“How will you know when you’ve arrived?”
I had told her about the hustle, about how hard I’d been working to have the life my ancestors died for me to have, and that was her response.
How will I know.
There’s no map for us – especially not today. We know to keep hands locked on steering wheels and eyes straight ahead, but we’re not always sure what we’re looking towards. We know survival. I know survival. I know getting to the next day and just making it by grace. I know paying bills and saving up – only the crack open the bank and watch it all fall out.
So, what’s it mean to build and sustain generational wealth? What’s it mean to maintain a home without fear of being evicted? What will our definition of excellence be when our baseline is whiteness and all the ways we don’t fit in?
Someone once told me that a poor homeless white man still holds more privilege than the richest most successful Black man you’ve ever met. It’s almost as if my definition of greatness can’t be rooted in money and possessions. It can’t be based on degrees on the wall. It has to have more legs than that, more meaning. It has to be God and only God. That’s my benchmark: how much do I trust Him in any given moment and what am I doing to serve others?
It feels good to write that, it feels harder to live it. And still, I don’t have an answer to her question. I won’t know when I’ve arrived. My family will be safe and our bodies clothed, but I’ll still have so far to go.