Several weeks ago, I was asked to be a panelist for a “Girls Who Rock” STEAM event in Spartanburg, SC. STEAM is an acronym for Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics. The original STEM program decided to add the ‘A’ because ART brings a sense of balance coupled up with Technology which aids innovation! Creativity and Technology are not distant cousins but more like brothers and sisters and I believe that acknowledging the ARTS was making it ‘official’ even though it has always been a part of the technological advancement of science and engineering. I hold a dear place in my heart for every component of STEAM so if you could only imagine, I was delighted when a good friend of mine referred me to be a part of this event.
I was aware of the nature of the event but I did not know anything about the ‘company I would keep’ as one of the 5 panelist. Even though I am an engineer and poet, my role in this forum was to represent engineering. When I received my itinerary through email I begin to look over the list of panelist and something stuck out immediately—I was the only person there that was not a Doctor. My immediate thought was Wow…..Then I stared at the itinerary for several minutes as my mind ran a million thoughts…One of those thoughts were, God I am familiar with the challenge of obtaining a Doctorate and I know several people in my life personally who are ‘Dr.’s’ of their respective fields so I don’t take it lightly…God…just please…represent in me when I open my mouth! (ha! Yes, that was my prayer)
But let me tell you what happened ‘in’ me while I was sitting in the mist of what I deem a ‘powerful panel of very intelligent, not only smart on paper but through life experiences as they opened their mouths” people….I had a lot to contribute as well without the DR. in front of my name. You see, I had a moment where God flashed my ‘past’ before me as I looked out into the sea of people waiting on me to ‘speak’. Sometimes I don’t think about all of the wonderful life experiences I have lived unless God brings it to my remembrance because of something happening in that moment or if I am asked to speak about my past. The Holy Spirit begin to remind me of the part all of those experiences are playing in this moment.right.now.WOW.
Please hear me…I don’t want you to leave this post saying it’s not necessary to get a Doctorate because I think that its admirable and has its place in your career goals and objectives. I just want to encourage someone who feels like they are not ‘worthy’ on paper. God has ‘kept’ you through some good and not so good life experiences that are worthy of mentioning in the company of people who may have more accolades and degrees.
There is a PLACE for your STORY and God will put you on a platform to tell it! AMEN….
And for me….I didn’t feel like, “Okay, maybe God is trying to say I need to get a Doctorate because why would He put me in the mist of all these Doctors?!?!” LOLOLOL! See, some of y’all probably thought I was going to go there but nope, my spirit didn’t unction that to me AT ALL….that moment for me was special. It was powerful and humbling. It made me appreciate my education AND my life experiences up to that moment in time. Things change and life has a way of coming back full circle to reach someone who is listening and living your life experience in that moment. That was confirmation for me as many parents and young girls came up to me afterwards to say how inspired they were by my story. Wow…..
So I say, be obedient and courageous. Speak your truth because God has created you to be a blessing to the world BEYOND A TITLE.
xoxo Chiccy Baritone
Facebook: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet