The 7 Principles of Kwanzaa, Celebrating Purpose

Red White Black FlagWelcome to Day 5 of Kwanzaa. I’m quite curious how the celebration is going for the rest of you. In my eyes, I envision Kwanzaa as one-long week of partying. Being the introvert that I am, I can see myself getting tired of the party 2 hours in. Yes… that’s right, day 1. I’m trying to think of ways I’d celebrate Kwanzaa without the great big hooha party. I think for me, I’d probably purchase some Kwanzaa related games, if there are any, and play them with my son. We’d take some time to talk about Kwanzaa and what it means. I’d talk to him about what it means to be American. I’d encourage him to achieve his dreams. My focus would definitely be on hope.

The Fifth Day (Nia)

Green CandleThis is so exciting. On the fifth day we get to light a new candle, and of a different color! To the right of the black candle, we light the first green candle. Looking back on the past few days, the black candle represented the people, the red the struggle, now we’re at the green candles, which represent the hope and future.

Official Kwanzaa website says Purpose means:

To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

The greeting of the day is “Habari gani?” The response is, Nia, meaning Purpose.

Significance to Me

So, I’m a little lost on this particular principle. I understand purpose, as a word unto itself. However, I’m a bit unsure of the definition given on the official website. I invested a bit further by reading the messages of the day, and got a little further. Dr. Karenga talked about African people being restored to their rightful power. I honestly am not sure what that is. I’m not sure if there’s ever been a time in history where there weren’t people who lacked and others who had plenty.

Adam and EveI suppose if we go back to the days of Adam and Eve in Paradise, for those who follow the Christian bible. I imagine other cultures have their own version of paradise. I guess this is the facetious personality coming out in me. Really, I’m not any more fond of this restore to greatness as I am to “Make America Great Again.” Personally, it seems a little archaic and stuck in the past.

Backing up to the front half of the definition, I’m going to dumb down the word vocation to mission or calling, as vocation seems a bit ambiguous to me. Overall, the first half sits quite well with me and supports my values. I love the idea of building and developing our communities. In a way, it aligns very well with Backbone America’s mission and vision.

I focus on helping Black Women with their business because of the disparity. I want to see that change. I want to see Black Women succeed at the same level as a White Man. I want to see equality.

For the most part, I love the idea of our community having purpose and working toward the same goal of supporting, developing, and building our community. My desire is to have us succeed.

What about you? What do you take away from the idea of Purpose?

For previous posts, visit the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa.