Have you ever seen a grown black man walking around the streets in a diaper? I mean seriously! It may sound strange but this question when sometimes run through my head when my negative inner voice (the “monkey mind” as my namaste brethren lovely refer to as) runs rampant.
It’s true, I’ve attended many retreats, yoga programs and have spend countless hours meditating, doing the inner work, with aspirations of finding enlightenment. Rarely have I encountered another black brotha on this more than 15 year journey. So naturally, when I came across John Hunter’s Ted Talk where he begins by briefly reflecting on his in-and-out conflicts of dropping out of school while aspiring to live the life of a holy man on the streets of India, I felt as though I could take solace in the heart of extremely inspiring, now-world-renowned educator.
Something that has dawned on me recently like a dove descending upon the lovely wooly head of a holy man, is that spirituality, for me, has little to do with taking a vow of poverty. Rather, it has everything to do with taking up the legacy of my ancestors, Of Martin Luther King Jr., Malik El Hadj Shabezz, Marcus Garvey, Mother Theresa, Mia Birdsong, John Hunter, my parents, my teachers, my mentors… I can go on forever. My life is not my own.
Holy men and women play their role for humanity. However, for someone who feels she has something to contribute to society in the form of education, business, technology, science, etc. then they must share those gifts with the rest of the world. I’ve learned that the most beautiful gift I can give to the world is to be joyfully and humbly participate.
John Hunter is a different kind of holy man. He’s taken his enlightened state of understanding the mind, the ego and the limitless potential of the human spirit and has channeled it into education. This North Carolina based educator has created the now-famous hugely successful World Peace game, has been featured in a documentary called World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements and has been honored as a speaker of a very popular Ted Talk .
Watch John Hunter’s Ted Talk and tell whether his message and his work has influenced you in a similar way. Did you tear up too?