Monday, October 12, 2009

Changing my attitude

I can't lie: the last four months were nothing like I expected. Now, as I have every year before my birthday, it's time to take stock of where I've been and where I'm going.
I don't do anything without thinking through all options and moving forward. That eliminates regret for me. I make my decision, leave the table and move on. So I don't regret leaving Madison.
That being said, the long walk in the valley I've taken has taxed everything in me and in the process I've become something I loathe: a defeatist. Small victories are eclipsed by the fear of stepping into another hole. Hope has been replaced by fear.
I've had plenty of setbacks in my life but this time it's been a true test of who I am. And I have failed at holding on to my core, my spirit, my belief in who I am. I never doubted God. I doubted myself.
That changes today.
A friend of mine posted a video of someone saying it's time to show more gratitude for the things I do have, not concentrate on what I don't. While I've been doing that, episodes have been few and far between. I actually felt sorry for me and was willing to walk away from the gifts God gave me to search for jobs I knew would not be good for my spirit but good for my creditors. But those creditors will be there no matter what I feel or have or don't feel or don't have.
I declare now that I am grateful for the essence of God's love for me. I am grateful for my son's increased health. I am grateful for what I've been given and for what I'm about to receive because I know He has my best interests at heart and is working to put me where He wants me to be so I'm grateful for His love and am working my spirit to me more worthy of what He has in store for me.
I will be more positive in my outlook and work to attract positivity in my life and my surroundings. I am so grateful for the place He gave me to live, the ability to travel and enjoy what this city has to offer and to be able to be closer to my two children whom I love so desperately.
Thank you God for what You have done, for what You're doing now and for what You're about to reveal to me, my family, my friends and friends to come.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A friend of mine recently posted in a chat room...
"To the point at hand, Rev Dr. King, Jr. was all but ostracized from the
'mainstream' civil rights movement for speaking out against the Vietnam War
in 1967."

While I agree with much of what Jeffrey says, the above statement is misleading. The objections on King's global view were because of the movement's narrowcasted view of the achievements of civil rights. America has a bad habit of trying to solve its own problems first before asking other countries to follow its lead. In other words, others in the movement were not so much "ostracizing" King for speaking out against the war and being upset that he was not keeping focus on the problems at home. King, on the other hand, saw injustice and inequity as a global issue to be vanquished hopefully in his lifetime.
He was a visionary. He had to be because of what he knew would be a short time to do a lot of the Lord's work.
All these attempts to wrap Obama in the cloak of history as if his ascendancy is the cure rather than a benchmark can only result in a hope hangover for the country. He has the potential to take us farther than we deserve and make us all better citizens of the world. Obama has been gifted with King's global vision but our collective nearsightedness threatens to leave us all blind to the possibilities of being the world leader we used to be....and can become again.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Freedom in more ways than one

Before I drill deeper and write about last night, I share an email I sent to a friend who remarked on last night's election and how glad he was to be wrong that it could happen...

As many of you know, I believed early he would at least make it to the nomination stage and only after his speech on race did I believe Barack could become president. Not because of what he said, but because he wasn't dismissed by the populace for addressing an issue we still choose to whisper but not to discuss.
While I'm glad the immigrant felt a sense of pride about Barack's election, I feel McCain worked just as hard and his only downfall was committing the ultimate relationship killer: he tried to become something else in order to please someone (the GOP) who didn't want him. I hope he finds his true self in time to work as vigorously for this country as he has in the past. But don't think that wedges of division will ever diminish. There are those factions that depend on it to survive and they help keep us on our toes to not be complacent.
Although I worked really hard since my arrival in Madison, I find myself an unmade careerist not by my own actions (or maybe because of it, but I digress) so the practice does not always match the theory.
Nevertheless, I am delighted this time the kids under 21 got their way, either by direct engagement or by mere peering over into the electoral process to make sure we old folks did the right thing. It's up to all of us to stay engaged and be more than casual observers to our future.
One good thing about being on the outside is that it gave me the opportunity to openly campaign for a candidate, something I haven't done since 1992. Walking around in a campaign office is indeed rarified air that should be bottled and sold to replace antidepressants.
I have also never been so happy... to be alive at a time like this, a time this former college radical never thought she'd see.
"And the times they are a-changin'".....

Monday, November 3, 2008

Why you should vote

My darling daughter, who currently lives in Nay-ash-vee-uhl Ten-see, told me recently about a conversation she had with a friend who bemoaned the fact that they both dwell in the reddest of red states. They both wondered whether their two little votes would only amount to a drops in the republican bucket as Tennessee's electoral votes went into McCain's column.
I tell you now what I told her: your vote is personal. It is a personal act of love to Barack Obama and all he stands for. He may not win your state but he needs to know someone in Tennessee heard him. The vote totals, no matter how small, are an act of defiance in the face of overwhelming odds, much as his campaign has been.
He needs to know what he has gone through was appreciated, what we've all gone through, is worth the sacrifice, past and future. That vote, that one little number, can drown a sea of negativity when we all stand together.
I guess that's the same as saying every vote counts. It may not add up to victory, but it counts as one voice saying yes. To not vote is to stay silent. To stay silent increases your chance of being ignored when it counts. Silence means there's no objection to what's happened in this country for the last eight years.
I contend there is much to object to and to vote is say loud and clear that change is due.
"Now is the time," he said. "It's our time."
If you never vote again, this time it counts.....


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Welcome to the real America

I love Keith Olbermann. No, really.
He unleashed another classic Special Comment yesterday on Gov. Palin's comments about slivers of Virginia being the "real America." While Keith went on and on about how outrageous the charge was, I and other black folks heard Palin and Minnesota's Michelle Bachmann's rage against Obama as the "real America" we've been struggling to defeat all our lives.
It is our real America, a place where whites would rather side against a new idea because of who it came from. A place where hard work and playing by the rules gets you in a Last-In-First-Out employment conga line. Blacks are happy to find non-whites who see the real America we see and speak out against it because we're called over-sensitive. The comedian Martin Short had a routine once where he asked the camera,"is it him or is it me?" The black folks I know ask that question almost everyday when they do the right thing and when they encounter discrimination but are told it's not discrimination. It's all in our heads, like Phil Gramm said about the economic crisis.
So we're happy to say "welcome to our world." If what they've said sounds outrageous to you, imagine what it's like to slam into everyday. And then told you don't feel the pain.
These people are not aberrations; there are thousands of people of all colors in power positions who agree with them. They cannot be happy with the poll numbers two weeks away from the election. Change is never something they can believe in...
At some point, though, I think there will come a time when I'll be able to thank Palin and Bachmann and Limbaugh and Buchanan and the rest who feel emboldened enough to pull their internal conversation to the outside where it can be exposed to the sunlight for cleansing.
When their ilk makes other white people feel emboldened enough to vote for an African American, I feel like we're creating a new real America. And let me say I'm not of the mind that everything will change after November 4 (except that my darling niece will be a year older), but this campaign has opened a lot of people's eyes to the possibility of what good comes when the leveled playing field intersects at the corner of Opportunity and Education for blacks in this country. For everybody too, I imagine.
To quote John McCain, it'll be a fresh of breath air...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Is it really the economy, stupid or did we just get took?

Something's not right about this upside-down budget compromise. The Bush administration advocated and endorsed the free-wheeling deals banks conducted to the detriment of the people and the nation's economy. Suddenly, everybody gets to the table and it's the democrats who are in favor of accepting some of the Paulson plan with adjustments that have been reported on but not announced and the republicans are stomping around with their arms folded in objection to their leader's ruining of the economy. It's almost like the democrats are in favor of the "Bush plan" and the republicans are against it.
After the dust settles, the republicans can whine on the campaign trail that they were battling for the American people all the time and the democrats were in it for the okeydoke, twisting the screws into an already pained populace.
The new mantra: McCain stops everything to put "country first" and Obama and the democrats wanted to keep "business as usual" by making deals behind closed doors and keeping business first.
I feel like Chavez: I'm smelling sulfur...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Where does the line form?

After watching the economic bigheads trying over the weekend to explain why it's okay to give billions of dollars to the CEOs holding this country's economy hostage, I want to know where the line is being formed to get free money from the government. Who's doling it out: the infomercial guy with the green suit with the dollar signs all over it?
And now they're outraged because Congress has grown balls large enough to inhibit their bending over to take this idea with a "yazza boss." They must have had the balls on back order from back when the Patriot Act was signed 'cause they're doing their best now to stand up tall enough to get re-elected by the folks back least the ones who still have a home.
But back to the free money. You cannot convince me the CEOs of the banks and mortgage holders and real estate people didn't know what was going on while it was going on. And if the CEOs didn't know, they deserve to choke on the strings of the golden parachute they're trying to ride out of this mess. If they didn't know, they don't deserve the money because they slept on the job. If they did know, they don't deserve to be paid for bringing economic ruin to the country.
Good news and bad news is that I don't own property so I wasn't drowned by the first wave of calamity and my family members who did buy property during the boom got fixed-rate mortgages. But I do have a couple of feeble 401K accounts that are going to look rather puny when I get the next reports.
Thanks, Mr. Deregulator. I hope to give you more time in your future to visit all of the nine homes you own....