Archive for the ‘Hot Topics’ Category


By Vernalee
How many of you are in the presence of folks who do little or absolutely nothing all day?
Please don’t email me your response because the high number would overload the circuits!
The do nothing’s walk around as if they are the kings/queens of the jungle; giving orders and taking names. With some, their incompetence matches their laziness. They are infectiously contagious because their allies are also freeloaders.
The do nothing’s have a non – discriminatory clause because they come in all races, genders, sizes, shapes, and colors. Remember, birds of the same feathers flock together!
They talk a good game as they acrobatically swirl in their comfy seats at their desks. They haven’t picked up a pencil in years other than to thump it on their desk which substitutes for a drum set.
Embarrassingly, they routinely show up late for meetings when they elect to grace their colleagues with their presence.
No dummies, many are computer savvy because they surf the Internet and play candy crush all day.
Did I mention that they collect bets for all of the gambling pools?
Wednesday is a big day, because they start planning their weekend.
Long lunches and excessive breaks are characteristic.
No one looks for them because they have so many hiding nooks making it too time consuming to locate them.
They talk excessively, cause trouble, create confusion, hang outside with the smokers, and lie continuously about things that don’t matter.
Excuse me!
I keep rattling on while you are preparing their incomplete weekly reports. Rather than deal with their foolishness, you just decided to do their job yourself. It’s less effort. Sure, it’s more work for you; less for them!
However, it beats interacting with them because they are such a pain to deal with…
What an unfair deal, but it keeps those spongers out of your hair; out of sight, out of mind.
Unfortunately, until they are suspended, fired, transferred, or removed from the job site, we have to endure them. For the record, they will never resign. Why?
Where else can they work and have it so good? They’re in paradise!
Let me stop talking about those do nothing’s because the conversation is much ado about nothing!
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By Vernalee
Are you concerned about how others view you?
Most of us are!
Remember – we know who we are regardless of what other folks think or say about us … even behind our backs!
All may be well until we are met with unfounded gossip and untruthful remarks.
Even then, we have to put some “stuff” and some people behind us.
Don’t lose your direction worrying about people who are in the “back.” They are there for a reason. Don’t let their negativism catch up with your positive movements.
So when people talk about you behind your back, follow this advice:
1. Do nothing.
2. Ignore them.
3. Treat them with kindness.
4. Verify the motives of the messengers.
5. Don’t engage in gossip. Why be like them?
6. Don’t take it personally though the words may severely hurt particularly if they come from someone close.
7. Spend your time with positive people. Remove yourself from the paths of negativism.
8. Remind yourself that they may have low self esteem.
9. Realize that they may be jealous.
10. Stay positive.
They may be bona fide backstabbers!
Woe to them!
If we allow ourselves to get caught up in their vibes, they will slow down our progress and we will be moving at their speed, not ours! What a tragedy that would be!
Learn. Grow. Look forward. Move forward. The past is behind you. It’s at your back!
Photo credit:; Source:

PostHeaderIcon LIP SERVICE

By Vernalee
Lip service is defined as insincere support or respect expressed but not put into practice.
Technically, one is serviced by words only.
Words are so easy to say.
They can be free flowing and come a dime a dozen.
Talk is cheap.
Some people just like to hear themselves talk! I know that you know as many as I do who fall in this category.
They can shout out words effortlessly!
Getting them to shut up may be a dilemma.
Backing up what is said is always the challenge!
Don’t sweat it or lose sleep over their loudspeaker do nothing behavior.
Rather … Remember these words of wisdom.
1. Actions speak louder than words but not nearly often.
2. Don’t talk, act. Don’t say, do. Don’t promise, prove.
3. The soul has no secret that the behavior does not reveal.
4. Words are nothing. Actions are everything. Don’t tell me. Show me.
5. Actions prove who someone is. Words just prove who they want to be.
Truly, actions can be measured. Words may just be lip service.
In summary … Trust actions, not words.
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
On this day as we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, I reflect.
Yes, progress has been made, but there is so much more work to do as we live in a world where prejudices remain vibrant.
We must continue our strides to respect people as God created all mankind to be equal.
Today, on the only national holiday that honors a Black man, let’s stroll back in history to 1963. Let’s hear his dream!
Before an audience of over 250,000 people from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech which was unequivocally one of the most defining moments of the Civil Rights Movement.
“So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire; let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York; let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania; let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado; let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that. Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia; let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee; let freedom ring from every hill and mole hill of Mississippi. “From every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”
Photo reprint: (Excerpts from Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, August 28, 1963, March on Washington). ”


Though lengthy, the below information provides some interesting and historical facts about Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Official program
Marian Anderson was scheduled to lead the National Anthem but was unable to arrive on time; Camilla Williams performed in her place. Following an invocation by Archbishop Patrick O’Boyle, the opening remarks were given by march director A. Philip Randolph, followed by Eugene Carson Blake. A tribute to “Negro Women Fighters for Freedom” was then led by Bayard Rustin, at which Daisy Bates spoke briefly in place of Myrlie Evers, who had missed her flight. The tribute introduced Daisy Bates, Diane Nash, Prince E. Lee, Rosa Parks, and Gloria Richardson. The following speakers were SNCC chairman John Lewis, labor leader Walter Reuther and CORE chairman Floyd McKissick(substituting for arrested CORE director James Farmer). The Eva Jessye Choir then sang, and Rabbi Uri Miller (president of the Synagogue Council of America) offered a prayer, followed by National Urban League director Whitney Young, NCCIJ director Mathew Ahmann, and NAACP leader Roy Wilkins. After a performance by singer Mahalia Jackson, American Jewish Congress president Joachim Prinz spoke, followed by SCLC president Martin Luther King, Jr. Rustin then read the march’s official demands for the crowd’s approval, and Randolph led the crowd in a pledge to continue working for the march’s goals. The program was closed with a benediction by Morehouse College president Benjamin Mays.

The focus on “I have a dream” comes through the speech’s delivery. Toward the end of its delivery, noted African American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson shouted to King from the crowd, “Tell them about the dream, Martin.”[ King stopped delivering his prepared speech, and started “preaching”, punctuating his points with “I have a dream.”

Gospel legend Mahalia Jackson sang “How I Got Over”, and Marian Anderson sang “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”. Joan Baez led the crowds in several verses of “We Shall Overcome” and “Oh Freedom”. Musician Bob Dylan performed “When the Ship Comes In”, for which he was joined by Baez. Dylan also performed “Only a Pawn in Their Game.”Peter, Paul and Mary sang “If I Had a Hammer” and Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind”. Odetta sang “I’m On My Way.”

1. The event was officially titled the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”

2. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

3. The march was organized by the “Big Six” leaders of the civil rights movement: A. Philip Randolph, Whitney M. Young, Jr., Martin Luther King, Jr., James Farmer, Roy Wilkins, and John Lewis. Bayard Rustin was chief organizer of the march.

4. Between 200,000 and 250,000 Americans, mostly African-Americans, but including thousands of whites, held the march in order to focus attention on blacks’ demands for immediate equality in jobs and civil rights.

5. The marchers were entertained by celebrities, including Ossie Davis, Joan Baez, Bobby Darin, Odetta, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary, and Jackie Robinson. Other celebrities who were present included actors Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, Harry Belafonte,Burt Lancaster, Paul Newman, Diahann Carroll, Lena Horne, Sidney Poitier, Sammy Davis, Jr., and writer James Baldwin.

6. Law enforcement included 5,000 police, National Guardsmen and Army reservists. No marchers were arrested and no incidents concerning marchers were reported.

7. Ten leaders of the civil rights march met with President John F. Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, Labor Secretary W. Willard Wirtz, and Burke Marshall, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, in the cabinet room of the White House during the demonstration.

8. The leaders were:
-A. Philip Randolph, director of the march
-Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
-Roy Wilkins, executive secretary of the NAACP
-Whitney M. Young Jr., executive director of the National Urban League
-Walter P. Reuther, president of the AFL-CIO United Automobile Workers
-Reverend Eugene Carson Blake, Stated Clerk of the United Presbyterian Church in U.S.A. and a representative of the National Council of Churches
-Rabbi Joachim Prinz, chairman of the American Jewish Congress
-John Lewis, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
-Matthew Ahmann, executive director of the National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice
-Floyd B. McKissick, national chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

Original copy of the speech
As King waved goodbye to the audience, he handed George Raveling the original typewritten “I Have a Dream” speech. Raveling, an all-American basketball player from Villanova, had volunteered as a security guard for the event and was on the podium with King at that moment. Raveling still has custody of the original copy and has been offered as high as $3,000,000 for it, but claims to have no intention of selling it, with plans on leaving it to his children instead.


By Vernalee
Yes, the topic of FRIENDSHIP is a
subject that is timeless; it never grows old.
So let’s examine our wish list.
First things first.
It is unreasonable to expect from others what you are not willing to give.
That sounds hypocritical…don’t you think?
So whatever attributes you desire in and from a friend, you should be willing to give.
Fair play?
Listen up as we examine some friendship guidelines.
1. Avoid competition.
2. Avoid gossip.
3. Confront wisely.
4. Forgive.
5. Maintain friendships; treat them with care.
6. Celebrate best friends.
7. Let your friendships serve as a mirror.
8. Make changes, if needed. You are allowed.
9. Create a healthy community of friends with the reality that just because you are the nucleus that your friends may not become friends to each other.
10. Give everyone their space.
11. Explore your expectations.
12. Befriend yourself.
Now I ask…
Who can you confidentially talk to and get the best possible advice?
Who wants you to succeed no matter what? Who will be there for you when everyone walks away?
Who will be there when you are up, down or turnaround?
Answer: A true friend.
Remember this.
Everyone needs someone.
No one is an island.
Having a true friend is valuable. True friendship doesn’t come around often.
If you have one true friend, you are lucky.
Two – would be a steal!
When you find a true friend, keep him or her close.
Don’t ask for something that you are not willing to give!
Think of others; do for others.
Don’t be a talker only; show that you care.
Cherish being a true friend as much as having a true friend!
It’s a treasure!
Photo credit:; Source:


By Vernalee
Two faced people … I know you know them.
Slow down; stop counting!
They are hypocrites who live up to the true meaning of the word.
Some folks call them by other unflattering synonyms – gossipers, revengeful, backstabbers (who smile in your face), deceitful, cowards, idea stealers, and names that I cannot gracefully print.
They say and do one thing in your presence and are completely opposite behind your back.
Of course, they are not to be trusted … even when you are looking at them!
They can be so despicable!
Don’t fall for or be deceived by their duplicity.
You may be in situations where you have to routinely or occasionally deal with those two faced specimens.
Here are some pointers when you do have to engage with them:
1. Acknowledge that you are dealing with someone false and dishonest.
2. Be assertive rather than aggressive when confronting them.
3. Be civil toward the person even when they said bad things about you.
4. Avoid the duplicitous person that has been talking negatively about you.
5. Avoid divulging personal or sensitive information.
6. Avoid being physically aggressive at any cost.
7. Resist the temptation to play their gossip game.
8. Avoid sharing your ideas, goals, and aspirations with them.
9. Do not take their negative actions/words to heart.
Clearly, it takes a lot to deal with them and it takes a lot out of you.
It’s not easy to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Ringing in my ear is the sage counsel of the late Dr. Maya Angelou, “The first time people show you who they are, believe them!” We can however, use the street vernacular, “If a dog take a bone, he’ll carry one.”
It doesn’t matter which version we elect to take, the advice is the same – Beware and keep your antennas up with two faced people.
No matter how smart you are, it’s hard to tell which side of the face is which.
They look the same.
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By Vernalee
As you probably recall, I love watching award shows and this young man that we call Drake – recently broke a 32-year record for the most American Music Awards (2016) nominations with 13 nods, beating Michael Jackson’s previous high mark of 11 from 1984. He won four.
To set the record straight, I have never purchased a rap album/cd and I did not buy Drake’s platinum “Hotline Bling” track.
And no, I am not running around singing Drake’s suggestive lyrics, “Call me on my cell phone.”
However, I love quotable quotes and his are impressive and thought provoking.
I became familiar with Drake in 2010 when riding in Atlanta with my daughter as she was listening to “I’m Doing Me,” one of his top hits, which was coincidentally the title of my first book.
So I guess you could say that he and I have something in common.
I discounted the knowledge of a newly discovered fact that his Uncle is singer bass guitarist Larry Graham, one of my all time favorites and contemporaries. At 30, Rapper Aubrey Drake Graham is younger than my son and daughter, but he does have a way with words that can capture anyone’s attention; so much so that his work was recently featured on The Today Show.
The segment was a quiz to determine what quotes came from Drake and which from Hallmark Greeting Cards. Incredible depth and comparison, I’ll say!
So here goes 25 of Drake’s top motivational quotes:
1. “Never let success get to your head and failure to your heart.”
2. “Kill them with success and bury them with a smile.”
3. “Haters will broadcast your failures, but whisper your success.”
4. “People will wish you all the success in the world and then hate you when you get it.”
5. “Jealousy is just love and hate at the same time.”
6. “Judge me, and you’ll have no time left to love me.”
7. “It’s never too late to realize what you want in your life and it’s never wrong to fight for it.”
8. “You know its real when you are who you think you are.”
9. “Smile and let everyone know that today, you’re a lot stronger than you were yesterday.”
10. “Strength isn’t always shown in what you can hold on to, sometimes it’s shown in what you can let go of.”
11. “I’m not confrontational, but if someone challenges, I’m not going to back down.”
12. “Always felt like my vision has been bigger than the bigger picture.”
13. “Everybody dies but not everybody lives.”
14. “The moment I stop having fun with it, I’ll be done with it.”
15. “Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about the destination.”
16. “Know life is just a game in which the cards are facing down. I’m in the world where things are taken, never given; how long they choose to love you will never be your decision.”
17. “I was born to make mistakes, not to fake perfection.”
18. “Life can always change, you have to adjust.”
19. “Pain makes you stronger. Fear makes you braver. Heartbreak makes you wiser.”
20. “Count your blessings, not problems.”
21. “Everybody has an addiction, mine happens to be success.”
22. “I’m trying to do better than good enough.”
23. “Before you give up, think of the reason you held on so long.”
24. “When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.”
25. “When you look ahead and darkness is all you see, that’s when your faith and determination will pull you through.”
Without question, the above quotes as his lyrics embrace wisdom. I intend to use a few of Drake’s quotes from time to time.
All I can say to Drake is that you definitely know how to bring the message home even to a woman old enough to be your Mother!
I am aware that you are known to make many extemporaneous moves.
So … My dear, if you care to call me on my cell phone, do know that generally I take all of my calls! Certainly, yours would be my pleasure!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
Opportunities come and go.
Contrary to popular opinion, they do come around more than once.
It should be our goal to take advantage of all of them, rather than waiting on another one to appear.
When we cannot cash in on an opportunity, particularly a desirable one, frustrations and disappointments can easily fill our space. Sometimes the lack of accomplishing an opportunity can dampen our spirits.
As tough as it may be – stay determined and keep going.
Look forward, not backwards!
There is no time to be in the “dumps.”
There are opened and closed doors for a reason or reasons. Sometimes your entry or exit may be counted as blessings instead of regrets.
Here’s why:
1. Some doors were meant to close…so that you can go in a new direction.
You may have to do the following.
2. Nail some doors shut if you have to. Let go!
3. Stop looking at the closed door so that your eyes will see the new one open.
4. Expect more closed doors to follow. Sometimes more than one need to close for you to find the right one.
5. Remove fear. Don’t be scared of the open door. They may signal opportunities. Go for it!
6. Kick down a door that you really want opened. Make your own path.
7. Control your emotions. Don’t get upset when your closed door opens for someone else. That door was meant for them, not you.
As it relates to closed door, old folks in their infinite spiritual insight would say, “God has another plan for you. Go where he leads you. He may want you to be somewhere else.”
Keep in mind that closed doors are similar to roadblocks deterring you from the wrong path so that you get on the right one.
Be prepared so that when the right door swings opens, you will be ready to maximize the opportunities as you capably walk in and capture the splendor!
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By Vernalee
I am about to reveal a fact that some folks have forgotten about themselves!
Drumroll please!
You make mistakes!
You are not perfect!
That’s right.
Follow the three step process of the Triple A’s – Admit, Address, Act.
Once that fact is truly acknowledged, what will you do the next time you misstep?
There is a fallacy that the first to come forward, apologize or say, “I’m sorry” loses their position of dominance and is classified as the weakest.
Quite the contrary … Being the first doesn’t demonstrate weakness, it expresses strength, courage and recognition of the issue.
It also lifts the weight of the issue off your back and conscience.
Wow, I feel lighter already; don’t you?
Stop worrying about who comes forth first.
Concern yourself with being the “bigger” person who does the right thing!
You can be the bravest, the strongest, and the happiest – if you apologize, forgive, and forget.
Don’t just take my word!
Try it!
See for yourself!
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By Vernalee
imageSometimes, it cannot always be business as usual.
Change is necessary to foster progress. For many, change poses a reluctance. Why upset the apple cart?
However, change is imperative in many situations, which brings me to one of my favorite management cliches: Thinking outside the box.
“Thinking outside the box is a metaphor that means to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective.
It refers to novel or creative thinking. Originating in the 1970s and 1980s, this expression poses a challenge to solve the so-called “nine dots” puzzle, whose solution requires some lateral thinking. To think outside the box is to look further and to try not thinking of the obvious things, but to try thinking of the things beyond them.”
To do so may require a paradigm shift in our thought processes and our methodology to problem solving.
In that light, I share with you many wise sayings that will if no more encourage critical thinking.
Here goes:
* When nothing goes right … Go left.
* “Instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box.” (Deepak Chopra)
* Thinking is not enough, you have to act.
* The 6 thinking hats are: Thinking About Thinking; Data/Info; Creative Thinking; Benefits/Value/Logic; Critical Thinking; Feelings/Intuition, Hunches, Emotions.
* “Being able to think outside the box presupposes you were able to think in it.” (Bob Lutz).
* To live a creative life, we must loose our fear of being wrong.
* “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” (Albert Einstein).
As for me, I occasionally think out loud. Yes, I have been known to put on my thinking hat.
It is imperative to move our agenda forward which means that we must step out the box … as needed.
If To “Vernalize” this point, I share with you one of my personal mottos: “If it is to be, it is left up to me.”
Today is a national holiday in the Lee Family. It is my youngest, Phoebe’s birthday. She definitely thinks out of the box and will move the box if it gets in her way. A very family centered, driven, and spiritual daughter, may God bless you for all that you unselfishly do for our family! Happy Birthday and Blessings Phoebe! God’s Speed!
Photo credit:; Source: Wikipedia

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