argument to those agencies that have the most influence on those who we seek for help. Our philosophy and altruistic goals are our best offence to have our voices heard! This is what our organization is about and why I will fight for those ideals with every fibre of my being.
We archive everything that happens here and put it out for the general public to see and hear. I want them to see idealism and philosophy and hard work butt up against the reality that is the world we live in. I am willing to be pleasantly surprised by those organizations and individuals who rise above the usual and support our cause. I still believe that this can happen. I still believe the nature of the human heart is good. This is after all, an experiment: The Fortress Experiment!
I don't have a crystal ball. This journey is as much of an adventure for me as it is to our other members. I have no idea what we will be doing five years from now. I can plan and set goals. Realize though, that my life five years ago, and what I am doing now would be completely unbelievable to myself of five years previous. Life can be like that if you allow yourself to believe and reach as we do here! I see my philosophy rubbing off on the young people at this organization and that is the greatest reward. So while we may receive setbacks or achieve things never thought possible, the organization and it's empowering philosophy, are where it is at and what the end game is all about.