Monday evening, I gathered with hundreds of others to listen to the clarion call of the highly-acclaimed author, lecturer, TV/radio host, and political analyst Tavis Smiley. Mr. Smiley is a man deemed “one of the top 50 leaders for the future” by Newsweek, The Washington Post, and Time. While on a 20 city tour promoting his second New York Times best seller, “The Covenant In Action,” Mr. Smiley, along with Eddie Glaude — associate professor and protégé to Cornel West at Princeton University — made a scheduled visit to Chicago to share their personal insights regarding the current condition of America as a whole and the necessary improvements needed in the African American community.
After leaving New Orleans two days prior and constantly traveling, it was inspirational to witness these gentleman — in spite of a certain level of fatigue –still driven with determined poise to motivate America. With unpretentious moral authority, Mr. Smiley told the crowd, “you are the leaders that we have been looking for. Do the best you can with what you have, where you are. Form an image of yourself to which the future must conform.” He said that in order to accomplish this, you must have courage, conviction and commitment. “You can’t lead if you don’t love, and you can’t save others if you don’t serve.” He also asked, “What is the depth of your love and the quality of your service?”
As a seasoned host of Tavis Smiley, a late night talk show on PBS, and a weekly, two-hour segment on Public Radio International, Mr. Smiley challenged every listener to seek out his/her own personal greatness. “Success is not greatness but greatness is success,” he said.
Find out more about Tavis and his agenda at http://www.covenantwithblackamerica.com/ .