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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, June 29, 2008

Global Warming Ain't The Problem

June 26, 2008. My son and I are playing ball in the park. A guy walks over and introduces himself.
“You're a credit to your race,” he informs me. He continues to grin as though he had said something about Publisher's Clearinghouse.
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“I see you out here all the time with your son.”
“I'm just doing what I'm supposed to do.”
“Well many of your race don't.”
“Many of your race don't either.”
“Would you like something to drink?” he continues and extends two Pepsi's.
“No thanks. I'm about to go home and cook dinner.”
“Well I just wanted to say you're a credit to your race.”
“Thanks,” I say just to get him to leave.
Upon seeing the guy walk away with the sodas, my son decides to chime in.
I interrupt and with clenched lips state we DO NOT accept sodas from people like that.

Sadly, stuff like this happens several times a year. I wonder what this guy would say upon learning I've written a book of positive poetry.

(a) Quit playing.
(b) Yeah, boy!
(c) Hey JD, get a load of this!
(d) Dr. King would be really proud of you too.
(e) If there were just more like you...
(f) You're not like them and you're not like us.
(g) Well I'll be dang! (Add knee slap, delayed dumbfoundedness and head scratch)

Somehow after being thrice patronized for parenting and informed of my creditworthiness, I give myself credit for not unleashing the anger of the men of my race for enduring yet another mental midget mindset further stunted by a montage of media mutations and misinformations. Clearly there are threats to our existence, other than global warming, that are longer standing, more damaging and much harder to stem, reverse or eradicate.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Perseverance Pays

There are plenty of perseverance stories. Just so happens I heard pieces of J. K. Rowling's twice last week. The short version is it took several years, depression, welfare and a ton of rejections before her perseverance paid off. It is said she is now richer than the Queen of England.

Perseverance is better than real estate. It holds its value even in the bleakest of times. Perseverance pays. J. K. Rowling was richer when she felt poorer.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

As It Should Be

There is a young man. He has physical limitations. Teens, young adults and older folks sit with him, have conversation, spend time. Their interactions look relaxed, comfortable, commonplace, matter of fact, normal, as it should be, family. I see him dancing. They dance with him, around him, for him and for the spirit of the dance. Should he stumble, lose his balance, start to falter or fall, one person stands behind him with tender hands.

Every person has at least one limitation. It may be physical, intellectual, beliefs, emotional, a weakness in scarceness or a weakness in excess. Individuals overcome, cope, move on and live despite these limitations especially with someone near, by their side, at their back. When a limitation overcomes an individual, there are not enough individuals, not as it should be.

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Vacant Land & Vacant Dreams

There was a piece of land, unoccupied by man. Signs went up. Little orange and red flags appeared. Men with trucks stood pointing and staring. Somebody had spray painted the ground. Trees disappeared overnight. Many moons later and nothing. So it seemed. Then trucks returned. Bigger trucks unloading stuff. Equipment took turns playing in the dirt. Concrete flowed. Lots. No turning back now. The investment grew but what was at stake did not. Nails were hit, some were not. Machine power gave way to shovels and rakes and then pen and paper.

Everyone has a piece of land. Private property. A buildable lot in life. We can keep hope alive but never step outside comfort, convention or 3-dimension. We can hold on to the raw materials that create reality from dreams. Never invest resources into our field of dreams. Watch. Wait. Or we can participate, improve our lot, don't stop.

Unlike vacant land, Vacant Dreams cannot be sold or passed on once we're old. They dissipate, the way heat escapes on our way to growing cold.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Shame on you

I met a young man who, among the good and bad, is someone reforming from breaking a law or two. He is working long days and earning $500 a day taking what others throw away whereas before he made $5,000 a day taking junk to those throwing their lives away. Now he is helping others find honest ways to get paid. He is seeking a connection to a higher power.

After almost dying on a couple of occasions and now turning his life around during the past 16 months, this is what he had to say about family and friends. They wish you well and hope you fail. He said instead of supporting him, in many ways they encourage him to return to his former ways. What is that about? Wishing ill and negativity on people whose only crime is that they're trying to break out of their personal prison?

What is that about? One thing it certainly is about is being unable to see him differently, someone they thought they knew, changing. That's sad. It's about them being unable to see the way to change for themselves, someone they know. That's sad. Sadness is what turns this big blue marble into a ball of confusion.

This young Black man said family and friends still try to shame him into doing the wrong thing again. That's a doggone crying shame. I told him what we were taught long ago. Honest work is good work and there is never shame in the honest pursuit of anything. If you let anyone convince you otherwise, then shame on you.

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