Dear Chadwick: Lessons on Life and Living

Hi everyone, how are you doing? I’m doing well, exploring new projects, learning, keeping safe and grateful for my many blessings.

The last week has been exciting for me. We hit and exceeded 1000 views on the blog within two months of going public! It is a big deal considering how long it took me to get started on this blog wondering who would read it and what I would say! But hey, you all are and for that, I am grateful. Thank you for your support, for sharing, forwarding and being my own global PR agents. I pray that as you start out new ventures, you experience grace and support.

On to today’s discussion! As I start, I’m a little concerned that this may be a tad longer than usual, but I promise to try to keep it as concise as I possibly can considering the topic of death and grief is one I would rather not write about for fear of getting emotional as it’s an all-too-familiar subject.

After waking up to the news of Chadwick Boseman’s passing on Saturday morning, I sighed thinking, ‘not again’. Honestly, at first, there was just sympathy but as the day went by, I found myself digging deeper about him. As I watched more videos and read more articles, I realized there was a great deal of intentionality towards how he lived his life from when most of us met him in 2016 or 2018, till  his passing a few days ago. This post is a tribute to him and to those who have lived and gone, including my parents.

Lesson 1: On life!

Live with Intentionality. We hear this all the time but, do we truly live our lives with intentionality investing our time, resources, reputation, energies and lending our voices to causes that we truly believe in? Or do we live just to be politically correct, trend on social platforms and gain popularity with the world? In the words of the Bible in Matthew 16:26, what will it profit a man or woman, to gain the world’s applaud and lose or compromise on the core of your existence – God’s purpose and will for your life.

Losing my mum in 2016 was a wake-up call for me. It made me realize that life wasn’t going to wait for me and that though I was in my mid-twenties, there was no better time to live the life I wanted. The conditions were never going to be perfect, so I had to make the decision and start to walk the path. Looking back after 4 years, I have no regrets committing to living each day being fully present and with intentionality. In reading about Mr. Boseman, I realized he lived aware, on purpose and with great intentionality – demonstrating his values in the speeches he gave, interviews he granted, movie roles he took, causes he supported, etc. It was undeniably purposeful, and I think that’s one of the reasons, his life and legacy would stay with us for quite a while. 

Friend, how are you living your life? What are you about? Don’t live to just pass your days, live to make a difference no matter how small even if it’s just on one person. As I shared with my sister-in-law the day Mr. Boseman passed, “Live life today; don’t wait for tomorrow to really live and love people. Do it today!”

Still around intentionality, please don’t use your pain as an excuse to sidestep making a difference. It becomes outdated after a while; trust me, I know! Seek help and do the work required to heal. Pain can be managed while doing great things. Don’t let it cripple you. It can birth empathy which is required to connect with other people to make a lasting difference. It can birth purpose, an understanding of what you’re here for. It can birth focus, a central point for your life. I reckon we all see a combination of these three this in the life of Chadwick Boseman; and that is the power of intentionality.

Lesson 2: On People!

Live Authentic. In a world filled with the consistent need to be seen, heard, famous and popular, this fellow seemed to have carved a reputation of being authentic with people. I haven’t read one tribute yet that contradicts what others say about him as a good-natured individual; and I’ve read quite a number. He seemed to be in harmony with his values irrespective of the drumbeats of fame.

Friend, are you living in harmony with your values? Or are you living in contradiction – inconsistently trying to keep up with the trends while your soul rages. It’s not worth it. Discover your big whys, your values and be courageous enough to live by them.

I also watched a video of him speaking about Denzel Washington and thought, this cannot be a script! This is a truly authentic individual who believes in honouring people and is in consonance with his values even on a global stage.  I’m not sure how he did it but through him, we are reminded that it is possible irrespective of the stages you are privileged to stand on.

Live Confidential. Another thing that struck me with this guy’s story was the amount of privacy and confidentiality that was maintained over the state of his health – for four years. For Hollywood and our everyday lives, we can agree that keeping such information confidential is quite something. Some may allude that he made those around him sign non-disclosures, swore them into secrecy, etc. but, we’ve seen those fall apart over time, so how come it never came out. Though I may be wrong, those around him cared deeply and respected his decisions to keep his affairs private. Having done some reading about respect and trust recently, I am reminded that these virtues are earned, not bestowed. I want to believe that Mr. Boseman had built trust with his immediate community by being consistent, confidential, and close to them over time; in turn it was easy for them to reciprocate as the occasion demanded.

Friend, can your community trust you with the intricate details of their life or are you a tell-tale whose content management strategy is to share it at the first opportunity?

Live Humble, Kind & Generous! Mr. Boseman showed us through his life that life is service. This gentleman took a global stage to acknowledge the man who paid for his summer acting program – not his entire college tuition oh! He recognised the gift he was given and was intentional about serving the next generation even when it wasn’t glamorous. The presence or lack of money isn’t the precondition for generosity; it is a condition of the heart that understands your role as a recipient who is responsible for extending that same grace.

Live kind. Kindness is a fruit of the Holysprit and is impossible to achieve this every day without His help. Be kind to people – let your words and actions be seasoned with grace.

Live Generous. Generosity changes the fabric of your heart. It takes the focus off you and recognizes that we are both beneficiaries and stewards of God’s grace. With this knowledge, we are empowered to seek out creative ways to extend the grace we have received.

Despite his pain, Chadwick Boseman found ways to show kindness and generosity to others including terminally ill children. These values change your life; craft your message and imprint your legacy. As we start a new month, live with eternity in view. It doesn’t all end here. Our lives here determine our legacy and the direction where we’ll spend eternity. Live with fiery focus on the master’s plan.

It was a pleasure to have met and experienced you Chadwick Boseman; Rest in the Father’s bosom.


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7 Responses

  1. Love, love love it! Thanks Amy, it was really very insightful & instructive. I read it in your voice. Lol. Such powerful life lessons. The power of living intentionally should never be underestimated.

    Now going to catch up on previous blogposts. Go girl!

  2. Though not much of the television movie member. My children couldn’t stop talking about Boseman, I remembered my son few years ago telling me, Mum, there’s a movie you must watch! I never got around to it until DSTV showed it recently as a tribute and I was so touched.. I wrote down in my affirmation journal: Be kind to people, because everyone is going through one thing or the other that you know nothing about. His life really ministered to me: As you said, live intentionally and be authentic. God bless you dear. Remain blessed 🙏 Loves to the family ❣️

  3. Amaks, I read this from top to bottom in one swoop! You are authentic yourself, it’s hard to miss that. Thank you for sharing deep truths so simply.

  4. This is beautiful and reflective Amaka. Well done. My experience of you is – You are authentic and you have empathy.
    God bless, keep, favour and protect you always

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