There is always at least two sides to every story. Somewhere in between is where the truth is hidden. Those who seek the truth, even when it is not what they want to hear, will live the most genuine life. Your decisions may be the same, but they will be based upon an unadulterated integrity. If there is a small voice inside you whispering questions, have the courage to seek the answers, lest your personal truth becomes counterfeit by omission. Decisions made, actions taken, judgments ruled -- sans listening to every faction with as much objectivity as humanly possible -- will always be based upon warped evidence, ultimately causing those who continue stand upon such flawed reality, to fall.
YOUR POINT OF VIEW IS ALWAYS WELCOMED
As I observe the racially motivated insults in the last few days, such as First Lady Michelle Obama (insulted by a SC GOPer) and the President insulted by some government
I had a chance opportunit
I wanted a story that would make my niece smile. A story that she could relate to, a story about what really defines her, a fantastic journey upon which she knew she was a passenger.
Disney has announced that they are finally going to have a black princess. Hmmm.... Makes perfect marketing sense, given that all money is green and this is yet an untapped market. Problem is...the image of this black princess is not dissimilar
Maybe a bit of bias on my part, since as I promised my niece, for whomI took the time to do research and write a really good story about an African princess, yet I cannot get an audience with the powers within the animation industry to pitch it. I am disappoint
While there are formidable
Two years ago, I was hugely disenchant
I am a realist. My point if view is not enough to derail the Disney train; they have made it clear that they could care less about what I think. The film will be profitable
Oprah is going to do a show Thursday on abuse and teen dating. The issue of abuse is definitely on my mind and I suppose that its on the minds of many, not just because of Rihanna and Chris (see the post below) but because there seems to be an increase in reported domestic violence, multiple victim murder/suicides This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, where I profile a socio-predator. If it helps at least one person to take a hard look at his/her relationship...:.
I was surprised to hear from Reese. We had a casual business relationship over the last two years. I had heard the tragic story about his estrangement from his wife because of her alleged sexual preferences, from other mutual contacts. He sounded so depressed, so victimized -- his wife was looking to take his life's work away after all. He was a musician -- not a lawyer or a businessman. I made suggestions for solutions that would protect his work. I also discussed how the business side of his music was at a standstill and sliding downhill. I don't know exactly when the conversation became personal, I hadn't been paying much attention to the secondary comments. "I've had a crush on you since I met you. Didn't you know?" I was stunned by this "revelation". He is a married man, so I never paid any attention to him. He told me months ago, that he was living with a married couple, friends of his. Now they were moving into a new house and he was essentially becoming homeless. We talked for a long time. He surprised me by calling back with poetry…written by him…for me. Wow. I had a free open airline ticket and thought that this was a good time for a business trip to
Socio-predators show up in a variety of genders, sizes, and colors. A socio-predator is one who attaches him or herself to another human being using a variety of tactics to blend themselves into the lives of the unsuspecting victims. Socio-predators are more sinister extensions of the controlling personality. We speak of the male form of a socio-predator in a joking, yet somewhat reverent manner. "Oh, he's just a wolf in sheep's clothing." Someone who is a little mysterious, a little naughty and, well, a little romantic. Unfortunately, socio-predators, male or female, are voracious in consuming their victims emotionally and financially. They know who to target. They know how to make you their next victim unless you are paying attention and recognize the attributes of the socio-predator.
PROFILE OF THE SOCIO-PREDATOR
The term predator is normally used to identify someone who preys upon the unsuspecting child. These predators usually look for the child that seems unsure. The socio-predator preys upon adults -- male or female -- and has some generally distinctive attributes that you should be aware of: Charm is an important part of their facade. They seem to be so nice, so disarming. They are always in a little bit of a difficulty; there always seems to be a problem or crisis. They always need help, preferably yours. He or she is usually being victimized by someone else… at least according to him or her. From their distorted point of view, there is always someone who is doing something to them, creating a problem for them, hurting them somehow. They just don't understand why.
Their focus is always on you in public. No one else gets your attention but him or her. If you choose to talk to anyone else, jealousy appears, or they isolate themselves until you come to their rescue. You are charmed by the attention, but the reality is that it is important to them that you become consumed with providing what they need. There is always an anger lying beneath the surface of their personality. They portray themselves as disliked, unloved, and misunderstood. "I don't know why no one likes me," is one of their more common complaints. Insecurity, jealousy, and a tendency to isolate themselves and you from other people are components that tend to surface at some point.
You find yourself emotionally exhausted after dealing with them. Predators not only want what you offer materially, they want all of your emotional loyalty, all of what you are. It's fun at first to feel so needed. Then you begin to realize that what makes you you is being consumed by him or her. Money usually becomes a part of the support they need. Without realizing it, you have begun to spend money to help solve whatever the problem is. As time goes on, you realize there is always some kind of a problem. You've made an investment in the potential and now realize that there will be no return on that investment.
Truth is usually not a part of the package that you have purchased. You begin to discover that there may be two or more sides to the sad stories they tell. They never take any responsibility for the situations they are in or the problems they have. It's always someone else's fault, your fault, never theirs. As long as you are compliant, the facade is usually what you experience. When you begin to question or not agree with him or her, a new personality appears. The person becomes cold, distant, mean, verbally abusive, emotionally abusive and in extreme cases, physically abusive. There is likely to be an attempt to make you feel guilty about upsetting them; the situation, in fact any situation, is your fault. Threats to end the relationship begin to be made. It is only when you give in or become compliant again that the new behavior stops and the facade reappears. You find yourself apologizing for everything, becoming more compliant "just to keep peace." This new personality is the real personality; as time goes on, the real personality becomes more prevalent in your relationship. As you are being emotionally consumed, you begin to believe that it's your responsibility to keep the real personality in check.
If there are children involved, watch closely to see how the person relates to them. If these are his or her children, are they ignored, neglected, or abused? If they are yours, how are they treated when you aren't in the room? What do your children say about him or her when they are alone with you? Don't dismiss their reactions and responses; children have a good sense about whether an adult is worthy of their trust. Note: women are especially good at using their children as a part of the emotional package they get you involved in. As you become emotionally tied to the children, the children become the blackmail she uses to make sure that you are compliant. " I think I'll just move to
ARE YOU A TARGET?
While anyone can be a target for a socio-predator, there are some of the attributes that make you a more likely candidate While anyone can be a target for a socio-predator, here are some of the attributes that make you a more likely candidate:
You have a reputation for being the nice guy (male or female). Most people know that you'd do anything to help someone.
You have a quality of naiveté. You expect people to be who they claim to be.
If you are male, you have the "Superman Syndrome." You are always the knight in shining armor, the hero, the one who shows the way to the good life.
You are the caretaker; you look for the stray cat, the homeless dog with puppies; you usually end up scratched or bitten in your relationships.
You are a publicly secure person with hidden insecurities. You are good in the corporate world. You may be a professional with a degree or two. Education does not automatically make you smart when it comes to those you pick for relationships. If you are insecure on a personal level, your vulnerability shows, no matter how much you believe you hide it.
You are meek, humble, and giving in nature. Socio-predators usually mistake kindness and humility as weaknesses that they can use to their advantage. When he or she discovers that a person with these characteristics is actually strong and unwilling to be submissive and consumed, he or she will usually run off. They are, after all, actually cowards. Unfortunately, before they slink away, the socio-predator may attempt to use physical force, spread lies to ruin your reputation, or create some extreme crisis that would cause you to remain involved with them.
You tend to be the one who takes care of everyone, especially the "underdog." You have either the martyr mentality or the superman syndrome; you believe that it is your job to take on the often unhappy task of taking care of someone else whether he or she deserves it or not.
You have a propensity for being victimized. You get used to being the victim -- not recognizing that it is a role you choose to play in your relationships.
WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW
A socio-predator does not become one unless he or she chooses to be one. The character of a socio-predator is not going to go away or change because of or in spite of anything you do or don't do. The ego of a socio-predator is huge; they view themselves as being psychologically superior. They know just what to do and what buttons to push to get what they want. He or she takes it as his or her responsibility to mold you into the person he or she needs you to be. If they are successful, you will find yourself defending their behavior, supporting their lies and living a life that is not yours but theirs. Predators consume, and when they are finished, they look for new prey. You may choose to allow this type of person into your life; that is your decision. However, you have a responsibility to yourself to recognize the risks that come with this decision, and at least draw a line in the sand as to how much of yourself you will allow another person to consume. Ask yourself: is the reward worth the risk?
You see, they wouldn’t listen. And now...
they play their usual sad song
once again the victim of …whatever
the day brings.
You see, they wouldn’t listen. And now...
the words they use to defend
taste bitter with the salty tang
of blood that tends to flood
the mouth when slapped
with the back of the hand
or punched with words that
would make a real man cry…
You see, they wouldn’t listen. And now...
when you tell them the consequenc
of believing honey-dipp
probably their only spoken truth --
into the depths of a hell
only a fool would believe in,
they look at you and sigh
about how you “can’t understand
why… he needs me.”
Or “but I love him”
Love? That you cannot define?
As you recline
on the floor where he slammed you?
You see, they wouldn’t listen. And now...
I deliver this eulogy for
all of those who believe
in staying too long,
realizing too late that the
door was always open
just as the final blow
(c) 2008 from Ramblings Through the Attic of Thought
STATE OF THE BLACK UNION X
When your rhetoric
Turns into acts of true change
Then I will hear you.
In a place
In a space
Where I/you/we are
Where dreams are fading/ero
As the ticker tape parade on Wall Street falls
Into the economic abyss.
With a cunning thief's kiss
But we never asked what's amiss.
While we waited for the trickle to fall down on us.
'We hold as the arbiters of truth, those who have lied to us the most"
New Chief in town.
And to their dismay, his skin is brown.
Time for change
`Cause we are at the beginning
Not the end
Of what has to change.
So we have haters,
On both sides of the coin.
All of whom cannot accept the fact
We don't have a Black President
We have a President who is Black.
But not understand
They continue to hack
Virtual armchair quarterbac
"What's in it for us?"
"Where's our piece of the change?"
Have a shovel ready plan….
Or just an agenda?
The phrase "Yes We Can"
Requires us to spend a
Lot more time figuring out what direction
We should be walking in, not talking
We can be near the top this time
As Phoenix rises.
(c)2009 E. Joyce Moore, author Ramblings Through the Attic of Thought
Original E-Mail Unlike our Black "leaders", Jewish leaders met w/BO before he launched his campaign for the presidency & secured his support in exchange for theirs. That 's why they got $1bill. We did not meet w/BO fearful that it would alienate his white base & cost him the election so he didn't have to promise us anything for our support so we'll probably get nothing unless we are prepared to hold his "feet to the fire" w/the threat of mass civil disobedience tying up DC for weeks & jeopardizing the solvency of his regime. Are we ready & able to play hard ball w/BO? I don't think we have the will or the skill. We were had.
The question that is asked -- "I wonder how far toward the end of the line Black folks are?" -- is asked in an unfocused way. Many of us tend to ask about "Black folks" as if we are an amorphous blob without shape or form. Of course, our pain is universal, and we all feel the impacts of unequal suffering. The reality is that some Black folks are near the front of the line, and some are not even in the line. Which Black folks is the questioner asking about?
This news report points to a lobbying effort, and celebrates success of that effort in the form of funds that the organization will receive.
The referenced "wee" in the response seems to me to not be directed at any organized "wee" who have been lobbying, or are currently lobbying, or organized in any way to receive dollars from the stimulus bill. Please don't mistake my comments as a negative tirade. All of us have a stake in the outcome of this bill. And those of us who are organized and prepared to compete for public funding should do so aggressively. All the gears are turning. The Mayors of cities where we live were in
I heard about another form of "earmarks" last week. It is called "phone marks". That is when representatives and Senators call the agencies where the money is channeled and make personal appeals for a pet project. This type of earmark takes place after a bill is passed, and occurs under the RADAR - only to be discovered by an audit, after the money is spent. Do you have a pet project that is "shovel ready?" Do you have access to a representative who voted for this bill? This includes Black representatives that we voted for. Then phone calls and emails should be directed to those who can help.
ARE WE IN THE GAME FOLKS?
Standing around wondering where "Black folks" are in the line will accomplish nothing. What I would like to see in response is some recommendations and ACTIONS from those who know where the dots are connected. All of us aren't unorganized. Someone is doing something successful. Why not share success stories rather than invite us to a pity party? Is everyone on this list not even in the line?
I am engaged with a Black-owned company that is focused on projects that we can execute. I see a total of $8.4 billion appropriated for clean water projects:
I see money directed to education, and I am involved with Baba Amefika Geuka in
I also host an online community at www.izania.com, where we have a directory of more than 2500 Black-owned businesses that are scrambling for success, and sharing information with one another in our forums, blogs, and we also feature articles that focus on HELP. If you are not a member of this community, membership is free, and you can receive our Weekly Newsletter that always focuses on wealth-building, health, and issues of high importance to the virtual Black community.
I am not sharing this for the purpose of drawing attention to myself. The point I am making is that some of us are busy doing things. Maybe all of us are busy doing things. But we accomplish nothing if we don't share information about what we are doing. I would much rather see emails about positive actions. I created www.iZania.com as a place where we can share ideas that help one another.
If we are going to spend time talking to each other, let's talk about ACTION. If anyone on this list can help with any of these projects that I am involved in, I welcome the help. I would help you also, IF I KNEW WHICH LINE YOU WERE IN. Otherwise, let's stop wasting each other's time with empty emails that ask empty questions.
Roger E. Madison Jr.
I applaud and support the comments of Mr. Madison and am adding a few of my own:
1) If you are still waiting for the forty acres or that ship to come in, my advice is you better start looking around for some good wood and build your own boat and the oars you will need to row it. We are in a place and time where we must stop waiting for permission to make our own pie or keep looking to get a sliver from someone else's. You may not be qualified or have the stamina or even the desire to build your own business, and there is not a thing wrong with that. But the question is, what can you do to become qualified for the "shovel ready" jobs that will become open to you? Have you looked to see what the potential opportunities are going to be and begin to plan to be a part of it? If you are educated, have you put your resume in order, freshened it up, pre-applied for possible openings? If you are limited in education and marketable skills, what are you doing to find out what's available to enhance your odds to get a decent job?
No one will be coming to your door to find you and give you a job. Opportunities will not float by on the financial waters you are drowning in. You will need to take a realistic view of how to save yourself.
I think that the economic downturn is an opportunity for those who are prepared or becoming prepared to wade in and turn the situation into success. If you are an entrepreneur, what does your business or business to be really offer that the market needs or wants? Do you have a real business plan that is tuned in to the current economic status? If not, are you in denial? If you are not in denial, what is your plan B? Have you looked around to see who you can collaborate with and take two mediocre businesses and build a stronger single business? Have you considered broadening your market to include regional, national even global opportunities? Are you a member of local chambers, where you can network for support of your projects and find resources who can fill the gaps in your product offering? And no, I am not speaking of the concept of "partnering" where someone looks to latch onto another party, business, entity -- bringing nothing to the table, but wanting to benefit from the association. You need to stop that notion at the door, do not invite it in, because wasting your time is wasting your money; none of us can afford to do that.
2) Stop "buying the box". I repeat: "STOP BUYING THE BOX". African Americans, Economically and educationally disadvantage Anglo Americans, Disabled Americans are the primary targets of those who seek to prey on their desperate need for income. So they come to the table with government grant packages, MLM schemes, legal aid services, long distance services, cleaning products, etc, etc.etc,. that you -- just by attending a seminar at a local hotel -- can achieve your financial dreams just by purchasing, at the end of "motivational talk" that's available today only for the discounted price of $100 - $1000 a box, that has everything you need to succeed. Except for one thing: the only one who succeeds are those who sell you the box. Usually what they are selling is either already obsolete, does not really provide what it promises, has gone past its saturation cycle in the marketplace -- the discount long distance service is a perfect example -- or there was never a real market need for it in the first place. These people are characteristically short on actual provable examples of this scheme really working, i.e., the federal grant packages. They always have a "millionaire" who has already made his money and is just doing this out of the kindness of his heart, but don't waste his time if you don't get it and join in right now.
Those who buy into these schemes, handing over their check or credit cards because they are in, then discover that the "box" doesn't really work like they told him/her. So they are embarrassed, feel like failures and/or want to keep their bad "investment" a secret. This is much more common than you can imagine. If you have never seen "Pursuit of Happyness" or even if you have, I highly recommend you watch it again. The buying of the box is what contributed to the demise of the man's family: he had purchased equipment to sell that was already obsolete. He was able to sell them at a loss to keep himself and his son scarcely afloat during their homelessness while he worked on a plan B. But most of us don't have a plan B. Plan A must be to stop "buying the box."
3) If you don't know what you are doing, stop doing it. If you don't know anything about repairing,reconstructing, constructing houses, looking at HGTV and DIY will only make you conscious of what it is you don't know, it will not necessarily teach you how to do it, it certainly will not make you a professional. Get your GED if you don't have it. Get certified to be an electrician. Become licensed and bonded as a contractor if that's what you want to do. Take actual classes to become a mechanic. Continuing to do what you aren't qualified to do will leave you with a reputation that will catch up with you and ultimately reinforces your belief that you fail at everything.
We need more of us to become qualified to do the jobs of fixing what we already have as the economy requires us to make do with what we've got. That's why shoe repair shops are back and booming. That's why used car sales are up. Our community has limited funds to get something fixed the one time. We can't afford to and SHOULD NOT hire someone who isn't qualified to do a repair or renovation. My kitchen floors are filled with cracked tiles and poorly mixed grout where we hired a "family friend" who assured us of his experience. And let all of the buyer's beware, get good references, check Angie's list and the Better Business Bureau and DO NOT PAY UNTIL THE JOB IS COMPLETED. If they can't afford to do the job before being paid, they are not the right source for you.
4) Do a reality check of your lifestyle, your business ability, and the truth about what you are really capable of. Again, it takes a certain mind and skill set to be in business for yourself. You need to make sure you have those skills, you need to make sure you are offering a product or service that someone will buy and you need to know how to sell what it is you offer, most importantly, begin to change your mode of business operation to reflect the fact that it's not personal it's business.
5) Find a way to seriously contribute to your community while you are waiting for new opportunities. Volunteer at neighborhood schools, nursing homes; Get your neighbors together and build a neighborhood garden; I have, in fact, suggested to the White House that we should initiate a national project called "Stone Soup" Gardens. Just by doing something, by giving, you will at least reinforce your worth to others. You never know when you will find what you are looking for that will get you employed, just by being in the right place at the right time, right there on the street where you live. I have a personal wish list: every large city needs a mid-career teachers program that would enable more people who are out of work, have a four year college degree in good standing, and a desire to contribute to the community through education, to certify as K - 12 teachers within one year. Certification must include diversity training from the perspective of teaching inclusion and acceptance. I would love to have a program within the larger cities, where writers, performers, fine artists, musicians have a rotational program that consistently exposes K - 12 children to the arts throughout the school year, in exchange for greater opportunities to exhibit/create/expose their art in public places, during city events without cost to the artists
6) If you lost or might be losing your job, the best and brightest say that you need to have eight months worth of living expenses stashed away. You should look at your spending and pare it down to the basics, which means you may have to give up premium cable, the twice a week dinner out and the weekend drives to the casino.
There's more to say, but this will hopefully give us all, myself included, a lot to think about. We cannot continue to be the victim of circumstances. We must become the directors of our destinies. Is your life "shovel ready"?
'We hold as the arbiters of truth, those who have lied to us the most.' -- Dr. Amos Wilson
This is most likely the shortest post I've ever made on this site, which tells you what I think of the subject who really doesn't matter. There is a news article," RNC Chair Steele Itching for a Fight with Obama" posted online today. Soooo...let me get this straight..... according to another article posted recently where Republicans were polled, their preference to having the example of Palin consistently spread the myths of terrorist -- along with other racially divisive rumor mongering in an effort to politically hang President Obama -- is exactly what Republicans want to be when they grow up...yeah, that's exactly who I'd want to tell my kids to follow as a role model. Now they have current RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who claimed, this past Friday, that the Republican party is just fine the way it is, which is seems to be a cultural oxymoron -- coming from him. Steele, who tried portraying himself as a Democrat in his failed 2006 Senatorial race in Maryland, handing out a "Democratic Sample Ballot" that implied he was a party member and distributing signs that read, "Steele: Democrat." Steele who, according to reports, has yet to pass the bar exam.
I still believe that when people show you who they are, you should believe them and act accordingly. Steele sounds more like a person who likes to believe he actually has relevance, or maybe he realizes how irrelevant he is and is doing the usual attention-by-controversy run for media attention. Steele would do better to figure out what is fundamentally killing the Republican party and find the cure. This childish nonsense of trying to pick a fight is just more of the same rhetoric from a group of people who have nothing else to offer, certainly haven't seen any real solutions to the current economic crisis penned by the GOP, but maybe I missed the memo. Steele is nothing more than a transparent view to the heart of the desperation and lack of focus the Republican party is immersed in. In their arrogance they believe that we will pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, calling all the shots. (For those who don't recognize...a reference to the Wizard of Oz).
Like most, the above headlines piqued my interest. Curious, I read the original article that launched the perceived firestorm,
Who was Amnau Eele and what was this Black Artists Associatio
I acquired contact informatio
Amnau invited me to come see her when I am in New York and walk with her for a day and see what she is trying to impact. Amnau became emotional,
Author's note: 'We hold as the arbiters of truth, those who have lied to us the most.' -- Dr.Amos Wilson. This story is not about the story. This is about human behavior, the media and how fiction can easily become fact if the media source is deemed credible and the subject is an unknown. Amnau Elle's life journey is an interestin
E. Joyce Moore is a writer and author of Ramblings Through the Attic of Thought.
I started this on my birthday. as I had a tradition, over the last seven years, of writing a reflective piece to honor the experiences of the passing year and to offer homage to what the future brings. This past year, and the year 2009 have a special significance. We had a presidential election and for the first time I got involved, voicing my views, responding to those of others, watching how humans reacted and responded to changes in nationally held social and political paradigms and documenting it all. I decided to walk my talk; getting involved in supporting the candidates I felt best represented my political views, who had a vision for what they wanted to accomplish, and the character, intelligence, courage and competence to achieve that vision. My birthday, my mother’s birthday and the birth date of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is January 15th; in fact, my mother and Dr. King were born on the same day. My mother lived in a time and place where prejudice and discrimination was the norm in the small town of Franklin, Tennessee. I am full of excitement and great anticipation, for her as much as myself, as the inauguration of President-elect Barack Hussein Obama as the forty-fourth president of the
I blogged and wrote articles right up to the day of the presidential election. I was at City Hall to work the polls on Election Day, worried over the behind the scenes chaos with the absentee ballots as human behavior became a looming factor while the minutes before the closing of the polls dwindled away. I was determined to gain the ultimate experience of that historical night, so I dragged myself downtown to the Democrat’s party here in this so-called red state. Lo and behold, not only did this red state turn blue, I was stunned when the words flashed on the big screen and the crowd roared, as the media announced that Barack Obama would become our forty-fourth president of the
As the months and days pass, the economy tanks, the strife between neighboring countries escalates, natural disasters continue, yet, gas prices magically drop amid all of the insanity on Wall Street and white collared crooks began to rise to the surface like cream in a bottle milked dry, a man with a plan began to gather his team, choose his plays and prepare to implement his vision of what it would take for this country to rise from the economic ashes it was mired in. All the while, corporate media continued to beat its critical drum albeit with more covert and muted banging, and -- to its discredit -- the Republican Party did what it has always done, continuing to eat its sour grapes, while verbally cannibalizing itself. But I was exhausted and my writing turned back to my creative self, as my book was unexpectedly picked up and published while the economy continued its freefall, taking with it the artists and art industry of all genres – from visual to literature, from film to music.
Michael Anthony Brown, a native D.C. artist, was so inspired by the election of Barack Obama, he created an amazing painting that is priceless (and he is retaining) but did decide to share it with the world by reproducing it as a poster. I saw the piece and was inspired to write his artist statement:
Vision. Hope. Change. Four years ago, an unassuming voice rose from obscurity to center stage of the National Democratic Convention, initiating the most incredible political journey in our nation’s history. A ground swell of support, a monumental grassroots effort, engaged the young, not so young, men, women, even children in a national dialogue about change.
Barack H. Obama will become the forty-fourth President of the
Change. Change your behavior, change your paradigm, change your mind, change your actions, change the outcome, Change. Change takes time, change takes patience, change takes effort, change takes trying, change takes setbacks, change takes you, change takes me, Change. Here is what I know: President Barack Obama is not superman, he is human. He is not perfect, because humans can never be perfect, but that in itself is a separate topic and I don’t want to digress. He will not be a perfect president; there will be missteps. To expect miracles, to expect immediate results, is setting him -- and yourself -- up for sure failure. What we do have, can be assured of, is that he is visionary and a genuine leader. A true leader serves, includes, directs, listens, collaborates, responds versus reacts, did I say listens, knows when to say when, knows how to say I made a mistake, now how can we resolve it? His greatest power is in his need not to abuse it, instead he uses it to serve, lift up, empower others who thought they lacked a voice or had a choice. He does not fear the one thing that defines long term success, yet most don’t have the courage nor the sense of self to realize: that you surround yourself with those who are more experienced, smarter, more creative, more knowledge, more strategic acumen than you do, yet share your vision – even if their concept of how to achieve that vision may differ from his. And that concept should differ when there is a better answer to the question, a better solution to the problem. “Yes men or women” are not necessary on the team of a real leader. You see, a true leader does not need an echo of his own voice, he needs a team that encourages him to make the right choice.(Besides, how boring would it be, if everyone I talked to sounded just like me?)
To that end, I have this to say to those insistent upon their attempts to micromanage every move that our new President takes, those who continue to believe that they are right, that there is no way that this President is the best choice for our country: If anyone has done the same comprehensive study and consideration that the team President Obama put together and comes up with a better idea, then put it on the table immediately; I am certain he will listen. If not, criticism from Congress, Right wingers, media or any other armchair quarterbacks -- without any alternative solution -- is worthless noise. His decisions may not be perfect and please everyone, he may not move on matters as quickly as you or I would like, but we are in uncharted territory. We have two wars, a flat-lining national and global economy, fighting between other countries that will ultimately affect us, not to mention a myriad of social, environmental and human rights issues that require attention. Patience and restraint is required. I also suggest that each of us should contact those who represent us in Congress and let them know where we stand as individuals and that we expect them to voice our points of view through their votes. We do not have time to play political kid games or placate those who believe their personal position is more important than the state of our nation. It is our individual responsibility to hold them accountable for what they do. Because what they do – or don’t do – affects you, affects me.
While we are waiting for change to come at the government level, we too have to put some skin in the Change game. It would be tragic to allow that one word – change -- to become a cliché as useless as a New Year’s resolution. One person -- you -- can change society one step, one person, one community at a time. You can change the paradigms within your self, your family, your school, your community, your job, your city, your state, and collectively, your, no our, nation. We must talk less, act more. Stop waiting for your ship to come in; figure out how to build a boat, get in it and row. It has become the cliché to say that our children are our future. The reality is that they are the mirror reflecting us. Kids do – and believe -- what they see. It is one thing to tell children what to do – quite another to show them. If you have lost your self, you cannot expect them to follow your direction to the path down which they need to go. I/You/me have plenty to work on while we wait for change to come from the external sources.
I/you/we have individual and collective responsibilities; if we aren’t a part of the solution, then we are indeed a part of the problem. Small changes, big changes. Change that moves me/you/us forward, no matter what size it comes in, is growth. Collectively, all change has a big impact. Hugging your children more, yelling at them less, teaching them the difference between breaking a rule and making a mistake – that is change. Choosing to listen and learn who people are, rather than assuming their position in our society – that is change. Picking up the trash on the street where you live, checking in on the elderly couple across the street – that is a change. Become an advocate for creating neighborhood schools – that is change. I thought about writing more, but I think that maybe less is more. I am anxious and excited to see what change will ultimately look like four years, two years, one year, from today. Don't get it twisted. Dr. King would agree: this is just the beginning, we are just getting started. Change is gonna come. It’s up to us to determine how.
TO ORDER GO TO www.obamaworks.net
It's been all of three days and I have already seen an article on the Republicans expressing a strategy among some of them to be a petulant group of politicians who will thwart the efforts of President-elect Barack Obama at every turn. An open and honest suggestion to those considering this strategy: Grow the hell up. The time for "the old boys will be old boys" game has long since past. (By the way, how did that work out for you?) There is a new President elected and he was not who you chose. You've had your moment to pout, to point fingers, hold your breath, screech and shout behind closed doors -- and now that you have, get a grip. You were selected and elected as caretakers of this country. That's your job. It isn't personal it's business. If your party is broken, then fix it, but you have neither the right nor the reason to jeopardize the lives of your individual constituencies just to get revenge. This isn't high school or your college frat house. We need mature, strategic representation of the people on both sides of the aisle in this very critical time in our country. If you can't fill that bill, then let the voters you represent know and they will be happy to relieve you of your responsibilities.
photo: Joyce L. Moore, Indianapolis
Whoopi Goldberg stated in her Blog that : "We have finally become part of the fabric of the United States of America." While I certainly agree with Whoopi's sentiments
To say that I am emotionally, even physically exhausted by this election is an understatement. This election has generated more frustration, wonder, profound astonishment, infused with lots of creative writing. Heck, I made it into the hallowed halls of Huffington Post three times. I have volunteered in ways I would never have imagined, spoken out in the fitness gym, in the grocery store, even in the sauna to perfect strangers -- about this election. I feel as though I am addicted to CNN and Jon Stewart. So I decided to sit down and determine what, if anything, I learned from this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Lesson One: Truth does not have the same definition for everyone. What both baffled and frustrated me was how many people chose to listen to only what they wanted to hear, bending the truth to fit what they perceived to be reality. The notion that someone could repeatedly tell one who they are, show them who they are, tell them again who they are….only to have the same people say “I don’t really know who you are” tells me you just don’t really want to know, What I took away from this is that there are people who have a very clear view, in their minds, of who people are according to race, gender, physical characteristics. When someone does not fit that view and, in fact, destroys that view, some become uncomfortable, some become suspicious, others become angry. Because you now have to see them as they are, not as you want them to be. And you can't pretend they aren't there, as you have in the past. So you look for anything, anything to justify bending the truth. How sad for those who choose that path. Some time ago, I wrote a small piece about the concept of truth and its impact: There are always at least two sides to every story. Somewhere in between is where the truth is hidden. Those who seek the truth, even when it is not what they want to hear, will live the most genuine life. Your decisions may be the same, but they will be based upon an unadulterated integrity. If there is a small voice inside you whispering questions, have the courage to seek the answers, lest your personal truth becomes counterfeit by omission. Decisions made, actions taken, judgments ruled -- sans listening to every faction with as much objectivity as humanly possible -- will always be based upon warped evidence, ultimately causing those who continue stand upon such flawed reality, to fall.
Lesson number two: For the right reasons, even the most passive American can be awakened to action. Like Barack Obama or not, most will agree that he has had quite an impact on the American public. Young and old, every gender and race, has got an opinion and have acquired a voice about this election. Which leads to…
Lesson number three: All of
Lesson number four: The public media does not have the journalistic integrity I assumed. When I first heard terms like “corporate media” liberally sprinkled though out public commentary as the primaries began to collect steam, I actually had to dig and find out – much to my amazement --- who really owned who and how many of those corporations had millions of lobbyist dollars on the line in Washington, DC. Watching news stations, as these members of the small society with the power of the mike began to inject their bias and the bias of their corporate employers. With their bias came their personal opinions; upon the discovery of having one, they decided that because they were in control of the mike, they hatched the misconception that we needed to hear – repeatedly – what that opinion was. True journalistic reporting went out the window as straight forward coverage of the facts turned into a game of I-got-next rhetoric, parsed with sensationalized gossip, sliced up and served as news. Most of my favorites sources fell from their journalistic pedestals landing in the mire of the reality that they are all, in the end, just humans with prejudices, opinions, agendas and egos. There are times when I found more facts on The Daily Show.
Lesson number five: Having a television show does not qualify your opinion as credible. I found the eclectic mix of fact and funny on The Daily Show and the Colbert Report an interesting take on truth. Mostly because they knew how to support their spin. Then there’s the View. Elisabeth Hasselbeck is a loser from a reality show with absolutely no credentials that give any of her opinions credibility. But because she is kept on the View (controversy sells in America, the fact that we don't like her allows her to keep her job) she actually believes her own hype and actually thinks people care about her opinion. Apparently she believes that if you repeat misinformation often enough, it becomes the truth -- which seems to be the current Republican strategy. Cute sells ads, but one has to have something more to bring to the table, as time will prove out. I personally hope her fifteen minutes are about up.
Lesson number six: This campaign has gotten people to talk to one another. A friend of mine commented that she has engaged in conversations with more strangers of all races, ages and genders about the election. I have to admit I never saw myself being this involved in politics, writing, calling, volunteering. Talking to strangers in the checkout lines at the grocery, the sauna at the gym, anywhere people are gathered for more than a minute.
Lesson number seven: The Bible warns us not to put new wine into old wineskins because they will split. As I watch state after state use their existing process of voting to accept and count a record number of votes, including my own state where I am actually working at the polls, I will not be at all surprised at the chaos that will likely result from trying to make old systems work with new voters. Your best bet is to vote as early as you can.
Lesson number eight, you can’t double dip at a party because you leave behind some really gross looking germs, ginger really does help with motion sickness and refrigerated onions are less likely to make you cry when you chop them. I learned this because I am exhausted by this election and watching Food Detectives on the Food Network is mercifully without commercials.
Get your Vote out today. By telling everyone that the race is basically over, the Republicans are hoping that the less motivated of the Democrats and Undecideds will think that it is not necessary to vote. Those of us who want Obama to win MUST vote. We can not be complacent, or else the lead will very quickly turn to a no point lead or worse.
This is all a political game. Some of us have a better understanding of it than others, and some of us (like myself) are still just trying to learn all of the rules - forgetting that there are no rules. Each side will do whatever is in their power (good, bad & ugly) to win this or any election. So the power we voters have is go out and vote
The Great Average American White Guy Hope
by John Gilmore
Hope is in short supply these days. News of foreclosures, sinking markets, and vanishing 401Ks have been beamed into American living rooms ad nauseam. We are sick of it, but deep down we know that this economic malaise is about more than bailouts and CEO pay. This is big. Americans in general have been marginalized to the point of being slaves to a plastic economy and masters of denial and procrastination. The fact that Americans will no longer be guaranteed a ticket to the American Dream is brutal and quite sobering. For many Americans the “American Dream” was just that, a dream, often a dream deferred. For one group the American dream was essentially a birthright. That group is the coveted Average American White Guy. Election 2008 has been a real head-scratcher for the Average American White guy. Powell's endorsement aside, the Average American White Guy can still "close the deal" on election 2008. In the beginning the question was, "Do I vote for my mother-In-Law or Affirmative Action Jackson?" Now the question is, "Do I vote for my Father-in-law or a guy who "pals around" with Osama?" Politics is partly about symbolism. Both parties have had strong symbolic leaders -- Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton. These men personified policy and change to the masses. They were vital to the progression of Obama exudes change and vitality. To many Obama is the change we need. To some he is the "magical black friend", version 2.0. To others he is a "slick Commie", a.k.a., Mr. Socialism. Say what you will, but Obama makes his mark and he IS a symbol. But the Average American White guy would prefer that Obama wear the provided label. In times like these, the Average American White Guy needs a symbol. The GOP has done a piss poor job in providing one. McCain is not that symbol. He is old and old men never make good symbols for "vitality and change". Sara Palin works for all the Average American White Gals, a.k.a., hockey-soccer, moms-moose-hunters, but her symbolism is that of a macho-earth-mother-sex kitten. That type of symbolism won't do for the Average American White Guy. SNL sideshows aside, Sarah Palin will never do for this demographic, no matter how “hot” he thinks she is. The Average American White Guy needs a "Great White Hope." The McCain campaign hopes they found it in Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, better known now as "Joe the Plumber." Now, I'm not going to talk about Joe's tax lien, phantom business acquisitions and plumber license, or lack there of. I'm going to remain on the surface of this phenomenon, since that is what this whole thing is really about. We don't have to dig very deep to see and more importantly "feel" why "Joe" is McCain's "man." The Average White guy likes Joe because he's done something that they, and for that matter John McCain, could never do. He confronted Obama face to face, Mano-a-mano. And I'm not talking about "confront" Obama the way Palin does. No, Joe had the stones to “get in Obama's face". Joe's stones are indeed huge. That's why the Average American White Guy loves Joe. Joe IS the "October surprise" of election 2008. He’s raw, flawed and unapologetic. He’s part “Dog the Bounty Hunter” with a pinch of Hannity and a spoonful of Drew Carey. The McCain campaign, grasping desperately for a lifeline, found it in Joe and they have no intention of letting Joe go. To let go of Joe would be the political equivalent of flushing 2008 down the political drain. McCain knows this and has reattached himself to "God and Guns" via Joe. Ultimately none of this is really about socialism, Barry, John, Sarah or even Joe. It's about "race" AND "place"; more about "place". Where is my "place" in all of this reshuffling of Fear has been THE winning ticket for the GOP since Reagan rattled his saber at There, I said it. Truth hurts. The truth is raw and unapologetic, kinda’ like Joe. How tightly the Average American White Guy clings to this age old American truism is what the 2008 election will ultimately come down to. How many Average American White Guys would rather go down with the ship than accept a helping hand from a black man? My friends, in five days we'll find out, you betcha'.
Hope is in short supply these days. News of foreclosures, sinking markets, and vanishing 401Ks have been beamed into American living rooms ad nauseam. We are sick of it, but deep down we know that this economic malaise is about more than bailouts and CEO pay. This is big.
Americans in general have been marginalized to the point of being slaves to a plastic economy and masters of denial and procrastination. The fact that Americans will no longer be guaranteed a ticket to the American Dream is brutal and quite
sobering. For many Americans the “American Dream” was just that, a dream, often a dream deferred.
For one group the American dream was essentially a birthright.
That group is the coveted Average American White Guy.
Election 2008 has been a real head-scratcher for the Average American White guy. Powell's endorsement aside, the Average American White Guy can still "close the deal" on election 2008. In the beginning the question was, "Do I vote for my mother-In-Law or Affirmative Action Jackson?" Now the question is, "Do I vote for my Father-in-law or a guy who "pals around" with Osama?"
Politics is partly about symbolism. Both parties have had strong symbolic leaders -- Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton. These men personified policy and change to the masses. They were vital to the progression of
Obama exudes change and vitality. To many Obama is the change we need. To some he is the "magical black friend", version 2.0. To others he is a "slick Commie", a.k.a., Mr. Socialism. Say what you will, but Obama makes his mark and he IS a symbol. But the Average American White guy would prefer that Obama wear the provided label.
In times like these, the Average American White Guy needs a symbol. The GOP has done a piss poor job in providing one. McCain is not that symbol. He is old and old men never make good symbols for "vitality and change".
Sara Palin works for all the Average American White Gals, a.k.a., hockey-soccer, moms-moose-hunters, but her symbolism is that of a macho-earth-mother-sex kitten. That type of symbolism won't do for the Average American White Guy. SNL sideshows aside, Sarah Palin will never do for this demographic, no matter how “hot” he thinks she is. The Average American White Guy needs a "Great White Hope." The McCain campaign hopes they found it in Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, better known now as "Joe the Plumber."
Now, I'm not going to talk about Joe's tax lien, phantom business acquisitions and plumber license, or lack there of. I'm going to remain on the surface of this phenomenon, since that is what this whole thing is really about.
We don't have to dig very deep to see and more importantly "feel" why "Joe" is McCain's "man." The Average White guy likes Joe because he's done something that they, and for that matter John McCain, could never do. He confronted Obama face to face, Mano-a-mano. And I'm not talking about "confront" Obama the way Palin does. No, Joe had the stones to “get in Obama's face". Joe's stones are indeed huge.
That's why the Average American White Guy loves Joe. Joe IS the "October surprise" of election 2008. He’s raw, flawed and unapologetic. He’s part “Dog the Bounty Hunter” with a pinch of Hannity and a spoonful of Drew Carey.
The McCain campaign, grasping desperately for a lifeline, found it in Joe and they have no intention of letting Joe go. To let go of Joe would be the political equivalent of flushing 2008 down the political drain. McCain knows this and has reattached himself to "God and Guns" via Joe.
Ultimately none of this is really about socialism, Barry, John, Sarah or even Joe. It's about "race" AND "place"; more about "place". Where is my "place" in all of this reshuffling of
Fear has been THE winning ticket for the GOP since Reagan rattled his saber at
There, I said it. Truth hurts. The truth is raw and unapologetic, kinda’ like Joe. How tightly the Average American White Guy clings to this age old American truism is what the 2008 election will ultimately come down to.
How many Average American White Guys would rather go down with the ship than accept a helping hand from a black man? My friends, in five days we'll find out, you betcha'.