Dr. Tonya D. Armstrong



Leveraging Hope to Launch Resilient Leaders

As I reflect on the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on what would have been his 88th birthday, I consider what King might have had to say about our current socio-political realities.  In conversing with a group of Black Christians yesterday on the state of Black America in a Post-Obama world, we pondered how King might advise us to conduct ourselves in light of the impending Trump administration.  While many excellent points were made, I came away from the conversation with the distilled conclusion that we needed to both individually and collectively fortified to withstand the transitions ahead.

While this blog seeks to encourage the pursuit of wellness as a community endeavor, it is certainly true that each of us has to begin with this endeavor on an individual basis.  We must create change from within, and it will eventually be evident and persuasive to others. Discussing our fitness goals, for example, is one thing, but revealing a more toned physique and an improved bill of health is another thing entirely. Wellness speaks.

I believe there is a connection between our own wellness and our ability to embrace and embody The Dream.  Yes, during MLK celebrations for the rest of the week and the month, we will hear references to King’s dream of racial equality and harmony in the U.S.  It is a dream I deeply support.  Still, The Dream is even bigger than that, and is hopefully something each of us possesses for ourselves.  The Dream is the dream that gets you out of bed in the morning and defines the very purpose of your life.  Depending on your mosaic of gifts and abilities, The Dream could be vocational, spiritual, financial, social, artistic, or any combination of contributions you can make to the world.

To the degree that we are well, we can run the race toward The Dream without fetters, physical or mental.  However, when we still have much inner work to do, The Dream is an elusive concept that remains only theoretical and just beyond our grasp.  Ask yourself, “What are the barriers that thwart the progress toward my dream?”  To be sure, many barriers are substantial and require years of hard work to overcome.  Just be sure that your stumbling blocks are not primarily of the mind, and if they are, that they do not remain that way.  When you hear King’s voice resonate with the richness of “I have a dream,” encourage yourself to boldly say, “And I have a dream, too!”  Better yet, make sure you are on the path to take hold of it, no matter how long it may take!


À votre santé (“To your health”),

Dr. T

Tonya Armstrong