July 1, 2020

"Be Water, My Friend"


ESPN recently broadcast a documentary, entitled, “Be Water” about the life of legendary martial artist, screen actor, and activist, Bruce Lee.  Growing up, Bruce Lee (you always said both names) was very popular with my brothers and me as well as with our friends.  We fashioned in our minds that we really knew karate, like he did.  Of course. we really didn’t, even after four real karate lessons, go figure. Beyond his karate moves, Bruce was cool.  The way he walked, the way he dressed, the way he spoke, it was altogether worthy of emulation.  Unfortunately, we missed the essence of who he was because we focused on the surface aspects of the man.  Our prepubescent selves were not capable of processing his deep thought and his total realization of self.  But we are all older now.  And now we can no longer appreciate people on merely outward expressions.

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As we continue through our daily regimen of working from home (some have returned to full or part-time work in the office), attending endless zoom meetings, maintaining physical distance, and so much more newness against this backdrop of racial unrest, it is any wonder that we can process beyond the immediacy of now.  Our focus is difficult to maintain and we sometimes find ourselves questioning the meaning of it all. 


But through this time of exile and upheaval has emerged a renewed hope in humanity, higher education, and our corporate entities.  We have witnessed all three transform their ways as people other than African Americans are fully embracing the truth that Black Lives Matter, colleges and universities have opened dialogue with black members of their communities to implement real change, and business conglomerates like Pepsi and Proctor & Gamble have initiated substantial systemic change in their operations.


All of which begs the question, are these merely outward expressions or are they the deeper kind of change that lasts?  Time will tell but all indications are that this is indeed real change, and that is certainly good news in these chaotic times.  We all have had to adapt and we have had to change to meet the new existence of our world.  AABHE has done so with our Online Webinar series and now with our Writing Bootcamp.


The deeper Bruce Lee suggested it this way.  “Don’t get into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”


  • Registration Closed!  Due to high demand and interest, we are happy to announce that we've reached capacity for the Writing Bootcamp. Stay tuned for further opportunities to participate in AABHE's Online Education and Engagement Series

  • I wear my mask for YOU!  You wear your mask for ME!  COVID-19 is not over.  Protect yourself by physically distancing and washing your hands.  Regardless of what your local or state governments may state please be your own judge for when it’s safe to return to certain activities.  Please remember to stay safe.  The updated guidelines from The Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

“It’s all about the students”,

Dereck J. Rovaris, Sr
Dr. Dereck J. Rovaris, Sr.
President, AABHE