REAL LIFE

You call THAT support?

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By Angel Simmons

One of my favorite sayings is, “ALL of MY friends are FAMOUS.” For me, it’s true! I am blessed to keep close company with a number of authors, models, musicians, poets, singers and the like. We take GREAT pleasure in attending each others’ events and helping to promote one another’s projects. We’re so accustomed to it that it’s very noticeable when that support is not there.

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I’ve lived most of my life on the stage and the runway, which usually meant having to sell tickets or persuade family and friends to come out and watch a performance. A lot of times, mama was the only one in that audience. One time recently, I had as many as 18 guests at a production. However, all of those times in between then leave me now redefining the idea of “support”.

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In this age of social media, we can’t help but to see our friend’s posts and flyers and events on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms. We’ve been conditioned to throw up a quick “LIKE”, “LOVE” or heart, sometimes even taking a moment to “SHARE” it for others to see. What’s often missing is the needed effort of BUYING a ticket or a product and actually SHOWING UP for our people! Believe it or not, they want us THERE more than they want sales.

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We forget that our PRESENCE is the most important ingredient in truly supporting the people that we claim to care about. I have friends that I’ve known for over 20 YEARS that have NEVER been to ANY charity event, concert, conference, fashion show, fundraiser, play, worship event (both free or ticketed) or purchased a shirt or book of mine. Yet, they’d swear that they’re proud of me, believe in what I do and have my back… HOW, I ask? Furthermore, can I continue to categorize these people as friends, or are they merely associates?

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This year, I challenge ALL OF US to be more intentional with our plans, words and actions when it comes to advocating for our people. Pay attention to what they really need and make a conscious effort to MEET THAT NEED. I guarantee you… it’s NOT another “LIKE” on their flyer.

February 28, 2019

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