“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi
If you want the best out of this world,
Then you’ve got to be willing to put the best into this world.
One cannot hope to sow bad seeds and reap good fruits.
Nurture the world around you according to your nature,
And see Mother Nature herself nurture your world in similar fashion.
If you give her lightning she may give you thunder,
But if you give her a little light she just might give you a rainbow.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
Light skin versus dark skin, the eternal debate between longstanding next of kin.
It’s a pity, such an eternal shame, brothers and sisters in plight divided by a desire to fit into a colored picture frame. How incredulously lame, identity crises brought to birth by an incessant love affair with fleeting fame. Black is no longer our common name. That’s just the nature of today’s game.
Honestly, I’m ashamed by this ridiculous emphasis on pigment,
that such a natural thing should even determine the quality of our treatment.
I know of a black woman named Jasmine, who fancies herself better than Lilly,
simply because the latter has a greater concentration of melanin, under her beautiful skin. Yes really, it’s gotten that silly!
And all the rappers concur, shamelessly obnoxious, ever hypothesizing in music videos that their hot yellow bones make the dark sisters jealous. Negro please! A darker shade is not a disease! If a black man cannot see that, then he is blinded by shades he is unaware he currently wears. He is emancipated on paper but enslaved in practice. And even Lincoln could never have freed him!
And all who instigate battles of the skin, will find that they can never win;
because regardless of complexion, through the myopic lenses of prejudiced eyes we are viewed as the same underestimated concoction. Therefore, as per MLK Jr. will we let the color of our skin define us, or will we decide the content of our character should be the distinguishing factor?
Remember, united we stand, divided we fall.
So that said, God help us all.
P.S. The black race in America must free itself from the superficial shackles of inadequacy born of despicable years of slavery. There is a popular saying that goes, “Black is beautiful.” Every black child should come to know this, believe this, and embody this, regardless of complexion.
“Reach out and help another up, it doesn’t have to be lonely at the top.” -kR
We must come to the realization that increasing our chances of becoming or being successful does not in any way, shape, or form reduce another person’s chances of becoming or being successful.
Competition brings out the best in us but competition doesn’t necessarily equate to rivalry and should never ultimately culminate in jealousy.
If it is crowded at the bottom, that is often because the bottom is confined by a few natural but too many man-made boundaries. Just look at the ground around us – it is shaded by encroaching trees, guarded by high walls and barbed wire fences, laden with roads plagued by an abundance of traffic signs; from yield signs to stop signs, from caution signs to pot holes and speed bumps. All of these things serve to contain us, to confine us, to inhibit and to limit us.
But once these shackles are broken, once these boundaries are transcended, once these obstacles are overcome, and as more people evolve, spread their wings and fly, it will become evident to them and to all who witness this phenomenon that there is plenty of room in the sky, and therefore it doesn’t have to be lonely at the top. We will realize that the sky is not the limit after all, as there is no limit once we operate in the threshold of the boundless sky.
There are millions of birds who share a single sky above us, and yet they never complain about it being too crowded. As a matter of fact, they often fly together in harmony. And as a result they do not sit lonely at the top.
So then, why can’t we humans, supposedly more intelligent creatures, all get to the top together? The short answer is, we can! And quite frankly, we should! As far as success goes, there is no more fulfilling feeling than becoming or being more successful because you help others become or be more successful!
So, I hope to see you at the top! But better yet, I want to help you get to the top, just as I would appreciate you helping me get to the top. Gratitude and Godspeed!
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” -Helen Keller
Life has four phases. From age 1 through 20, most people are discovering, observing, forming opinions, stumbling, falling and learning, and hopefully retaining. From age 21 to 45, people implement and live off and improve on experiences gotten during two decades plus and chart a known decidedly solid (or conversely shaky) path, as they build on those foundations for a better quality of life. From age 46 to 65, people live off plans set earlier, the golden years, reinforced, enjoyed, and are satisfied that their legacy will outlive them. From age 66 to 80, the golden years continue to be savored as family branches draw out far out.
After 80 especially, these are bonus years and serve as a period to look back and either appreciate, or regret one’s life. This period of reflection and the conclusions drawn therefrom can make a difference on how many bonus years we would or would not have. If we missed the first quarter, the likelihood of making up in the second quarter becomes slim or difficult; not impossible though, but onerous. If we got the first and second quarters right, then we might not retire into frustration, want, dependency, misery, or poverty. The first quarter determines how well the second quarter would turn out to be. It is very important for parents to ensure the first quarter is successful. It is largely parental responsibility. The first, and more importantly, second quarter are therefore very critical in determining the type of legacy we leave for our progeny and for posterity. Once anyone misses any quarter, playing catch up turns to become a near permanent pursuit, draining energy, time, resources, and rarely succeeding. We must guard against this trap, especially if our parents got the first quarter right for us. For societies wherein talent and hard work are not readily recognized and compensated adequately, these equations change dramatically.
The core message here is that most people do not plan to fail, but they just fail to plan. Within the society in which we live, with the ebb and flow of countless and sometimes conflicting forces, albeit having a relatively level playing field, good plans serve as road maps to goal attainment. Procrastinators and analysts often fall prey to the law of diminishing intent and diminishing returns as protracted analysis leads instead to prolonged paralysis and inertia. These pitfalls must be avoided. This state of being is exacerbated for those who are too steeped in uni-linear belief systems, dogmatic practices and closed mindedness, rendering them unwilling to embrace change and seize on new opportunities. This bubble mentality is one of the main causes of failure, or a less-than-satisfactory or successful life. Another term for it is comfort zone. Only brave hearts burst out of their comfort zone, seize opportunities, and act on them. This explains why only a small minority sits atop the pyramid of life with a comfortable lifestyle, while the increasingly larger majority have a life and remain at the crowded wider bottom, the uncomfortable zone, or as it is often misguidedly called, the comfort zone.
P.S. “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something else. It is about your outlook towards life. You can either regret or rejoice.” -Anonymous
About the Author:
Joseph Fomunung is a seasoned entrepreneur and Senior Marketing Director with World Financial Group, Inc. He helps everyday families build a solid financial foundation by educating them on tried and true financial concepts (not taught in schools) that create wealth while protecting their income, effectively ending legacies of poverty, perpetual debt and financial struggle. He lives in Houston, TX with his wife, Theresia, and can be reached at email@example.com.
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” -William Shakespeare
Often times there are lessons to be discerned from trivial events. I have learned that no matter how genuine you might be in your approach toward people there is no guarantee your sincerity will be understood or accepted. Many people have built up walls and hold many defense mechanisms because of the unscrupulous acts of many, either generally towards others or specifically toward them. As a result, even an innocent request on your part can be met with strict scrutiny and hasty distrust. And while it is a frustrating realization to an honest person, whatever you do don’t judge such people. Such is the way of the world. And while you may choose to give people the benefit of doubt until they give you reason to doubt, the reality is that most people choose to doubt until you give them reason not to. Alas, c’est la vie.