How great if we unified our talents

Published 10:24pm Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In the end, the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new high school on Aug. 8 proved to be one of the impressive occasions that I have attended since living in Selma. My two most favorites are still the Tabernacle of Praise annual Victory In Praise (VIP) conference and the Selma High School/Early College graduation ceremony. I encouraged one of my children to attend the second opening ceremony, held Sunday, and before I knew it I was faced with a question that I found difficult to respond to. My child wanted to know why we had two opening ceremonies.

It was a difficult question for me to answer because it was similar to the question I asked the Superintendent and the Board Chairman in a meeting after I received an invitation card. I knew at least two cafeteria workers and others who would always call and encourage me to keep fighting until we got a new high school. They would call and most times show up in the board meeting. When I saw the 10 a.m. schedule on a Wednesday, I concluded people like this, who may need a normal break time convenience to come, possibly would be excluded from what they fought for. I wanted to ensure I was not part of any politics of exclusion, because I know it is repugnant to normal growth. I realize a decision that encourages a division could result in an incision on a worthy function.

In response to my concern, the board chairman explained that another opening ceremony was scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m., which enabled everybody to attend. While leaving the board meeting a friend told me he could not wait to see the dignitaries who would attend on the Wednesday ribbon cutting; apparently, that’s the big shots’ affair. For a couple of days, I looked forward to meeting these dignitaries coming to our occasion because I planned to be present. By the way Webster’s New basic defines dignitary to mean high ranking, celebrity, influential, notable, big shot, big wheel, eminent, leader, lion, luminary, nabob and personage.

Amazingly, when I showed up, I recognized almost everybody at the occasion; they were associates and friends. I began to wonder if I am a dignitary, also, because I received the same attention the big shots received, if not more. Because I do not have the audacity to allow my assumption to override my spiritual belief, I stuck with my spiritual belief which concludes that dignitary status does not come through human friendship or association; rather it comes by knowing an unchanging awesome God who knows everything, who is merciful and more powerful than every human, who made heaven and earth; an ultimate protector, provider and giver of salvation. By my spiritual belief, we are all dignitaries.

Regardless, the ribbon cutting featured some well-meaning people who I have come to know and I admire their intelligence, wisdom and hard work. Another fact I pondered was how great Selma could become if all these great people can unify and put their talents, gifts, and anointing to work solely for the purpose of growing Selma.

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