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"Free and critical minds can emerge only by a return to the source-the primary sources. A free and critical mind takes nothing for granted and is not intimidated by "authorities" who frequently may be more confused than the general public. Free and critical minds seek truth without chauvinism or shame." - Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III (1)

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

America Marries Color - Sike!

Nothing expresses dysfunction more clearly than the on again/off again marriage of America to Color. Though they join hands, make plans and have relations as woman and man, America repeatedly leaves Color at the altar.

The scene inside deja vu country is the same each time a committed relationship is aborted and legal opportunity thwarted. America looks at Color and says matter of factly, “You know I can't marry you. I keep saying I will but deep inside I was hoping you would make it easy for me and finally quit proposing. I was just playing along for the public and the free milk. I can't share my whole life with you. We're not that different just born different," she explains and lifts up the veil revealing her no remorse, straight face.

Color just stands there looking hurt. He conceals anger pursuant to his pledge of allegiance. Kinda makes you wonder what the conversations of these two have been like up to this point.

In the foreground the priest winks at America. The bridesmaids are poised with rocks (instead of rice) to commemorate the occasion. In the front row the family is revived. And like a school of fish, a significant portion of the audience participates by moving into a formation that spells out, “We Shall Not Be Overcome.”

Outside a crowd has gathered wearing monkey suits and uniforms. They are up in arms, bearing arms and ballots. The last line of defense, just in case America crosses the line with Color. Just in case America gets in too deep and forgets she's supposed to be pretending.

If America actually married Color, a moving sale would commence quicker'n you could say exodus due to unfavorable business conditions resulting from the widespread realization of unalienable rights. Perhaps America would marry him if Color would simply forgo any rights and privileges.

As usual, America treats Color like a refugee crumbsnatcher rather than a partner at the table of true love. Make no mistake, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the 2008 presidential racism are just one example.

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Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Art of Conversation

Far too often communication languishes as a basic exchange called talking. Common inquiries such as “What did you do? How are you doing? and “Whatcha gonna do...? are followed by a predictable assortment of answers. A generic smattering of weather, mainstream media and holiday happenings complete the informative second round. Then comes the discussion of important issues like other people's lives and sports. The score so far...distractions: plenty; significant things: nothing.

A comeback is possible once we quit talking and start practicing the art of conversation. Conversation is not just filling up time with words and questions. It involves adding to the discussion by sharing thoughtful remarks, insights, expanding topics, adding new topics and following the flow. Conversation explores reasons, motivations, ideas and beliefs. It is enhanced when we wait for segues and appreciate silences. Conversation should be different with different people on the same day. It should be different with the same people on different days. Conversation allows us to learn useful things including the many levels of each other's character and personality over time.

Conversation takes us towards understanding while talking just takes up time and is uninspiring. Conversation allows us to explore, express and encourage the existence of love, hope, courage, bravery, confidence, strength, overcoming, enduring, faith, freedom, truth...

Conversation, like art, is a catalyst for change.

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