Dear Friends and Virtual Visitors,
Greetings and welcome to Fiscal Year 2024. Today is October 1, 2023 and this is your blog host Reggie Hill, M. Ed. – Founder and Executive Director (Chairman) of “Success 4 the Future” (“S4TF”).
“S4TF”, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, exists to ensure that adolescents, particularly those at-risk of danger, steer clear of pathways which lead towards delinquency; social-dependency; and incarceration—through implementation and sustainability of worthwhile behavioral learning and character development projects.
As we enter into our new season of continued service, to those in high-poverty and underserved communities, I have recommitted myself to writing on our website once again. Ensuring that thoughts are freely shared and given room to grow… for myself and for those who make time to be enlightened.
Everyone can expect new entries on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday.
As you know “S4TF” functions through 4 Pillars: Faith; Uplifting Education; NO! 2 Violence; and Sharing. We’ll unpack the essence of this foundational intent, in the coming days.
So, Sunday’s will tap into The Greatest Power Source (Pillar 1). Wednesdays will focus on Wisdom and Peace (P2-3); and Friday will highlight Amazing Happenings (P4), something worth your weekend attention.
For today’s topic discussion, I have chosen “Radical Hospitality”. Let’s examine the “basic roots”, first:
· Radical: far reaching
· Hospitality: the friendly and generous reception of another.
Normalites (those affiliated with Alabama A&M University) from all over the world recently wrapped up our 2023 Homecoming Activities. While we played host to a longtime rival (Tuskegee University) and witnessed our first ever sold out crowd, this isn’t a concrete example of radical hospitality… seeing that even with opposing foes on the same grounds—we still were family. The HBCU family to be exact.
Radical Hospitality instead looks beyond common connections and welcomes even an enemy or discovered adversary to one’s table of existence. In our (collective) chronological setting of life, a demeanor of expanded-tolerance is absolutely necessary to preserve any healthy climate of human endeavor.
Democracy (when done right) is a beautiful thing… because while we don’t have to agree on everything, we still find our way to consensus. Something sufficient for all people involved and duly represented.
The questions then become: how much are we willing to endure from our fellow neighbors? How many times are too many, before we deviate from lending a helping hand? How territorial can one be and still ideologically justify their adopted (or proclaimed) means of servitude?
(Focusing on Faith) Scripture insists:
· Matthew 25:35-36 – (35) For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, (36) I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
This means that we can never limit how many ways we can undergo the role of lifting up the next man who is in need—seeing that challenges vary. This also means that we must not add a stopwatch or checklist to identify completion to our responsibility for those around us—recognizing that the one day we may want personal solitude (the most) could be the moment someone needs us to the greatest extent. Furthermore, suffering isn’t unique to a geographical point or economic status. We have to be willing to have clear eyes and open ears to know when assistance is necessary and brave enough to admit when such gratitude is personally imperative to be received.
“S4TF” teaches Project Participants (P2) to “See with their Ears and Hear with their Eyes”.
(Primarily) Because too often people need encouragement but don’t know how to request it. Or, too often people need support and for whatever reason (stubbornness, embarrassment, uncertainty, past experiences, etc.) won’t even think of bothering to ask for it. Ultimately, if we each are minute pieces to the larger puzzle of life, who does such levels of detachment actually help?
“S4TF” also teaches P2, that humans have learned the same way, since the beginning of time. We copy what we see and repeat what we hear. This basically means that humans are products of exposure.
So, how can we chastise our Brother or Sister who doesn’t know any better? How can we belittle our fellow Resident who has lived in unpleasant conditions the majority of their lives? And how can we hold grudges or cast defaming claims against someone else who wasn’t privileged to the best or most opportunistic upbringing or simply was caught-up in a coerced incident (out of their control)? Either way we shouldn’t! And, expending time on such is a hindrance to everyone.
(Focusing on Faith) Scripture insists:
· Romans 12:19-20 – (19) Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge, I will repay,” says the Lord. (20) On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink…”
This clarifies (in comparison to the previous Scripture) that even those who we would suggest to be antagonists in our lives deserve Radical Hospitality.
Because I speak truth to (man designed) power and do so unapologetically, I have been one to gain a few enemies… those visible and unknown. Yet, each day I make time to pray for them and wish them well. Regardless of how I feel internally, we each come to Earth the same way. So practically we are no different. God holds totality of “allowance”. We must respect Almighty’s call. Even when it may seem to be working against us.
As you progress through the week, take heed to what has blessed me over the past few years… being kind and welcoming to everyone around you, whether they desire you well or not in time leads to direct rewards that cannot be quantified. Never allow yourself to be a pushover. But remember, you don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to and while it might be your last to give, it could be someone else’s first to have.
KEEP BEING GREAT, GOOD PEOPLE!
- Reggie Hill, M. Ed.