Smoketown beauty tree 1-17-18.jpg

January 17, 2018

Happy Wednesday Smoketown, today may be a cold wintery day but the sun is shining bright to ensure you that everything will be alright. Today is a new day to start fresh and do something new, positive and exciting. Enjoying life is the best thing that you can do. Take for instance this tree in the picture. All around this field are trees that have shed all of their leaves, but this tree is still holding on to its leaves despite the blistery cold weather.  

Some people may think that this tree is slow to its seasonal changes and it doesn't belong because it's different from the rest. It's easily judged based on only its appearance. Others may think that it's special and unique in its own way. Everything around it looks dead, but this tree still has life and still is taking on the challenges it faces with the weather.  

This is how life is. We are faced with challenges every day that tends to bend us left and right or tries to take our happiness, and might even try to break us down completely. At one point in your life, you have felt like this tree, simply being judged for being different. I'm sure that the tree doesn't consider itself being better than the other trees. This tree is resilient, it's strong and unshaken by the worlds winds and changes of harsh weather. Despite how other trees fair in the extreme weather, this tree stands apart and flourishes.  

My advice to you is to look at yourself as this tree and say that it's okay to be different. Everything nor everybody isn't meant to be the same. Everything around you can be dead, broken, hurting, hateful, judgmental, etc. But it doesn't mean YOU have to be. Stand out and be proud to be different, unique, and special in your own way. Simply believe you are BEAUTIFUL, STRONG, and RESILIENT - not to be easily shaken by the challenges of life.  

Today, as you walk or drive through Smoketown, please notice the mural painted on Clay & Lampton St. Located across the corner of Shirley Mae's Café. It states "Smoketown is Worthy of Everything". This message comprises the thoughts of this community. It's not just one person who stands out, but each of you that make up this rich historic community. Only when we come together can we make a difference. ANYTHING is possible. Know that you are more than your race, intellect, family history, talent, job, generational curses/situations, violence, hatred, sadness, and poverty that keeps you divided as a person of greatness. Know that YOU ARE WORTHY OF EVERYTHING!! 

A Special Thanks go out to the talented artists "Often Seen Rarely Spoken" for doing the mural for the Smoketown Community. They wasted no time completing the mural in spite of the cold snowy weather. Thanks for your dedication and your awesome talent!!

Thanks from: Shawn'Nika Queen, Project HEAL, Community Health Champion