There is this beauty I see in the story of David and Goliath.
The beauty doesn’t lie in the story of a small man defeating a giant who could have ultimately broken him to pieces in a physical battle, the beauty lies in the courage of the small man to take on the challenge of defeating a man who was twice his size.
I know a young man who is 6’5. Many of his peers, I’m sure, never challenged him because of the assumptions made about a black male who towers over his peers. But, despite his stature I saw the fear he had of himself and his potential. It was scary for me to see him so afraid of what he could do and what he could manifest.
And, for the past year my staff and I have been battling with him to accept that fact that although he may look like Goliath on the outside, it is important for him to have the spirit of David on the inside. Because, ultimately, it’s not about how big you are, but how big your spirit is.
For the years I’ve known him I’ve battled with him to work toward attaining his diploma and ultimately going to college. His mother pushed him, his coaches pushed him, and I’m sure his other family members were pushing him in the same manner we pushed him. And, with every push he would take a tiny step forward. But, I got to a point where I was tired of pushing and I wanted to literally bulldoze his ass in the direction I knew he needed to go and I did that a couple of weeks ago.
I, literally, had to talk to him like I know I will talk to my future children. No filters, no regard for professionalism, no “Mr. Nice Prince,” just plain old “get your shit together and make it work.” For those who know me I know it seems I do that all the time with my students, so you can only imagine what was said in that conversation. I’m not sure if he had to see the David in me to allow the David in him to be revealed, but with that tough love and support, not only from me, but my staff who fell in line in their delivery, a young David was born in my big ole Goliath.
And, within two weeks he has completed all of his work to get his diploma so that we can officially send him to college in the fall. Now, by all means, I don’t take full credit for his new found success because I don’t live with him neither am I able to be in his ear every day, his mother does that, but I think with that last bulldoze of a push he came to realize that people were really there to support him and he would disappoint those who cared about him if he didn’t show and prove.
Today, I had the opportunity to attend an eighth grade graduation. A good friend of mine asked me to attend to meet a couple of his students who will be going to high school to discuss how my program could benefit them as they matriculate as freshmen. While there the administration asked my homey if he could speak to an eighth grade male student who was in the office upset about how he was treated regarding participating in the ceremony. This dude had to be at least 5″10, 11 in the eighth grade.
After speaking with the student it was found that he wore a cream shirt to graduation as opposed to a white shirt, the uniform the administration wanted all male students to wear for the ceremony. The young man argued that other male students had on black shirts and creme is not that different from white–a valid argument if you ask me. In addition, he was upset because his mother, his father, nor any other family member or adult family friend attended the ceremony and he commented that no one was available to pick him up after graduation as eighth grade classes ceased today.
After having a conversation with the administration explaining the young man’s side of the story they allowed him to walk with his classmates. When he asked the young man to go into they gym the young man said he didn’t want to walk again because of the way he was treated. My homeboy asked him if he and I were to stand in the back of the gym and root him on would he walk. And, he finally agreed.
So, we walked him back in the gym where he took his spot and when they offered his promotion certificate he smiled valiantly at his accomplishment. My homeboy had to put the spirit of David in that young man before he realized he was worth more than the creme shirt, worth more than the fact that his mother and father either chose or could not be there to support him and he faced his fear of walking down that gym floor despite not having familial support because he had the support of two brothers who had his best interest at heart.
We are raising a generation of chicken fed young people who have these Goliath bodies, with so much physical prowess, but their spirits are easily defeated. And, the reason why they are so afraid of themselves is because they don’t have a support system who tells them every day that they have the mental stones to make successful shots in life. These kids only need love, guidance and support and I promise you they will be awesome, humble individuals who will have spirits of triumph and not defeat!
Will you take the challenge of putting the spirit of David in someone?
J. Prince, Princepality 91