I feel very honored today, as I want to share a heartfelt emotion and gratitude with my many followers. Recently, I received a very complimentary email from someone who reads Thought Provoking Perspectives regularly, this lady called me “A Griot.”
At first, I was not exactly sure what she meant but as I read the very kind message but I knew it was meant with high praise. I will admit – although sheepishly – her very kind message gave me an enormous feeling of pride as I went about my day thinking that I was able to touch this woman so profoundly.
Last year Thought Provoking Perspectives got over a million hits to which I am very grateful! I know I may not be the one to change the world but I can change the mind of the person who will, if only through my words. When I thought about the meaning of the word “Griot” in the African context, I realized it was an amazing acknowledgment rooted in the oral tradition of the African Diaspora. Let me explain, a Griot is the keeper of the information, facts, considered a repository of oral traditions, and those stories based on historical significance, which is very different than His-Story that in most cases are not true.
History tells us that this is a person who can extemporize on current events, chance incidents and the passing of knowledge. In the message, she said, “Mr. Wills your wit can be devastating to what we have to be taught about our history through your knowledge of history – formidable. Your storytelling and recounting of history is profound and taught me more than I can express.”
I am honored by the compliment, but I view the words I write based on what I know and therefore, the value of these words is to share them with those who don’t know the past. I have always believed that if you don’t know where you came from – you will never get to where you’re going.
I simply believe that “education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair.” Of course, we know poverty speaks to economics and despair clearly speaks to the mental condition of our minds. It is commonly expressed that knowledge is power but I say understanding and knowing what to do with knowledge is power. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…