Tag Archive: postaday 2011


The Art of Delightful Debate


 

The Art of Delightful Debate

 

The one person I would go to, no matter what was going on in my life, was my sister…who just passed away this January. No matter what the problem was she would listen intently…and then remind me to laugh at myself. She would tell me to give myself 15 minutes to freak out…cry, scream, yell, stomp…do whatever I wanted in that 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes was over, we would look at options and solutions.

  That was a very important lesson, because often times we will be upset about a situation or circumstance and we will internalize it; not giving ourselves the opportunity to let it out. This frustration that we would carry around with us becomes something dark, and can prohibit us from being loving towards others. Anger doesn’t want to be bottled up…it wants to be released; unfortunately what tends to happen is that we will turn our frustration, angst and disgust onto unsuspecting bystanders. We will answer people sharply, or snap at our children or spouse, and they will never have seen it coming. And this is all because we didn’t know how to or chose not to release this negativity.

  When I feel this way…I love to write, because in my writing I can see the anger, and by the end of the blog or letter…I can find a loving peaceful way to resolve the issue within myself. If only we could always proof read what we say to others, prior to engaging in the battle of tongues. If we had a transcript of what we said and what others said to us, we would, perhaps, be able to see where one or the other crossed the line. And we could make note of what was really meant and what was a defensive mechanism kicking in.

  Often we don’t realize that our mouths can be more brutal than our fists. We can heal from a bump or bruise, but the words and tones that we leave others with, can be emotionally scarring. I know that I have gotten into a heated discussion or debate with some one I loved before, and the words they said to me would still linger. In my mind, I could not reconcile what was said out of hurt and anger…and what was truth. This becomes a problem because often when discussions become heated, we lash out at the people we are speaking to, without realizing that we are being malicious. I wonder if we could preview the conversation before actually saying it, what would we change?

  I am now calling this the “Art of Delightful Debate”. Why delightful? Well that is fairly simple, we can disagree and not be rude or angry. If we listen carefully to what is being relayed to us, we can see another’s point more readily. However if we are so busy thinking of a rebuttal that could match them…or put them in their appropriate place…we miss the communication. I know that sometimes it can be difficult to be patient, because we often make assumptions about what is going to be said; but impatience can often be detrimental to the message. And even worse than interrupting the speaker is to, pretend to pay attention, or roll your eyes or cross your arms across your chest. All of these actions send very clear messages to the speaker…what you are saying is not important to me, so could you just be quiet? Often it isn’t quite so nicely put, either.

  When I was a young girl I can remember being talked to by an older family member, after they got done speaking they said, do you understand what I just said? Of course, I said yes, not expecting the earth shattering response that would follow. “So if you understood what I said…tell me what I said”. All I could offer was a deer in the head light look, and I can assure you that had I really listened…it would have been a much better day for me. Lol.

  Communication is very important, everything communicates. Animals communicate, even trees and plants communicate, and you only have to pay attention to what they are saying. For instance when a leaf of a plant or tree is turned upside down, it means that is going to rain. If a plants leaves or blooms are sagging…it means they need water. Animals have very heightened senses. An animal senses danger or threat of danger, right away; and unlike humans, an animal does not talk themselves out of being cautious. A wolf doesn’t sense that something is coming and then say….it’s probably just the wind. No, a wolf will leave, or prepare to fight…we, as human beings have the same senses…but we do not listen to ourselves.

  We are highly evolved beings with various means of communication at our disposal, yet we rarely listen to our inner voice. It is often that inner voice that will tell us what to do…even though we may not listen. It is that very voice…that seems to come from nowhere…that is watching out for us. I have always believed that my inner voice is the voice of our creator, guiding me down my path. Showing me the way to whatever destination which is meant for me; all I ever had to do was listen.

  What is the message in all of this? Be respectful in conversations; give to others what you want in return.

 We all want our voices to be heard…it just isn’t always necessary to yell. Sometimes it is those who speak the softest that have the more attentive audience. Often snappy responses are intended to offend the other person, and they just make us appear to be immature or irrational.

  Just listen to what is being communicated and your Art of Delightful Debate…will always be productive.

Advertisements

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

School Is Out


   I have been searching for inspiration so I could write about our public school systems, as when I am inspired, you can always see the message the writing is trying to bring to you. You can not imagine how blessed I felt when this subject matter came up in the post a day suggestion link…I have been smiling all day. Well…I hope you enjoy…lol. I think the very first time I had really opened my eyes to the public school system was a few years back during November, which was Native American History month. Since I was raised and speak often about my culture to my daughter…she began to wonder why the school would post signs all over the place saying it was Native American History month…yet none of her teachers ever talked about it. She came home one day looking rather, puzzled and frustrated. I asked her what was wrong and we began discussing the problem she had incurred while asking when they were going to learn about the Native American History. Her eyes swelled up with tears as she went on to tell me that her HISTORY teacher expressed to her that Native Americans have not contributed enough to our society to actually warrant having an hour set aside to discuss them. I comforted her the very best that I could, trying to explain that sometimes people are oblivious to how their responses could affect others, and I told her I would go to the school and talk to their principal. I did as I told her I would, and asked the principal why it was that Native Americans could have a month dedicated to them by the federal government yet they had no place in the class room…at least not in my daughters class. I was told that it wasn’t that they had not contributed anything to society; but that November was really more about Thanksgiving and Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the New World. I expressed my disappointment in the school even suggesting that people from my culture contributed nothing to the way we live now and even then. I had always found it offensive to know that our public schools would only take one month out of the year and dedicate it to Black History (February)…as if so few contributions were made by African Americans that it didn’t warrant more attention. It was true that in her school in particular, there were times when 2 African Americans were spoken of, other than during February…those would be Harriet Tubman and George Washington Carver (we live in a huge peanut state). But it troubled me more to know that even when studying the Black History in February, they would only cover the basics…Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, Carl Lewis, Rosa Parks and Rev. Jesse Jackson. There were pictures of Malcolm X, but no discussions because #1 he was too controversial and #2 he was not Christian. It was at this point when my head would begin to swell and the headaches came flooding in. I had to sit my daughter down and ask her…do you know who Medgar Evers is. She shook her head, I explained that he was monumental in the civil rights movement; in trying to put an end to segregation…all I got was a blank stare. Then I asked her, do you know what Martin Luther King Jr did that made him famous? She said plainly, he made the I have a dream speech, and then he was killed. She had no idea what was happening in our country at that time, she had no understanding as to how truly awful black people were treated, for just trying to do what everyone else was doing…living. All of this was oblivious to her; she had never heard anyone say anything about public lynching’s, about separate water fountains and bathrooms. She didn’t realize that black people could not go to the movies with white people, that they were treated as second class citizens. All of this disturbed her greatly; especially given the fact that her father is black…she was offended. We all should be offended, especially if we have schools that ignore the parts of history that are controversial. I had to explain to her that this is why there are so many problems today, a lot of people are still angry…because there never seems to be any balancement. I expressed to her, like many other things involving other groups of people, there is no way to make up for some injustices in our society. There are something’s that throwing a bandage on will not cure…but rather, it leaves a huge scar to remind us that we were wronged. I want to talk about James Reese Europe with you right now…but believe me that is another blog completely…lol…I digress. I realized at that point, if she was going to continue to stay in public schools that I would have to become extremely involved in what she was being taught. And once I learned that the school really didn’t want my two cents worth, I would just teach her, from home. I would teach her all of the things that the school system left gaps in. I know I should have been more involved to begin with, but I was just thankful that by the time she was in the 6th or 7th grade…I was paying close enough attention to what she wasn’t being taught to help cushion what she needed to know. Then on April 16, 2007…the most gruesome thing happened. Cho Seung Hui, a 23 year old Virginia Tech Senior; went on a shooting rampage and he killed 32 students before turning a gun on himself. This was the worst massacre in United States history, and it happened in Virginia…where we live. Myself, personally, I was physically and emotionally spent on that day. We kept getting updates throughout the day as more murders and injuries had been reported. I was worried about the state my daughter would be in, as she came in from school. At that time she was 13, she had never experienced such brutality in any event. So, she comes in, and is laughing and talking away. I was a little confused thinking she took this very well. I decided that perhaps this was her defense mechanism taking over. I gave her very basic information about it and left it at that; thinking that they would speak to the students about it the next day and offer counseling, as there had to be students disturbed by this act. After all, this event happened at a school, where children were supposed to feel safe and secure. After school the next day, she came home the same as the day previous. I asked her if they talked to the students today about the shootings at Virginia Tech. She said, very simply…..no. I became very frustrated by this, and went to the school and asked why they would not discuss something that happened so close to where we were, geographically…not to mention that it happened at a school. I was bluntly told, it wasn’t in their curriculum, and to take time out for this discussion…would set them back a day. I was livid. Not only did they not mention it, they didn’t think about the 3 children going to that school, whose sisters and brother went to Virginia Tech. So in short, the school system did not feel that the worst massacre to happen in a school in our country, EVER, was worth a discussion. So back to our original topic, what do I think about our public school system? I think it lacks adaptability, it lacks information, and it fails to give our teachers stretching room where they can determine where the students need to1 be, as opposed to where they are. I feel that the school board is so concerned with funding and accreditation that they have lost the reason the schools are even open. We only need to look at what happened to the schools in Atlanta, Georgia to know that…the only difference in those schools (where teachers falsified tests, because there jobs were threatened)…and other schools across the country is that Atlanta got caught. Atlanta school district got caught being greedy, and as an end result the public school students became expendable. School stopped being about what the child was getting out of the school and became; what can the school get out of the child. This is such a sad state of affairs, but it is reality. What do I think the answer should be? Pay teachers more; the really great ones can be priceless to our children. School boards need to look for teachers that look outside of the box, a teacher who encourages free thinking with intelligent reasoning. We need smaller classrooms, children learn better in a more intimate setting. Right now we are stacking the odds against our children…they are innocent and deserve better. Lastly, if you can spare the time, I suggest homeschooling. Children need to know what is going on in our world and often this is found in the experience of life and not in a text book. How can I learn about current events in a text book written 5 years ago? As the public at large we need to step in and participate in our educational system, we can not trust that our kids are getting the best education possible…unless we participate. Education today isn’t what my education was, but we can’t just throw our hands up in defeat…we must make strides towards a solution. Our children will be the soundest investment that we ever make. They don’t raise themselves and we can’t let them educate themselves. We must become steadfast and consistent in their lives, showing them that what they are doing is important to us. It may be as simple as going to your child’s classroom randomly…showing our children that we care and showing our schools that we are holding them accountable. Just my take…

Imagine


 Imagine what it would be like if we could love without borders. We weren’t separated by boundaries, or titles. All of our countries were nameless…our eyes oblivious to colors and hues of one another’s skin tones. The color and textures…styles and length of our hair was just thought of as a way to further beautify ourselves…and not used to identify our differences. Our accents could change depending on who we were speaking to…and every one thought that it was cool to be able to look and sound differently at a moments notice. Wouldn’t it be nice if religions had no control over how we treat each other? Or if we did not use our religions as reasons not to be kind or loving towards one another? Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world that taught its children to love EVERYONE, no matter who they were or what they looked like? Imagine that we never had to live in fear…that we could just love each other openly…without judgment. We could just concentrate on being kind and peaceful towards one another…without any ulterior motives.

 I know this may seem like a crazy fantasy to you…unrealistic. It’s okay for you to say it…often I have been told that my ideas of what mankind is supposed to be is a childish fantasy…something to be laughed at.

  But I have seen children, of different race, creeds and religion…just playing together. Not asking who or what they are…not shying from one or the other out of some unfounded fear. I watched them for hours before…listened to them giggling and swinging, climbing on playground equipment and going down slides, playing jump rope or four-square…doing nothing but being children. It made me think …how can they can do something that their adult counterparts have not learned how to do.

  And at that time a young girl , about 5 years old wearing a blue t-shirt and a pair of blue jean shorts with straight blonde hair pulled back in pony tails tied with blue ribbons came up to me and asked if I could help untangle the jump rope for her and her friend. I, of course, said I would be glad to…and asked which one was her friend. The little bright eyed beauty said the little girl with her hair in braids…the one wearing the red shirt. I told her that I still couldn’t see her…as there were a few children with that description. And she laughed and said…she’s the one wearing the leather sandals and is jumping up and down. It was at that moment I realized everything that I needed to know. The reason these children were able to live in harmony was because they didn’t realize their differences. That little blonde hair girl never once said to me that her friend was the little African-American girl with the braids, or the little Asian girl with the red shirt on…she was just a little girl with her hair in braids with a red shirt and sandals that was so excited about me fixing the jump rope that she kept jumping up and down. And how you might ask were these children able to play in harmony without racial discord, or religious indifference? They were able to do so, not because they were different than many of us were, at that tender age…but because they hadn’t yet realized that society doesn’t want them to love each other. The young minds hadn’t yet experienced hate due to race, religious views or geographic location. They didn’t think anything was wrong with playing with children who spoke with accents unlike their own…and there was even a child there who was unable to speak at all. And yet they still managed to communicate with one another…without frustration or biased views. They didn’t hold one another responsible for their parents not working…or for some terrorist attack…or because they had to go to bed at a certain time. They simply enjoyed each others company. They played and held hands…they chased each other, and if one accidentally fell, the others rushed to help them get up. It was simply not just the most perfect day I had experienced in a while…but it was enlightening. Enlightening because they showed me that the people who tell me that my vision for mankind…was  an unrealistic fantasy; these people had simply not experienced these young highly evolved beings…whose greatest fear was to be called away from play…to go home.

  The beautiful things that we need to know are all around us…we just need to remember to open our eyes…and my hope is that we do it before it is too late.

Happy Birthday


Happy Birthday

When did I last say goodbye?

When did you last say my name?

 If I knew then what I know now…

What would I have changed?

 Would I have been less rushed?

 Would I have visited you more?

 Would I have held you close… like a secret…?

Only for me to know?

Would I have laughed with you more?

 And nagged a little less?

Would I have told you over and over?

 How your life made me feel blessed?

 Would I have had deeper talks?

About creation and our paths…

Would we have spent more time joking

 And letting the bad times pass?

 Would I have called you everyday?

Like I knew I always should…

As I watch my hands tremble…

Wishing now if I only could.

And I know I should try

To send you a smile…

For God lent me

HIS angel for a while.

 You let me borrow your shoulder

 When I needed my very best friend…

Showing me that I wouldn’t break,

 But it was okay to bend.

 You wrapped me in your love

 In your own Melissa way…

And showed me it may look bleak…

But I would be okay.

 You never let me give up on me

 Or on my GOD…

Saying”the stars are your compass…

Your pen is your rod”.

 You armed me for battle

And when the war began…

You stood right there beside me

 Where you had always been.

 Thank you for never… doubting the belief

 That I would love you forever…

But forever was too brief.

 So on your birthday

 I wanted you to see…

I will love you to the end,

 And thanks for the memory.

**I don’t normally write poetry…and this one came to me when I was having a hard time trying to cope with the birthday of my sister, who past away this year.

I wanted to share it with “Hedgewitch” Joy Ann Jones and everyone at http://dversepoets.com/ Thank You

The Race is On


The Race is On

 

    What do you call it when a police officer can stop a driver of a car, for what ever traffic violation, and ask for verification of legal status in this country? What would you call it if I told you that if that individual didn’t have the documentation on his person, that he could be detained up to 48 hours, until further verification can be made?

 What would you say if I told you that it is not only a violation of the Fourth Amendment to detain anyone for the sole purpose of verifying immigration status, but also has never been required for Americans to even carry Government issued identification at all times.

What if I told you that if you gave a neighbor a ride to Wal-Mart, and got pulled over for a broken tail light, and your neighbor turned out to be an illegal immigrant…that you could charged with a criminal offense of harboring an illegal immigrant and charged up to $20,000 and sentenced up to 5 years in jail? I wonder what would happen if you were a taxi driver, or a greyhound bus driver, given those circumstances.

 What if you were told that as an employer that you had to E-Verify all employees if you have 10 or more, even if in the case of Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, the Federal Government explicitly told the Supreme Court that the E-Verify program was strictly voluntary, and any state requiring employers to participate is to be preempted by federal law?

  Welcome to Georgia’s Illegal Immigration Enforcement and Reform Act!!!!

   Let’s just call this what it is….RACIAL PROFILING. And now the state of Georgia, just like the state of Arizona has made Racial Profiling a part of their daily life.

 I mean, lets be real, how do I determine who to ask for legal status? What guidelines do I have to tell me who to ask and who not to ask; keeping in mind that it is all going in to a database?

 Racial Profiling is very real, and it is being used to cause further separation of our country from within its own borders. I am sure I don’t need to remind anyone that the United States was never anything but a giant sanctuary for immigrants…and now we are punishing people for doing just that.

 I can not determine if this is more frightening than it is sad, or vice versa. We can not continually stand firmly silent on issues that seriously undermine what this country was built on.

 I have often been told that my ideas of peace and love of my fellow being…is made up of  unrealistic hopes and dreams; but the truth is that is exactly what people come to this country for. Can you remember when this country stood on the premise that anything was possible here, because we live by the standard that we are an extremely diverse and accepting culture? What has happened to us? Why are we allowing the very government we created to dictate to us…and instill in us….fear? We fear what we do not know and instead of reassuring us; our government is infringing up on us…what an American REALLY is or is not.

  We are all diverse…we come from different cultures, societies, religions and beliefs. But when we lose track of the knowledge that WE ARE ONE…we all lose.

 

Please join me in asking President Obama to help put an end to Racial Profiling.

http://www.rightsworkinggroup.org/content/sign-petition-tell-obama-take-action-stop-racial-profiling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Lessons


Life Lessons

 

 

    Life has a way of showing us things about ourselves that, at times, we don’t see. We often times complain about things…without giving it much thought. For instance, it would seem ridiculous to complain about how big our home is or isn’t….when there are homeless people walking our streets. And yet we do. We debate what we are going to eat for dinner…and there are people tonight who will go to bed hungry. We will complain about it being so cold outside, because we have to turn on the heat in our homes…and there are families…entire families who LIVE out in the cold…with no choice. The sad part is that we, as people, will donate time in homeless shelters or soup kitchens during Thanksgiving and Christmas. It will be publicized, on the television, even the President and his family will do it, during that time of year. I think it makes it worse when that is done, because now we can’t even claim ignorance. We can’t say…wow…I didn’t know people had to live like that; because the President of our country showed us these people on national television. But I wonder about something…if the condition of our country is so dire that a high ranking official is serving dinner to the homeless, on Christmas, what happens the other 364 days of the year? Why do we only want to show kinship, love and compassion during that time of year? Do we not realize that those same people are hungry ALL year long? But we turn a blind eye…caught up in our own lives. We are given the opportunity to show love and compassion, every day…but how many of us can say that we really actually do it?

  We complain, about the very gifts that we are given…as if we don’t appreciate them. I remember a time, when I was ill and in the hospital for an extended period of time. I was complaining, to myself, because my hair was long and thick and I couldn’t really get it to do what I wanted it to. And a woman came and sat beside me, in the rehab room, of the hospital. I watched her thumbing quietly through a magazine. At the time, I didn’t pay attention to the type of magazine. A therapist came over to her, because the woman was softly sobbing to herself. I can remember the therapist telling the woman that she would help her select a wig, and reassuring her that no one would know it wasn’t her natural hair. The woman was a cancer patient. She was softly crying because she didn’t want to draw unnecessary attention to herself…she was in the process of chemotherapy and was losing large amounts of hair. And I was complaining about a hairstyle. I have never felt so awful…rightfully so. Because even though I am not the reason she was losing her hair…I was being ungrateful for what I had. 

 It is so easy to forget and be thankful for the very gifts that we take for granted. There are hundreds of examples of instances where we are ungrateful for that moment.  We complain about having to take the stairs, because the elevators are broken…be thankful; you aren’t in a wheelchair.  We complain that the sun is too bright…I’m sure a blind person would love that opportunity. We take even the simplest things for granted…the ability to walk, talk, hear, and see.  Give thanks for what you have, and find a way to give back. It’s great if you lead a privileged life…but doesn’t that mean that you have the means to assist someone else? I am not talking about charity…but lifting others up. If you run a successful business…what would it hurt to donate your time, speaking to youths that may just need a little encouragement? Donate time to a recreation center or even at a public library where you can simply read a book to some children. When we reach out to people…the response is love. Even if the response seems angry…remember they probably haven’t had an easy life. Speak with your heart, and hearts will respond. People just want to matter. They want hope…what is wrong with giving them at least that much?

 Do you know why drug abuse and gangs are so prevalent; because gang members convince children and young adults that they are “family”.  And in a lot of cases, those young minds don’t have anyone else showing them anything differently. There are fathers or mothers in jail or prison…and children left to raise themselves. The parent left to raise the children has to work more than one job, just to make ends meet. Its no wonder that children turn to violence…they have seen nothing else. Do you know how hard it is to do the right thing when you have little or nothing to go on as an example?

  But I have great news, because love is free. It’s a gift from God…and meant to be given away. Be thankful for whatever you have been blessed with…and give back whenever it is possible. We are supposed to love each other…it isn’t a new idea…but it is necessary for our survival.

 In the length of time it took you to read this…you could have told ten children that you love them.

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: