Monday, September 19, 2016

It's Not In Our Heads. (Again and Again). A Poem.

Again and again it happens
yet folks still say it's in our heads
yet not even a few week have gone by
before there's another
innocent black man shot dead.
And this isn't just a problem
of them against we
but a problem that has roots
in our lack of unity.
And my heart goes out
to the new families that join the pack
of families who've lost a loved one
simply for being black.
Again and again it happens
yet folks still say it isn't a fact
that life is made more dangerous
when you're born in North America black.


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Friday, September 2, 2016

Do The Right Thing. (Grandma Says).

Adversity: Character Builder or Character Revealer?

Someone once told me that adversity builds character. What I've witnessed in my life thus far is that adversity, more often, reveals character.

Almost anyone can "do the right thing," when that thing doesn't present a challenge or is either easy or convenient or both but what we do when something is hard or when something isn't convenient - when things hit the fan - that reveals who we truly are.

My Grandma use to always caution me to be aware of my actions - and reactions - when the going got tough & when things aren't easy. She also taught me, by default, to pay attention to the habitual reactions of those around me. She would ask me if my actions in those hard moments were a reflection of the person I desired to be? She'd encourage me to evaluate my actions against the actions of the person I'd have to grow into in order to reach my goals? And then she taught me to challenge myself to change, to grow actually - and to hold myself accountable to a higher standard, not in the easy moments but in those tough ones. Of course she'd most often punctuate a lesson with a bible verse from memory as well.

"A Leopard Can't Change It's Spots."
But can we really change our habits? Can we really grow?  Can, as the saying goes, an old dog learn new tricks? Absolutely. But growth takes habitual work. It takes meticulous focus. It takes planning and execution to change a habit. It takes implementing systems and habitually measuring and managing progress within that system.

Put simply, growth takes work. Lots of work. Lots of work day in and day out.
But the rewards make it worth it. And, as time goes by, our reaction under fire will reveal the character that we've built with that work, the character of the person we all strive to be: our very best.

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