A great deal of effort and expense is invested in education; in learning, which is indeed a necessary tool in order to contend and compete in the workforce or any specialized area of study or interest.
I believe it is vital to bring LEARNING outside of the established norms. We must make learning the INSTITUTION as opposed to relying solely on learning institutions.
The Foundational Fundamentals that undergird all of these efforts are God, family and community. We realized that we attempted to provide information to build up a community, but without the fundamentals, maybe we pulled the cart before the horse, so to speak.
Today, let’s talk about CONSUMPTION and WASTE. These fall in line with stewardship and causes us to examine what we do with what we have. The answer isn’t necessarily that we need more money or even more income, but that we better regulate the use of what we already have.
We have all heard the catch phrase, "Each One Teach One."
This phrase originated in the United States during slavery, when Africans were denied education, including learning to read. Many, if not most slaves were kept in a state of ignorance about anything beyond their immediate circumstances which were under control of owners, the law makers and the authorities. When a slave learned or was taught to read, it became his duty to teach someone else, spawning the phrase "Each one teach one."
This week, I will begin this post with a true story.
In my community, there were two-black owned and operated florists who have gone out of business, who were forced to close their doors. Both of whom I know personally and patronized, and received exceptional service. How can it be that they were not able to sustain? That’s the question I pondered then and even now.
This week, I would like to further expound on this principle. I pose this question for all to ponder, “Just what if…”
What if we stretch, expand our thinking around collaboration among churches, organizations and non-profits. What if they came together, joined forces so to speak?” What if we could then improve our purchasing power?
What is Group Economics? Group Economics defined, is creating and exchanging resources (e.g., currency, talents, gifts, skills, goods and services) that a group deems valuable amongst another. It is time for the black community to pool our resources in order to produce community wealth.
This week, my daughter, Deneen G. Matthews, Editor-in-chief of DeeClare Publishing, LLC is providing our blog post. She will introduce the concept creative entrepreneurship opportunities through publishing.
This blog post again references the need for the support of local businesses, expansion and job creation within our communities. Tell me, what’s the incentive for our young people entering the work force to remain a part of the village? What do they have to invest in? What is there for them to build upon? Are we actually supporting a premise for them to desire to leave and never look back?
While I travel about the city and nearby areas searching for community-based black owned businesses to frequent, I have observed that many, if not most of our local businesses are owned and operated by proprietors who are employed full-time. I understand that for many, the full time job is the consistent flow of resource fueling and funding the business venture. This is not an impossible feat, however, organization and discipline around schedules is very important.
In this segment of the Elder’s Ledger, I thought I’d speak a bit about the origins and grass roots of our publishing company, DeeClare Publishing, LLC. I am the Co-founder and my daughter, Deneen Matthews is the Editor-in-chief.
Though many have learned that business is a degree obtained in an institution, and being in business is seeking after positions and success attributed to the established system, I now challenge us to color outside the lines and think beyond what has been traditionally taught.
A few weeks ago, I attended a meeting where I engaged in a discussion with one of the gentleman who attended. The topic of our discussion was in reference to black people and going into business.
We raise our children, then instruct them to go to school, study hard, get good grades, attend college and “GET A GOOD JOB.” Now, I absolutely agree with the importance of getting a good education, yet realistically, college is not for everyone.
The blog post this week is directed toward the consumers, yes, the customers. We have a tendency to be very hard on the merchants in our community. We place more stringent rules and guidelines for patronage on our local merchants than on the larger stores and mall merchants we often frequent.
In this and future blog posts, we will tackle and discuss the issue of economics and its impact in our community.
As best we can, we need to make a concerted effort to commit to making our hard-earned dollars work for us. As the largest consumers, if all we earn is spent outside of the community, how can we sustain? Even if you have left the community, or moved outside of the immediate area, visit and seize opportunities to give back. Be intentional.
Keeping in step with the stated theme of "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child," and the appropriated action to "Reclaim the Village," I believe we must look at the inner workings of the village and take proper action, yes, the necessary steps to arrive at our desired outcome.
The village community is about the people, but we the people must commit to becoming productive participants within our village.
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