Posted in Uncategorized

When Superman isn’t super

We live in a society that props up certain individuals for their talent, wealth, success, looks and other attributes. There is a need to create superman because psychologically we need to know/see the best version of ourselves.

Many of us desire to either be superman or be his sidekick. We cherish this superman version of ourselves and it gives us hope.

Idols are created.

There was a choice involved in that creation and there was an obsession. When these “supermen” show that they are not so “super” we tend to forget who made them. We forget who elevated their gift to a god-like level and why. This never happens without coveteousness. Something to be had or obtained by the admirer that makes them blind to the dangers of idolizing mankind.

Once idolizing starts, abuse is imminent. The only thing necessary at this point for abuse is access. When access is granted, abuse is possible.

From the other direction, superman believes he is superman. He believes he can fly! He believes that the laws cannot contain him. He believes that his money and power will protect him. He believes his sins are forgiven. He hides behind his gifts and other idolaters stand ready to replace the former. Literally people are rushing toward abuse and with every victim, there is a new one in the back awaiting their turn to be abused.

Onlookers who are not caught up in that version of superman always want to judge. It’s easy for them to say, “how could they be so stupid!” “How could they not know?” “Who in their right mind would do that?!”

And it’s never that simple.

We underestimate our need to see and be the best version of ourselves. We struggle with the pursuit of success and we have been told to dream big and reach for the stars. In the hunt for that elite status we are able to minimize the warning signs. And then when we become a victim, we want others to be outraged with us. Then we seek great revenge and want to see the now debunked superman destroyed so we turn to social media.

The problem with social media is that just about everybody has an opinion and everybody has their own idol. The only way to stop this blood cycle of horror and eliminate the need to create a caped crusader is to recognize the one and only true superman — Jesus.

Posted in Uncategorized

Planning success

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With a strong gust of wind 2018 is leaving and as normal it seems that just yesterday we were trick or treating and now it’s the eve of the New Year.

With the New Year most of us are challenged by resolutions that normally die before Valentine’s Day of the new year. These were improvements of some kind that need to happen, but could not be conquered by our will power.

For some reason we could not quite get these resolutions to “stick” or work into our current schedules. But that did not mean that we didn’t need to lose the weight, eat more vegetables, get more sleep, save money, exercise or be nicer.

One of the things I have learned from living a half a century is that success is planned. There needs to be in most cases a road map and some other visual to get us there. We need a real plan that we can see unfold. The winner’s circle needs to be clearly noted and we need to create a victory dance.

We need to know who our cheerleaders are and where we can rest and get replenished. Most of our resolutions do not have such elaborate plans — but they need to.

To me, the best way to spend the last week of December is to head to Staples and collect poster boards and lots of colored markers. You need to create a war room in your home that has plastered on the walls several poster boards that outline a new plan to be or do better for 2019.

I have set several goals in 4 different categories: Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, Physical. The various goals cover exercises that start off very easy and gradually build over the course of the year. For example, I have not worked out in 3 years so the first 3 weeks of the year, all I am required to do is break a sweat each day. I can do it anywhere I want but every 24 hours I must break a sweat. I can do more if I want but I must break a sweat during the first 21 days of 2019. It increases to breaking a sweat and then walking for 30 minutes, 3 days per week and I have just gradually added more activity every 3 weeks. By April I will be working out with a personal trainer but I have some very reachable goals to start.

Mentally I wanted to make sure my mind was stimulated daily which means that daily I will be reading. I will read for pleasure, education and stimulation. This does not include social media nor surfing the web. Right now I have planned to read 28 books for 2019. I will add to that. In 2018 I was supposed to read 48 books and I only read 33 of them but my goal of stimulating my mind was reached and I continued my enlightenment. I also watched 40 percent less TV in the evening and I believe I was less stressed in 2018 than 2017.

Daily meditation has been added back to my life and a plan for being debt free by Labor Day is also in the works.

I have been working on 2019 since December 1 and it has been a joy to do it. I am really looking forward to 2019 because of my recent plans. I even added meal prep this year which doesn’t begin until MLK weekend but I am excited about that. I have met several new friends that I’ll be working with and several friends have been purged, as those relationships proved to be unhealthy for me.

These plans can be as large and elaborate or very small and concise but either way you owe yourself a change and no one else is supposed to make that happen but you.

So don’t ring in the new year without a plan. Make positive changes for a better you! You deserve it!

Posted in Uncategorized

For the sake of old times . . .

Some time in the late 1700s a poem was composed about friendship. It started in Scotland and has been sung all over the English-speaking countries for centuries.

We know the song as Auld Lang Syne and all though the words may escape most, its rhetorical opening and folk lore melody is very familiar.

This song is not just used to close out the old year, but at funerals, weddings or any occasion that signifies an ending and a new beginning.

It is always good to go into a new year knowing who your friends are.

You can make all the plans you want, but when there is no one there to share, tell, laugh, cry or whatever you need to do with, it doesn’t matter.

As the new year brings to light gleanings of a better version of ourselves, it would be equally important if we examine the type of friend we have been.

Do you know why your “best friend” likes you? Are you proud of this reason? Have you every betrayed a friend? Are you a person worthy of friendship? Do you really know what it means to be a good friend?

Life is not worth living if our interactions with one another don’t move us to desire to be better. Great character, integrity and scholarship mean nothing without good people around to share in it.

Friendship is always a pleasant, safe space you enter into with another human and through this union you are able to exchange energy, share thoughts, strengthen each other and have fun. There are rules which are not written. Loyalties that should never have to be spoken and feelings that synchronize through sharing.

You should never have to utter the words, “I thought we were friends?” There are some people from 2018 who are definitely needed in the New Year and there are some from 2018 who are not — do you know the difference?

Posted in Uncategorized

The Psychology of Waiting

Heinz ketchup had this series of commercials back in the day that showed someone holding the bottle and their ketchup slowly coming out and the music would start playing and you would hear a group singing the word anticipation in a syncopated rhythm. It would be over a hamburger, hotdog or fries and I have to admit, it was very effective. You got the idea that this ketchup was thick and rich and definitely worth waiting for. It also said that you don’t eat this type of food without Heintz ketchup.

Life is full of waiting. It is said that the average person throughout their lifetime spends five years waiting in lines and queues where roughly six months of that is waiting at traffic lights. Yikes!! That’s a lot of waiting. But what would be harder to calculate is how much of the waiting was beneficial or a waste of time.

Is waiting 2 hours for a 7 minute rollercoaster ride worth it? Or how about waiting 24 hours to buy tickets to see your favorite musical group? Or what about 12 hours in the cold for a “Black Friday” deal?

There are some people right now waiting on a marriage proposal; waiting on someone in hospice to die; waiting on results from tests; waiting to hear back from a job interview; or waiting for military personnel to come home.

Probably the greatest wait of our lives would be the times where we find ourselves between a tragedy and a triumph. All you can do is wait. And in that time period where the news reports that the earthquake, hurricane or open shooter is in the direct area of your loved one and you are trying to find out how bad this outcome is for your family. Will we be planning a funeral soon or did I have nothing to worry about. But all you can do is wait. So the logical question is what do we do during the space between a tragedy and a triumph?

Some pray but is God really intervening in issues like this? How do we know? What if this tragedy is the time your loved one was supposed to die? Do we believe God is extending time for some folks? Or others meditate which does nothing for the person in the storm but helps with the waiting. Others worry themselves sick only to find out there was nothing to worry about. Still others become so angry because waiting gives us a cold slap in the face to remind us that we are NOT in control. Waiting helps to develop patience, trust and character. And there are those times when waiting just flat out sucks!

So when you are waiting, spend more time seeing what lessons are in the act of waiting that address your issues. Are you a control freak? Well this may be your lesson in patience. Are you selfish or self serving? Waiting is your way of giving back. Or do you go 100 miles an hour all day for others to the point where you are not taking care of yourself? This may be your time to slow it down and see what you have missed. Whatever the case, waiting is one of life’s favorite venues to teach. Don’t miss your lesson. Embrace the wait!

Posted in Self

Tis the season to be . . .

It’s a shame that we have to have a season to tell us to be jolly.

Some of us spend most of our year angry, holding grudges, seeking revenge and hating and then sometime after Halloween we want to blend in with the rest of the country.

Can you imagine trying to be jolly on the heels of being a grinch for most of the year? There are some miserable people who suffered some kind of loss or was hurt in some type of way. They were overtaken by emotion and trapped within themselves trying to avoid a second attack of hurt.

In most cases we hid our faces from them because we did not want to be tied up with someone else’s pain — for we have our own pain, right?

I mean for people to consider others more than themselves and to sacrifice their own peace for the sake of helping someone else is… well… part of what the season reminds us.

The real message of the season is to carry these virtues throughout the year. If your thing is serving others, then have a year of it. If your thing is encouragement, encourage. If your finances allow you to help, don’t let the change of season stop you.

Whoever you are from January to October is who you should be during this season. You have totally missed your calling if you become another person for the holidays that no one recognizes throughout the year. Tis the season to continue to be your true self!

Posted in current events

The Character of George H. W. Bush

Former president George H.W. Bush died on November 30, 2018 at the age of 94. His wife, Barbara, died earlier in the year at the age of 92.

I have issues with all of our presidents because I keep thinking that just maybe one of them will decide to act in the true interest of Americans and not in the perceived interest. What I mean is for a country which has as much wealth as we do, the disproportionate amount circulating throughout the country is still controlled by 1 percent of the population. The American dream is supposed to be for all Americans — not just a few. This doesn’t mean that everyone should be wealthy, but the lowest in our society should live better than the lowest in any other country.

The playing field for success has never been equal and most of those who are wealthy started from a privileged place.

But what I like about George and Barbara is that they were leaders of their time, lived a modest life (although rich, they were not greedy), and put family first.

I love the fact that in Bush’s life he led on every level. I’m not just talking about being a hero in WWII or being elected to Congress nor being over the CIA or Vice President. I’m not even speaking of his presidency. This guy was always a leader and respected as one by his peers. High school and college he played sports and was the captain of the teams. He was an Ivy league grad (Yale) and jumped right into business not seeking assistance from the family fortune. I really admire this about him.

Bush could have really manipulated things in the leadership position he was in (like most did), but he chose a different set of virtues to follow.

I didn’t agree with most of his policies. Suc as his bank bailout for savings and loans which of course helped regulate the loans but didn’t begin to stop the discrimination in granting the loans to minorities; anti-drug law which gave our tax dollars to expand prisons and increase law enforcement which just led to more minorities going to prison; fair labor amendment that made minimum wages $4.25 instead of $4.55; and his veto of the civil rights act in 1990 which would have made a huge dent in discriminatory hiring practices were all detrimental to minorities.

However, I admire him for putting his family first and establishing within his family a heart for service.

He was the president who signed the Americans with Disabilities act, but I am shocked he did nothing to ensure that service men received their benefits.

He was credited with ending the Cold War and taking down communism around the world — the Berlin wall fell on his watch — but never did anything to stop racism and discrimination at home.

When he lost the election in 1992 to Bill Clinton, he said in an ABC interview that it hurt badly because he gave all he could and it wasn’t enough. That is probably the closest he would come to understanding the minority plight — to give so much to your country and be treated like you have done nothing.

Rest in peace sir and thank you for the good you attempted to do. My condolences to the Bush family.

Posted in Uncategorized

Everyone needs a good purge

The movie series called The Purge was basically about organizing what is naturally happening in America anyway and that is hurt people are hurting people.

Our laws are not a deterrent for crimes and the threat of prison never stopped anyone — just ask the million of folks incarcerated in the U.S.

So does it matter whether it naturally happens or whether it is orchestrated by the government? The movie has the government organizing it and selecting a day that allows crimes to go unpunished. I am not advocating that.

But what I am saying is there is nothing wrong with the concept of purging. If we viewed are individual selves as systems, then all I’m saying is that it matters who you allow in your system. If someone or something is bad for the system then it has to be purged.

Preachers advocate for Christians to purge anyone detrimental to your spiritual growth. Doctors advocate for patients to purge foods that are not healthy for their bodies. Therapists recommend their clients to purge people who mentally and emotionally are unstable and who bring that instability to their system.

You can eat something that is so disagreeable to your system that your stomach will purge it out so this is the natural order of things– right?

So let me be clear: For the sake of your holistic well-being you must purge on ever level of you life every single year!

There are people, places, things and ideas that have proven to be toxic for you. Why have you not purged? How will you ever heal if the catalyst for your pain and sorrow continues to exist in your life?

The best made plans of 2018 have been ruined by those who would rather destroy your life instead of improve theirs. The upkeep of your system is mandatory! The players you allow into your system are optional. Some things need to be dropped like a bad habit. Start making your list, planning your exit strategy and sharpening the shears! Dead weight needs to be cut away so that you can start to soar!

Happy purging!!!