Monica Cost

*While Charlie Sheen continues to play out his erratic behavior in clear view, actor, author and activist, Isaiah Washington has been saving lives in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Charlie Sheen has had several bouts with drugs and pretty consistent unstable behavior, each time welcomed back into Hollywood with open arms. Although his latest antics have cost him his job, the networks money and several people to be out of work, he is attaining record breaking numbers on Twitter.  In his eyes he is still #winning. What’s wrong with this picture?

Over three years ago, Isaiah Washington allegedly made a comment on the set of Grey’s Anatomy that cost him his job and his reputation. He apologized for the unfortunate “incident” that took place on the set and was ready to move on. Despite denial of rumors that Isaiah would be dismissed from the show, he did not return.

Instead of digging a whole a crawling into it, to weather the storm, Washington found greater purpose. In 2007, he learned, through DNA testing, that his lineage traced back to Sierra Leone in West Africa. Washington then visited the country, was profoundly moved by the needs of the people. . .his people, and acted without delay.

He is now the founder of The Gondobay Manga Foundation which advocates cooperative planning to achieve positive, timely improvements in the lives of the people of Sierra Leone. “After my initial visit to Sierra Leone, where I saw first hand the extreme poverty and the needs of the people of Sierra Leone, I pledged my commitment to the country.” – Isaiah Washington

Washington not only serves the people of Sierra Leone, but in November 2008, he obtained dual citizenship from the Sierra Leonean Government. This was a historical moment and he is the only African American to obtain such status.

Washington’s journey led him to share his story in his upcoming book entitled “A Man From Another Land: How finding my roots changed my life”, being released on April 27, 2011.

Well, Isaiah’s skies are no longer “Grey”, they are blue. His vision is clear and his purpose is renewed. Many of us enjoyed him in Clockers, Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, Out of Site, Love Jones and others. I personally look forward to seeing him back on the television, the big screen and along side the great actors of our time. In addition, I applaud him for using his fame to bring much needed help to the people of West Africa.

You can find Isaiah Washington on Facebook at Isaiah Washington or The Gondobay Manga Foundation, on Twitter @IWashington or on his website www.reachonemillion.org.

What’s wrong with this picture? Our view has, for too long, been distorted. We’ve celebrated the substance abuse and given no place to the substantive work. Let’s reframe.

Monica Cost is communications strategist, brand manager and respected corporate and motivational speaker. She is the President and Founder of Evidently Assured, a brand & talent management firm.  Email her at:  LiveYourTruth@MonicaCost.com. Follow her via Twitter: @monicacost and Facebook.com/monicahairstoncost.