Monday, June 09, 2008

Obama and Mental Health

I saw this online the other day.

One effect of Senator Obama’s achievement the potential it has to impact positively on our mental health.

Positive role models give us a sense of what we are capable of achieving.

As people of African heritage, we have been force-fed negative images of ourselves for many generations.

We have internalised this negativity and we have passed it down, parent to child, over the course of many generations. This is part of what is known as “Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome”.

We are a very damaged people and we need to do a lot of healing, individually and collectively.

We don’t know if Senator Obama is going to win the Presidential election yet. Even if he does, we don’t know what kind of President he will be.

Sen. Obama’s nomination may well have positive reverberations for African people all over the world – and, in fact, for all people, regardless of racial or cultural background or heritage.

But someone does not have to win the Democratic Presidential nomination in order to be a positive role model.

And anytime a person of African heritage achieves a goal or accomplishes some success, that person becomes a positive role model. This is why I have collected Black Success Stories. This is why I publish More Black Success. And this is why I celebrate Black success on my "Success Strategies" radio show.

Since the dawn of time, human beings have shared stories as a way of communicating important lessons. People have used stories to teach important truths, and to learn those truths.

Stories of African achievement contribute to our sense of wellbeing and positive self-esteem.

We all need to see positive reflections of ourselves. As people of African heritage, still recovering from the effects of enslavement and colonization, we particularly need to be reflected positively. This is a crucial part of our healing process. It is down to each and every one of us to continue to foster, promote and support this healing process, from which we can all benefit.

We live in amazing times. These are times of great potential for transformation. Anything is possible. The sky’s the limit. The time is now.

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