t is sunrise in Orlando , and another day begins . As he turns on the hot shower , he adjusts his TD Jakes sermon podcast . The shower and the sermon end simultaneously . While getting dressed , he turns up his playlist ; a little Tupac Shakur , some J . Cole , but mostly the song Closer by Goapele . He hums to the lyrics , “ Closer to my dreams ; it ’ s coming over me ; I ’ m getting higher ; closer to my dreams .” All the music is inspirational . This is how District 6- City of Orlando , Commissioner Bakari F . Burns , starts his day .
He steps into his home office to check some final paperwork and get his final dose of daily motivation . On the wall above his desk is one of his most prized possessions . An inspiring and historical African American art print featuring an image of Martin Luther King Jr . ( Peace ), President Barack Obama ( Power ), Malcolm X ( Respect ), Nelson Mandela ( Dignity ), and Bob Marley ( Love ) in a thinking pose . The piece of art is adorned with the phrase Thinker and contains the following text : Focus on the hard times ahead with thoughts of those who came before you . Focus on the mission ahead with the thoughts of your role as a leader in your community . Focus on the obligations of your family with thoughts of your role as a leader in your community . Focus on the obligations of your family with thoughts of their needs first , personal needs last . Focus on the future of your people with thoughts of your course of action to make their dreams come true by any means necessary . “ Yes , you can ”! Become the … Thinker
Commissioner Burns is acutely aware that the success he has achieved has not been accomplished alone . He knows that he stands on the shoulders of many who have influenced him . Stepping out of his house , he looks next door to ensure that his mother , his biggest fan and influence , is OK . Not that Burns is a Mama ’ s boy , as he is often told , but because he knows that his mother and grandmother laid the foundation of all he is . He puts on his jacket because we know that all superheroes do not wear capes .
As he waves to his neighbors , his mind drifts back to the days when he went to the candy lady to buy Now and Later candy at one price and then went to school and sell them for another price . He was always an entrepreneur at heart . At some point , he thought that making money was the object of his desire . That was until he completed his degree in Health Care Management . At the start , he thought that he would be a successful head of a hospital .
However , when he returned to his neighborhood , he saw a distinct inequality in health care . Many people did not have health insurance , and many more did not have access to health care . He came to understand that the social determinants of health ( SDOH ) are the conditions in the environments where people are born , live , learn , work , play , worship , and age that affect a wide range of health functioning and quality-of-life outcomes and risks . Finally , Burns knew that he could move the social agenda .
The opportunity came ! At just 29 years old , he interviewed for the CEO of Orange Blossom Family Health , which was called The Health Care Center for the Homeless . The 11-person panel consisted of 10 white board members and 1 black board member . He was a little nervous because he had interviewed for a similar position in Tallahassee with 11 board members , 10 black and 1 white . They determined that he was too young for such a prestigious position . Fortunate for him , this position saw his age as an advantage , and they were right . If you ask most people in the community ( including this writer ), many did not know that the organization had been in existence since 1993 , 10 years before he took over . He is now synonymous with the organization and has been instrumental in its growth .
As Burns pulls into the garage where his Commissioner ’ s office sits , he marvels at the parallels of his most recent position . His reward from helping others , be it in the community with his constituents or at the clinic , indicates who he is . When the word compromise in politics comes up in the conversation , Burns is emphatic that compromise requires growth in thought and process . And that he who he is and how he gets things done .
Many would measure Men With A Billionaire Mindset in terms of money . However , Burns know that the true measure of a man comes from his favorite Martin Luther King quote , “ The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience , but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy ”. n