Archive for February, 2010
As usual my day at work presented some unique situations, and a chance for me to learn. Living here in Hawaii has presented some unique challenges for me and has required a real lifestyle adjustment. I have been here a little over a year now and I am still begging to go home. I agree that this a beautiful place to vacation and getaway, but as far as raising a family or living here, it’s not for me. That being said I realized yesterday that my attitude about the people and the lifestyle have been hindering me. Through an angry interaction with a customer I realized that the feelings that I have for this island may be my feelings, but I have no right to treat majority the way I feel about the minority that I have come into contact with.
I was on the phone with a woman who had purchased a large number of heavy equipment from us and she called to ask some questions, none-the-less somewhere along the way she lost her cool and intern I lost mine (bad idea, I am sorry for that). This woman began going on and on stating the following, “all you Hawaiians are so under qualified, everywhere I look I see people performing jobs that they are under-educated perform.” I was furious because not only did she insult my intelligence, but she assumed and categorized me as a Hawaiian. She made a blanket statement and applied it to me. At first I was just flat out offended and upset; upset that she had insulted me and even more that she assumed I had to be a Hawaiian. That is when I realized that I was upset that she assumed I was Hawaiian. There is nothing wrong with being Hawaiian. Yes they do things there way, yes they live this whole, “Aloha,” lifestyle, yes it is very different from being back home, and yes I am sure that this not the place for me. However, that gives me no right to treat all the people here like they are not the same. I realized that I have been interacting with the locals through my perception of a few failed interactions.
I may not agree with the things they do, or the things that are said, or the food that they eat, or the lifestyle at all. That being sad, I still have no right to interact with them from a judgmental standpoint; I have no right to stereotype and treat a whole people accordingly. My opinion has been substantiated via my interactions and experiences here on the island, but I should love the people all the same. I have to be better at realizing that because they have this, “Aloha” style does not mean that I have to distance myself. I need to be better at not applying my findings to all Hawaiians, which was so unfair and juvenile of me. This is America and part of what makes us the United States is our ethic/racial diversity. We are a tolerant people, and accepting body and judgment is not my job. That is something that should be left to the Almighty himself. I still feel that this is not the place for my family, but I don’t have to be condescending and unaccepting of their way of life. I hope that you will take a moment to make sure that your attitudes about a certain group, or a religion, or an industry, or whatever don’t become hindering and harsh actions. Accept people as they are, I didn’t say like or make them your best friend, just accept and acknowledge the differences and let it be.
Yesterday I was discussing my educational goals with a coworker and came to realize that for some time now I have secretly been afraid of reaching my goal. Coming to that realization made me wonder how many other things in my life have I put off because of unconscious fear? How many times have you done that? Self-sabotaging yourself that is? I think we do it more often than we realize. We do it in our relationships, at work, with family, friends, in our educational endeavors and in our relationship with God. I think we get used to things going a certain way and we unconsciously seek out people and situations that are in line with our expectations. We can’t do that, it’s not conducive to a happy and healthy God fearing life.
In love we often settle for what comes our way. We settle because for most of us someone is better than no one. Or, at least that is what we think. That is so very wrong. That is a mindset that will cause emotional enslavement. You can never be happy if you settle. You have to understand yourself worth and own it. If you picked losers’ in past find out what it was about them that attacked you and change that. We also have to remember that in the beginning things are always good and they always treat you better than the last guy/girl because you have told what went wrong. You have unconsciously and consciously told what not to do and how not to behave. I know in revealing what you want and what previously went wrong you’re just trying to make sure that you don’t make the same mistake, and that you lay out your expectations from the start. But that is not what’s happening. You’re self-sabotaging. When looking for life mates remember a few things. Don’t tell him/her what your ex did wrong, instead just let them know that they were not the one for you. Save that conversation for when you have been dating regularly and often, about 6 months in. Also avoid comparing. In doing so we are self-sabotaging. The new and the old are apples to oranges. Remember to change the way you select a mate. Try listening to what is being said all the time instead of some of the time. Warning signs and intentions are often found in the simplest conversations, and finally KNOW YOUR WORTH!
With life in general always know where you stand. Don’t be afraid to step out the box, you have nothing to lose by bettering yourself. It is the same with God. Stop telling yourself that because of your transgressions that you can’t seek him, that you can’t go to him. That is so wrong. He is a loving God and one of mercy and never ending forgiveness. His good will is always available you and me both. If you seek that love/forgiveness your life can’t help but improve. When we align ourselves with God and learn to love ourselves the way he has always loved us wow the things that can happen. Loving ourselves the way he loves us creates this fire in you that you can’t imagine. Doors open, raises happen, we start loving ourselves, confidence begins to over flow and our quality of life surely improves. So, stop putting it off, stop self-sabotaging your relationship with him. Finally go back to school; I don’t care how old you are. Make yourself educationally and occupationally valuable. In today’s world you need a leg an up, so hit the books!
I was wondering what I was going to blog about today, and then after reading my daily devotional it hit me. Today I am thankful. I have been so blessed and God has really done a 360 in my life. Have you ever had one of those days when you look up and realize that things are as they should be? That you have progressed in ways that you had not realized? Have you ever awakened and just been thankful for all that you had? Well, today is that day for me. I feel a need to acknowledge the blessings in my life and share that with you all. How often have you done that? Take a moment to sit with yourself and discover all the things that you have to be thankful for. I have been given a husband that is my equal, a man that understands the value of family and the importance of taking care of family. Yet he is sensitive and understanding and his heart is so big, but he’s no push over and he knows exactly how to handle my tantrums. In addition to my husband we were blessed with a happy, healthy, energetic, intelligent, and beautiful little girl. She is so smart and her imagination is so incredible. Her cognitive ability is so astounding.
Then there is the fact that we are blessed with a home that is ours and even though the economy is in ruins we have been blessed to be able to maintain the lifestyle we are used to. Our vehicles work and we are both employed. We have on the table and clothes on our back. What more can I ask for? Nothing, God woke me up this morning and has taken care of my needs and in many ways my wants too. So, don’t wait for Thanksgiving to be thankful for what you have. Stop today and give thanks, and be mindful of what you have today because if you’re not you will never ever be ready for the gifts that God may have waiting for you tomorrow. Appreciate things genuinely and you will be surprised at what is in store for you.
The other day I heard a very distasteful song on the radio. It’s sad however because nothing that the radios have resorted to playing seems to shock me anymore. There was a time when certain content be it lyrical or otherwise had the ability to shock me. Anyway, the song was very explicit in the acts it wanted to perform. The chorus says something to this effect, “say ahhh, open wide and let me hear ya say ahh…” something like that. These lyrics and this song upset me for two major reasons. The first being that there are men out there bold enough to not only treat a woman this way, but sing about it on a record that will probably play worldwide. The second part of that anger is that there are women out there that are behaving in the manner that they are referencing.
See we always attack the rappers and singers for their lyrical content and verbiage choices, and we should. However, we should not lay all the blame on them. There are the women behaving the way the songs describe and doing these nasty acts openly and freely. Then there are also the radio stations that choose to air these songs. These songs would have no personal applicability if these things weren’t happening so often and openly, and furthermore they would not be okay to sing about if the occurrence of this type of behavior was frowned upon more often. We have become to accepting of things in order to be a more tolerant and diverse nation. Somewhere along the lines of acceptance and tolerance we got confused and starting making room for distastefulness and degradation of mainly the women in our society. In becoming a more open minded nation that embraces multiculturalism and self-expression we opened the door for the senseless that we hear in our music. The reality is that there are women out there doing those things, behaving that way, using their bodies as bartering tools and they do it of their own accord. Even more disturbing is that there are men out there that will only treat a woman this way; they seem them as objects and nothing more.
Somewhere along the lines we lost our value system, we lost our self-respect and we need to get it back. I say we because more of us could do more to combat this type of thing. It’s in how we speak in regards to others, it’s how we view the world, and it’s in the music we listen to, in the shows that we watch and the list goes on. This is not the way that it should be. I know that there are far more of us who keep our private lives private and whom behave in a far more acceptable and appropriate manner. So, the next time you get mad at a woman or man, watch the choice of words you use when referring to them, and the next time you just nonchalantly flip through the radio stations pay attention to more than the beat and catchy phrases. Make sure that your innocent flipping doesn’t land you in nastyville. Lastly, ladies stop behaving in these ways, value you more than that. Your body is a temple and your mind is worth far more than any dance you can do in the bed or on the dance floor. Oh, and fellas find a woman that is smart and equal, someone to challenge you not sexually shock with her open sexual exploitations.
You know yesterday I read an article about a young lady that put herself through undergrad and eventually medical school. Upon completion she had acquired a debt of $555,000! All in student loans. That is a hefty price for an American education. This country has one of the steepest educational cost yet our aptitude scores and standardized testing scores pale in comparison to other countries with much more affordable higher educational costs. It’s as though institutions are financially penalizing those that make it too college, penalizing those who choose higher education. Yet, where is all that money going? How is it benefiting the country, the student, how is it benefiting anyone to be buried by such an insurmountable amount of debt?
It’ strange because student loans are almost thrown at you when you’re a college student and in most cases without them you simply can’t afford school. It’s a financial catch 22 situation and its a education killer in my opinion. One of the biggest decision in weather or not I would go onto graduate school was the cost! Not the time, not the coursework, not the commute or any of those things, but the thought of taking another loan to finish my education. I had to make a financial plan, a budget and ask myself could I afford graduate school? With the economy in ruins and the number of military applicants on the rise because of the lack of jobs and job security, would it financially behoove me to obtain my graduate degree? I have am still pondering the question. I think we have it all wrong in this country. Over charging for higher education and under paying teachers and professors alike. We spend thousands, hundreds of thousands in some cases to learn to become better informed citizens and intellectuals and we pay those who teach us scraps.
Maybe if we got things right educationally from the elementary school age and installed a solid educational basis then more kids would go to college. If we focused more on education and not all the fluff, our children would post better aptitude numbers and more people would get into college and just maybe this would combat the high cost of higher education. Did you know that here in Hawaii we have what they call furlough Friday’s? Yeah, for a minimum of two Friday’s a month the kids don’t have school because they state is broke. So, not only did they cut educators salaries they also cancelled classes two Friday’s a month and they release most of the elementary schools at 12:25pm one day a week. Can you believe that? They are robbing these kids of education today only to compound that with financial debt tomorrow. We really have it backwards on this one, we need to do better in terms of our educational institutions and costs. No one should have to bury themselves financially to obtain higher education in the world we live in today those that seek and complete post-secondary education should be rewarded.
I have heard so many excuses as to why people (mostly men) are not buying their significant others Valentine’s Day gifts. It perplexes me that so many people are choosing to ignore Valentine’s day. Here is how I see it, you can’t believe the hype about it being a, “Hallmark” holiday. I don’t think that was the initial intention. I see Valentine’s day this way, and maybe after reading this you will too. Valentine’s Day is one day that is set aside to ensure that we remind the man/woman that is most important to us that we love them, value them, and that above all we appreciate them. This a day to celebrate our affection for one another. With work, school, kids, friends, family, military service and everything else that is going on sometimes we forget to do the little things in our relationships. We forget that extra pickle he likes on his sandwich and not because it isn’t important to us but because life happens.
In my opinion, valentine’s day is a day to remind that love in your life that for all the little things you’ve neglected to do, your sorry and that they are loved. Valentine’s Day is a sure fire way to outwardly express your loving sentiment for one another, and if a few gifts and cards should find there way into the mix than so be it. But don’t ignore a perfect opportunity to covet the love in your life, don’t toss out the chance to physically display your emotional sentiments, don’t feel obligated to buy things just find away to convey appreciation and love.
**I love You honey. Happy Valentine’s Day!**
I was lying in bed thinking about a comment that had been made, and it got me thinking. Why is it that if a white man tells a black man to get over slavery or the institution of racism he himself must be racist? Or even worse should a black person agree with that very sentiment they must be, “white washed?” Why can’t the both of them just be tired and a people wallowing in the past? Why can’t we understand that God is very explicit in his writings and he is very clear in letting us know that we cannot move forward if we are bound by the past, if we continue to choose to hold onto yesterday. For the most part many of us (Blacks/African Americans) have let go, have realized the tremendous amount of physical and psychological energy needed to hold on to that mentality. So, we have moved on and allowed ourselves to grow. The funny thing about forgiveness is that it does not require forgetting the act that you are forgiving.
The definition of forgiving or forgiveness itself requires that we allow for error or weakness. If you think about that very straight forward definition it makes sense, we have all made mistakes, we have all faltered and we have all certainly fallen short of perfect. In doing those things we expected forgiveness, we expected to grow and we learned what our short comings were and how not duplicate the situation. I think in many respects white people have learned that lesson too. This world is interdependent, we all need each other and we all should love each other. So, black people let it go. Throw those hurtful and enslaved feelings of yesterday away so that you can grab a piece of progression and succession of tomorrow. Its okay to want more for us and to remember the brave and great acts/people of our past that brought us this far and gave so much. White people, stop reminding us, stop hovering and stop trying to create unique ways around the issue. Please don’t accommodate us with your empathy and silly sorrowful comments, just do better, just be better. Acceptance, tolerance and growth are all that can be asked.
Let me close with this, someone once wrote something to this effect, when people hurt us we should write it down in the sands so that the waves of time can wash away the hurt. However, when someone does something good for us, or does good by us we are to etch it in stone so that we will never forget it. So, are you to busy writing in the sand to stop and etch anything in stone? Life is much too short and has too much offer to be stuck in the sands, please find a few stones.