Monday, December 26, 2011

Global Renaissance

A global renaissance of young artists, entrepreneurs, and activists is currently on the rise. You will see young individuals taking different measures to get themselves out into the public eye. Some of these different avenues are by means of YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, personal websites, and other methods. Just look at the protests in Egypt about a year ago. These young activists utilized facebook and twitter accounts to get their messages to others.

Now let’s look at the group Mindless Behavior.  The group discusses on the Mo’nique Show that the internet helped make them famous.

Recently, I had an older friend tell me “It’s just amazing how young people are becoming so active. It’s like a young people’s movement to conquer their aspirations.” I, author and entrepreneur, am so happy to be involved in this movement, which is very similar to the The Renaissance and The Harlem Renaissance. This is a time where we can show the world who we are by displaying our God given talents and other talents that had to be molded. These talents include, but are not limited to: writing, drawing, dancing, singing, starting a business, operating a business, and just being an inspiration to other around us.

This is the time to stop our long awaited idea of what we need to do and just do it. Like the saying goes“talk is cheap.” Talk often allows us to picture what we need or want to do; however without the force pushing us from behind, it’s just that; talk.

~Strive toward being more than just talk.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Tis the Season for a Little Mobile Cart Shopping

In today being Christmas Eve, I decided to do a little shopping. My mother also decided to go shopping with me, which was a big shock because she rarely liked to shop and would prefer to stay home or go to bingo. Arriving at Target, I suggested that my mother use a mobile cart because she has knee tendonitis. I thought it was a great idea! Well, that was until she started redecorating the store.

First she backed up, instead of going forward. Ok, so that was not a good sign; however I thought everything would get better as she familiarized herself with how to drive the cart. I found myself laughing with a couple of women who engaged me with stories of their mother using a mobile cart. One woman stated, “My mother used one of those before. She ran straight into shelf, which she had been looking at right before she ran into it.” Another lady told my mother “I drive my car the same way.” My mother and I laughed because we honestly knew that her driving techniques were not the greatest.

Our little adventure at Target helped me to recognize that our experience at Kroger could not occur the same way. This time, I decided to have my mother provide me with her shopping list. I opted to go shopping for her, while she sat in front of the store and waited for me. What was a girl to do, when Kroger had shelves of breakable items? You probably would have done the same thing.  Well, mother's play a big role in families, especially shopping with them; they give us a good laugh, keep us on your toes, and love to decorate.

~Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Feliz Navidad, and Happy Kwanzaa


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Gift Givers"

Individuals in Columbus, Ohio and surrounding areas have truly given the gift of literacy by donating books to Better World Books through the “A Better Community through Literacy Book Drive.” The book drive was developed with the intent to raise 100 books by January 31, 2012.  Well guys, we are very close to reaching our goal.  We currently have 56 books and hope to acquire 44 more books by the 31st of January. 

Can you help us reach our goal?  These individuals helped and are waiting for you to be added to the list of contributors.  They are also waiting for your creative picture to be added among them, to show the community what giving truly looks like.

Neriyah and her “Books, oh my” scene

Jaiden and her “Gifts of Literacy

 Lineal and his “This I s How We Do It” Montell Williams photo op

Takiyah and her “Action Plan” pose with Suze Orman.”

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Nutcracker 2011

(As described by Michelle, Shanise, and Jaiden)

Hi everyone!  Well, it was that time of year again.  It was time for the performances of the Nutcracker to take place at The Ohio Theatre.  I had the pleasure of attending a performance last year; however was unable to do it again this year.  My sister and two nieces attended the performance this year; two of them being spectators and one being a performer.  My sister and niece enjoyed the playfulness of Shanise and her castmates, as they performed a traditional Christmas play.

Michelle stated “at one point, Jaiden asked me what was Shanise doing?  Shanise was on the stage moving all around and being playful. I thought it was cute.”

Jaiden stated “my favorite part was when the mice came out.  They put their hands up and down. Shanise was being so silly.  She did a great job.”

Shanise stated that “the play was fun.  I was the baby mouse this year.  Next year, I hope to be a Ginger and Mouse.”

In thinking about the play last year, it was absolutely astounding.  I was surrounded by my niece, nephew, and father.  We absolutely loved the play and would have accepted any encore that would have occurred.  We congratulated Shanise in her wonderful job as a Page.  She exemplified the right attitude of a performer by smiling, dancing, and just enjoying herself.  I wish my niece much success as a ballerina and future performances with BalletMet.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Feliz Navidad, Happy Kwanzaa, and other celebratory words used for the holiday season.

~A Special Christmas Treat

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hatred: A Technique Used to Control and Discredit People

Let’s review the word hatred, to give you a better understanding of what we are dealing with. defines hatred as prejudice, hostility, or animosity. So in other words, someone or a group have displayed bitterness or some type of ill will toward another person or group. This word has been around for many years and by the looks of things, it’s not going anywhere. Hatred is sometimes rooted within the family. The family plays a big role in a child’s growth and development. The family is the foundation of why people act a certain way. Sometimes, we as people, look down on our family for acting or doing certain things, not realizing that we act and do some of the same things. Awareness is the first step in making a change. It allows us to truly understand the moralities of the subject matter. Take these commonly used quotes for example, “man, they’re working us like a bunch of Mexicans/Hebrew slaves” or “you Indian giver.” Everyone general gets the gist of what is being explained; however these quotes are derogatory. In hearing your parents, family members, and friends make certain comments, it is only natural to pick up on some of the things they have stated without really understanding what it truly means. This is when taking an active role in the comments you make comes into play. You not only have to understand what is being said; however you also have to make a conscious effort not to display hatred toward other people by making certain comments.

My first experience with hatred was when I was in undergraduate school. I was working for a well-known restaurant. It was morning time and some of our regular customers were in the restaurant for a cup of coffee and a morning snack. Two customers approached me for a refill on their coffee. One of the individuals was acting in an inappropriate manner, which made his friend comment on his behavior. His friend stated “man, stop acting like an idiot. I’m pretty sure she has enough of those in her family.” My first reaction was “wow. How could this man make this statement without knowing me or my family?” The incident was a little unnerving to me, how society could think in that manner. To me, his statement displayed many negative interactions I encountered prior to and after his statement. See, I had always been a happy individual because that was how I was raised.  Sometimes I tend to wonder, is it ok to be happy?  I ask this because I am often asked, “why are you so happy?”  My question is, “why not?”  Why not discontinue the hatred toward others and learn to deal with my emotions in a professional manner.  I’ve learned that hatred usually comes from a lack of understanding.  If you are not willing to understand the situation or culture, you are also unwilling to open yourself up to the many possibilities of life.

Hatred is still prevalent in today’s society. It consumes people’s emotions, discontinues the process of growth and development, and just turns this world into something that it was not intended to be. The following signs will assist you with identifying some characteristics of hatred or dislike for a person or group.

1. Lack of eye contact
2. Avoidance
3. Nasty stares
4. No response
5. Inappropriate slurs
6. Excluding individuals from conversations

While the information above does not exhibit all of the characteristics of hatred, it does exhibit some common behaviors. Next time you utilize a commonly used statement from your upbringing, make sure the statement does not discredit or slander other people’s culture or way of life.

~Think before you speak

Power: The Rise of Great Leadership or the Continuation of a Dictatorship

Power can sometimes make people feel as though they are untouchable. In this way of thinking, individuals will do things outside of their better judgment because who is going to stop them? These individuals will make outlandish comments, act disrespectful, and rule their empire in a way that only benefits them. In my profession, I have came into contact with a few individuals that were in for a rude awakening.

Take this male supervisor for example. Let’s call him Mr. Just-Do-It. Mr. Just-Do-It was well known in the restaurant business for being rude to his associates, especially his new hires. He did not believe in taking the time to explain certain responsibilities of the position, instead he yelled and screamed at his employees for not knowing how to do certain things. Well, Mr. Just-Do-It finally met his match when Mrs. I’m-Not-Taking-It-Anymore showed up. She allowed Mr. Just-Do-It to be disrespectful at least two times, before reporting him to upper management. Mrs. I’m-Not-Taking-It-Anymore wrote a formal letter to the company, provided examples, and gave suggestions to ways to fix the problem. Let’s just say that Mr. Just-Do-It will think twice before his next interactions with anyone.

Another example is of a female Store Manager. Let’s call her Ms. No-Professionalism-At-All. Ms. No-Professionalism-At-All was well known in the coffee business for saying and doing whatever she wanted. She made fun of people with disabilities, quoted many racial slurs, and fired anyone who questioned her motives. Mrs. No-Professionalism-At-All was finally reimbursed for her previous indiscretions. She was fired from her long time position for kicking an employee who she utterly disliked. Tell me, is inflicting pain or harm on someone ever worth being fired for? This really depends on who you are talking to about this matter. My response is NO!

Now, let’s look at another characteristic of power. Take Kanye West’s song Power for example. He discusses the power of a certain race being chosen and how “no one man should have all that power.” The song really makes you think about power and how it’s distributed. Power usually comes at the disadvantage of another, which has the ability of placing one person or group’s needs ahead of another. While the possessor of power should try to be fair when making decisions, his/her decisions are sometimes not as fair as they could be because they lack knowledge, do not care about the situation, or want to be controversial about the situation.

Individuals should display the following characteristics when in power:

1. Knowledge- Awareness of the subject matter and the many issues facing it.
2. Empathy- The ability to show understanding, sympathy, and compassion.
3. Reason- Skill in analyzing information and coming to a conclusion

~How have you exercised your power today?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Happiness Should Never Come at the Expense of Other People

When dealing with some people, it can be like talking to a wall. You have to position yourself to “knock down that wall,”as my sorors would say. Success is not going to be easy. On many occasions, you will have to deal with negative attitudes and influences. Just tell yourself, “I am better than the negativity that is being shackled around my ankles. I will not be subdued to these experiences and consequences of them. I will be more than the negative attitude of others.”

Negative attitudes can be disturbing; especially if they are due to the person not liking the positivity and glow that you exude. Some people will try and transfer their negative energy to you by diminishing your character. This will come in the form of nasty stares, verbal and physical attacks, complaining, and/or talking about others. This may be the only way they know how to be happy; however do not give in to it. Happiness should never come at the expense of others.

The following five steps will assist you with riding the negativity from your life:

1. Learn how to use negative and positive energy to benefit you. It will be hard at first; however it becomes constant with experience.

2. Find ways to take yourself away from negative environments. People may think you are being distant; however learning to deal with your emotions is more important than the views forced on you by others.

3. Cut those ties that try to drain the life from out of you. There’s nothing like those who see the positivity that’s occurring in your life and try to latch on. It’s ok to provide them with encouragement; however when encouragement turns into you doing more than they are willing to do, it’s time for a change. Let them go through their own experiences because not everyone was meant to walk the same path.

4. Network with supportive people who are willing to listen to you. In life, we all have at least one person who will listen without judging, hear without speaking, and see without assuming. These people are great to talk with because they allow you to hear your own questions and possibly answer them with the information you provided to them.

5. Knowing yourself is the last step. Spend time with yourself to understand your likes, dislikes, things you consider negative, and things you consider positive. Sometimes people will present you with strategies to rid yourself of certain situations; however if you lack understanding of yourself, you will not able to know whether or not the strategy works for you. As stated early, not everyone was meant to walk the same path. Knowing yourself would give you a clear understanding of your path and whether or not the walk was meant to be taken.

I hope these strategies assist you in your journey of riding the negativity from your life. To be perfectly honest, I still use these strategies to make my life less stressful and more plentiful. Now, it’s your turn to practice some of these strategies and see how life, minus negativity can be.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Better World Through Literacy!

I would like to thank the numerous people who have contacted me and my partners about donating books for Better World Books.  We are so close in reaching our goal of raising 100 books for literacy programs all across the world.  Within three weeks of starting "A Better Community Through Literacy Book Drive", we had already raised 48 books.  This brings us closer to reaching our goal, with only 52 books remaining.  You still have time to be a part of all the fun of giving and watching what we can do as a community.

All those who donate will receive special appreciation from me on Twitter, Facebook, and other media outlets.  Pictures will be taken of donators and sent to Better World Books.  The pictures will also be posted by me and Hampton Publishing House, LLC.  I will also create and place a list on my page, which will detail all participants and how they contributed.

~Taking an active role in helping to create and maintain literacy programs~