09/25/2014 02:40 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

It's Time to Redefine Renaissance


The Harlem Renaissance period is an era that I wish that I could somehow experience in my life. The allure of it. The thought that if I was a black male and educated in a variety of things that I would be considered a "Renaissance Man." I've always been fascinated by not just the artists, musicians, and intellectuals, but also the community in Harlem that supported their vision. I believe both aspects are essential to the creation of a Renaissance period and the positive outlook that still resonates when the period is mentioned.

What's missing today? It seems that in the present time, we have all the tools that people in Harlem were using to create their space in time. If anything, we have more tools than we know what to do with. Because of the internet, our access to technology and art have continued to grow as entrepreneurs create the next "next thing."

This perpetual cycle that has been created in the Internet age has giving us every attribute needed to succeed except for personal soft skills like humility and patience. Two of the most essential attributes of the Harlem Renaissance period. They are also the two glaring differences between what we have now and great times of the past.

Humility. There is something tangible that happens when you are recognized by your peers for talents that you have worked for. Before now, you were forced to build an audience hand to hand; offering your services in return for compensation from your customers. Without email, tweets or other medias, this process took time. In turn, each entrepreneur, artist, or entertainer has time to perfect their craft and pitch.

This is not the case today. We are in a time of self-declaration which is the only intensified by the blogging/posting nature of people today. Some may charge me with this as well, but I'm the first one to tell you that nothing I write will be without question. To me, a finished thought only exists until you start writing again. I'm a project of continuous leaning in motion. Plus, I'm nowhere near my 10,000 hours.

Speaking of 10,000 hours. The second attribute missing is patience. What's the value of having patience in the first place. Most people just happy declare that they don't have it, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. A lack of patience causes entrepreneurs to see a void in their market and fill it with a product or service. No patience forces community members to organize and create action for a positive change in their neighborhood. Both are excellent examples of having little to no patience.

Notice that both of those examples are used for positive movement. Where a lack of patience creates an issue is where it cause premature movement before the individual has developed a clear goal to focus on. In my opinion, there is a true benefit to the time that's spent as an undiscovered talent as long as you are continue to perfect your craft.

This rush to discovery and popularity is the main contributor to the collapse of start ups and small businesses all over the world. I can speak to this personally. There's always a feeling of self importance that's present when you are speaking about your own business. It's important to believe in yourself. But all is lost without the proper perspective. Sometimes the time that you are living unnoticed can serve as more time to prepare for the launch. That's the difference between a one hit wonder and a discography of music. The patience to realize that the time that you spent out of the spotlight directly translate into the amount of time you will be in the spotlight. Get to work while you can.

I long to live in a time that people use their social media tools to support the people that are around them. Using retweets and mentions to spread positivity and make connections throughout their social circles and beyond. A return to the communities that cultivated the Renaissance period of the past. I believe that the talent exist to create a culture of inclusivity and collective impact. Now it's time to connect!

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