Tag Archive: judgement


I Protest


I protest

 

  I think, growing up, I just believed that everyone lived as I did…in my own remote part of the world. I thought good would always prevail and that we would all love each other. I was raised to believe that we were all supposed to watch out for one another. When I moved out of my comfort zone, however, I learned that the “real world” was full of all of the things that I never fully understood. There were abundant injustices going on all around us. I found so many fingers being pointed in blame that very few people were coming up with viable solutions. I looked in desperation to find my path in all of this. It took me a minute to catch my bearings, but once I did…I began to protest EVERYTHING! No, I didn’t picket or camp out overnight. While those options raise awareness, they do not necessarily bring about change. I began speaking up and writing about the world and its social issues. I spoke up even when no one else seemed to be. I always understood that not everyone would see my point of view…but it did not deter my course. The only pointing that I ever wanted to do was the pointing out of injustices and wrongs that were occurring and re-occurring on a daily basis. It is not about the evil of man but the evil of his actions; since I have always been of the belief that man is inherently good.

  As I looked around me I saw a world filled with anger and void of humanity…or at least our actions gave that impression. I rarely saw people behaving in loving ways just for the sake of being loving; rather I saw people verbally and physically attacking one another just for the sake of the kill.

  The world is filled with people and while we live so far away from one another…we are amazingly similar. We may have cultural differences…but our human nature is very much the same. I found that for most of us, we can see other people’s situations clearly while still viewing ourselves through a thick London fog.

  For instance, we may chastise a parent for speaking harshly to a child while we are waiting in line at Wal-mart; yet we go home and do the same to our own children, within the confinements of our houses. What makes this any different? Is it okay to speak to your child or anyone else for that matter, anyway we choose as long as no one else sees or hears it? Is this a matter of us being too harsh about some one else’s behavior…or us not being harsh enough about our own? Is the shame in this, how people are reacting to us…or is it the fact that it occurred to begin with?

  All of this brings me to the purpose of my writing today…the writing topic of whether or not I have ever protested anything. I think that we all could find a cause or reason to speak out against one thing or another. We only need open our eyes and hearts to see a world full of people reaching out…reaching for understanding…compassion…and concern.

  Growing up I couldn’t imagine that I would ever be one of those people speaking out against anything…however growing up…I was unaware of the true evils of the world. I knew nothing about how people would use any reason to pray upon unsuspecting victims. People will verbally annihilate a person without giving them a second thought. For some reason…we began to view people as objects…numbers…or statistics. We failed to remember that we are talking about our fellow man…our brothers and sisters under God. I have watched people use other’s hardships and difficulties as ammunition. In this war of tongues, the true victor is easy to spot…because they aren’t crying. But at what price was this win? I have witnessed the laughter of evil at the expense of another individual. What would cause another person to rip at another person’s self-esteem like this? Pain… Pain causes us to strike out at people that we love and we will even strike at those which we do not even know. Tearing other people down, can temporarily makes others feel invincible…but it is just a bandage on an open wound. So the cycle continues…and it breeds anger and hate. It spreads faster than you can imagine…until suddenly, before you realize it, you are in the middle of it.

  I protest verbally about many things…and yes there are so many causes that there probably wouldn’t be enough time in my life time to do justice to most. So my protests are on the roots of the problem…otherwise we are tossing a blanket on what is wrong. I had to try and see what element was missing. What was the common denominator that linked all of these atrocities together? One day, the missing link became painfully obvious.

  I want you to try and bear with me on this though, because you might want to roll your eyes and shake your head when I tell you my solution. The determining factor behind every problem that we are faced with is that we do not love. We do not love ourselves and we do not love others. And ironically we will fall to our knees and pray to God for the things that we may think we want or need…yet question it when we do not receive them.

  I can explain my solution, because if it is left at that…the message may seem too basic. You are partly right though, love is basic. Love is the basis of everything we touch, see, and feel. Love is the basis of who we are.

  Love mends bridges; it does not blow them up. Love repairs relationships; with others and with Our Creator. Self love is important because it does not speak to our egos…it appeals to our hearts. Loving ourselves does not mean that we think that we are better than anything else…that is vanity and many people confuse the two. Love of self, includes how we take care of our bodies…which are temples…temples of God. Love of self is the way in which we verbally touch others…through kind and responsible speech. Love of self includes humility, respect, kindness, and gratitude which are exhibited in the way we act and react with others.

  Love is not divine judgment. And when I say that I mean, it is never our place to judge what we think, believe or expect what God Himself will judge. We are not in a position to say what God will or will not forgive. Keep in mind that while we might feel certain that a person’s sins or transgressions are something that God will judge harshly…in your moment of judgment…God is also judging you.

  We must always remember who we are…and our purpose. If we love one another…we are doing the work of our Creator. Loving people is what we were sent here to do. Yes, I know that it is not always easy…but then again if it was easy…we wouldn’t have so many books reminding us to do it. If we think back to childhood…we might remember that the most important lessons were not easy but painful. How many times did you have to be told to not touch the stove before you learned the lesson? Or did you learn a more powerful lesson the day that you touched it while it was hot? The burn was a painful memory, but it was far more effective than we may have realized.

  The painful lesson that we are being taught now is clear…when we do not love one another…chaos prevails. We find that we are in wars, our brothers and sisters struggle with famine and genocide, our Earth’s animals are being killed off, our oceans, rivers, lakes and streams are being polluted. We find justifications for treating people badly; blaming race, religion or various other diversifications. In fact, if we trace back every single horrendous deed done in history…we can see how love and understanding could have made it better.

  You may not know what my personal struggle is like…but you could try and understand. The important thing to remember is that understanding my plight…does not lessen yours. You and your life is just as important as mine is. You do not matter more or less depending on where you live or where you are from.

  I can love you a million miles away…and I can prove it by NOT condemning you. I can love you merely because you exist. I can love you for our similarities, as well as, our differences.

  I can love you…because with love…and God…All things are possible.

 

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Building Bridges


   There are people that will come in and out of our lives…and while we may notice there absence, it is my hope that we will not miss the lesson in the experience. We are often saddened by the loss, whether it is through death or people just moving forward. It is my hope that with this we can eventually rally around what they contributed to our lives…be it something profound…or something as simple as teaching us to laugh at the things that don’t kill us. 

   Laughing at adversity allows us to own whatever the stimulus might be…it makes us pro-active instead of reactive. Most people consider reactions to mean we were caught off guard…where as being pro-active infers that we were always ready for anything that may come our way. It gives us strength in the eyes of others…and re-instills the ideas that we are blessed and highly favored. Who doesn’t feel more secure with the knowledge that we are not alone?

  Life can definitely send some jabs and upper cuts our way…but the question is simple…are we so busy trying to patch up the injury that we no longer are looking for the next blow? Did we learn the lesson? There are those people who just sit and wait for the opportunity to present itself…and the opportunity usually tends to be isolation.

   You may say that you aren’t isolated…but let’s re-examine that thought. You may be physically surrounded with numerous people…you have more contacts in your cell phone than most people get holiday cards from…but are you free of isolation? It’s is ironic that these people are called contacts…yet very few actually touch us.

   What is isolation? Generally speaking, isolation occurs when a person sets themselves apart or cuts themselves off from others. You might still think that you don’t do this…but do you? How many people on your contact list…are you truly touched by; keeping in mind that “contact” generally means the state or condition of touching?

   Do you isolate yourself from what happens around you? Do you turn off the news or ignore news articles about things that you find disturbing or negative? Many people do. It can be emotionally taxing to watch how others suffer everyday…perhaps looking the other way will allow us to go on with our day, at least. Who really wants to read or watch stories about homelessness, or crime? Who wants to hear day and day out about the famine in Horn of Africa…and who can bear to see those poor children dying? We have our own problems…and I do not think for one moment that people who think this way are callous or uncaring. They are human. But they are humans who have chosen to isolate themselves.

   Why do you think that so many people rallied around the recently executed Troy Davis? After all, he was found guilty of killing Mark MacPhail…why did he deserve any support? My best guess is this; Troy Davis…showed us that people are not expendable. I don’t think that anyone was supporting a murderer…they were supporting a human being. People gathered together by the groves…to unite for a common cause…to love their fellow man. Troy Anthony Davis woke people up. He made us look at our justice system with clarity…as if we had been walking around in a daze for centuries. Even if for just that moment…we didn’t want to isolate people. We actually wanted contact. We wanted people to know us…and us them.

  From this…conversations started…not just angry debates…but calm intellectual conversations. We started talking about everything! We wanted to know more. If you had a situation that was causing your frustration…I wanted to know about it. Your life began to matter to me. Even if for just one moment…we started remembering that we are supposed to love each other. Inadvertently, we began to “Occupy our Hearts”. The ice around our veins began to slowly melt. It was beautiful.

  Troy Davis reminded us that true justice will only occur when balancement exists. When the scales are tilted…it does not solve anything. He reminded us that only when we live in a society where we are not prejudged for some physical, financial, or religious difference will true justice happen.

  Ultimately, if we were to try and say that these biases do not exist…we are only further proving the fact that we are living in isolation.

  When this world was created…it was populated with living organisms that were molded to our Creator’s liking. We were chosen to live here…and we were chosen because we are all compatible. We can all live here harmoniously…if we so choose. Our problem has never been that we are not being able to love each other; the only problem is our own pre-conceived notions that we are better than another being. We are highly evolved creatures…we have learned how to communicate…we have invented machines to make life simpler. We have sent man and woman into space. We have raised children who would become future diplomats and literal geniuses. Yet we are the only living organisms that refuse to live together…without trying to destroy each other. There are millions of species of animals…that get along better than we do. And we will be the ONLY group of living organisms…who place themselves on the endangered species list. We would rather kill each other off into distinction than to learn how to live harmoniously.

  This is not the end of our story…but if we don’t make changes…it very well could be. Love life…make changes…say hello to someone you have never met. Hold a door open for a complete stranger…get to know your neighbors. Embrace your differences…you might learn something that will enhance your life. You may touch another person by just smiling at them. Encourage the conversation; offer each other loving solutions to a world full of problems. Take the initiative; it is what God has been waiting for all along. If we spend more time building bridges…we can spend less time building prisons.

And God Cried


And God Cried

 

     I have been thinking a lot about what happened, in the United States, on September 11, 2001. I actually listened to a song that had been re-mixed with a speech given by, then, President Bush. There were also cut INS where reporters were reporting the traumatic event…the shock in their voices spoke in volumes. The song also showcased onlookers screaming and trying to explain what was happening. I heard jets flying low and then a crash into the building…emergency vehicles…and panic in the air. I spent a lot of time recollecting what happened that day. Yes…our World Trade Center was destroyed when Flights 11 and 175 crashed into the towers, killing over 2700 people…another commercial flight, Flight 77, crashed into the Pentagon killing 189 people and Flight 93 crashed into a Pennsylvania field, killing 40 people. That day seemed to go on forever, probably the first time we, as a country, had felt vulnerable since the attack on Pearl Harbor. It felt like my heart was breaking every time I heard it…and yet every time…I couldn’t stop listening. How could this have happened in our own backyard? I listened to our nations President giving a speech, to try and make us, as citizens, feel comforted. Never, in my life, had I ever experienced 102 minutes of terror, until that day.

 I had never experienced anything, in 102 minutes, which would cause so many people…basically good people…to hate. In the Presidents speech he said that the attack was meant to “frighten our nation into chaos and retreat”, and he added “but they have failed”. But, did they fail? Of course, on that day…we tried to comfort each other, but how long did that last? Did they fail to make us start looking at each other differently? Did they fail to cause us to take a closer look at what a REAL AMERICAN looked like, or decide how they should sound? Did they fail to cause us to forget that we were supposed to love each other, even amidst chaos and confusion? Did they fail to cause us to isolate people based on race or religion? Did they fail to bring out the very worst in our nature? I don’t think they failed at all. I think they accomplished what they set out to do. I suppose, it is fair to say that fear was a natural response.  But it did not bring out the “very best in all Americans”, as Mr. Bush stated. It did, however bring out our very lowest in human nature. It was devastating…the loss of almost 3000 lives…friends, neighbors, family…in only 102 minutes. I heard some one say once…God cried on that day. And we all seemed to rally around that thought. It gave us hope, I guess, to think that God was displeased with this despicable act of violence against the United States.

  But it got me to thinking about something else…is God just as displeased with all of the lost lives in Afghanistan and Iraq? Does God shed tears for them also? It can’t be disputed or even denied that given the statistics that are printed in English in those areas that hundreds of thousands of those countries citizens have died in the war in Afghanistan.  I guess it is hard for us to have compassion for those individuals, even though the majorities are civilians, since it is a war that the United States is involved in.

  It saddens me to know that under pressure…we turn our back on people…from all walks of life. I have seen people be extremely caring and loving to people in crisis situations, under many dire circumstances. So it makes me sad to sit and watch those same people place judgment on others. But I have watched it…news reporters, YouTube videos, blogs, music, movies, basically coming from all forms of communication…telling us why we should hate. So, as I often do, I looked into MY reference books…the Bible, Quran and the Torah…looking for information telling me how to hate. I came up with nothing.

  The events on that fateful day in September were awful indications of the state our world is in. But please understand it was a statement; there are people all over this earth…whose daily lives, are exactly like that. It was 102 minutes for the United States, but it can be, and is a lot of the time, all day for other people. Just think about it for a moment…close your eyes, and remember the panic that day…for most Americans, it’s a day we won’t forget. And then imagine that every day is like that. It can be hard to imagine, because we don’t have to see it. Even if we are aware of the situation, a lot of the time if we don’t experience it, we can disconnect from it. After all who really wants to think about starving children in Africa? Who wants to think about millions of people dying as a result of war? To be honest, I don’t even want to think about it; however NOT thinking about it…does not make it go away.

  What if the day the World Trade Center fell…was a way of waking us up to the condition of our world? It isn’t like famine and violence is a new concept. But instead of us becoming aware of the condition of our world…we just started hating…the very citizens of this country. We decided that we could no longer trust any Americans that looked a little different. We began eyeing people that looked Middle Eastern…suspiciously. We no longer felt comfortable around women who covered there heads, out of religious practice. We stopped feeling safe in grocery stores, at ball games, or in places of business…if people spoke with an accent. Instead of being understanding and loving to Gods creatures…we hated them. We made them feel uncomfortable, unwanted. We forgot that these people were our friends, neighbors…our fellow countrymen. Perhaps we should try and define a REAL AMERICAN…because this country is nothing but a melting pot of immigrants. There are millions of people who are considered citizens of this country, and we do not look alike…we all do not have the same faith…we do not dress the same or sound the same. We do not all have the same educational background, or social status. But we are still considered Americans.

  More importantly than any of this…we are supposed to love EVERYONE. I understand that, at times, it is hard to love every single person…but the thing is…THAT is our purpose. We are supposed to reflect God’s love on everyone…there is no amendment to that statement. If we were to constantly treat everyone the way they treat us…chances are we would never stop being at war. But it only takes one person to stand up and say…NO MORE. I know it is not easy to go against the grain, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. If you go to someone with God’s pure love…no matter how they respond…you did what God expected of you. But if we shake fists instead of shaking hands…we are failing God, no question about it.

 Now is the hard part, because you have to choose between love and hate. You have to decide whether you are going to bask in the light of God…or in the ignorance of negativity. If it makes it easier think about it in third person…how would you want someone to treat your children? Remember the children are watching our actions…what do you want them to emulate?

 

 As a small footnote, I am compelled to add a few comments. I love my country. I am not anti-American…however, like it or not…I AM PRO-WORLD. We only have one world…and we are in the unique position to make smart decisions. I know it seems like it is difficult to make a difference in lands so far away, but it really isn’t. We just have to start being loving to everyone we come into contact with. Remember…race, religion, nor geographic locales cause wars…PEOPLE DO.

 You can start today…don’t believe things people say …just because they seem knowledgeable…ask questions. Do research…from many sources, I’m not even asking you to believe me…look it up. Take charge of your minds…and open your hearts. It doesn’t have to be US against THEM…because, guess what? WE are THEM.

 

 

A Lesson Before Dying


A Lesson Before Dying

 

Perry Cobb, Darby Williams Tillis, Joseph Burrows, Rolando Cruz, Alejandro Hernandez, Verneal Jimerson, Dennis Williams, Gary Gauger, Carl Lawson, Anthony Porter, Steven Smith, Ronald Jones, Steve Manning, Aaron Patterson, Madison Hobley, Leroy Orange, Stanley Howard, Gordon Steidl, Walter McMillan, Randall Padgett, James Bo Cochran, Gary Drinkard, Wesley Quick, Larry Osborne, Johnny Ross, Curtis Kyles, Shareef Cousin, Michael Graham, Albert Burell, John Thompson, Dan L. Bright, Ryan Matthews, Kirk Bloodsworth, Lawyer Johnson, Peter Limone, Laurence Adams, Sabrina Butler, Clarence Dexter  Jr., Eric Clemmons, Joseph Amrine, Jeremy Sheets, Roberto Miranda, Thomas Gladish, Richard Greer, Ronald Keine, Clarence Smith, Samuel A. Poole, Christopher Spicer, Timothy Hennis, Alfred Rivera, Alan Gell, Gary Beeman, Dale Johnson, Charles Ray Gidden, Clifford Henry Bowen, Richard, Neal Jones, Gregory R. Wilhoit, Adolph Munson, Robert Lee Miller Jr., Ronald Williamson, Neil Faber, Jay C. Smith, William Nieves, Thomas Kimbell Jr., Nicholas Yarris, Harold Wilson, Michal Linder, Warren Douglas Manning, Vernon McManus, Randall Dale Adams, Clarence Bradley, John C. Skelton, Frederico M. Macias, Muneer Deeb, Ricardo Aldape Guerral, Ernest Ray Willis, Earl Washington, Benjamin Harris Jerry Bigelow, Patrick Croy, Troy Lee Jones, Jonathon Treadway, John Henry Knapp, Jimmy Lee Mathers, James Robison, Robert Charles, Ray Krone, David Keaton, Wlbert Lee, Freddie Pitts, Delbert Tibbs, Annibal Jaramillo, Anthony Brown, Joseph Green Brown, Anthony Ray Peek, Juan Ramos, Willie Brown, Larry Troy, Robert Cox, James Richardson, Bradley P. Scott, Andrew Golden, Robert Hayes, Joseph Nahume Green, Frank Lee Smith, Joaquin Jose Martinez, Juan Roberto Melendez, Rudolph Holton, John Ballard, Herman Lindsey, James Creamer, and Earl Charles.

  These are my reasons for being against the Death Penalty…all of these names are real people. And these real people have/had real families…that stood by the them while they were on death row. Collectively these individuals served 964 Years, before being proven to be innocent. And one of these individuals served 33 years before being released; while another died before he could be exonerated…so it was done post mortem. But to take even 1 day away from some one, who was not guilty, is tragic. Life is full of one time experiences…you only take your first step one time, lose your first tooth, say mama or dada, you can only buy your first car…one time. And many of these individuals missed so much more than that, and it can never be given back to them. Even if the state compensates some one monetarily for the lost time…you can not purchase a memory.

  Why am I against the death penalty? I am against anything that includes taking another life. I am against any system that has proven time and time again to be broken and unreliable. I am against anything that takes away years upon years of a person’s life for no reason. Killing is wrong…it says that in many different places, even in religious books. And to kill some one to show society that killing is wrong…just seems to be completely ridiculous to me.

  If the Death Penalty is such an effective means of punishment, why don’t all states use it? If the Death Penalty is such a deterrent for crime…why are we still executing?

  If we were able to catch this many people before their respective states were able to execute them…how many slipped through the cracks? How many innocent people have we killed…for the sake of punishing some one…anyone? How do we sleep at night?

  I can completely understand the grief that losing a loved one can cause. I can understand wanting to punish some one for the crime…but will just ANYONE do? The problem being quite simple…the statistics do not lie…race and money are contributing factors when the death penalty is imposed. I researched in several places…and basically all of them verify what the others says…minorities and the underprivileged make up the majority of inmates on death row.

  We are human, we make mistakes…I simply think that with that knowledge…we risk executing people who are innocent. And no matter what anyone says…one life wasted is too many. Not only for the people who are actually executed…but look at the people who have spent countless years away from their loved ones for a crime that they did not commit.

  It is my expressed opinion that anytime some one finds reason to applaud about a state that has killed 234 more inmates than any other state…there may be a deeper problem there. And any politician that finds applause about this humorous…is a dangerous individual; it is never a victory when some one dies…we all lose.

  Killing some one will not make the victim come back to us…they are in peace. So the execution is for us…and what peace is there when we are taking another life? Why would we desire that another family to go through the same pain and anguish that we have?

  There was an inmate in Texas that was executed this past Summer, Mark Anthony Stroman, who was convicted of killing individuals out of grief for the life of his sister who was killed on 9/11. One of the survivors, a muslim man who Stroman shot in the face Rais Bhuiyan, causing him to be blind in one eye, pleaded for Stroman’s life. Mr. Bhuiyan even started a website to try and spare Mr. Stroman’s life, www.worldwithouthate.org.  This was a remarkable exhibit of forgiveness and compassion…only furthering my belief that we can seek revenge or seek a higher power. And even though Mr. Stroman’s life was not spared, the spirit of what Mr. Bhuiyan did spoke in volumes.

  I realize there will be many people that will disagree with my stand on the death penalty, but I stand firm on this issue…killing is wrong no matter who does it.

 

 

 

 

Not In My Name


   On September 21, 2011 at 11:08 PM, Troy Davis was killed by the state of Georgia…even though he may not have been guilty…BUT…

                                                                   NOT IN MY NAME

 3239 people in the United States are currently under a death sentence…BUT…

                                                                    NOT IN MY NAME

 Since 1976, 1269 men, women, children, and mentally ill people have been SHOT, HANGED, ASPHYXIATED, LETHALLY INJECTED, and ELECTROCUTED by the state and the federal government of the United States…BUT…

                                                                    NOT IN MY NAME

 

 Alabama is the only state in our country where a trial judge can override a life sentence and convert it to a death sentence. And approximately 21% of Alabama’s death row was converted to the death penalty from a life sentence by a trial judge….BUT…

                                                                   NOT IN MY NAME

 

 The United States is currently one of the top countries, in regards to executing inmates…BUT…

                                                             I WILL NOT TURN MY HEAD

 No one has the right to take another life…it is wrong. How do we know it is wrong? Because we are executing people to teach them that killing is wrong…and yet the lesson escapes us. We do not have the right to kill another human being. And please keep in mind…some of those human beings…were exonerated after they were already executed and laid in the ground to rest.

  I heard someone say the night that Troy Davis was killed…”An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. We cannot change what has happened, no amount of prayers, rallies, parades, or interviews will change what has been done. But we get to choose if the deaths were in vain…we get to stand tall and speak up. If we forget what happened, then we learned nothing from it. The facts are simple…it is more expensive to execute an inmate than to imprison him /her for life. And the death penalty has not deterred crime one bit…or we wouldn’t have anyone to execute. Finally, please never say it could not happen to anyone you know or love. Our system of justice is seriously lacking…if you are a minority or poor in this country, no matter what anyone tells you…you are guilty until proven innocent 9 times out of 10.

 

   Today I ask that you stand with me…not to protect murderers…but to end the death penalty. We are becoming the thing that we hate…we must make a change. THE DEATH PENALTY MUST BE ABOLISHED.

I take this pledge because human rights and human lives are on the line.

 

 http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/site/c.6oJCLQPAJiJUG/b.7741827/k.62FF/Not_in_my_Name_Pledge/apps/ka/ct/contactus.asp?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&b=7741827&en=dmIPI6PPJcIYLgOSLbKULiM9LvL9KmN4LtI9LqNaIAK

Clear Sight


 

 

Do you see me clearly? Where are you looking? Is it me you are seeing, or your idea of who I should be? Does the color of my Iris or the size of my waist determine my value in your eyes? Should we criticize some one who says she is blonde….even though she doesn’t say it is coming out of a box? If I have a large home or great job…am I then good enough for you? If my only warmth on a winter night is a trash can fire….does that make me “LESS” than you? Are you incapable of seeing what is beneath the layers? Are you unwilling to believe that all that I am cannot be found on a page? Why do we deceive ourselves into believing that we know all there is to know? How many times do you walk past the homeless person on the street, without ever wondering who they really are? Are they just homeless….or is there more? Would you be surprised to know that once he was productive, but life was unkind to him…and he is now subject to ridicule due to our inability to see outside of the proverbial box? Is he just a bum looking for the rest of us to support him, or is he more rich in character than you or I ever would be? How many times a day do you fool yourself into believing that “it would never happen to you”. How many times have you pointed the judgmental finger without even being HUMANE enough to ask WHY? If you lost everything, had no where to turn…would you then be so willing to judge him? How often do you rush past a person on a street…never making eye contact…because they have a “certain look”? Do you clinch your purse, out of fear and ignorance? Do you really believe that because you have a larger bank account that you are richer than some one who possesses less? How long will we continue to believe our own “stories’? When will we stop thinking because RIGHT NOW we have it all…that one day God won’t strip us of our worldly possessions to show us who REALLY is in control? Never say never…because YOU are not in the drivers seat. You never know what you would do, given different circumstances. Stop thinking that bad things only happen to bad people. Start seeing people clearly…and in order to do that you must see yourself clearly. Be honest, with yourself and stop believing that anyone one on this Earth owes you anything. Give Praise daily, and open your heart to those who haven’t seen compassion in a while. Spread Joy, and Love…it will always come back to you with a large dividend…..I’m just sayin.

Marked By Misogyny


Marked by Misogyny

Misogyny.

  This particular topic…I have pondered for close to a month now. It is an issue which of course affects me personally. But for those that didn’t know, or weren’t aware…misogyny is hate of women. Now I realize that this blog will cause people to stir and grumble about it. That actually is the point, and recently I realized that unless you shine light on issues…people will behave like it isn’t even there. And as I have learned when talking about injustices due to race, religious beliefs and bigotry, as a whole, people would rather it not be discussed. But since I am a woman…and it affects me directly, I am not willing to wish it away.

  There will be some people that will say that I am wrong, or that I am making something out of nothing…however, since it is hate against an entire group of people it does warrant an educated discussion.

  Women are often the scale in which manhood is decided…for instance, “you throw like a girl”, along with other various other names that men or boys are called that refer to a female or her body parts…used to demean and isolate boys or men.

  Why is it socially acceptable for women to wear garment usually termed “masculine”, such as jeans or pants…yet when a man or boy want to dress in attire termed “feminine” he is ridiculed? Why is a girl being called a “tomboy” acceptable but a boy being called girl-like…or anything similar, but not as kind…is an insult? Why is it that we make fun, or create jokes about males who are in the Ballet, nurses (instead of doctors), beauticians, or various other gender biased professions?

  I suppose that who ever started and carries on these ridiculous ideas about women…never really has a REAL woman in their life. And I say that because the strongest people I have ever known in my life…are all women.

  A woman was chosen to carry an embryo for 40 weeks and give birth to a baby weighing usually around 7-8 pounds. Why do we go to our mothers when it feels like the world is crashing down around our ears? I know men, who I find extremely masculine, that lean on their mothers when the world has gotten too heavy. How many men do you know that look for someone they can count on when seeking a wife? Would you feel like you could count on some one weaker than you?

  Let us not confuse compassion, and kindness for weakness. They are not the same thing. There have been women throughout history that have broken through barriers created by their male counterparts…which I can assure you makes them anything but weak:

1910 Alice Stebbins Wells became the first police officer in the United States…she joined the L.A.P.D.

Early 1800’s Molly Williams became the first female firefighter in the United States…coincidentally…she was also the first African-American female firefighter also.

1870 Esther Morris became the first female judge in the United States.

1917 Loretta Walsh was the first woman to enlist in the military; she joined the United States Navy.

1995 Lt. Kelly Flinn became the first female B-52 Bomber Pilot.

1849 Dr Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to graduate from medical school.

  The female pioneers broke through some thoroughly masculine career fields…I can assure you it was not an easy task. And I am certain that like most things, they were heavily scrutinized in their every move. However it did not stop them from making the way for other great women in history and our lives.

  So the next time that you consider the weaker of the sexes…perhaps you should remember…just because you might say it… doesn’t make it so.

  It is true that women did not choose to carry children, we were created that way…but I have never spoken to a man that said he could withstand all that birthing a child entails. Remember when we are belittling the women in our society…that mean YOUR mom, YOUR grandmother, and YOUR daughter…do you really think she is the weaker sex?

 

And Time Moved On


       

And Time Moved On

 

Lately I am reflecting a lot on the execution of Troy Davis. I wish I wasn’t…I wish my heart wouldn’t hurt every time I say his name. I wish I had believed that he was ever going to escape lethal injection, I wish I had been let down by the parole/pardon board decision…but I wasn’t. I wasn’t let down because I never had enough faith in our “justice” system, to believe that they would halt the execution. I found even the postponement to be no more than drama that played out worse than a low budget, predictable sci-fi matinee movie. The state of Georgia killed Troy Davis, even though there was serious doubt that he was guilty. I think that the state and the general public just wanted for someone to pay for this heinous crime…and so someone did. Someone paid…I guess to the powers that be, it didn’t matter if Troy was the RIGHT someone. A terrible crime was committed, a police officer was killed…everyone was angry. I can understand anger. I get angry…I get angry when I cannot tell my child that Troy Davis had to pay his debt to society; because I doubt that the debt was his to pay.

  In a moment of irony I found this information:

 In March of 1988, the owner of a lumber yard was brutally killed. He was dragged and beaten with a crow bar, until his face was mutilated and he was eventually shot in the back of the head. This was a particularly gruesome event, even in relaying it I find it to be mentally and visually disturbing. For that, Samuel David Crowe pled guilty and admitted to the crime in its entirety and as a result he was sentenced to death. In 2008, the very same parole/pardon board in Atlanta, Georgia…the very same which rejected Troy Davis’ plea for clemency…commuted Crowe’s sentence to life without parole. And once again the scales tilt, maintaining the only constant that I have found…there is no balance. And still, the world keeps spinning, time doesn’t stop. That is…time for us didn’t stop, because on September 21, 2011 at 11:08pm…Troy Davis’ time ended here on our earth.

 Some wept; some said that it gave them the hope that peace would follow. Some felt justice had been served; others found that especially in this case…there was no justice found.

  For myself, I just couldn’t stop crying. I felt there was another soul that the world cast away. We had another chance to do the right thing and we let it slip through our fingers. I can tell you this much…I do not personally know if Troy Davis shot Mark MacPhail, but I can also say that I do not believe BEYOND a reasonable doubt that the state had cause to execute him either.

 So we take the wound that Officer MacPhail’s murder caused…and pour salt in it by killing Troy Davis. Healing can not happen that way. When we do unto others what they have done to us…it becomes barbaric. It becomes revenge, which just fuels the dark head of hate. So now not one, but two families will grieve. Two families lost a son…but we, as people, lost also. We lost our ability to see people…these were two breathing men, they had blood running through their veins, they had lives, both were important. And then there were none.

 I never met Troy Davis, he never uttered a single word to me…but every day my heart breaks for him. I feel a loss. I feel lost. Once again we allowed our government to decide the fate of another human being. We took a task, which only belongs to our creator, and made it our own. Such a sad event…and yet time keeps moving.

 It is my wish that we end the possibility of more stories like this. We must start cherishing life, and stop feeling like we are cornered into situations. WE must learn to love beyond our limits, think outside of the box; we must stop the violence. Whether it occurs in randomly selected heinous crimes, or in organized, socially acceptable court rooms…we are taking that which was never ours, and destroying it.

 Today, I rose above my tears; I prayed for the families of Mark MacPhail and Troy Davis. I prayed that in some way they will be able to move forward, without hate and resentment. I pray that God will make things easier for them. And I pray for all of us, life is precious…we should stop wasting it.

 

Is Your Soul For Sale?


Is Your Soul For Sale?

  How much of yourself are you willing to sell? Can your attention, intention, or virtue be purchased? Those questions seem, insulting, don’t they? But have you ever given something of yourself, simply because you were given a gift, a job, a promotion, or even something as simple as a kiss?

  Obviously I am not talking about the black market purchasing or selling of entire bodies, or their organs…but something I consider much more serious…the selling of your inner being. The part of you that is touched by God…the inner voice that tells you…yes or no. The very core of you that says; I will never do that; or I will never let some one do that to me. It is the part of you that when watching others…you say…I can’t imagine that I would ever let myself get into that situation.

  I am sure many are tempted everyday, to let go of the very essence of who they are…even if for just a moment. And many more will do so, with the justification that the ends will justify the means. Do the ends justify the means?

  Has anyone ever offered you a gift to entice you into going on a date with them? In business, have you ever accepted a “token of appreciation” for helping some one out? Would this be termed as “a sale”? It’s pretty simple to figure out…all you have to do is ask a very simple question…why? Why would some one who hasn’t ever been on a date with you buy you a gift? And if you were to say no, would that person still want to give you the gift? Of course, it’s flattering when people want to do things for us…but is there an ulterior motive? What are the chances of you being flooded with gifts from some one who knows there is no possibility that you will date, or spend any intimate time with them? And in business, if you are doing the right thing by helping another business associate out…why would you need to be given a gift? Is it possible that by accepting the gift, the giver of the gift…will think that you may “owe” them something?

  Let’s take it a few steps further. Have you ever done anything that you know was against your personal beliefs or morals? Have you ever encouraged another person to do something, either personally or in business, that you know is something that you wouldn’t do? How many men would encourage a woman to pose in pictures wearing very little or revealing clothing…if they looked at that woman as if she was his daughter or mother? By asking her to do so, are you asking her to give up her virtue…for your own personal gain? As for the woman…are you willing to pose for that picture, because of some financial situation? Would either of you do this willfully if you had all the money you needed? So the question is posed…is your soul for sale?

  But I won’t insult you by saying that it is limited to money. Have you ever told a lie, or overlooked a situation, simply because it would allow your career to advance? Wouldn’t you consider that action, selling part of yourself? If you are an honest upstanding person, wouldn’t the implication of a lie alone be enough to send you running in the opposite direction? When is it acceptable to set your morals aside? Have you ever set aside the very ideas that you were brought up with…or sought to have…for some personal gain? In reality when a person does this, they are, in fact selling something of themselves.

  We were created from love; it is the very core of our existence. This may be the most important lesson that you ever learn in life, so it is important to pay close attention. You are created from love, but if you do not love yourself…then you can never completely give love to another person, thought, or idea. If we love ourselves, we will hold ourselves up high. We set the bar for which others will have to reach for in order to deal with us, on any level. We control who we allow into our space, by either letting them know that they either have to reach up…or we have to step down. If you step down, its like going in reverse…you are making an exception to the virtue that you should hold so dear.

  This does not mean that you are better than anyone else, but it does mean that YOU love yourself better than anyone else ever could. I always try and make the vision of what I say easy to understand. If your child was coming to you and asking you advice about this very thing, what would you tell them? Because, we as parents, rarely would tell our children to do anything that would take away from their character. Be your own child; don’t make excuses for giving away the very essence of who you are. The stakes in this life are high; don’t sell yourself short. In the end, you are held accountable for all that you have said and done in this world. Your life’s story should make a proud memoir for others to strive for, not a Greek tragedy.

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