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Archive for January, 2015

What an amazing time I have enjoyed the past few days, as I celebrated the 60th anniversary of my birth. To spend the afternoon with my immediate family and extended family/friends, many of whom I have had as part of my life for over 50 years was special in a way that I have not words to describe.

The well-wishes sent to me via the multiple social media outlets to which I subscribe have been overwhelming. It has again reminded me of the power that social media can play in our lives. It is my intention to publicly and privately thank each person who took time to salute me on this birthday occasion.

In reflecting upon the journey to arrive at 60 years, I sought to blog daily from T-minus 60 days…up to the actual date, January 19th. I got sidetracked a few days, and even went weeks without posting my thoughts. However, when I did take the time to write, it gave me a sense, as it should do for us all, that what is inside of us is important. Not just to us, but to those who are watching our lives unfold.

Our stories of overcoming as we trek through this life journey are but stepping stones for our children, grandchildren, and unseen others, who want to find their way without getting too wet and dirty…because, as we can now attest, life is not always pretty nor perfect.

I commit now, and for as long as The Creator allows me to be here in my physical body, to share my thoughts, feelings and even my foibles, so that my heirs will know that it can truly be a journey of love and laughter. If it is in His will, the next 30 years are going to be such a wonderful experience and, I pray, makes each of you proud to have shared this time with me.

Now, let’s get moving…there is much to be done.

Peace.

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They Don’t See…

One of my favorite songs by my All Time Favorite music group, Earth Wind & Fire, is entitled “They Don’t See.” It is a song that seeks to share the message that through the troubles and triumphs of life, the disappointments and despair, our faith in God is what sustains us.

Now that the next decade of my life is upon me…I ponder what has really changed in the past 40 years?

“Saw a man the other day, said he was giving up his faith, going to turn his back on God, make his way twice as hard.
We both said were fools, but can I really be? To say it for real he was, quite in misery.”

I struggle, more lately than ever it seems, to not become another older, cynical man who laments over the “good old days”, all the while crying the tears of a clown as I see a lack of humanity in the world today. How can we as a nation continue to act like the moral authority in the world, yet have more citizens imprisoned than any other “civilized” nation? With such a wide disparity in wealth distribution? So many children still living in poverty…

What are we to do as we seek to make a difference in the lives of our children? In our local communities? Nationally? When our politicians and corporate moguls play monopoly with our economy? I ask these questions in hope of getting a dialogue started that will not just create pretty proclamations, but will tear down and rebuild the structures that continue to separate each of us from the beauty and possibilities that exist when we better understand our need for unified progress.

“Well, I read my news. Ain’t nothing changed, ain’t nothing improved.
Pain comes down like the falling rain,
But your soul don’t feel the same.”

“When you love, love is all you are.”

Love is the answer…I hope that WE can see.

Peace.

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Reeling in The Years…

I had a funny experience recently, where I overheard a conversation between a couple of 20-Something’s. They were lamenting about how much closer to 30 that they are. One, an obviously bright, funny and beautiful woman, said she recently spotted a gray hair while looking in the mirror. Oh my….

It caused me to smile and recall how I felt when, now more than 30 years ago, I saw my hairline begin to work itself away from the front of my head. As my Dad had been a prematurely bald man, I am told as early as 27, here I was thinking that would also be my fate.

Today, I have a silver crown upon my head where a once full head of Black hair had resided. And, on the precipice of my 60th birthday celebrations, I know that gray hair, crows feet and a few digits less than 6 pack abs are just fine with me. Yet, what does await me going forward?

The wisdom that I have gained during the past 30 plus years, not all of it from choices made wisely, is invaluable. The adage, “If I knew then what I know now,” rings true each day that I now journey forward. Nothing can prepare us for tomorrow other than the experiences that we walk through today. There really are no shortcuts.

So many friends have not made it to this time in my life…while others have health challenges that restrict them from living fuller lives. And here am I. Never spent a day/night in a hospital since I was released to my Mother 60 years ago. Never had surgery. Never had a major illness. All of my children are healthy and living well. There is nothing about my life that I can complain about.

A couple of lines from a song by Steely Dan, Reelin’ in The Years, is my foundation for today’s post.: “The things that pass for knowledge I can’t understand…”, “The things you think are useless, I can’t understand.” Click here for the song:

Going forward, I will seek to understand more…about myself, about my children/family, and life itself. Having an 11 year old daughter will certainly keep me poised and current; even when I won’t want to be.

EnJoy with me this day. It’s all that we have because the years keep on moving forward. And we can’t reel that back in, no matter how hard we try.

Peace.

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Wake Up Everybody!

In this age of technology that allows us to know within minutes of events that occur half-way around the world, it is still a mystery that we have not made more progress with a number of local issues that plague our communities. Sure, we all have heard about the police shootings of unarmed Black men, the unjust incarcerations of innocent men and women of color, and the mis-education of our youth, who are spoon fed carefully-selected tidbits of information.

To what end is this allowed to continue in a society that has so much to gain by being a Global leader in justice and equality? In a country that seeks to monitor the human rights infractions of other sovereign nations? Where I grew up, it is said that if my kitchen needs cleaning, I better not have too much to say about the grease stains on your stove.

Imagine if our school systems taught financial literacy. Entrepreneurial classes. Educate our youth on how the judicial system is set up and how to play a part in it. Might we then have a better-prepared work/business force that can lead us into the next 30-50 years of growth as a nation? As a World?

One of my all-time favorite social justice songs is from Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, “Wake Up Everybody.” The words are still relevant 40 years after they were first penned. Take a listen and then let’s make a commitment to do more for our children…so that their futures, and ours, are brighter.

Wake Up Everybody: http://youtu.be/-TDfPgd3Kyc

Peace.

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