Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

DEAR HARRIETTE: We just lost a huge leader and influencer in the black community. He went by the stage name Nipsey Hussle, and he was only 33 years old. His death has devastated many, including myself, even though I did not personally know him.

Hussle was working on a documentary about the late holistic practitioner Dr. Sebi, which would expose a lot of truths about the medical and pharmaceutical industries. He advocated for his people and worked on providing a positive environment for the kids of Los Angeles. This is a pattern I have noticed with black leaders: They take initiative but are brought down too soon.

I know being upset won't do anything about it unless I back it up with action. What can I do as an individual to step up for the black community and continue the initiatives of our great fallen leaders? -- Carrying the Torch

DEAR CARRYING THE TORCH: First, I must say that it is tragic that Nipsey Hussle was murdered. He was one of the good ones -- a change agent who was devoted to his community and to holistic healing. One ray of light is that the entertainer Nick Cannon is reportedly going to ensure that the documentary about Dr. Sebi will be completed. Sebi is another one gone too soon. Though not an actual doctor, he devoted his life to discovering ways to heal the body and, in turn, the community, and he died under suspicious circumstances after stating that he had found a cure for HIV and AIDS.

What you and others can do in the face of this tragedy is to live an authentic life and devote some time to a cause that will support humanity. Be a better person. Donate your time and energy to making the world a better place. Keep Nipsey Hussle’s memory alive by talking about his good work. If a charity is established in his name, donate to that entity.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend is in law school at the moment, but she is starting to doubt herself and let the stress get to her. Since I do not know the ins and outs of the coursework and requirements she has, she feels that I cannot relate to her or help her. I care about her and try to encourage her that she will graduate and be a great lawyer. Do you have any words of wisdom to share with her as a successful woman in this world who has had to work hard? -- Encouraging My Friend

DEAR ENCOURAGING MY FRIEND: Nothing worth achieving comes easy. That’s just true. No matter who you are, there will be hard times -- some of which may seem insurmountable. A sign of character is how you navigate the challenges.

Though you are not a lawyer, you can be of support to your friend if she will let you. Sometimes the best comfort comes from people who have no clue about the nuances of your worries. They just love you unconditionally and provide that shoulder to cry on when you need it. Offer to be that shoulder -- no questions asked -- when she needs it.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)