Happy Father’s Day! Father’s Day…Father’s. I emphasize that, because I feel that it’s not emphasized enough. When it comes to the family unit men are taken for granted or barely acknowledged at all. I hate when I see mothers wishing themselves or other moms Happy Father’s Day. A mother no matter how awesome, can NEVER be a Father. I know a lot of women will disagree…but it’s OK…just bare with me for a moment. Think just a little bit about Mother’s Day. Mom’s are taken out to dinner, flower stands are on every street corner, and everybody is proclaiming that ‘to be a Mom is the hardest job in the world‘. I would tend to agree…but I would add to that statement. Being a Dad is also the hardest job in the world.
I am fully aware of the countless men who have failed to step up to the plate and shoulder their parenting responsibilities. I know women get discriminated against, sexually harassed, physically abused, and paid less than they are worth. All these things are intolerable. Men who don’t take their responsibilities seriously put a stamp of shame on all men. Men who mistreat women are punks, they are the bottom of the barrel, but they are not representative of the whole gender.
I have written many times about my belief that we are all one, and that when we figure that out, it will erase most of the problems we humans face. When it comes to parenting we are, or at least should be one. We should be of one accord, one purpose, and that is to raise happy, healthy, and productive children. Just as the poor treatment of women, is unacceptable, so too is the poor treatment of men. Now to be fair, men don’t suffer the way women do, mostly because men are stronger, usually louder, and more aggressive. So even though it does happen, men aren’t as likely to get beat up, or otherwise abused. What men go through is more subtle, but still hurtful and counter-productive.
Watch TV commercials and see how rarely fathers are celebrated. When was the last time you saw a roadside stand with gifts for dad? Notice how many sit-coms on TV make Dad the dummy of the family…and the Mom has to save him and the family from his silliness. When have you EVER heard that being a Dad is the hardest job in the world? Why is it that men very rarely get custody of children? Why aren’t the health issues of men in the public awareness as much as women’s health issues? Did you know for example, that just as many men die from prostate cancer as women die from breast cancer? We all know that pink is the color for Breast Cancer awareness, do you know the color for Prostate Cancer awareness? It’s blue by the way.
I’m not a father. I wish I was, but I’m not. However I am particularly sensitive to what I perceive to be the under-appreciation of fathers and men in general. This post I know is a bit scattered, but my intent is focused. I appreciate the hard work that Mothers do in raising their children. I’m particularly impressed by women who through no fault of their own are forced to raise their children alone. I simply would love to see the work Fathers do celebrated also. Not more than but equal to the celebration of Mothers.
So, I call on all men who are Fathers to work hard, and love hard for the betterment of their children. I call on all Mothers to do everything necessary to support the men they CHOSE to be the father of their children. If you are not with him, make sure your children have a relationship with him…not for him but for your children. Celebrate the importance of fathers, and it will benefit your family many times over.
Stay Fly and Fly High!
In the beginning God created the universe, and in it, the earth and a people with awesome potential. These people were created with the free will to do wonderful things and equally awful things. As the crown jewel of perfect creation, a people able to expand that perfection were put here on this third rock, to build upon an awesome foundation. We are exactly what God made us to be…creative and free. Here’s the thing, God already knew what we are finding out, time and time again…Being free ain’t free.
Choices have consequences. Wise choices yield good results, foolish choices yield bad ones. Like an over protective parent God could have made all our choices for us, but then that would make us pretty useless. Instead God empowered us to make whatever choices we want and to learn from the outcome of those choices. In fact the quality of our lives are the net result of the quality of our choices. We human beings have done wonderful things, but still we make some really bad choices, and suffer because of those choices.
Tragedy beyond our ability to even understand has visited our home in Newtown, CT. 20 beautiful babies, and 6 heroic caretakers were savagely taken away from us. Our struggle to find answers digs a hole deeper into darkness, anguish, and unbearable sadness. We clamor for answers, forgetting that no answer will ease the hurt we all feel. We feel indignant and angry, many of us want to blame someone…but no one is left…no one but us…you and I.
The shooter (I will not utter his name) was one of us. He was a young man 20 years old, who could have made choices that would enrich us, and move us closer to what God knows that we can be. Instead this person…made choices that many of us would consider evil…and all of us would consider unthinkable. When faced with the choice to do good or or evil, he chose the latter. Because of that choice we are all left to deal with the horrible aftermath. 20 tiny caskets, 20 wakes, and 20 funerals with 20 eulogies to celebrate lives that never really got started. Also 6 caskets and funerals for beautiful women who loved those precious babies and undoubtedly died trying to protect them. Additionally let’s not forget the mother killed by her crazed son. You may wonder what this all has to do with choices…
We are all one family. We have chosen to ignore that fact. We are all…ALL OF US… children of a mighty and magnificent God, we have chosen to forget that fact. We have chosen to act as if some of us don’t belong here. They say that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Lessons will continue to be brought to us until we learn what we need to, in order to move closer to the potential that God holds out for us. The teacher has appeared as two teens in Columbine, a young man in Tucson Arizona, a soldier at Ft. Hood, a young man in Aurora Colorado, and a young man in Newtown.
The lesson these horrible, cruel, animalistic teachers have for us is this – We as the human family cannot afford to marginalize, ostracize, persecute, or ignore any of our brothers and sisters. We are all equally important. We all deserve love and support, and we are all responsible to give it freely to each other. We have chosen to ignore this crucial lesson. I believe that every single rampage shooter could have been directed down a path other that the one they chose, if they were loved, included, accepted, and given the care they needed when they were younger.
People who are loved and feel like they belong do not go on rampage shootings. Even people who have mental illness can be treated, loved, and included enough… to prevent tragedy if it’s done early. We must remove the stigma of mental illness. It should raise eyebrows no more than a person who needs a broken leg mended and reset. We as a people must make better choices regarding how we treat our fellow man.
Do we need better gun laws? Yes. No civilian needs an assault rifle or 500 rounds of ammunition. But gun control is only a part of the problem, and a small part at that. Rather than pointing the finger outward, point it inward. The next time you see a lonely person, say hello. Buy a stranger or better yet a strange person a cup of coffee. If a person you know isn’t around for a while call him up and give him a few minutes of your time. If you witness odd behaviour don’t shun that person do what you can to help them feel like they matter, and assist them in getting any help they may need. We can choose to stay within our clique…but the cost of that is so high. Every single person wants to belong…let them…in fact invite them.
God is patiently waiting for us to fully realize the divinity in us. If we choose to deny it, we will continue to suffer. If we embrace it we can crush evil, and flourish in the light of goodness and love. Blessings to you all, but most specifically to those most closely affected by the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Ct.
Stay Fly and Fly High!
It may be impossible to accept it…and understandably so. When it happens earlier than expected, it is even harder to fathom. No time seems to be the right time…and yet it always comes. Each of us knows at some point that it will. Amongst all of God’s creation…we alone, are fully aware that our lives will come to and end.
Even though it is sad, sometimes unbearably sad, our awareness of the brevity of our lives is a blessing. Knowing that we have a limited amount of time, to live, and to love, and accomplish, gives us a sense of urgency, that we couldn’t have otherwise. Knowing that our lives are but a “blink of an eye”, we have a chance to make this world a little better when we leave here, than it was when we got here. We are all blessed by those who use the time they have, by living well.
Some people hate it but I really enjoy Face Book. However, occasionally there is a dark cloud…a certain heaviness, that hangs over the virtual community of Face Book. Recently a young man, who was a father, a son, an uncle, and a friend passed away. I didn’t know him…but I feel like, I wish I did. So many pictures on display to document that this man lived well. Pictures of him smiling, holding children, hanging with the fellas…managed to break through, if only slightly… the deep sadness of losing him. I read stories of his generosity and kindness, and my heart breaks for the people who loved him, and now have to live on without him. Clearly by the posts and pictures, the prayers and well wishes…it is clear that people loved this man. His time was short…but by all appearances the memories of how well he lived his life, will remain strong and long, in the hearts and minds of those dear to him.
Additionally there is now some closure, but also the beginning of a period of mourning, for another person, who left too soon, but lived well. She went missing, and the power of her own generosity inspired hundreds of people to search for her. Apparently her body was found not far from where she went missing. What struck me is how there were so many stories about how she herself would have been the first one to search for a missing person, how she gave food to people less fortunate, and made the lives of people she knew and people she didn’t know a little bit better.
Perhaps she and the young man who just passed knew they had to make every day count…because they wouldn’t have forever to spread the love they had to give. I think we’d all do well to remember how finite our lives are. I didn’t know either of these people whose lives have ended. But I have a certain gratitude that shines through the sadness of their loss. I’m grateful that they were here, and that they loved the people around them…and lived so very well.
God Bless the memories of Mike and Barbara, and those that loved them and now grieve for them.
Stay Fly and Fly High,
We live in a society that expects so much from, and honors so little, the men that father the children in our country. Men are universally condemned for not providing for the physical needs of their children…I think…rightly so. Men are expected to do whatever needs to be done to provide. When the union (however temporary that union may be) between man and woman results in a pregnancy, feminists and women’s rights advocates say that “a woman has a right to choose”. Implicit in that position, is that a man does not have a right to choose whether or not a pregnancy will lead to a child birth. Abortions happen at the sole discretion of the pregnant woman…the man…has no say. Bear with me…I’l get to Fathers Day, I promise.
Fast forward nine months, after the woman has decided to have the child, the man, who previously had no say…is now obligated. Whether or not he wanted a child…he is now obligated to provide for that child. After a child is born women’s rights advocates are curiously absent. Even if the man and woman are no longer together (some unions just don’t last) the man is legally required to provide for the new child, for at least the next 18 years….Very Interesting.
I think the rules, laws, and expectations surrounding abortion, child birth, and child support are sometimes…how shall I say…questionable? But, what is not questionable are the moral obligations of a father. The laws written on our hearts are more clear, concise, compelling, and I think, more fair than the sometimes convoluted laws or society has jumbled together.
Here’s how I see it…When a man has sex with a woman, from that moment he is obligated. He should treat that woman with respect, honor, and tenderness. A man should have the wisdom and foresight to be fully prepared for the possibility of a child resulting from his sexual encounter. A man who is not entirely capable emotionally and financially to support a child, should not have sex. Real men know that little babies come from “gettin’ busy”, so they are ALWAYS responsible with their male sex drive.
Ideally children should be a choice. This choice should be the net result of a loving and stable relationship (man and woman..it’s my blog), and very serious discussions and considerations. After all of that, a real man steps up to the plate and assumes the honor and sacred privilege of being a father. He is in the delivery room to support his wife (I’m feeling nostalgic), and to welcome his new baby into the world. From the moment of that grand entrance a father kicks into gear.
A father loves his children in word, and in deed. A father loves and respects the mother of his children, this provides a blueprint to his children of how to have fulfilling successful relationships of their own. It also gives a sense of emotional security that children thrive on and thirst for. A father is a protector, he is a provider, and teacher. A father is strength and softness…he knows that a man who is hard all the time is unbearable. A father is most well equipped to lead by example, a young boy, through the years of puberty, into the realm of manhood. A father can and should love his daughter so perfectly, that she would never settle for less, when she begins dating.
A father can never be replaced, and is every bit as valuable to the development of a happy and productive adult, as a mother is. For some curious reason Father’s Day isn’t as important in our society as Mother’s Day…I think that’s sad. One of the best ways to encourage responsible fathers is to recognize the ones who already are. Great fathers should be celebrated…and it should never be said that children need their mothers more…that simply isn’t true.
This day is always kinda sad for me. I don’t have a relationship with my own father, not because he wasn’t there…but because of the way he was there. To be fair…he did do some good, and for that he deserves credit. However the biggest reason for my sadness on this day is the opportunity I missed, to be everything my father wasn’t. I’m not a father, but I think I could have been a really good one.. I’ll probably never know.
People tell me with the best of intentions that I could help other kids who don’t have fathers…these people are usually parents…so they don’t know my pain…however they are right. I have mentored a young man who is 20 years old now…I’ve been with him since he was 13…his name is Prince. He’s a pretty happy young man…and I guess I’m at least partially responsible for that…I did what I could.
To all the REAL fathers, and all the men like me, who weren’t blessed in that way, but did what they could for others…Happy Fathers Day…I see you, I respect and honor you.
Stay Fly and Fly High!
I sometimes wonder, how far I will fall. I realize there is an element of self fulfilling prophecy at work in that thought, but if I’m being honest, I wonder how far I will fall. I agonize over how bad things can get, how humiliated I’ll be. I’m talking about my financial struggles. I’ve written about it before, and I hope there’s not a lot more of these articles that I’m gonna need to write….need to write…I NEED TO WRITE. That’s it, I need to write.
This blog is as much about me talking myself out of a funk as it is anything else. I’ve said it before “teach what you need to learn”. So, I’m teaching…or writing…hoping I can find myself. I know there are many, many people affected by this recession, a lot of them worse than me. I don’t pretend I’m the lone victim of those Wall St. vampires. Still when I go to bed at night, not knowing where my next dollar is coming from, being aware of other hardships doesn’t help me sleep better…if anything it makes me hurt more…and hurt is something I do not need more of.
I’m a man of many talents, I’m not bragging…it’s just true. I work hard…and I always (almost always) have. I have read many positive thinking and motivational books. I’ve been to seminars, hell…I have considered creating seminars. Still here I am, at the edge…at a place I wouldn’t have imagined a couple of years ago, when I could buy pretty much anything I really wanted. Now every week brings more pressure. I have grown to hate the mail. I let envelopes pile up, because past due balances depress me, and I NEVER answer a 1-800 call…because they have questions, that I don’t have answers for.
So here I am with the walls closing in on me…and I know it sounds dramatic (I have a knack for that), but I feel like I can’t breathe. I feel like a loser…I feel like…I’m not a man. As that thought takes shape in my mind, another one says ‘HOLD UP!!! You’re not a man???…You’re a loser???…You could not be more wrong!!!’ It’s so easy for me to forget what I’m made of when I’m pushed to the edge. It’s so easy to forget that planets and stars, quasars and galaxies, mountains, oceans, and the mighty creatures on them and in them can not compare to me. I am God’s crowning achievement, we all are. Fully able to crush obstacles and make possible, what no one thought could be done.
But I cannot lie…right now I feel like crap. It’s OK though…because I won’t quit on myself. This feeling will not last. I don’t know when the sun will rise, but I know it will. I’m afraid (yeah…men can be scared), I’m afraid of what will happen to me.. if I lose my car…my home…I’m afraid, that if I ever have to ask a friend for something to eat…My spirit may never recover.
Then I remember who I am. I remember where I come from, and what I’m made of. I am a man, ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. I have great things to do, awesome goals to accomplish…and I intend to check every one of them off my list. This much I know…things are hard now…REALLY hard…but hard times NEVER last forever…and because I won’t quit I will win. I won’t except any else but to win. I know where I come from…strike that…I know where we come from.
Stay Fly and Fly High!
So I’m on the job, bringing something out to my truck, and for whatever reason I notice something on the ground. My first thought was that it was a slug, but then I thought that thing was too big to be a slug…it must be a twig…and that was that…or so I thought. I go out to my truck a few more times…and then as I’m packing up the last few things into my truck, I realize…it’s not a twig it’s a big ass slug!!! (insert big horn blast right here)
So I look more closely, and the slug grosses me out, just like I knew it would. Then I think, when I drive off, “I’m probably going to run over the slug”. I get way too queasy to pick it up, and the freakin’ thing is right in my path…I’m probably going to run it over. Then I think…”It must suck to be a slug”. (I have these kinds of conversations with myself all the time.) First of all slugs are ugly, and for some crazy reason they come out onto the pavement, where work vans, like mine, run them over. It SUCKS to be a slug.
Then I start thinking more…the slug doesn’t know that it sucks to be a slug. In fact the slug probably thinks it’s good to be a slug. No pressures…no worries…unaffected by the recession. Female slugs surely think that male slugs are really hot, and vice-versa. Slugs probably think that we look funny…by the way…Do slugs have eyes? But I digress…slugs do what slugs do…they take their sweet ass time going to where they’re going…some of them make it…and some don’t…but they ain’t gonna worry about it.
So, I start thinking more (you’d be surprised how many things I think about)…maybe I can learn from that slug. After all there’s something to be said for not letting things worry you. Stress is really overrated, slugs would just as soon let us humans have it…they have important slug things to do, and stress just isn’t in the program. “Live in the moment…live fully and completely in the moment. After all, this moment is all we really have”. Slugs have that all figured out.
I watch Mr. Slug (just seemed like a dude) make his way to where ever he was going. He had his little slug antennae up and was moving ahead in all his slimy splendor. I wonder if he had a family…or if he even thinks that far ahead. Maybe the slug brain can only hold the action he’s taking right now, and that’s it. Maybe that’s how slugs have survived…they don’t worry about problems, threats, birds, lizards…nothing…just the step they’re taking right now.
That slug had no worry about whether or not my big blue van would run him over…he was focused on right now. The truth is that’s all any of us have, is right now. The past is gone, the future isn’t here yet, but now…is here…or it was. Right now you can act. You can act in a way that moves you forward. Or, you can be paralyzed by stress, and worrying about the future , fretting about the past, or big blue work vans. Do what you want…but now…right now, is all you really have…it’s all you’ll ever have. Just ask Mr. Slug.
So…I look at Mr. Slug, and plot my move. I get into my van and drive around my little friend. He probably knew I’d do that all along.
Stay Fly and Fly High!
On this day, I am one of many who will reflect, talk, meditate on, or write about one of our greatest citizens, Martin Luther King. Born January 15, 1929, educated in our nations colleges, and polished to a razor sharp edge in violently protested peace marches and dirty jail cells. MLK was a man with flaws, but in spite of those flaws he rose to speak to a nation that had lost it’s way. America Home of the Free, had become any but that for many of it’s citizens. A movement began to resist ungodly persecution, and an institutionalized apartheid, not unlike that found in South Africa. A reluctant leader came to the fore to lead this so called civil rights movement, to help it achieve it’s righteous goal of peace and equality for people of color. That leader became the voice of a people that had grown impatient and fully ready to claim it’s rightful place at the table of The American Dream.
On August 28, 1963 between 250,000 to 400, 000 people gathered in Washington DC before the Lincoln Memorial to hear the keynote speaker of the March On Washington For Jobs And Freedom. I don’t think anybody understood what they were about to witness. This reluctant leader Martin Luther King gave what is widely believed to be one of the two or three greatest and most influential speeches ever given. I Have A Dream is what he said. He spoke in lofty often times thunderous words about his aspiration for our country. He said that as great as our country was it could not achieve it’s full greatness while oppressing some of it’s people. Martin challenged The United States of America to do what it should do. He used it’s own founding principles to say that America must live up to it’s own creed.
Because of the leadership of Martin Luther King and the sacrifices, blood, sweat, and tears of thousands of righteous soldiers the Civil Rights Bill was signed into law by President Johnson in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act was signed into law a year later in 1965. This was all done with peaceful resistance, powerful oratory, and a refusal to accept anything less than what was righteous and deserved. The work of Dr. King and many others ultimately lead to a surprising prophecy made by Robert Kennedy shortly before his assassination in 1968. He said that the United States would have a “negro president” in forty years. Forty years later in 2008 Barrack Obama was elected to become the 44th president of The United States of America. Clearly Dr. King would have been proud having seen the realization of at least some of his Dream.
So here we are in 2012…with a black president that a lot of people hate. Here we are in 2012 where there are more people living in or close to poverty, than there has been in decades. Here we are in 2012 where people of color do indeed have civil rights, but way too many have no moral compass. In 2012 more black men under 30 will go to jail than will go to college. In 2012 the highest cause of death amongst young black men will be homicide…by the hands of another black man. In 2012 the middle class is shrinking and our elected officials don’t even mention the poor. What about the Dream?
2012 is a great time to reflect on Dr. King, what he fought for, and what he died for. Many believe that 2012 will mark the end of the world as we know it. I’d suggest that may be a good thing. As we celebrate the life of one of our greatest Americans, let’s think about what we can do to advance the Dream. Lets make our voices heard like Martin did. Let’s speak truth to power like Martin did. Let’s take rightful action to end poverty, to bring jobs back, and make sure that all Americans have equal access to the American Dream. Let’s commit to ending the violence that is taking our young people away from us.
We have come so far, and there is a lot to be proud of as Americans. However we still have a long way to go before we are Free At Last. I call on each and every one of you to do something to help and even challenge our country to be great as it should be. As for me I am building an organization to help eradicate youth violence. It’s called Peace Squad. I need help. I need soldiers willing to do the hard work with me. I have a very simple website up so that I can accumulate ideas and suggestions on how we can stop youth violence. I’d love to hear from everybody. God knows I have my flaws…and I’m no MLK…but I’m inspired by him…and so I am acting… and I hope you will too. Then someday we can finally get to that place where we are all truly Free At Last.
Please visit the site by clicking on this link - www.peacesquad.org
Stay Fly and Fly High
Happy New Year to you all! This is a time when so many of us reflect on the year past and anticipate the year ahead. This past year has seen a lot of things happen. The rise of the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movements. Presidential campaigns are in full swing. Babies were born and unfortunately we lost a lot of people. I’d like to mention a few. Steve Jobs technological revolutionary, Nick Ashford half of the genius songwriting team Ashford and Simpson. Amy Winehouse the soulful and tragic songstress, Clarence Clemons the great sax player behind Bruce Springstein. We also lost the eternally opinionated and witty Andy Rooney. No longer with us the sworn enemy of America Osama bin Laden. Moammar Gadhafi, and Kim Jong Il are gone too, many are happy with the deaths of these last three, but death to me is always sad, even when it’s deserved.
Trust me I’m getting to 2012.
Troy Davis was executed after having been convicted of murdering a police officer. Normally I am a supporter of the death penalty, but this case was, to say the least very problematic. Eyewitness testimony was either very questionable and in a couple of cases recanted and there was no physical evidence to connect him to the murder. So after a number of appeals Troy was executed even though in the minds of many people he was innocent. A lot of people, me included, think justice died the day Troy was executed.
We also lost a young man named Mikyle Frank. By all accounts a very popular, loving, and loved person. He was in his early 30′s and he was stabbed in a bar over some foolish little argument. Over nothing a young father is gone…the victim of senseless violence. In response to the tragic loss of Mikyle and many other young people at the cold hand of meaningless violence I have decided to launch an organization called Peace Squad. I intend to take the fight to the violence that is taking our young people away from us. Please visit the website at http://www.peacesquad.org for details and please understand it’s about to go down in 2012.
So yes we are here in what many believe to be a very significant year 2012. The ancient Mayan people of South America were great astrologers and mathematicians and they created amongst other things a Long Count calender. This calender delineated a 5,126 year era. The end of the current era is December 12, 2012. Many very devout people think on that date there will be a huge shift of some kind. Perhaps a shift in the global mindset. A spiritual shift that will unite mankind. Others who are equally devout believe 12-12-2012 will bring the Apocalypse…the end of the world as we know it.
Personally I don’t believe in any of that stuff. I’m not into astrology, I think we make our own choices and those choices have certain consequences good or bad. However, I do think we can use these End Of The World pronouncements to our advantage. The last year has been really difficult for many people, me included. So, why not use this year of 2012 to create the world as we would like it to be?
We do not have to accept that violence will always take our young people away from us. We do not have to accept that our politicians will never care about us, the people who they are supposed to work for. If you’re over weight, that is not your destiny unless you decide that it is. If you’re in a relationship that doesn’t honor you, and make you better, that doesn’t have to be a life sentence. If the recession has dealt you a bad hand, you can throw those cards away, the game is not over.
My point is that whatever you didn’t like about 2011 can be changed in 2012. This year can be exactly what you want it to be…but you have to REALLY want it. You have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and jump in. The work may be hard, but the pay off can be staggering. So what do you want? A better paying job…or any job at all? You can have that. Lower or eliminate your debt, a new car or just a reliable car…you can have that. How about a world where your kids can be safe, because violence is something we only ‘used to know’…yep…we can have that too. What’s important to you? Do you want to be in love? Do you want to record an album, plant a garden on land you own, send your kids to a great college, visit your parents in another state? What do you want for your life? How do you want this world you live in to be?
No matter what you want, no matter how ambitious your dreams and desires are, you are just a number of steps away. Here’s the thing that makes all the awesomeness of your goals manageable…ALL YOU CAN EVER DO IS THE NEXT THING. People tend to get intimidated by big goals and consequently throw up their hands and walk away. They settle for a life that is easier to see. Don’t settle! Any goal imaginable can be broken down into small chunks that you can acomplish today. Want to lose 100 pounds? Pick up the phone and make an appointment with your doctor or join a gym. You don’t have to do the sit-ups today…just call and join. Want to start a business selling solar panels? Do a Google search on where to buy solar panels. You don’t have to order, ship and sell them today. Just take one step…and after that another…and then another.
People who do big things know that there is a pay off at the end of a thousand steps. People who live small only see the thousand steps…they get winded before they even move…and they give up on their dreams. 2012 can be your year. This year can change your life. Greatness in whatever endeavor you choose is within your grasp. But you have to reach out. Greatness will not drag you out of bed. You have to get up and get after it. You have to chase it down…but if you believe…greatness can be yours. Greatness in what ever is important to you, is right around the corner…waiting for you.
So yes 2012 is, or certainly can be The End Of The World As We Know It. I am so ready for a new day…a new life…This is my year. 2012 is my year…and it’s yours too. We are all giants with awesome powers…we just have to except that it is true. I’m so excited for you.
Stay Fly and Fly High,
It’s so easy to get overwhelmed in these uncertain times. Record high unemployment, soaring health-care costs, oppressive gas prices, political discord, and scandal on The X-Factor… What are we supposed to do? At the end of the day I think we all desire pretty much the same thing. We want good health, financial security, love, and a good future for our children. However it seems to be getting harder and harder to achieve the things that were so hard to achieve 4 or 5 years ago. I ask again, ‘what are we supposed to do’?
Setting goals is important and often even necessary. You may want to earn more money, you may want to lose more weight, you may want a job that is more secure, or more fulfilling. The reason so many people set goals and then fail to reach them is the gap between where they we are and where they want to be. For a lot of people that gap might as well be a 50 ft. high steel reinforced concrete wall…”that is electrified, and a sign reading it will KILL you” (shameless political reference). For others the gap is a red carpet, welcoming them to the Promise Land. This is the thing, the gap is exactly what we perceive it to be. It is this perception that makes it easy or impossible to achieve our goals.
So, if we want to achieve anything, how we look at that thing is critically important. How we look at the process to achieve is equally important. It is a fact that the recession has us in it’s grip. At the same time there are people right in our midst who always seem to thrive, recession or not. Those people see opportunity when others see obstacles. These people are often seen as being really lucky. I’d suggest that luck has nothing to do with their success at all.
People who live well, accomplish goals, and fulfill dreams BELIEVE THAT THEY CAN. When you believe that you can, you look at “the gap” entirely different than people who believe that they cannot. When you believe that you can, you see possibilities, options, and opportunities. Your perception of what can be done will determine what you can actually do. It comes down to this – If you will start with believing you can do and have what you want, you will have moved yourself into the world of possibility. If you will then, act on that belief, one step at a time, the universe will open up to you in a way that will astonish you.
Stay Fly and Fly High!
So once again another young black man has been killed. I know some of his family, I didn’t know him…but that doesn’t matter. Apparently this young man was loved, I draw that conclusion from the outpouring of support and expressions of deep affection I saw on Facebook. I saw pictures of a handsome young man with a brilliant smile. His name was Mikyle… I learned his name from the numerous messages saying R.I.P. So now he is gone…one more in a long horrible list of young black men who are killed in the prime of their lives….and for what?
Of course people will talk. I’m gonna assume that at least some of what I heard is true…and it boils down to this – that young man died for nothing. An argument or disagreement, escalated into a fight, that ended in a death. Time and time again this keeps happening…we get sad, we get mad…we say STOP THE VIOLENCE…and yet nothing changes. Why?
I think it’s clear that the problem is complex, no one thing will fix this. However, we cannot as a society let the complexity or pervasiveness of the problem make us feel impotent against this scourge. We cannot as a society throw in the towel or develop apathy or a short memory. This problem persists because we let it persist. That cannot happen any more. One lost life affects the balance of our universe…we are all less than we could have been otherwise, every time a young person dies. Mikyle was a child of God, and now one more of God’s children is gone…for nothing.
Any day now there will be a wake, and then a funeral. A mother will endure the unspeakable pain of burying her child. People will cry, and scream in agony. People will say wonderful things about Mikyle…and in time a lot of people will forget. Not because they don’t care, it’s just what happens. They will move on to other things, and face the challenges and even joys of their own lives. But here’s the thing…WE CANNOT AFFORD TO FORGET! We must as a society…as a community remember the pain of this loss and collectively vow to fight against the violence that took Milyle’s young life.
So what’s the answer? We must have outrage when violence or for that matter any kind of anti-social and destructive behaviour is displayed. We must stand up for goodness, patience, self control, forgiveness, generosity…and most importantly love. We must teach young boys how to feel anger, but not act out in anger. We must teach young boys that to have hurt feelings is not ‘soft’…and we need to allow young boys, young men, and even grown men to feel all of their emotions. We have got to instill in our youth that real strength includes being willing and able to walk away from conflict. Somehow it has gotten cool to be a thug…truth be told you can be quite popular with the ladies if you’re a bad ass. I can go on an on…and I will at another time.
For now I say for us all…let’s dig down deep and connect with the divinity in all of us and find the resolve to rise above and conquer this madness. Let’s use our creativity, power, and resourcefulness…let’s use our compassion and most of all love for each other…and frankly love for oursleves, to find our way to a place where we no longer say the sickening and all too familiar words Rest In Peace to a young person lost to violence.
To the families of Mikyle, all those lost before him, and those yet to come…please know that you are in the hearts, minds and prayers of many. May you find strength in the love and support of family and friends you know…and those who wish you well from a far. God Bless you.
To save our children…I am ready to fight for that…I hope you are too. Stay tuned.
Stay Fly and Fly High