Celebrating Urban Gifts: "All I'm askin' Is for a little RESPECT...."

In a world filled with so much bad news, one wonders what are the steps toward a brighter, more positive future. While pondering many concerns about the nation's cities, it occurred to me that when we focus only on the needs in the world, we fall short of acknowledging the gifts and beauty of our world.

It is widely observed that the journey to wholeness includes celebrating successes and rejoicing in victories while also showing concern about needs. This principle must be applied in our own lives, and the vitality of our families, churches, businesses, communities, nations and the world. 

Last week, I attended the kick off for the Detroit Music Weekend. The city hosted a private ceremony at the Detroit Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts to honor Aretha Franklin, officially assigning a secondary name – Aretha Franklin Way – to Madison Street, the main stretch on which the Music Hall is located.

Often such honorable news is overlooked or overshadowed by the struggle to rename streets and buildings named to offensive historical figures in American history, such as KKK members or violent nationalists.

What an awesome honor for the Queen of Soul, and what honorable news for us! Worldwide, Mrs. Franklin's music has inspired millions of people. And, she has been voted the #1 vocalist in the world. 

While speaking with Mrs. Franklin, congratulating her of her years of dedication and inspiration, I was deeply moved by her display of tremendous humility. It occurred to me that success is largely the byproduct of humility.

What a lesson to observe; what a moment in urban history to celebrate!

Many blessings, 

Dr. Antipas