Day Five of Kwanza represents Nia, which is Swahili for Purpose. Its goal is “to make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.”
We underestimate the importance of community in our get-ahead lives. Pay attention! Solid community is one of the strongest indicators of marital success. Who is your community? Who will celebrate with you?
- Do you have a role in moving your community of birth or choice forward?
- What is it?
- What difference does it make in your life if your community fulfills its greatness?
- How does your community help and support you?
- Where have you learned about community? Are you still active there?
- Who are your advisors and mentors?
- Who are your advisees?
- Who’s coming to your wedding and why?
It’s been really interesting to watch the Obamas ready themselves for the White House by tightening their ties to what they refer to as their Kitchen Cabinet. Some of their close friends are talking about moving to Washington, putting their work and lives on hold so that they can support this new Presidency. Certainly Michelle Obama’s Mother, Mrs. Robinson will live close to the White House or even in the White House. This is a group of people (people of power) who have strategized and planned with one another for years. How do you advance and succeed in a world that is not interested in or even hostile to your success? It’s hard to tell whether they will call Barack Obama Mr. President in private, although they certainly will in public. President Elect Obama (it’s hard to stop calling him Barack, isn’t it?) may not look to them for advice on Israel and Palestine, although I’m sure he’s willing to take a good idea from anyone there, whew!), but he will hear them when they talk to him about how he lives his life as president and how Michelle and he parent their two daughters. Some of these friends are their age, some are older. His familial elders may be gone, but his community elders are going strong. If it takes a village, Barack is taking his with him!
Tip: So figure out who your kitchen cabinet is. Who will help you live the lives you want to live? You may be able to do this on your own. You got this far. But if you can get good support and advice from people you respect, why wouldn’t you do this? How will you bring the concept of Nia into your wedding and marriage planning?