I was blessed to have my grandparents in my life until I was fully grown. My paternal grandmother would advise me to “Listen, and listen good,” and proceed to share what she felt I need to know, whether or not I wanted to hear it. She often did not spare my feelings. I am eternally grateful.
“If I don’t tell you, how will you know?” ~ Hattie Pride Smith
I heard a negative comment about Jada Pinket Smith’s new Facebook show which features three generations of black women having very transparent, vulnerable conversations.
I didn’t really understand why Smith using her very large platform to share what she’s learned on a variety of topics would be perceived negatively. And I wondered if the commenter was using HER stage similarly.
“Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.” Proverbs 11: 14 MSG
My TL around Veteran’s day was full of posts from Vets, some of whom I didn’t know had served, and families of vets honoring loved ones. Included was a post from a woman I respect, discouraging people of color from joining the military to serve this country, which does not always honor us.
And while I get the sentiment, it also made me sad. Because there are many ways to effect change in America to include changing its institutions from the inside. Because since integration in 1948, the American military has often been at the forefront of social innovation. Because now is not the time to separate, now is the time to take a stand, to look America in the eye and declare… “It’s my America.”
“What one does realize is that when you try to stand up and look the world in the face like you had a right to be here … you have attacked the entire power structure of the Western world.” ~ James Baldwin
Inhale Knowledge, Exhale Cynicism… Inhale Stand Up, Exhale Separation… Inhale Involvement, Exhale Absence… Just Breathe
I always think of discernment as the ability to see beyond the obvious when making decisions. And yet, I don’t think discernment was even required for Americans to have made decisions last fall that would make our present more palatable.
Because it was obvious to me that a candidate who surrounded himself with white supremacists who ran the spectrum from Jeff Sessions’ “good ‘ole boy’ southern racist” to the full blown “blow it all up” beliefs of Steve Bannon, was probably not going to be a president who continued the efforts to provide healthcare to all Americans or examine why Americans make up 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the incarcerated population…
What was required by Americans was the willingness to actually look…
“Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, MSG
I saw the #ThisIsNotUS hashtag trending this past weekend and was gratified to see so many pointing out the obvious…that white men carrying torches, white men beating people of color, white men murdering those with whom they disagree is about as American as it gets.
“Each moment describes who you are, and gives you the opportunity to decide if that’s who you want to be.” ~ Bruce D. Schneider, Energy Leadership
Inhale What IS, Exhale Illusion… Inhale Knowledge, Exhale Willful Ignorance… Inhale Transformation, Exhale Status Quo… Just Breathe
“I’ve seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.” ~ Michelle Obama, FLOTUS.
It’s so interesting to me that people continue to be surprised by #45’s actions. I mean … it’s not like he appeared out of nowhere or just started demonstrating the behavior we see now. He’s been living in the public eye since the early 1980s, being his authentically racist, sexist, elitist, boorish, etc. self. He’s just being who he has always been…
“When people show you who they are, believe them.” ~ Dr. Maya Angelou
“You’re not given a dream unless you have the capacity to fulfill it.” Jack Canfield
Your dreams and desires are glimpses to show you what you’re here to do. And when you’re given the dream, you’re also given the capacity to fulfill it.
Capacity is simply the ability or power to fulfill your purpose. Capacity is raw, undiscovered, undeveloped, or unrefined. It is the talent to fulfill your purpose, the determination to not be deterred from your purpose, the perseverance to stay on the journey to your purpose.
Fulfilling your dream might mean you have to deny what other people might be dreaming for you in order to discover and focus on what you are dreaming for yourself.
Fulfilling your dream might mean you have to gain some knowledge or experience to develop your talent.
Fulfilling your dream might mean you have to be open to other voices yet discerning of their impact.
And any doubts you have about whether you can do what you’re dreaming are coming from a place of fear.
You wouldn’t have the dream you’re dreaming if you weren’t supposed to or weren’t able to live it. Isn’t that freeing? Doesn’t that relieve some of the pressure? Doesn’t that take away the fear?
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20, The Message