Archive for December, 2014
When I was a student at Moore’s Elementary school, I had a teacher named Miss Ross. A petite woman, she was stern and had an iron hand. There were several things that were mandatory assignments. You had to learn them or face Miss Ross! Everyone including me dreaded looking her in the eyes or feeling her black belt on your behind. In Mississippi in the early 1960’s, corporal punishment (as we called it) and religious teachings were still permitted in the classrooms. If you were disciplined by Miss Ross, you couldn’t turn her in to your parents because in those days teachers ruled – unanimously; no questions asked! My parents felt that if I was punished, it was well deserved! Go figure! One of Miss Ross’ mandatory recitations before the entire class was King David’s Twenty – Third Psalms. You had to say it over and over again until you got it right. Today, I thank you Miss Ross because Psalms 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd” has helped, guided, and uplifted me in so many ways! Miss Ross put those powerful words in my head; I put them in my heart. Happy Sunday! Be blessed!
Photo credit: www.myspirtualbreakfast.com
Remember the Titanic? Figuratively speaking, a sinking ship could be a bad relationship, a dead end job, a drowning marriage, a wayward child, or any circumstance in life that may take you down. A downward path may encompass an emotional or physical descent. If you are on or navigating a sinking ship, you basically have 3 viable survival options: You can either get off before it hits, when it hits, or after it hits but before it sinks. Sometimes, we are optimists and feel that we can coast and ride out the storms in our lives; life jackets or not! Our success rate sometimes cannot be predetermined or accurately predicted. When we are confronted with obstacle courses, and when and if there are opportunities to make wise decisions, we must do so! Invariably, our destinies will depend upon it! Never forget that on April 15, 1912, despite its sophistication, the RMS Titanic, on its maiden voyage from the UK to NYC sank when it collided with an iceberg!
Photo credit: The RMS Titanic courtesy of www.en.wikipedia.org
Today is December 19th which marks less than a week before Christmas Day. Advertisements are counting down the days for us; we have constant reminders. The commercialization of Christmas is nothing new! Christmas shopping takes off on Black Friday…and oh a spending, many of us go! Cha ching goes the cash registers and an upward spiral goes many credit cards. But Christmas is more than gifts. Christmas is the date that we use to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I recently heard a pastor reveal that the wise men’ gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh were given to Baby Jesus. The scriptures did not reveal that they had a gift exchange among themselves and others! John 3:16 tells us “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Thus, the true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of God’s love! Let us not forget the reason for the season!
Photo credit: www.thrivingfamily.com
“I can’t breathe” is not a phrase we care to utter. Wearing its slogan protest T shirt is one that many would prefer not to wear … had the violence not taken place! The words signify disaster, trouble, and distress. It was a disgraceful tragedy when that phrase was initially uttered by Eric Garner to those who purportedly were there to protect. Conduct / actions administered by policemen were once again questioned! Thus, it begs to ask – Are policemen a necessary evil? Have we put policemen in the category of “Can’t live with them; can’t live without them!” For sure, we need policemen. They provide an essential service of protecting us and the communities in which we live and work. I don’t think that anyone would dispute that fact. What is at question here is how they exercise their duties, particularly when it relates to Black men. Just ask the families of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Eric Garner; families who have lost their sons! Let’s not forget the family of Trayvon Martin when George Zimmerman was quasi patrolling as a neighborhood watch officer. For the record, let’s go back further to March 3, 1991 to the beating of Rodney King. Had the video not existed, would the veracity of the police officers involved in that severe beating ever been questioned? All of these shocking revelations of insensitivities by the “men in blue” are not new! They have existed for years in the Black communities. The only thing that can change is Us! We can change by what we do about this problem – going forward. The loss of lives is a blog post in “Stuff We Talk About” that unfortunately I wish that I didn’t have to write!
Photo credit: www.etsy.com
Historically, most famous explorers brought back evidence substantiating their travels. In some cases, one could witness accounts of their travel as proof of their journeys. Let’s see, there were explorers – Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, Ponce de Leon, Jacques Costeau, Neil Armstrong, and Ohio’s own John Glenn … to name a few. Should the standard be the same when business executives explore new territories? New contracts and lucrative projects would be the greatest evidence! What a reward when new business and profits start being reflected on the company’s income statement. Then the company would be able to reap the benefits and prosper from their traveling salesperson’s labor and journeys. Increased frequent flyers miles are evidence too, but those benefit the travelers, not the company. Profits reflected on the bottom line benefit all. I’m not sure what happens if the executives keep coming back empty handed. Will they be penalized? Will they be grounded? Maybe, they will be assigned to desk jobs and forced to raffle off their round trip tickets accumulated from their travel miles. How much are the raffle tickets? I’ll take five! Nothing beats a cheap trip!
Photo credit: www.delta.com
Centuries ago, Chinese philosopher, Lao-tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Making that first step may not be easy. Often times, the first step is the most challenging of the entire journey. I know this to be the truth all too well! Stop waiting on the opportune time. Too many years may escape. Start your journey now. Stumbling blocks such as procrastination, excuses, doubts, and fears prohibit progress. They can be conquered. Don’t let temporary deterrents become permanent roadblocks! Worst yet, don’t convince yourself that you can’t do it or talk yourself out of doing it. Once you take the first step, even if they are baby steps, the closer you become to accomplishing your goal. If you keep moving, you will eventually cross the finish line. “Nothing beats a failure but a try!” By the way, this message is my talking aloud to myself; being my own cheerleader of motivation so that I can keep going! If it rubs off on you, terrific! I hope you join me; the journey is always better with company!
Photo credit: www.thenewyouplan.com
It is amazing how a simple pronoun tells what is going on in a relationship! Which pronoun will it be – I, us, we, or me? Perhaps, the better questions is what pronoun does your mate use? Which pronoun describes your and his interactions? Does he say we, but his actions are more synonymous with me? Do you consider him in all of your actions while he considers only himself? We and me are two different words with two different meanings. Maybe, you and your “yours truly”are moving in two different directions. Perhaps, it’s time to get off on the next exit! Single minded thinking doesn’t successfully work in relationships because togetherness is plural. Why make it complex when the math is simple? 1+1= 2. 1+0= 1. When you are committed to each other, you consider the other person; they are in the plan. Singleminded people only think of themselves so they should be by themselves! Maybe, the time has come to say a noun, Adios!
Photo credit: www.changethe thought.com
Though my blog has been dedicated to a spiritual topic every Sunday, please know that my worship, and I am sure yours, is not limited to Sundays only. The Bible instructs us to pray incessantly. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are told to “pray continually.” Luke 18:1 instructs us “to pray and not give up.” Prayer is one of the purest forms of worship; a direct form of communicating with God. For me, daily prayer is soothing; it’s therapeutic; it’s my private, one on one communicative time with God. I cannot start my day off with thanking God! I take the time to do so! My morning prayer helps to shape my day. During the day, prayer will help to order our conduct, particularly with challenging people and situations. Thank you Father for waking my family and me up this morning! Thank you Lord for all that you do! Happy Sunday and blessings to my reading audience!
Photo credit: www.wild-wood-mark.com
Pictured: A Barbie Collection of Solange Knowles’ wedding. Beyoncé is on the left.
Pictured: The Hanna Barbera Big Wheel.
I confess as do many other Mothers who may admit! Over twenty five years ago, I played with my daughter’s Barbie dolls as much as she! That’s right! My daughter and I would shop for outfits for her collection of Barbie’s and dress them elegantly. It was an expensive undertaking. On Saturday mornings, I would help her coordinate the clothing which she kept in one of my old suitcases. We would spread the clothing out on the bed until we matched the right pieces! No wonder she loves fashion; the process started early! For her graduation from college, I bought her a Graduation Barbie doll with a degree in her hand. Taking you back farther in time, do you remember those mobile contraptions that noisily identified your child’s location? Referred to as the Big Wheel, it was probably one of the greatest inventions ever! The annoying buzzing sounds would drive me crazy, but it would pin point the whereabouts of my driving son instantly! At five, my son with his little paddy feet could spin and maneuver his Big Wheel performing stunts like Evil Knievel with unbelievable precision. Motherhood has many treasured memories! Saturdays are great days to reminisce!
Photo Credit: www.clutchmag.com;www.hayneedle.com
A colleague called and informed me that the circus was in town. “Weren’t they here earlier this year?” “Oh,” he replied, “That was Ringling Brothers. I am talking about the circus on my job.” They are putting on an unforgettable show this week and it’s free! Their three ring circus has an incredible juggler, a speeding motorcyclist who keeps circling around the same path, and the funniest clown. All three are exceptionally talented at their craft. The major difference is that they double as employees. They juggle job duties, circle around issues, and do the funniest, craziest things that will make you crack up in laughter. They do this for a living and get handsomely paid weekly. I am told that the company is giving them all hefty bonuses. One will get one of those fancy & expensive Apple computers; the other, the new wristband cellular phone; and the grand bonus will be a new fancy sedan car with all the bells and whistles. My colleague is thinking about joining his company’s circus next year. They take applications in January. Why work for a living…when you can just clown around?
Photo credit: www.richardcapes.com