Happy Kwanzaa! I enjoy this time of year – Celebrating Kwanzaa!
You have the power of leadership. You have the power to create and celebrate the good in this world. Never forget how awesome you are and how much you can offer this world.
Below is an excerpt from Dr. Maulana Karenga’s annual message. I share this excerpt to provide education and inspiration but that you would also be moved in your heart to embrace the principles and implement them in your life and business.
The beautiful thing about Kwanzaa is that while it is speaking to African Americans; Dr. Karenga’s message is kindly inclusive of all people and the world.
“Embracing the Principles and Practice of Kwanzaa: Creating and Celebrating the Good”
The Seven Principles, the Nguzo Saba, prove their enduring and daily relevance in the life we live, the work we do, and the struggle we wage on every front to expand the realm of freedom and justice, peace, security, well-being and other goods in the world. Umoja (Unity) teaches us the oneness of our people, the common ground of our humanity, the interrelatedness of life and the indispensability of family and community in our righteous togetherness in love, work and struggle.
In a world where there are ongoing invasions, bombing, occupations and other mass assaults on vulnerable peoples and lands, and there are outrageous denials of the rights to freedom and independence, the principle of Kujichagulia (Self-determination) reaffirms our right and everyone’s right to control our destiny and daily lives, and build the good communities, societies and future we conceive, aspire to and struggle to bring into being.
In a world where degraded forms of individualism claim the day and people are taught conflict over cooperation and rush ruthlessly ahead at the expense of others, Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) teaches us that we come into being, thrive and flourish in needed and principled relationships. And it teaches us that it is together that we must conceive and construct the good communities, societies and world we all want and deserve.
In a world where corporate pillage and plunder of the wealth of the world and alliances with invading and occupying armies are understood as normal and necessary by citizen beneficiaries, and where silence in the face of slaughter and suffering is justified for “reasons” of the false right to be secure in that brutal robbery and repressive rule, the principle of Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) teaches the value and practice of shared work and shared wealth, the right of people to their own re-sources and the ethical imperative of a just and equitable sharing of the good of the world.
In a world where evil and injustice flourish and the poor and vulnerable are held in contempt by the rich and powerful and by the wannabe’s that worship and follow them, the principle of Nia (Purpose) reminds us of the ancient ethical teaching in the Odu Ifa that we and all humans are divinely chosen to bring good in the world and that this is the fundamental mission and meaning, i.e., purpose, of human life.
In a world in which worldwide destruction is digitized and brutally imposed on the world, and the police and vigilante taking of Black lives has become almost epidemic, and where countries and whole peoples are devastated, and the environment laid waste with wanton disregard and distain, the principle of Kuumba (Creativity) urges us to practice the ethical teachings of The Husia that put forth the concept of serudj ta, the moral obligation to heal, repair and transform the world making it more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
Finally, In a world where faith is funded, religion is racialized and used to indict and discredit whole peoples and their faith, and God is given the blasphemous and sacrilegious role of co-signing oppression, land and resource robbery and claims of racial and religious supremacy, the principle of Imani (Faith) teaches us to hold tightly and firmly to the faith of our ancestors who taught us to respect each person, people and culture as a unique and equally valid and valuable way of being human in the world.
These are great principles to implement in daily life and in business. Kwanzaa is celebrated December 26 – January 1. Read Dr. Karenga’s full message here.
Frenetta Tate is a Motivational Orator, International Author, Women’s Empowerment Coach, Business Consultant and Partner. Learn more at http://www.frenettatate.com