Happy New Year!

I recently watched in shock the chaotic scenes at the US Capitol building. The brazzen attempt to subvert democracy seemed almost impossible for the world’s most advanced democracy. Another reminder that democracy, like a baby, needs round-the-clock tending to.

Even more reason to look forward to January 20th. One hopes that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris bring much needed change to Washington, and certainly, around the world. As we wait on it, here are a few gems from Kamala Harris’s book The Truths We Hold:

On Trust

“You give and you receive trust. And one of the most important ingredients in a relationship of trust is that we speak truth. It matters what we say. What we mean. The Value we place on our words – and what they are worth to others.”

On Honesty:

“We cannot solve our most intractable problems unless we are honest about what they are, unless we are willing to have difficult conversations and accept what facts make plain.”

On Identity:

“Don’t let anybody tell you who you are. You tell them who you are.”- Shyamala Gopalan (Kamala’s Mother)

On Fighting for the ‘Little Guy’:

“The job of a progressive prosecutor is to look out for the overlooked, to speak up for those whose voices aren’t being heard, to see and address the causes of crime, not just their consequences, and to shine a light on the inequality and unfairness that lead to injustice.”

On Shared Prosperity:

“When it comes to the things that matter the most, we have so much more in common than what separates us.”

On Police Brutality:

“If there aren’t serious consequences for police brutality in our justice system, what kind of message does that send to police officers? And what kind of message does it send to the community? Public safety depends on trust. It depends on people believing they will be treated fairly and transparently. It depends on a justice system that is steeped in the notions of objectivity and impartiality. It depends on the basic decency our Constitution demands.”

On the Future:

“We live in an uncertain world, one filled with complexity and danger. The challenges we face in the future will be new and nuanced, and they will require us to mobilize based on being smart, not on being afraid.”

On Politics:

“Politics is a realm where the grand pronouncement often takes the place of the painstaking and detail-oriented work of getting meaningful things done. Good leadership requires vision and aspiration. It requires the articulation of bold ideas that move people to action. But it is often the mastery of the seemingly unimportant details, the careful execution of the tedious tasks, and the dedicated work done outside of the public eye that the make the changes we seek possible.”

On Words:

“Words have the ability to empower and to deceive, the power to soothe and to hurt. They can spread important ideas and wrongheaded ones. They can spur people to action for good or ill. Words are incredibly powerful and people in power, whose words can carry furthest and fastest, have an obligation- a duty – to speak them with precision and wisdom.”

Which of these truths speaks the most to you? What do you look forward to in the new year?


  1. Very insightful read, especially since it’s words coming from a lady I personally look up to.

    What stood out for me is the point on ‘Shared Prosperity.’
    I certainly haven’t looked at it in that perspective before. I will now keep that in mind the next time I’m tempted to distance myself from people who’s views I disagree with.

    1. Spot on, Emma!

      She’s one of a kind! Unapologetic, trailblazer, glass-ceiling shatterer💪🏿

      Indeed, we need to listen more to each other.

  2. The point on ‘Words’ really hits home for me. Not as a point on its own but also considering that it plays a major role on the other things she touched on, be it “Honesty”, “Trust” or even “Police brutality”.

    A very delightful read, well done Rais👏🏾. Looking forward to reading more articles written by you.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Engineer!

      Words are powerful!

      It’s a much needed reminder that we need to check our words through the three gates of:
      1. Is it fair?
      2. Is it true?
      3. Is it necessary?

  3. Very engrossing 👏👏.
    What speaks to me mostly is the truth on identity. I tell people who I am. I think that is one of the fundamental steps towards working on oneself more, accepting oneself, our faults and striving to be a better person 💪

  4. Good grief. I will go to my grave believing that this election was fraudulent. As a pro-life man, I view the election of Biden and Harris with absolute horror. Millions more innocent human lives will be snuffed out that would have been under Trump

    I visit sites like censored.news – all the news they don’t want you to hear, and suffice to say that the mainstream media absolutely disgusts me. I am not a woke, lefty liberal type. I find the comments on here nauseating, especially the implied notion that everyone will agree, that the de facto right position is the liberal one.

    As for Trump, he has his faults, some glaring ones, but he is still the greatest US President since Abraham Lincoln and I am saddened that his landslide victory was stolen away from him in so blatant a manner.

  5. I liked the part on identity. I feel if everyone took the time to strip themselves of labels such as politics, race, careers etc we’d have a more united world.
    Were we born Democrats or Americans? No, we were born as humans, first and foremost.

    1. Hey Elena!

      Truer words were never spoken!

      President Clinton committed $3B to fund a study on the human genome. It turns out that all our differences (race, gender, sexual orientation etc) account for for only 0.1%.

      In other words, as you rightly put it, we have more in common than we actually think. There’s more that unites us than divides us.

  6. Oooh, yes!
    The power of words.
    Gifted are you in pin pointing fundamentals. Admittedly, I one of those people waiting for the 20th of January with hopes of change.
    Looking forward to more of your articles.
    Keep them coming.

    1. Hey Uncle!

      Thank you for your warm words😊

      We must never underestimate the power of our words!

      I shall keep these articles coming!

      Cheers, Uncle!

  7. This was the perfect read for a Sunday morning. To get me charged up for the week. Hell! For the year. Time to tell people who i am and not let them define me. Her words on fighting for the ‘little guy’ resonate well with me. Thanks for the piece bro.

  8. What spoke to me most is;
    the ‘Identity’ part reminding me that I know myself and who I am. What I can and cannot do and should never allow anyone change my identity👌.

    the ‘Shared prosperity’ part is so powerful and hits so home. Never let non issues come between us and solving issues as a pair, a group, a community or a country.

    and the ‘Words’ part. Choose what you say before you put it out. Think if your words will build or destroy. Very important.

    Thanks Billy. A very insightful piece.

  9. Great article!! The point on shared prosperity has really spoken to me. We all have so much in common than what separates us. Keep up the good job Billy.
    Ps:Happy to see other people also call you president!! 😊

    1. Hey Engineer!

      As you can see, you are a certified opinion shaper as far my titles go 😂


      We have so much in common! Our futures are inevitably, inextricably, interwoven!

  10. The recognition that words carry so much weight and can set off wildfires that would be soo hard to put off is vital. Especially in this millennial era where everyone has an opinion about anything. All we care about is sounding smart… But are we really?
    The great book says’…even fools are thought wise when they keep silent. With their mouths shut they seem intelligent’ . So when in doubt, google😏 or just simply shut it.
    Because words are very powerful weapons. And we can’t afford to misuse our arsenal…no?

    Thank you for reminding us to be more honest, to be mindful, to protect and stand for the voiceless and to have the difficult conversations. For how else will change occur if we do not recognize racism, police brutality, Islamophobia, climate change and limited democracy?

    Such a wonderful piece to kick start the new year. I can’t wait to read more!!

    1. Hey Wakili,

      Spoken with the wisdom of 10 Chimamandas👏🏿

      You are right on the mark. Fact checking our opinions is a simple yet vital habit for all of us.

      Measuring the veracity and potential impact of our words will go a long way in restoring peace in such a precariously polarized world.

    1. Hey Cheryl!

      I couldn’t agree more. There’s a lot more to impactful and transformative leadership than holding office.

      Our words, whether we hold public office otherwise, have great power! We have to exercise wisdom in how we channel that power.

      Have a great weekend, Gulf Coast Poet!

  11. Great piece brother, words of power provocative inspiration and of course depth.You’ve always outdone yourself every time you put a piece out, took me a while to come read but it was worth it!!Way to go Big Brother

  12. Words can be weapons, so we must choose them wisely. We must use them to break down harmful barriers, not tear each other apart. Used well we can lift each other up and make the world a better place to be for everyone.

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