Successful Latinos have a responsibility to their communities. What exactly does the responsibility entail? Making fellow Latinos successful by sharing their knowledge.
Pretty bold statement right? W.E.B. Du Bois, a famous black activist, can be blamed for impregnating minds with this belief.
Du Bois, created this theory right after blacks were freed from slavery in the belief that educated blacks held a responsibility to their community too. Although, some may call this belief elitist, it may be the key to improving the Latino community.
Educated Latinos are the best solution for improving the quality of life for all Latinos. If the best and brightest take time to educate at least one other person, then they too will have to pay it forward. The cycle will theoretically continue over and over, thus resulting in a highly successful Latino population.
Stop and think for a minute about the following question. Would you wait for somebody to save you, or would you save yourself? Duh, the answer is impulsive! Your human nature tells you that you should preserve your own life.
You are probably thinking, “Okay, what does self-preservation have to do with my responsibility to give back?”
My answer is, “Everything!” Just like your human nature tells you to save yourself before waiting for somebody else to do the job, your instincts should tell you that is far more efficient for Latinos to save themselves, rather than waiting for someone else to do the job.
With this being said, I do not mean to undermine the work that the government or non-profits perform, but instead, highlight the importance of Latinos taking a leadership role in the programs, these non-profits offer, or better yet be the head honcho and run it.
Latinos, if you are already contributing to your community that is great, I am not talking about you. But if you are reading this and saying, “Man, it has been a while since I have reached out to others”, then switch things up and do not feel guilty. We all get busy sometimes. The important point is getting back in the game, no matter how rusty or out of touch you may feel – your community needs you.
Hogging success is no fun. You will be the only one on top and that gets lonely. Imagine how fun it will be the day there are lots of Latinos with whom you can celebrate successes.
Also, I am a firm believer in leading by example, so this week I decided to become a GED tutor at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, California. I heard about this organization over six years ago and had an opening in my schedule, which allowed me the opportunity to finally volunteer. This organization serves at-risk and gang involved youth with services and programs that teaches them how to be self-sufficient. I truly feel like this organization promotes Du Bois’ belief in that, successful homeboys and homegirls have the opportunity to eventually lead and help newcomers.
Also, if you get stuck on where to volunteer, check out idealist.org. This site is awesome at connecting people with non-profit organizations that align to your interests and proximity.