A chance is a possibility of something happening. A chance is accidental, a fortuitous event. It is to do something by accident or without design. On the other hand, an opportunity is a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something. It is a chance for employment or promotion. Let’s make a distinction between chance and opportunity. When we interview somewhere, there is a chance we get hired. We may be the most qualified, best intentioned, and well spoken. We may be of color. This is not an opportunity. An opportunity is an internship for 3 to 6 months to show what you are capable of. Don’t chance me. Don’t pat me on the back and say at least you got interviewed. Don’t smile in my face and tell me good day. Tell me the truth. Tell me I wasn’t good enough. Tell me there were too many umm’s and I know. Tell me you didn’t think I was the right fit for the company because you might feel uncomfortable around me. Tell me the truth. At least the feedback would help me.
I’m tired of being feed milk like a baby. I’m not your child. You’re not my mother or father. Tell me the truth because I want to improve. I want to be the best. Tell me the truth even if it means my feelings being hurt. My mother already did the hard labor. I’m a big boy and I can handle it. So don’t chance me. This interview or meeting is not fortuitous. You called or emailed me to come knowing you have a candidate. They have an opportunity; I have a chance. The thinking is nice try young man maybe next time. What about my dreams? I want you to crush them. What about my hopes? I don’t give up. The truth is an opportunity to grow.
I was told once. Why do you want this internship? You have no experience in the field. This is why I’m here in the first place. Duhhhh! They say there are no such things as dumb questions. Only a liar would call dumb questions an inquiring truth. I’m not saying to be radically honest though. It depends on the age. It depends on the circumstance. It depends on the content of the person’s character. No stones can be left unturned. I’m not going to show a child the beheadings by terrorists or gangs on YouTube. This is a rookie mistake. I will give them hope. I will give them photos and videos of the United Nations and tell them people are trying. They are not perfect, but they are doing something to change the everyday reality. News by definition means that a plane from Paris to Egypt doesn’t crash every day. My condolences go to the friends and family of the victims. I would tell children that we are blessed to be in America and to appreciate the opportunities afforded to everyone who has been born in this country. Why do I want this internship? I want this internship because I want an opportunity, not a chance. My parents took a chance to give my family an opportunity. This is generational growth.
This is why I don’t want a lullaby before bedtime because I’m not your child. There are bills to pay. There are people to meet, places to go, things to do. So please don’t suck my thumb for me. I know my ABCs’s/1,2,3’s, my baby could read. I was hooked on phonics. Character is read. Personas are shown. Spare me the pity of your white lie because of your weak logic and discerning truth. A thimble of truth tastes like honey and stings like a bee.
I want to stop, but I honestly can’t. I can’t succumb to the nonsense. I want to be liked, but the truth is a stronger currency. I hold it up against any lie because history will judge me accordingly. This is not a game. This is not the Call of Duty or Battlefield where people come back to life. People are dying; people are suffering. They are given chances to live, but opportunities to die. We are not dogs. Don’t walk me down the path of conformity. There are no collars for my imagination and the complexity of my conscious. There are no leashes that limit the distances I am willing to travel. I am not barking. We speak the same language. I used to crawl, but now I walk. Yes, look at me differently because we are not the same. I am not beneath you only bequeathed to a society of inequality. I am no friend to the bullshit. Give me the dose of reality straight no chaser. I have to take some deep breaths. Woo sah, Woo sah.
This is my truth. My thoughts of what I believe in. The fiber of my being pulsates when people or a bad process chances me. Give us the opportunity to be ourselves. Let your decision be based on merit not connection. How do you sleep at night? How do you donate to causes, but don’t empower your fellow citizen with purchasing power? You have the nerve to call yourself American. Those actions sound cowardly in the land of the brave home of the free.
Four years ago, YearUp gave me an opportunity to grow. I was taught and paid for five months in technology. Then, I was given a paid opportunity to intern on the Bank of America Merrill Lynch trading floor. I celebrate this opportunity on my resume every time I get a chance. This is the difference between a chance and an opportunity. Bank of America didn’t give me a job, but I had the experience of interacting across different cultures in the financial capital of the world. This is growth. This is an opportunity. Four years later, I am a student at City College getting my degree in comparative literature. My dreams were crushed, my heart was broken, but I never gave up.