“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learned how it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for a tooth. But I say this to you: offer the wicked man no resistance. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well; if a man takes you to law and would have your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone orders you to go one mile, go two miles with him. Give to anyone who asks, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away,” Matthew 5:38-48
What is your worthy cause?
If you lack clarity of a worthy cause, no matter how much success you register in terms of money, power and material wealth, it will still not be enough. The people we read about as noble prize winners, game changers and exceptional leaders dedicated their lives to something beyond making lots of money. You must have a worthy cause.
So, what is your worthy cause?
As a reader of history, I came across a book titled: Harriet Tubman. A detailed biography of a woman that looked the enemies with loaded guns and said enough is enough. She made up her mind never to die as a slave. No one can decide on their choice of parents and the conditions they are born in. Few are lucky. Their parents buy air tickets and travel thousands of miles to foreign lands so that they are born in developed countries! Others travel from villages to towns to give birth. While many others are not that fortunate. They are born in poverty – city or village poverty is the same. For Harriet and so many other black Americans of the 1800s to early 1970s, they were born into slavery. Yes, born a slave.
Born circa 1820 into slavery in Maryland (the American East), Araminta Harriet Ross, married a black man named John Tubman, becoming Harriet Tubman. It is not cozy to be born a slave. In 1849, Harriet escaped successfully to the North.
But why tell this story
After successfully escaping slavery from the East, to Pennsylvania in the North, Harriet did not settle and forget the so many slaves she had left in the East. She became a conductor and started a clandestine project to free so many other slaves from Maryland to the North. An online source notes, “Tubman risked her life to lead hundreds of family members and other slaves from the plantation system to freedom on this elaborate secret network of safe houses.”
Nicknamed “Moses” for her leadership, it is said that Harriet was very determined. Often during the escape –90 miles plus journey – some slaves would give up and decide to return back. As a leader, with a loaded gun, pointed to the head of anyone who showed weakness, Harriet would say “Dead people tell no tales.” Either you continue with us to your freedom or I get a bullet in your head and drop here: which one do you want? And the decision was always moving forward so much that for all the eight years Tubman led slaves to freedom, she never lost anyone to a bullet!
In 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson in the center of a new $20 bill. Those are the fruits of determination to a worthy cause. Although Harriet was always financially unstable, meaning she did not have enough for herself and family, her face today graces the center of a US $20 bill!
As we learn from the best teacher in the world, Jesus Christ, “offer the wicked man no resistance.” Tubman did not return to the East to fight slave masters. No, that was not her focus. She returned clandestinely, to mobilize fellow slaves to freedom. She avoided direct confrontation. She did not retaliate.
What is your worthy cause?
Once you find it, determine and put in your all to make it happen one step at a time. This happens when you burn the bridges of retreat. As a fighter, if you cross a bridge. And burn it behind you such that there is no way to retreat, your only option is to fight the enemy else you will be killed in the enemy territory since you burned the bridge of retreat.
Be it a job, new project or business, that is the kind of determination you need to succeed. #upwardandforward.
I wish you a successful Sunday and a great Lent period ahead. Have any questions for me? Follow me on twitter, @mustaphamugisa for weekly book titles which we review. To be inspired, visit www.mustaphamugisa.com.
Bernabas Mustapha Mugisa is Mr. Strategy, the architect of #Mindspark.