Global Leadership Summit 2011 Session 2B – Corey Booker “Stand Up”
Mayor of Newark NJ
Every life has the ability to gift to you life and understanding. He is a learner.
He didn't learn it from Yale or Harvard, he learned it from his parents. The value of parents is that you can see the lessons are the same and so are the stories over and over again. The stories change over the years and become better and better.
His father tells the story about what it means to “stand up” for something. He was in class at the first day of school. Teacher asked people who thought they were dumb or stupid to stand up. Finally his dad stood up. He said “shucks ma'am, I don't think I'm stupid, but I didn't want you to be the only one standing.”
You will always face terrible adversaries. Things will happen to you, but regardless of the storm, you must be willing to stand. You were born as a grand experience of love. Freedom, liberty and opportunity come to you from your ancestors. Will you grow drunk on the wine of the benefits given you from others, or will us them to stand up and more forward. Love in action, unyielding faith and fearless hope came together in order for Corey to live in this world. His father tells him about envelopes of 5 and 10 dollar bills that came so he could go to college.
People stormed beaches in Normandy for you. People cleaned bathrooms and prayed for you. And, what will you do. Forces will try to crush you and move you into mediocrity. Lincoln: people are born unique, but die a copy.
Don't let the world tell you who you are. Rise!
As a teen, he was working in a summer program with children. He pulled out $5 and said it would go to the one who raises their hand the highest. Then he looked and the youngest of all the children was next to him. He wanted to instill him that he could compete and survive. When he went over him, he ran to the door. The boy said, “let me go, I know a way to get to the roof.”
We are here because of people with extraordinary vision and stood up to do something about it. Corey is still learning from the people of his city. He moved onto Martin Luther King Boulevard when he moved in Newark. It was full of violence, drug dealing, and adiction.
He went to see the person who was the tenant president of the projects there, Miss Jones. He remembered his parents saying he could learn more from someone in charge of the projects than from professors at law school. She asked him what he saw. He described graffiti, drug dealers, and such. She said that what you see in the world is a reflection of what you have inside. When you start to have the hope of God in you, you will see hope in the world.
We can talk about the climate and point blame, but in truth it's all just spitting in the wind. The only way to make change, it has to start with ourselves. If it's to be, it's up to me. He sees people with faith in God and the nation's ideals. The believe if we live our ideals we can achieve the impossible.
Instead of preaching and teaching, show it by how you live and spend. It's about your thoughts you put into action. There are so many distractions from living God's will. His father would say “Right now, in this moment, you can change this world.”
In every situation, we can accept circumstances as they are or work for a better change.
Some stars, when we look at them, have already burned out, but their light is still reaching us. We need to transform doubt into faith, obstacles into opportunities.
He tells about how, he didn't know what to do. In this great country of freedom, how could we allow parents to be imprisoned in their own homes, in fear for the lives of their children. He asked Miss Jones (of the project). She said you have to do something. He read in Matthew about having faith as a mustard seed. He decided to fast and pray in a tent. Others started to stand up and be with him. They stood together. People of all faiths came together to pray in all languages. After 10 days of not eating he felt the strongest power he ever felt.
E Pluribus Unum – United we stand.
“Liberty and Justice for all” must be a passion. If we stand like this, we'll find a way to get to the roof!
For more information on the Leadership Summit and Ocean Grove (“God's Square Mile on the Jersey Shore”) where their mission of Spiritual Birth, Growth and Renewal is lived out in community, visit my earlier post:
You'll also find links there to other great bloggers and tweeters on the conference.