In Kevin’s line of work, I’ve been privileged to attend a number of diverse gatherings over the years. For instance, I’ve been to an award ceremony for the Asian-Indian community, filled with colorful saris, exotic music, and delectable Indian food. I’ve also been in the audience of Chinese acrobats, a troop comprised of children of a local Chinese community. And yesterday, I was included in a “Juneteenth” celebration at the 34th annual luncheon for the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce.

What a dynamic group. Over 600 people gathered over the topic of “The Pursuit of Happiness,” and with Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” playing in the background, we listened to leaders in the African-American community share wisdom on how to strengthen it. Across the board, this vast group of entrepreneurs, and business owners, were hyper-focused on one thing: helping their community help itself.

An Armed Forces Chaplain gave the invocation before lunch. It was one of the most beautiful and eloquent prayers I’ve ever heard, dancing across my eardrums like fine poetry, and he said something in it that stirred my soul, along with the other 600 around me.

In a room thick with rhetoric, oh God, let there be at least as much constructively thick action…

My word. Isn’t this the problem of the world? Not just in that hotel ballroom, but everywhere? We have literally millions of voices spouting rhetoric, day in, day out, talking about how it should be, and how it would be if so-and-so wasn’t in charge, or such-and-such wasn’t happening with muckety-muck group. Post after post, tweet after tweet, comment threads and in-real-life restaurant tables full of machine-gun-fire conversation.

Thick rhetoric.

But a very small percentage of those talkers are walkers.

We need thick action. And not just thick, but (my favorite part) constructively thick. We need to stop talking at each other and start walking with each other, hyper-focused on one thing: helping our community help itself…to stop expecting someone else to do it, and take our own steps. Like those 600 very inspired members of the FWMBCC, we need to model what it looks like to truly embrace our freedom and take some thick action to insure we always have it.

And, really, isn’t that what the pursuit of happiness is all about?


“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 NIV

“But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God – the free life! – even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.” James 1:25 MSG