People like me

Published 5:56 pm Friday, March 12, 2021

By Tonya S. Swindell

It’s amazing to see people like me who are doing and being all they can be. It does something for my heart’s pace — makes it beat faster and stronger as I run my race. It makes me say, “Yesssss, I can do this!!” because I’ve seen others make their mark and get through this. It makes me think, “I won’t stop the flow. I’ll keep moving and making good noise as I go.”

I’ll bring attention to things involving me and when possible do it eloquently; allow my actions to speak my truth while I do unto others as I would have them do. I’ll be intentional about showing respect for the men and women who marched on as they wept. I’ll stand on the shoulders of giants while being careful as I make good alliances.

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I’ll walk with people who agree without making enemies of people who think differently.

I’ll move forward with strength and power while embracing the electricity that exists at this hour. I’ll use my creativity, expand my horizons and explore what it means to be me.

I’ll allow wisdom to be my guide while I follow role models and mimic their stride. I’ll see perseverance as a tool instead of a burden that I could easily refuse. I’ll consider the risk of staying “small” as an unwelcome threat to my full potential. I’ll see myself as a game changer, encourager, leader and motivator. I’ll let my light shine and share my knowledge with those who are of a like mind.

I’ll let my history speak and learn about ways in which it impacts me. I’ll rejoice at innovation and recall how my ancestors helped to build this nation. I’ll make note of many good reasons to take advantage of opportunities that are available in this season. I’ll remind others of their God-given potential while teaching my kids that confidence is essential.

I’ll remember that I’m still here and that I survived another year. I’ll recall what it means to move on without fear that could grip me so strong. I’ll resolve to put hatred aside while walking with my head held high, ready to leap into new situations and have some helpful conversations with people, who like me, desire to be the best that they can be.

Tonya Swindell is an occupational therapist. She is also a teacher for Kingdom Building Institute ( She can be reached at