Starting Your Dreams Later In Life and Embracing the Detour

Jenee Darden speaking at Creative Mornings I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but that's because of my job. I'm working as a reporter covering Oakland and I host an arts segment on the radio where I get to interview amazing artists from around the Bay Area. Plus I'm publicizing my book  and building my speaking career!  You know what's funny? I thought this would all happen by the time I was 27-30.  Nope. That wasn't God's plan for me. I'm finally beginning to do the things I've wanted to do and I'm almost 40 years old. Some people reading this who are 40 will say 40 is still young. But some younger people reading may think 40 is nearly ancient. But I'm writing this post for those who like me, thought their career and personal dreams would come true much early in life. I'm here to tell you not to give up.  You know, death inspires life. A number of my relatives and friends have passed away, ranging in

Dr. Dorothy Height Laid to Rest

Mourners Attend Funeral For Civil Rights Leader Dorothy Height

The National Cathedral in Washington, DC was packed today with people coming to pay their respects to civil rights leader Dr. Dorothy Height. President Obama delivered the eulogy where he said, Height, "deserves a place of honor in America's memory." And he described her a leader of "quiet, dogged, dignified persistence." You can watch the President's eulogy below.

I enjoy (and maybe "enjoy" isn't the right word) watching funerals of influential people. Of course I like the lavishness, but also it makes me look at how this person's life influenced me. And depending on the life they led, it's my own way of paying respects. One of the most beautiful services I've watched are those for Princess Diana and Ronald Regan. And one that recently moved me to tears was the funeral for the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones.

I have not seen Dr. Height's funeral but you can view it on C-SPAN. Watch it with your daughters. Our children are enjoying the benefits of struggles from decades ago, but have no clue about the struggle. More and more and more our daughters are getting the message that the power lies between their legs. NO. Teach your girls about women like Dr. Height so they'll see the source of their power is between their ears and in their hearts.

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Photo Credit:
1. PicApp--Photo shows poet Maya Angelou reading beside the coffin of Dorothy Height.



    Not one day in anyone’s life is an uneventful day, no day without profound meaning, no matter how dull and boring it might seem, no matter whether you are a seamstress or a queen, a shoeshine boy or a movie star, a renowned philosopher or a Down’s syndrome child.

    Because in every day of your life, there are opportunities to perform little kindnesses for others, both by conscious acts of will and unconscious example.

    Each smallest act of kindness – even just words of hope when they are needed, the remembrance of a birthday, a compliment that engenders a smile – reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit was the source of this good echo, because kindness is passed on and grows each time it’s passed, until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage years later and far away.

    Likewise, each small meanness, each thoughtless expression of hatred, each envious and bitter act, regardless of how petty, can inspire others, and is therefore the seed that ultimately produces evil fruit, poisoning people whom you have never met and never will.

    All human lives are so profoundly and intricately entwined – those dead, those living, those generations yet to come – that the fate of all is the fate of each, and the hope of humanity rests in every heart and in every pair of hands.

    Therefore, after every failure, we are obliged to strive again for success, and when faced with the end of one thing, we must build something new and better in the ashes, just as from pain and grief, we must weave hope, for each of us is a thread critical to the strength – the very survival – of the human tapestry.

    Every hour in every life contains such often-unrecognized potential to affect the world that the great days for which we, in our dissatisfaction, so often yearn are already with us; all great days and thrilling possibilities are combined always in THIS MOMENTOUS DAY! – Rev. H.R. White

    Excerpt from Dean Koontz’s book, “From the Corner of His Eye”.

    It embodies the idea of how the smallest of acts can have such a profound effect on each of our lives. Go with God, until we see you again, Dorothy Height, thank you.

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  3. Thanks Benito for the quote. It's very true that even small acts of kindness can make a difference. You never know what your smile or saying "Good Morning" can do to a person. I was at the market a few months ago and it was pouring down raining. The line was really long. The woman in front of me at the check out line and I started talking. She bought me a small bouquet of flowers just out of an act of kindness. That brightened my day. And being mean to someone can also have a domino effect too. And Dr. Height's deeds affected us all. Thanks Benito.

  4. Yes Dr. Height was certainly a trail blazer, and I believe her new book is out in the book stores. I know what you mean about dignitaries funerals because the first funeral I watched as a little girl was that of President John F. Kennedy. I was very young, and I watched it in my mother's kitchen alone for hours. It's had such an impact on me because I had seen him riding on the back of his vehicle waving to the crowd as his motorcade passed down my street. I'll never forget it as long as I live.


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