Thursday, December 25, 2014

All About Self

The mindset of this country has shifted so much over the past few years.  Everyone is not only out for self, but they're only focused on self.  Why do I walk through life feeling as if I'm one of few people who actually cares about others?  Here it is Christmas Day and I'm doing a blog post on exactly the opposite of what today means.  I witnessed countless examples of selfishness on yesterday just from a trip to a store to get a last-second gift for someone.

I can't figure it out for the life of me.  On a daily basis I see so many examples of people being consumed with their own little worlds without giving one thought to the fact that others live in it.  An example of that is a Christmas card that I received from a friend of mine.  I received it on Monday and I called her that evening to thank her for the card.  She told me that she sent five cards to people and that I was the only one who called to thank her.  She said another person did send a text, but she's heard nothing from the others.

Most people don't send cards any more, so you would think someone who puts forth an effort would at least get a call to say "thanks."  Not these days.  Maybe if the card contained a gift card would someone feel more grateful, but not for a card that only contains seasons greetings.

Why is it so hard to say "thank you" for someone's efforts?  Kids are obviously not being taught to appreciate the efforts of others because their (Gen X) parents don't seem to know any better.  Wait.  I take that back.  They know better.  They just don't care.

I'm a giver.  That's just part of my nature.  I've even been criticized for it (by selfish people, of course).  From being cordial to ex-girlfriends to loaning $5 to someone who already owes me $10.  I've been called out for showing compassion for others.  By no means am I a sucker, but I choose to do things on a case-by-case basis.  And I will continue to do so despite the chirping of a few miserable people who wonder how I continue to give and keep smiling in the process.

I have extremely tough skin so the criticism doesn't bother me.  I actually think that it's sad people criticize someone for doing something for others.  It's also sad that people think that you can't do something for someone without expecting something in return other than a "thank you."  Do it because you want to be helpful.  Not because you have expectations of a return on your "investment."  A "thank you" should be payment enough.

This country is slowly imploding.  The media is working double-time to create a war between minorities and the police.  Politicians perpetuate fights between members of the middle class.  We slowly piss off every country overseas from invading their country to making comedy movies about their leaders.  All of this could be avoided if people simply considered others before speaking or doing.

But, nope.  We're all about self.  So, as I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, I will leave you with this thought: starting today I want you to do something nice for someone "just because."  I challenge you to make at least one person smile every day.  If they looked surprised when you make a gesture then don't be alarmed by it.  I often find that people are confused by acts of kindness because good deeds are not expected without strings attached.  I've even had people question me on why I did something for them as if they weren't worthy of it or maybe I was up to something.  That's sad.

Mother Teresa most famously said, 

"People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. 
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. 
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. 
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. 
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. 
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. 
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. 
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Some Women Can't Help It

What can someone with her shape wear?
Some women can't help the way they're built.  Genetics control your starting point and although you can exercise (or not), you basically are what your parents' DNA decide that you are.  For some women the DNA decides that they are curvaceous.

So, how does that play out in the work place?  Most of Corporate America have dress policies and some of the requirements are strict.  Yet some women can comply to the dress code yet still raise some eyebrows because of their shape.

I've seen on two or three different occasions where a coworker of mine from a previous job got sent home for wearing what was deemed "inappropriate."  But the consensus of the office was that there was nothing wrong with what she had on.  It was how she looked in her outfit that prompted management to react.  So, what is a curvy woman to do?

Look at the photo to the right.  She's in great shape (yoga instructor) and has dangerous curves.  Her dress fits her, but I wouldn't consider it tight.  Should she buy her clothes a size too big to keep the peace in the office?

What about people who aren't curvy who can wear what they want?  Is that fair to someone who has an hourglass shape?

I think not.  As long as a woman isn't wearing an inappropriate material (ex. leather), nightclub attire, skin tight outfits, etc., then leave her alone.  Some people are just attractive and can't help being a distraction in the workplace.  It's not fair to let an Ann Coulter type wear what she wants, but then get upset when Vida Guerra looks curvy in something similar.

I understand that Corporate America doesn't want their employees going goo-goo, gaa-gaa over each other.  Nothing would get done and sexual harassment law suits would go through the roof.  But, you have to be mindful of what you're suggesting to people when you discipline someone for having curves.  It may send a better message by not singling someone out because they have a DD bra size or 42 inch hips.  It's just not right.

To some it borderlines racism given that most black and hispanic women tend to be curvier than others, but that's beside the point.  There are plenty of women of all races who have hourglass shapes.  The point is: don't make them feel bad because they look good.

Some people just can't tone down their sexy.





Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Start Your Own Stereotype

I went to the eye doctor a few weeks back and I noticed an Asian mom encouraging her son to read.  Now, why do I have to reference what race she was?  Because Asian people are stereotyped for being smart.

But, they're not born smart contrary to what some dumb people may think.  The reason the stereotype exists is because there's a culture in place for them that places an emphasis on learning.

Maybe instead of assuming that every Asian baby is born with a high IQ why not start your own stereotype?  Take time to teach your child the importance of early education and it will stick with them for life.  Then maybe they can teach their kids and start a new tradition of learning for your race.

Learning isn't exclusive to Asians any more than dancing is exclusive to black people.  Anyone can do anything another race can do with practice.  It does appear that some things come more naturally to some than others, but don't let that deter you.  If you believe then you can achieve.  Okay, that was cheesy even for me.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

You Can't Fix The Inside with The Outside

It's almost 2015 and it's that's time of the year when people start making promise of change in the new year.  People plan to improve something about their standing in a situation and that's not a bad thing at all.  However, it takes more than the transition of the calendar to make the changes that some of us need.  Instead of focusing on just improving your fitness, relationships, or finances, which are all great, we need to improve ourselves as a person.

There are a lot of horrible people in the world.  A lot.  The longer that you live and pay attention, the more you'll see what I'm talking about.  There are people who feel that outward appearances determines happiness.  That how you look, what you wear, where you live, etc., all determines happiness.  That mindset is as far from the truth as one can get.

Happiness comes from within.  You can work for that banging body or you can get two jobs to afford nice things, but that doesn't lead to happiness.  Those things are important, but they're not the source of bliss.  You can't fix the inside with the outside.  If you want to be a better person then try the following:

  • Be in tune spiritually.  Not everyone is a believer, but for those who are you can seek strength in your faith.  If you're Christian, then be more Christ-like and improve your outlook on life that way.
  • Surround yourself with quality people.  A lot of us refuse to cut ties with some "friends" due to longevity, but if someone isn't a positive person then they don't need to be in your life.
  • Be accountable for your actions.  That is very important when it comes to being a better person.  If you can't say "I'm sorry" then you are sorry.
Sure, there are more ways to renovate your soul, but those three things are a great start.  The bottom line is: treat people the way that you want to be treated.  Even a child knows that, but so many adults refuse to do that.  Get rid of that "I got mine, you get yours" attitude and watch things get better.  Start by not complaining for 24 hours and you'll see the effects of maintaining a positive lifestyle.

Life happens.  Things go wrong and the world doesn't stop when they do.  Bad things have happened to all of us.  But, it's not what happens to you that makes you who you are.  It's how you respond to it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Once A Momma's Boy, Always A Momma's Boy?

Ladies, he appears to be the perfect gentleman. He opens doors. He pulls out chairs. He even respects you enough to let you order first at dinner. Everything is perfect until... the phone rings... he answers it and his face lights up... Before you even have a chance to ponder if he's cheating or not, you hear him say, "Hi, Mom!"

It doesn't sound like it should be anything bad.  But, your man is a momma's boy.  When his mom calls then she becomes Priority One and you temporarily get kicked to the curb.  Maybe his mom was a single parent and her son feels like he owes her everything.  Or maybe he just appreciates what his mom has done for him.  Regardless of the reason, he's always putting his mom first and extending his undying loyalty to her.

What is it like being a "side chick" to his mother?  Because that's what your relationship becomes whenever she's in the picture.  This has to be frustrating as a woman when a man can't seem to "get off the teat."  For the most part, a woman and man can still function as a couple despite him loving his mom a bit more than what his lady may prefer.  However, will he ever get over mom and make his lady his #1?

Can a man grow out of being a momma's boy?  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Get Your @Blissification Here!

Veronica Cuyugan, Life Coach
I interviewed a life coach a few months ago and I truly enjoyed speaking with her.  Her name is Veronica Cuyugan and she resides in Florida, but don't think that you have to be a Floridian to benefit from her services!

After getting to know her before and after the interview, I took Veronica up on her offer for a couple of free coaching sessions.  I wanted to see if a life coach was something that even a private guy like me could benefit from.  Would I open up to her to get assistance with things I wanted to see changed in my life?  Would she be able to do anything with the information that I was giving her to get me in the right direction?

The answer to both is "yes."  I was very amazed at how comfortable I felt speaking to Veronica during my first session on the phone.  Within a matter of 10-15 minutes, I was revealing things to her that I didn't feel comfortable discussing with other people.  The main focus of what I wanted to change was my weight.

Immediately, Veronica began asking questions trying to ascertain where my weaknesses may lie.  Although she asked me a lot of questions, they came in the form of a general conversation.  So, I didn't really feel like I was being interviewed.  I felt like I was talking to a friend who was trying to help me reach my goal.

By the time the session was over, not only did I feel better talking about where I've failed in my weight loss venture, but she gave me plenty of suggestions on new things that I could try to assist with exercising.  Since the two coaching sessions (last one in September), I've lost 12 lbs.

Veronica helped me to not only prioritize and organize, but she provided additional information of things I'd not yet considered.  Weight loss is her specialty though since she's a certified nutritionist, so that helped my cause for sure.

I would recommend those looking to kickstart a goal in their life to give Veronica a try.  She'll only take you on as a client if she has time, so don't worry about her being over-booked and you feeling neglected.  If she has too much on her plate then she'll tell you.  But, if you're fortunate enough to be one of her clients then whatever your goal may be, she will study it and prevent you with options to successfully reach your goal(s).

You can find Veronica at any of the following spots:

Facebook: The Blissification Company
Twitter: @Blissification
Website: www.TheBlissification.com


Saturday, November 8, 2014

"Thick" or "Fat"? #BodyTypes

There's always been a debate every since the justification for extra pounds was created.  Back in the day you were either skinny, average, or fat.  Fast forward to 2014 and there are all kinds of way to categorize body types, but the one that seems to be the most misinterpreted is "thick."

Being "thick" falls in between being average and being fat.  It's a word that started in the African-American communities to justify the curviness of the average black woman.  Black people didn't like being categorized by white Americans' standard so "thick" was created.  After all, we black men tend like a little more meat on the bone than white guys.  However, I do think that things are changing and Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez are the reasons why.  This lovely honey on the right here would have been considered "fat" by most people's standards back in the early-to-mid 90's, but today she's "thick" or "curvy."

But, where do you draw the line?  Where does "thick" become "fat"?

Like beauty, size is a matter of interpretation.  There is no universal standard.  It's all about what you prefer.  I prefer curves, so although the actual weight doesn't matter to me, I do pay attention to what's proportionate.  And I think that's the standard that a lot more people are following today.  Is there some resemblance to an hourglass shape?

You can find 100 guys and ask them to take a look at the photo to the right and it may result in 50 each saying "thick" or "fat" depending on their preference.  There's someone for everyone, so in the grand scheme of things it really doesn't matter.

However, I'll give you my definition of what makes someone "thick" and what makes them "fat."  Well, I can't say that it's my definition since I found the photo on the web, but I'll just say that I agree with it.  The photo below appears to be an accurate depiction of what I consider the difference between the two categorization of sizes.


The person on the left would fall into the "fat" category because a lot of her weight is above the waist line.  The "thick" lady gets that label because her weight is carried in her hips and thighs which to me is an attractive quality.

I'll post a few more photos below and you can comment and let me know which ones you consider "thick" and which ones you consider "fat."  At the end of the day, it doesn't matter.  If you're a woman and you feel comfortable and healthy, then do you.  If you're a guy then go for whatever floats your boat.  There's no wrong answer here.

Comment according to letters.  This is Person "A."

B

C

You may recognize person D.

E

Anyone of these in F considered fat?


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Online Dating is Window Shopping

Okay, so I broke down and did it.  After my unfortunate separation, I decided to try something different in regards to dating.  I decided to give online dating a try.

I went to Match.com and didn't like it.  I just didn't care for the site itself.  Sometimes you have to go through too much just to get started on some sites.  I understand that Match wants to find the best option out there for me, but people have answered less questions on government job interviews.

There was no way I was trying an adult site because I didn't want to deal with the unexpectedness.  Let's be honest: people who use adult online "dating" sites are a lot more full of surprises than the average person on a regular dating site.  I didn't need Mordacai showing up at my doorstep with a pink boa wrapped around his concealed Adam's apple.

So, I did the unexpected and tried BlackPeopleMeet.com.  I remember the first time I saw a commercial for this site I laughed until tears filled my eyes.  "What a stupid name!," I remembered thinking.

However, after perusing the site for a bit I realized that it may be pretty fun to try after all.  So, I signed up and decided to give it a whirl.  I figured that the worst case scenario would be a future blog post, so what the heck?  Try something new and give BPM a try.  Well, it was not what I expected.  At all...

First of all, there are a ton of profiles to view.  You can search any zip code for a wide range of people from certain height/size ranges to if they have kids or not.  Traditional categories, but they do a good job of laying it all out to pick and choose to narrow down selections.

I went through the Mississippi profiles and of course I immediately excluded those without photos.  Although I recognize that some people want to get to know you before revealing if they look like the Crypt Keeper or that random chance maybe a Halle Berry, but most people hate spending time getting to know someone only to not be attracted when meeting.  That's a huge letdown.  I don't know of too many people who said that Mr. Snuffleagus was such a nice guy that I dated him anyway.

However, all I found myself doing whenever I logged on was browsing photos.  Headshot after headshot after headshot.  Was I looking for a date or looking for a suspect?  It was hard to tell after awhile.  The site gives you so much to see yet you really don't get much of a return on your investment of time.

You may search 100 profiles and find 20 that you like.  You will probably message about five of them depending on your assertiveness.  If you're lucky, three of them will visit your profile and at least look at it, but only one may actually reply with a message.  And that message may generally be a sentence less than seven words in most cases.

Well, I was diligent.  In my time using BPM, I sent exactly 100 messages to dating prospects.  Most of them were in my homestate, but I did try a few in some major cities in neighboring states.  Out of all of them, I received 87 views to my profile.  Out of those views, I received 42 messages.  Out of those 42 messages, I received 19 worthy of a reply.  Out of those 19 replies, I actually got decent conversation from five people.  From those five people, I actually got phone numbers and met with three.

When I decided to leave the BPM alone I just didn't feel that the amount of time I spent messaging people was worth getting three serious replies.  Now, that could be saying something about ME -- LOL!  However, I'd like to think that some people just window shop when they online date.  In fact, I found myself doing the same.

I found myself clicking on photos of women located as far as Seattle, Washington on over to Providence, Rhode Island simply because they were attractive.  Although I knew that there wasn't much of a chance to find a love connection with someone 2,000 miles away I got distracted by shiny objects.

And after polling some people on my Facebook fan page afterwards, I realized that a lot of people just look at the pictures.  They want something that is going to catch their eye.  Unless you're a reader, which let's face it, is a dying art in this country, then you're not going to view a profile until after the photo gets your attention.

Ultimately, I would probably try online dating again if the urge hit me.  I would even consider BPM again although a friend, Ms. Manhood, swears by Match.com.  So, despite all of the questions and high cost, maybe I would give that a try if I ever did it again.

What happened with the three people that I met?  Well, that's a blog post for another day! ;)

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Mind of a Child

I recently spoke in an interview with a young guy that I admire by the name of Jay Mayo.  Jay and I discussed something that I never really studied all that closely.  Something that probably goes unnoticed by most of the people in this country: what is your purpose?

Just about every one of us remembers a time when either a parent, relative, or teacher asked, "what do you want to be when you grow up?"

I remember being asked that in 1st grade.  My response, "A king."

"You want to run your own country?  That's sweet, Quincy."

"No, ma'am.  I want to run the world."

Of course my teacher and classmates laughed.  That is until they saw the photo I drew of myself on a throne and the flag that I designed.  Yeah, I was dead serious.

Fast-forward 37 years later and I haven't conquered any countries to claim as my own as of yet.  Maybe I'll get there, but in the meantime I have other things to do.  I have a purpose to fulfill.  You see, my purpose evolved over time, but I had the right mentality for it in place all along.

I had reasons for wanting to be a king: my grandmother worked in a nursing home on the overnight shift for years.  My mom worked long hours as a supervisor in a factory for over two decades.  My father also worked in a factory for around the same amount of time and rarely missed a day of work.  I wanted to become a king because I knew by doing so that my grandmother, mom, and dad would never have to work again.  I wanted to have people do things for them.  

Even as a 6 year old my focus for wanting to rule the world was so that I could share its riches.  Riches don't necessarily refer to money either.  Wisdom is considered one of life's greatest wishes in my opinion.  I discovered that my purpose was to help others in some shape, form or fashion. A lot of it I've done through giving advice and sharing stories of life experiences here on the blog and over at T2Q.

However, not everyone has realized that they have a purpose.  That's something Jay pointed out to me that I'd never considered.  The people that I've seen on the nightly news who have been arrested for (insert crime here) didn't recognize their purpose.  No one probably told them that they could truly be something in life and overcome almost any unfortunate circumstance put before them.

Everyone in the world possesses multiple talents and it's the duty of the parents to discover those talents.  Whether you're an artist, dancer, architect, scientist, or actor, it's something within you.  The key to being happy and productive in life is to find something that you enjoy and find reasons to do it!  It's just that simple!

But, if a kid is never taught that dreams can come true then eventually they'll stop dreaming.  And they will walk around aimlessly like zombies not knowing where they are going.  Not having a reason or a goal to make life worth living.  One thing that I remember Jay saying is that there is so much "untapped potential in the cemetery."  People who could have been something if they only knew what that something was to be.

The mind of a child is like a safe that contains riches.  It's up to us, the adults, to unlock it so that everyone else can benefit from what's inside.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Know The Ledge

You walk to the edge of the building's roof and you stand on the ledge. You look down and try to gauge how long it would take you to drop the seventy-five feet between you and the pavement.  Seven seconds?  Six seconds?  Do you swan dive or just drop feet first?

The sounds of traffic become muffled as the increased rhythm of your heartbeat moves its way to the forefront. You close your eyes knowing that your equilibrium could be affected by it. But, you don't care because you want to feel that exhilarating rush! Balance equals safety and there's no excitement in safety.  You need adrenaline more than ever right now! It's all about this moment!

Then you take a step... back onto the rooftop and open your eyes. Your heartbeat slowly starts to return to normal. Traffic sounds are now distinctive again. You are once again in a safe place.

Ladies, is this what a relationship is like with a bad boy?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

XX vs. XY Presents The @CurvyMomager

Welcome to the first installment of "XX vs XY" as Q mixes it up with a female guest blogger!  

This is a new series that you will see every now and then that takes a view point from a woman's perspective and puts it against my viewpoint from a man's perspective.  The guest and I won't necessarily be challenging each other on a topic, but instead will be  discussing it from our points of view.  It could be two totally different angles on the same subject which will display how the genders' minds work.

It should be a lot of fun and I have to thank my first guest for the idea.  I did a "He Said, She Said" with her on her blog site that you can read at the link.  That prompted the idea for me to do the same and start a new series here on Thank, Q.

So, I decided to reciprocate and ask my California (by way of Michigan) counterpart to join me in a discussion about the tragedy in Baltimore that has been all over the news stations.  

Who is this woman I'm speaking of?

She's Robin Peppers-Hunt aka The Curvy Momager.  She has a blog and she does YouTube videos that follow her journey though "singlemommiehood" as she manages the lives of two children while balancing her own.  You can check her out over at www.CurvyMomager.blogspot.com.

So,, without further ado...  Take it away, Robin...


@CurvyMomager
An open letter to Janay Rice...

Dear Janay, you've had a crazy few months. Some of that unfair evaluation from others but most of it because of the ultimate decisions you've made. True, as you stated in your Instagram message to media and the public, "We don't need to be all up in your families business." but look at who came to your rescue after your fiancé Floyd Mayweather'd you in that elevator...a complete stranger. 


So excuse us if we are invested in seeing you getting help for not only you but Ray. As a woman that has been through relationship issues (none as severe as this), I don't point a finger at you but want you to realize that unless you are called out on REAL ish, you will keep blaming the wrong people. Look at the mirror, shifting you paradigm is going to be paramount if you are to put your life together. 


I'm in no way a professional, don't claim to even be a relationship expert.  I just want you to be the one that says, "I'm not accepting less just because someone thinks I should." As for Ray losing something he worked so hard to obtain is not a "nightmare." A "nightmare" is kids that don't eat on a regular basis, people that have limitless potential and waste it, women that don't leave damaging relationships when they know they should. 


Wait...maybe you are right but the "nightmare" is only going to get worse if you ignore what needs to be done. I hope things work out for each of you but you have to accept the public's opinion because truly we are the ones that have your back.




Now it's my turn and I don't even know where to begin. I hope some day that the photo at the very top of the screen will be the norm instead of what ESPN has running on a loop every 12 minutes.  None of this would have happened if Ray would have attempted to restrain his wife instead of hitting her. That is the bottom line. However, since that's not what happened, let me address why the NFL turned on him: Roger Goodell.


The NFL commissioner has allowed Ray Rice to be turned into the poster child for domestic assault. Goodell did so by claiming that he never saw the video from inside the elevator which is hard to believe. The NFL has former FBI employees working for them yet TMZ was able to obtain the video from up under their noses? Yeah, right.


Look, the court of public opinion is stronger than any justice court. Despite Ray and Janay both being charged with what was essentially mutual combat, the people spoke and Goodell responded.  However, he did so without revealing that he didn't think the incident was all that bad until it went public.  Ray Rice wasn't essentially banned for the league for hitting his wife.  He was banned from the league because you saw him hit his wife.


And that hypocrisy is why the NFL has been in a downward spiral with discipline since The Emperor's Goodell's arrival.  That's why a man, who definitely should have been punished, is out of a job while a 3rd player since '98 who killed someone while driving drunk is getting an opportunity to play this season.  Punching a woman is a horrible offense, but it doesn't trump killing someone with your car?


Maybe if TMZ had a video of it then it would.


Next on "XX vs XY" will be Marrie Lobel...

Monday, September 1, 2014

25 Years Later We're Still Fighting The Power - @PublicEnemyFTP

I remember turning on the TV and seeing this video for the first time. I was mesmerized as a 16 year old to see the power within the video of a group of people coming together for a united front.  Even at such an early age I recognized what that video meant to me as a black teen.  It meant that there was still work to do to bring about equality in the United States among the races.  I had no idea how much more this video would mean to me 25 years later after Michael Brown and Ferguson, MO.

Seeing the unity that "Fight The Power" displayed in a rap video was nothing short of amazing.  This wasn't a group of rappers coming together on their own for a cause like "Self Destruction" or "We're All in the Same Gang."  This was a video about a rap group marching down the streets of Brooklyn during the time of a political rally and the people just randomly started joining in.  It was just recently that I found out that the neighborhood people showed up only by word of mouth.  There was no plan to have them all there.

I got on board the PE train with their first album, "Yo! Bum Rush the Show!" in 1987.  I was fascinated with the side of blackness they taught that I couldn't get anywhere else at the time.  Remember that this was roughly five years before people starting regularly using the Internet.  In fact, a majority of the black history that I learned as a youth came from listening to Public Enemy.  I would listen to their album and then go to my city library to learn about the people they mentioned.   Stokely Carmichael.  H. Rap Brown.  Huey P. Newton (Huey Freeman on the "Boondocks" series is named after him).  These were people that were never talked about in any history books that I read at school.  And regardless of how people felt about them and what they represented they were still a very important part of black history which is essentially American history.

The video also contained images that will forever be embedded in my brain of Angela Davis, Medgar Evers, Jackie Robinson, signs that encouraged voter registration, and most importantly, youth participation.  There were kids everywhere in this video.  Also, one of the most powerful scenes at the time was at the 6:00 mark when teenager, Tawana Brawley, was shown standing in all white.

Tawana was part of a huge rape case back in 1987 when she accused six white men of raping and defiling her.  Although it was ruled in 1988 that she made up the false allegations against her accusers, she has always stuck by her story and said that the rape occurred.  Seeing her smiling and participating in the video was a sign that she was still standing strong with the support of the black community.  The community had her back.  That sentiment was also shown in Spike Lee's movie, "Do The Right Thing," with a scene that displayed graffiti on the wall that said "Tawana told the truth."  I can still remember the applause in the theater when people saw it during the movie.

"Fight The Power" would prove to have an impact on the consciousness of many people of all colors as it depicted how black people came together to promote unity.  Another important part of the video to note is that it showed how blacks can be peaceful yet firm in making an impact on society.  Despite the "nervous" police presence according to P.E. front man, Chuck D, there were no incidents.  Not one.

Enter 2014.  Music has changed tremendously.  The only people rapping about political consciousness aren't on the radio.  Gone are the days where KRS-1 is rapping "Why is That?" or Gang Starr is dropping knowledge on "Who's Gonna Take The Weight?"

I'll continue to hold on to old school rap although I know it's next to impossible to pass down to younger generations.  They just aren't buying into things from back in the day.  However, I'll do what I can to expose them to conscious rap with hopes that it catches on.  I won't let Public Enemy die with my generation.

So, click on the video below and "Fight The Power" in 2014.  We still have a long way to go.
 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Managing Day-to-Day Stress

Your alarm goes off.  You hit the button and look at the clock.  It's 6:00 AM and Tuesday.  The first thing that hits your mind before your feet hit the floor is that you have a 1/4 tank of gas left.  You walk into the bathroom trying to wipe the sleep from your eyes.  You look in the mirror only to have your focus disrupted when your child reminds you of a field trip on Thursday.  She will need $10 for the trip.

You say, "okay" and now try to figure out what you need to do to accommodate that $10 for the field trip.  At the same time, you're trying to coordinate all of your errands on your way to work so that you can take care of it all in one trip and save gas.

You finally get dressed, grab a bite to eat for breakfast and head out the door.  As you watch your kid board the bus, you turn around and look at your car only to see that your back, left tire is on a flat.  You're almost brought to tears as you pop the trunk to get the spare.

Thirty minutes later the tire is changed and you're on your way to work a few minutes late.  Now you have to get your tire fixed on top of the $10 for the field trip and having to make it until Friday on 1/4 tank of gas.  You're going to skip lunch today because that's where your daughter's $10 for her trip will come from.

You get to work and your trifling coworker has been slacking and causing you more work.  You can't say anything to him because his uncle is the boss at your branch.  He pretty much has a lifetime immunity at the job despite the fact that he's non-productive.  You have to smile and deal with his shenanigans.  

After a full day of work, you're hungry due to skipping lunch, but it's only three minutes until quitting time.  Your day is almost over!  But, your desk phone rings.  It's an irate client and he keeps you on the phone for an additional 30 minutes after quitting time.

You finish up at work and finally head home.  Traffic is bad, but it gives you an opportunity to figure out a game plan for dinner.  Is there enough in the refrigerator to generate a decent meal or will you need to stop by the store?  You decide to head on home and cook what's there.  You've made something out of nothing before.

You arrive home, cook, eat, and finally sit down for the evening.  It's 7:30 PM and you just want to watch some TV and unwind until your daughter comes in the room with that look she gives when she's in trouble.  Her science project is due tomorrow and she needs some supplies from Office Depot.

You do everything within your power to not curse as you grab your shoes and keys to take her to the store.  You've told her time-and-time again not to wait until the last minute, but she's a kid.  That's what they do.  If you only had a spouse to help manage things it would be so much easier.  But, it's just you and your daughter.

After coming back from Office Depot and spending $27 that you really didn't have, you start her on the project and eventually make your way towards the bedroom.  It's almost 9 PM and you're exhausted.  You plop on the bed and before you know it, you're out like a light...

Your alarm goes off.  You hit the button and look at the clock.  It's 6:00 AM and Wednesday.  The first thing that hits your mind before your feet hit the floor is that you have less than a 1/4 tank of gas left.  You walk into the bathroom trying to wipe the sleep from your eyes.  You look in the mirror only to have your focus disrupted when your child reminds you of a field trip tomorrow.  You give her $10 for the trip.

You now try to figure out what you need to do to compensate for the $27 you spent on that Office Depot visit you made last night.  At the same time, you're trying to coordinate all of your errands on your way to work so that you can take care of it all in one trip and save gas

You finally get dressed, grab a bite to eat for breakfast and head out the door.  As you watch your kid board the bus, you turn around and look at your car only to see that spare tire still on the back, left of your car and it's two more days until pay day. 

Some people live a life very similar to this.  Every day is a new struggle as they wake up to take on the world.  There's not enough money being paid on jobs and corporate greed is slowly strangling a lot of American citizens.  Married couples and co-parenting appear to be a dying breed.  So, one person is taking on so much responsibility when it comes to raising kids.  Simple things like school projects, gas, car maintenance, awful co-workers, or even sitting in traffic all build pressure within our minds.

If we don't find a way to release the pressure, then our heads will explode.  You can release that pressure by having a hobby.  Read a book, play an instrument, paint, jog, go fishing see a movie, whatever.  If that's not enough then talk to a friend to vent a little.

And if push comes to shove then absolutely do not hesitate to speak to someone qualified to help you find ways to reduce that stress.  Call (888) 866-7561 to reach the 24 hour stress counseling support line at CrisisSupport.org.  E-mail counselor and a friend of mine, Brandy J. Flynn, if you want more of a personal touch.  Talk to a life coach like Veronica Cuyugan to help prioritize your life if that's what is needed.

The bottom line is this: if you don't find a way to release that pressure then it will consume you.  I guarantee you that it will.  Seeking help is not a sign of weakness.  It's a sign of strength.  What's more embarrassing: losing your mind at work and curling up in the fetal position under your desk or speaking to someone in confidence who can help you roll with the punches until you get back on your feet?

Think about it, but don't take too long.  It's not a hard decision.  No one should have to live the above story everyday like a bad "Groundhog Day" sequel.  Take charge of your life by finding a way to free your mind.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I Bought A Conversation That Came With A Shoeshine

On Monday, I decided to do something that I've always wanted to do since I was a kid.  I remember seeing people doing it on TV when I watched movies with my father back in the day.  As an adult, I've seen it in some airports.  However, I've never taken the time to actually have it done.  I'm talking about getting a shoeshine.

There's something nostalgic about sitting down on a sunny afternoon and getting the shoes nice and shiny while you enjoy banter with the shoeshine person.  What's funny is that I actually have my own shoeshine kit at home that I normally use.  But, I wanted the one-on-one experience that I've seen so many people receive in the movies.  The experience that I used to have with my barber before he retired (and I went bald).

I walked up to the shoeshine station in my building's lobby.  The gentleman who works there directed me to the steps and I climbed up and placed my shoes on the platforms.  The gentleman rolled up my pants into a cuff and proceeded to wipe the dust off of my shoes.  He was a late 50-something year old black man.  His hair was gray and wavy as it appeared to be slightly slicked back.  Although he was older, he appeared to be in really good shape.  No signs of aches or stiffness as he moved around the shoeshine stand.  When he looked at you it was obvious in his eyes that he truly appreciated you giving him the opportunity to gain your business as well as your friendship.

He asked,"where are you from?"

"Here in the Jackson area," I replied.

That's all it took for the conversation to take off.  Although there was a newspaper sitting beside me and my smartphone was in my pocket, I had no interest in entertaining those items.  I just wanted to enjoy something that a lot of people miss out on these days: a simple, face-to-face conversation.  And he was definitely willing to oblige.

His told me his name was Samuel and that he was originally from Georgia.  He would look up and smile as he spoke every few seconds as he buffed and wiped.  Although he was working, he was also engaging me in conversation and learning more about me.  In the 20-25 minutes that it took for him to buff my kicks, we discussed politics, local crime, downtown infrastructure, his wife, and even video games.  Yeah, Samuel is an avid Xbox gamer.  The experience really took me back to a time where customers and businesses actually had a relationship with one another.  Business actually wanted to work hard for your patronage and customers were loyal to good work.

After he finished the shine and I stepped down from the station, I gave him a firm handshake and handed him his fee plus a 50% tip.  I told him that I appreciated the conversation and that I would definitely be back.  He told me that in the future that I could even drop off my shoes to pickup later if I didn't have time to wait.  I responded, "where's the fun in that?"

He just laughed.  As I started walking away, Samuel shouted out to me, "you didn't even look at your shoes to tell me how they look!"

I replied, "Mr. Samuel, I didn't come for the shoes."

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Cop Shootings in America

Another tragedy has occurred in the St. Louis, MO area.  An 18 year old black male was shot and killed by a police officer.  Regardless of who pushed the first domino to commence the event, none of this had to happen.  Just one small variation could have turned the tides on this entire ordeal.  Of course the stories vary on who did what, but the overall picture is still the same: another young, black male is dead at the hands of police.  It's time that we re-educate America and stop these senseless acts and both black people and the cops can help.

Black People

Stop teaching your kids to hate cops.  I know that all of us don't do it, but there are enough of us who teach that even if subconsciously.  Cops are to be respected for multiple reasons: they're hired to be an authoritative figure our communities and oh, yeah, they also carry guns and a license to kill.

The latter should be reason enough to teach your kids how to protect themselves by respecting the law.  Teach your kids (especially sons) to remain calm at all times around the police.  There's no need to get emotional even if you're in the right.  If you get pulled over then already have your license and registration in your hand before the cop gets to your car.  Keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times.  You want them to always be visible and not move in a quick or unpredictable motion.

I know people are thinking, "why should I be forced to do that?"  The answer?  Because you want to increase your chances of getting home that night, that's why.  What's more important: how you feel or being alive?  Even if you're being harassed or unfairly targeted it's better to have your day in court than to do something that can cause a misunderstanding.  Ice Cube once famously said in a song that he'd rather be "judged by 12 (jury) than carried by six (pall bearers)."

And I agree with that 100%.

Cops

Stop assuming that all black males are dangerous.  If there is anything that is embedded in our brains in this country is that black males are to be feared.  We see things everyday that lead us to believe that they're unpredictable and have no respect for authority.  In some cases, that may be true, but you're not going to get me to believe that it represents anywhere near a majority of black males.  I know too many of them to believe that.

Here's what needs to happen: cops need training.  Badly.  Being a cop is more than just physical conditioning and gun training.  It should be more mental training than anything else.  Somehow you have to scrub their brain of every racial bias known to man and I don't think that it's as easy as one would think.  Even if you hire 500 cops, just 1% of that number can be enough to ruin the entire reputation of the police force.  That's right.  Just five people.

So, if and when a suspicious shooting does occur, it would be more beneficial for the police to treat it like a normal crime (which it is) rather than to start playing politics.  It would also give citizens more security in thinking that you are trying to protect and serve them and not just your own interests.

The police also need a change in policy.  Shooting to kill should never be the first option; it should be the last option.  Why some cops feel as if they need to empty their guns on a person is beyond me.  Especially when there are multiple cops on the scene.  Again, that goes back to training.  You can disarm a person without killing them.

Oh, I know that I only listed two things at first, but I have to add a third and it may be the most important of them all...

Media

Often they are the root cause to the mental images we all have of black males (and sometimes the police).  Whenever there is a shooting of a black male some of the media can't wait to post the most "gangsta" of photos of the victim.  Just like with Mike Brown who was shot in Ferguson, MO.  A recent high school graduate who may or may not have been a model citizen (I won't claim to know the kid), but he should have been afforded an "innocent until proven guilty" opportunity.  What does the media do?  They post this photo of him all over from the USA Today to lesser sites.


That's right. Show a photo of him throwing what a majority of the country will consider a gang sign.  That makes the police so much more believable when they say what they said about the incident.  After all, Like Trayvon Martin, he's not here to defend himself, so there's no backlash, right?

What was wrong with using this photo below instead?


Oh, too tame, right?  We wouldn't want people thinking that black males graduate now do we?

I know that I'm starting to get cynical with all of this, but it comes from a point of frustration.  We all realize that there is a problem yet we choose to only protest a few days after an incident happens.  Then it's on with our lives until the next incident.  I'm somewhat guilty of that, too.  However, I do exercise my right to vote and makes attempts with each election to actually vote for the best candidate and not my favorite political party.  If a majority of people gave Independents a chance we could actually see a change in this county.

But, that's a blog post for another day.  As for Mike Brown and other victims, all we can do is hope for justice.  Hopefully convincing evidence will show that either Mike Brown was well within his rights and gunned down unfairly or that the cop was well within his rights to protect himself.  It doesn't matter as long as it's the truth.

The only problem is: who's willing to tell it?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Breaking the Barrier of Mental Health with @ConsultBrandy

www.BrandyJFlynn.com
Last Saturday, I decided to do something positive with my free time and participate in something very important.  There was a panel discussion on the importance of mental health going on in Memphis, TN and I wanted to be a part of it.  So, I made the 199 mile trip to the National College of Business & Technology venue to see what the Breaking the Barrier of Mental Health seminar was all about.

It was put together by "Mental Health Counselor to the Stars," Brandy J. Flynn.  She specializes in providing services to not just everyday people, but athletes and celebrities as well.  She was joined by Lifestyle Consultant, Jameka Jones, out of Memphis, TN and counselor, Gerald Vernell, also from Memphis, TN.

The event was a great experience! I enjoyed the interaction with the panel of experts and how they articulated their feedback. Although mental health is a serious topic, they kept things lively and engaging for the audience.

Brandy was a wonderful hostess and did a masterful job of providing segues for each of the topics. You could feel the passion for what she does as she spoke. The same can be said for her panel of experts. My only regret is that I missed the first event held back in May.  However, I definitely plan on attending the next one in October and hopefully bringing some people with me.

On one of the topics there was something Jameka mentioned that stuck with me.  It was how people not having dinner together can prevent the opportunities for outward expressions.  Back in the day, people sat at the dinner table and discussed what was going on in their lives.  The kids talked about school.  The parents talked about work and/or community issues.  But, not any more.

Quality time with family is rare these days due to work schedules or just plain disinterest.  A lot of us would rather watch TV as we eat or put in our ear buds.  That causes a lack of communication which could lead to a suppression of feelings.  And without that aforementioned outward expression, where is the outlet to help cope with a potential underlying issue?

That is just one of the many examples given during the 120+ minute seminar that left everyone much more educated on the importance of mental health awareness.  I recommend that all of you click the link under Brandy's photo and follow her blog.  It will change your perspective on life, but only if you're truly paying attention to what you're reading and if you really want a change in your life.

Let's not sweep mental health concerns under the rug.  There are a lot of people out there who need our help and some are family members and friends.  We can no longer ignore people when we suspect that something could be happening to them.  And also keep in mind that counselors like Brandy aren't only for helping you through issues they are also for helping you prevent issues.  You don't have to be in a bad state of mental health before you see someone.

Treat mental health like you do your physical health and get a regular check up.  You'd be crazy not to do so.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Nice Guys Do Finish Last

Yes, it's absolutely true 9 times out of 10.  I've been saying this since my high school days.  I said it through my college days.  And I'm saying it again today.  "Nice guys do finish last."

I listened to a podcast of a friend of mine named Crystal.  The Crystal Show is a wonderful talk show that discusses a lot of interesting topics and this particular one was on women who date jerks.  I listened as the ladies on this show talked about how nice guys can be boring.  I listened to them laugh as they told stories about nice guys who just didn't cut the mustard when it came to keeping their interests.

Being a nice guy is rarely going to bring you success when it comes to women.

Like everything else in life there has to be a balance.  You sometimes have to maintain the right amount of gentleman and the right amount of caveman.  Every guy has it in them, but some forget to express it at times and it can be a turn-off for women.  I'm not saying that a man can't be sensitive and caring, but those are traditionally feminine qualities.  Most women want someone who is different from them not just like them.  That's why so many nice guys end up in "The Friend Zone" instead of "The End Zone."  Heck, I've had to even give myself a wake up call on it.

I consider myself a nice guy.  Because of that I'm sure to some ladies I've come off as a pushover or a "softie" and that's my mistake if that has occurred.  If anyone has ever thought that of me then that means that I let my guard down and got caught slippin'.  I'm a huge James Bond fan and the one thing Bond always does well is balance smooth with rough.

Relationships are all about balance.  There's no such thing as "you complete me."  That's garbage we picked up from the "Jerry Maguire" movie.  You compliment someone, but you don't "complete" them.  And to compliment someone you sometimes have to add something to the mix that they don't have.

That means that we nice guys have to gain or reclaim our swagger.  Our edge.  The thing that lets every heterosexual woman in the room know that we're a man.  That doesn't mean throw away the nice guy.  It just means not to lead with it.  That's something a woman should discover about you.  Don't put it out there on a silver platter from Day One.  Maintain that balance.  Be Bond.

The bottom line is this: you can be the kind of man who has an edge without being a jerk.  You can be the type that has a kind heart without being a chump.  

Find your middle and stick to it.  Make it a part of your life and stick to it.  Being nice can get you a woman, but it's not necessarily going to keep her.  She will get bored.

Just like you crave the softness of a woman, give her the toughness of her man.  And do it before something nice walks out of your life.





Friday, July 25, 2014

The Walking Dead

No, this isn't about the popular TV show that features zombies galore.  This is about people stuck in a lame duck relationship/marriage.  You know there's no chance for anything in the future, but you're still wandering around aimlessly like a zombie.  Instead of searching for brains you are searching for change.  Hoping that something will flip the switch in your mate and help them to realize that they are drifting away.

But, most of the time they will not change.  I think most people who drift away in relationships do so voluntarily.  It may not start as a conscious act, but when you ultimately want to get rid of someone it's easier to frustrate them into leaving then asking them to do so.

So, what do you do when you find yourself in that situation?  Well, you have a few choices:

  • You can stay and fight for what you want.  If you believe that he or she is a good person then you will communicate your feelings to them and hope that they snap out of it.
  • You can remain in the relationship and enjoy the convenience of having a pretty sure thing when it comes to having someone to go out with or engage in intimate acts with now and then.  Although their mind may be elsewhere their bodies may still be available for dates and sex.
  • You can walk away from it all.  If you don't think the person cares for you any more than find someone who does.  You shouldn't have to beg someone to love you.
Hopefully this never happens to you, but if it does then don't let it ruin your life.  It's a lot more common than people realize.  Relationships are all about people being on the same page and it's okay if you're not on the same page with your mate.  That's life.  Just try to figure out which of those three situations work best for you and remember that there's no wrong choice if you believe in your decision.

Monday, July 21, 2014

I Missed My Own Blogoversary?

Wow.  I've really been ripping and running over the past few weeks, I guess.  I do so much over here now that I forget that I have a blog sometimes.  For that I apologize.  It's very difficult for me to sit down and focus the necessary amount of time into blogging when I have so many other things that have my interest at the moment.

One thing that I always enjoyed doing was sharing stories with all of my readers about some of my life experiences.  I started that on July 15th of 2010.  So much has happened in my life since then and those who have been with me since Day One know it all.  I'm a very private person, but for some reason I will bare so much of my soul on this blog.

I've shared stories that I've not even told certain friends or family members.  I've shared opinions that are very unpopular with some people.  I've even shared tragedies and triumphs I've experienced as they occurred.  If a person wanted to get to know me then they have the "Complete Guide to Q" literally right at their fingertips.

I've seen my blog go from being very active (regarding comments) to no activity at all.  I'm okay with that.  I understand that some bloggers will only comment on your blog if you comment on theirs.  However, those aren't the readers I want anyway.

I want the readers who are searching for something other than exclusive comment reciprocation.  I want the people who aren't looking for a one-stop shop for some particular product.  My blog isn't a relationship blog.  It's not sports, political, or current events either.  It's an entertainment blog that encompasses everything I choose to discuss.

And that's the way I prefer to keep it for the people who can appreciate a variety of subjects.

So, Happy Belated #4 to my own personal therapist.  This blog has helped keep me from crying as well as helped keep me from cursing someone out.  Expressing myself has truly been a blessing in disguise and I hope to get back to it more consistently at some point.

For those who still read "Thank, Q," I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Every time I see that counter grow closer to 1,000,000 hits I can't help but smile.

Thanks so much for your support over the years!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Is Marvel Comics Going for Shock Value?

I've been a fan of Marvel Comics since I was a kid.  In fact, I still have a ton of comics that I would love to sell if anyone is interested.  Let me refocus on my blog post and get dollar signs out of my eyes.

A lot of comic book fans are purists and hate to see the slightest deviation of their beloved characters.  Well, Marvel has taken deviation to an entirely new level with what they have in store for Thor fans.

Thor the God of Thunder will soon be Thor the Goddess of Thunder.

That's right.  The most masculine guy with long hair in all of Marvel Comics is getting a sex change.  Well, I actually don't know how they plan on writing her into the story, but know that "he" is soon to be a "she."

I wonder if Marvel is doing this for shock value.  Changes like this grabs headlines and there's nothing wrong with a little buzz around your product even if it's from angry purists.  Another alternative could be that maybe they're trying to bring in a female fan base.  After all, girls probably read a lot more than boys these days.  Either way I'm guessing that Marvel will want to keep from causing confusion and this will be a temporary move until the Avengers movie comes out in 2015.  It would be extremely odd to have Thor as a woman in the comics and a man on the silver screen.

In any event, I don't care about this one way or the other.  If I were 8 years old again and still reading comics regularly then I'm sure that I would be pissed.  But, Marvel can do no wrong when it comes to making money, so who am I to question their decision making.

I will admit that the change caught me completely by surprise though.  And I thought Archie Andrews getting shot was a shocker.  The next thing you'll be trying to get me to believe is that Captain America will be replaced by a black man.

  OH, SNAP!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sex Isn't Dirty

Okay, so I understand that people have different views which is what makes us so unique.  But, some views tend to make me scratch my head a bit.  Especially when it comes to sex.  It's not a very popular topic among certain groups of people, but sex is the only reason any of us are even here.

So, in regards to something that is essential to life itself, why is it viewed as something dirty and disgusting?  Can it be that way?  Absolutely, depending on how open-minded you may or may not be.  But, the act itself is as natural as anything on this planet and it's time to stop demonizing it.

Churches

I grew up in a traditional Baptist church.  A lot of churches teach sex as if it's a bad thing.  That it's something that makes you unclean.  Depending on your religion, that could be true in some cases, but they don't differentiate the cases.  You're brought up to think that it's simply a bad thing.  To top it off, not all churches explain that sex can be about more than just having babies.  Sex can be something spouses can enjoy together.  You can still enjoy sex and "keep it holy" if you read more than you listen.  That usually gets lost somewhere in the "teachings."

Ladies

So many women get brought up to think that their private parts are always off limits.  If you have sex with a lot of guys then you're a slut.  If I had a daughter then I'd probably teach her the same thing, too.  #Hypocrite LOL!  However, in the spirit of fairness I'll be open-minded on this one, too.

A woman who enjoys sex is not a slut.  Now, that doesn't mean go out and do Bangfest 2014, but it does mean that it's okay if you have those urges.  Be responsible and use common sense and if it does happen, then it just happens.  Don't let a man tell you that if he sleeps with 50 women he's a "playa," but if you sleep with 50 men you're a "ho."

Spouses

Some people are afraid to let their "freak flag fly" even when they've locked down that special someone.  Why?  Why would you commit the rest of your life with someone you can't be yourself around?

Look, if people remained virgins until marriage then these topics wouldn't be much of an issue.  That's not the case.  A very small group of people in the U.S. make it to marriage as a virgin couple.  Regardless if you're a first-timer or a veteran, you should still be able to be yourself in the bedroom with your spouse.  Don't be afraid to try new things.  If you've always had an open line of communication with your spouse then it shouldn't take them by surprise anyway.  Communication is the key to a happy marriage in and out of the bedroom.


Like everything else in the world, sex can be fun if you have the right approach.  You can enjoy yourself and still wake up in the morning feeling respected if you make the right decisions.  It's more than just 50 pumps and a walk of shame if you choose it to be.  Don't let society dictate what's right for you.  If you want to wait until marriage then I'll encourage you to do so.  If you want to "get it in" before marriage then I'll encourage you to use protection and make sure the person you're with is responsible and respects you.

Either way sex isn't dirty unless you're in the mud.  It's a beautiful thing.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Men Deserve Birth Rights

It can protect your bank account, too.
I'm not a father, but I feel the pain of so many of them who try and do the right thing.  Men have very few rights when it comes to a child's birth.  Some would go as far as to say that they don't have any rights whatsoever. It's sad in a few cases and unfair in a lot of them.

Here are the options that a woman has after she finds out that she's pregnant:
  1. She can have the baby.
  2. She can abort the baby.
  3. She can put the baby up for adoption.
  4. She can just leave the baby at a fire station or church.
  5. She can tell a man the child is his (even if it isn't) and collect support (if not challenged in court by a certain period of time).
Here are the options that a man has when he finds he got someone pregnant:
  1. They can attempt to adopt the baby if she puts it up for adoption.
  2. They can opt not to pay child support and risk jail time.
Of course, I'm not an expert so I may have missed something, but that's basically it.  Everything pretty much depends on what the mother decides.  He may want to marry her and be there for the child, but if she wants to abort then he can't stop her.  He may not want to have anything to do with the child at all, but if she wants him to pay child support then he will or go to jail.

Men are at the mercy of women in all matters involving a child's birth.  Even men who aren't even the fathers.  #5 on my list for women alluded to that.  Case in point: let's say that a man and woman are married and she gets pregnant in an affair.  DNA proves that he's not the father, but he could still be forced to pay child support because they're married.  

If a woman tells a man he's the father of a child and he finds out three years later that he isn't, then he's still on the hook for 15 more years if she chooses to stick it to him.  Although he may not have thought he had a reason to petition the courts he still has to "beat the clock" to possibly get out of support.  If not, he could wind up paying for another man's child if she refuses to remove him from the birth certificate.

Do you think that it would work if men had the option to waive their rights to a child without the threat of forced child support?  Would that make women think twice about unprotected sex?

I know that it sounds unfair to the women, but we've already gone over what's unfair to the men and the list is lengthy.  Besides, women are normally the ones carry the child and who wind up being responsible for the child.  So, shouldn't they be the ones who should think twice about birth control since they go through so much?  I know that sounds like the words of a chauvinist, but I think if you looked at that with an unbiased eye that you would at least consider where I'm coming from on it.

Or what about the default for custody disputes being joint custody?  Isn't that what is best for the child anyway?  Why does it always seem that it has to be one parent or the other in these cases?  Why can't it always default to 50/50 custody?

What do you think?  Shouldn't men have some sort of say so in regards to the birth of a child?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Missing Kids, But No AMBER Alert?

I don't understand our justice system.  I went to college and studied it and I still don't get the law.  Well, I take that back.  I understand the law.  I don't understand the people who create it without giving it any thought.

The AMBER Alert was created in the 90's and it stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.  It's been working since 1998 and can be a very effective way of alerting citizens to a kidnapping in progress.

Technology allows for AMBER Alerts to broadcast on digital highway signs, television, radio, and even text message alerts.  These messages will generally contain (when applicable) photos of the children, suspect (if one can be obtained), description the vehicle they may be in, and last location seen.  If someone seems anything matching the descriptions then they are to call the police to report their findings.

But, what qualifies for an AMBER Alert?  You would think that any missing kid would, but that's not the case as seen in the video below:


Why is it that some kids aren't given the same help as others?  How many minority kids have you seen on Nancy Grace or other news shows?  We need to stop acting as if some children are more important than others.  If you want to discuss this further in detail then comment at the bottom of this page.

Is there ever a situation when an AMBER Alert should not be issued for a child?

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