Saturday, February 10, 2018

Stained Glass and Broken Windows

We always appreciate something after time goes by, we experience its true value and realize that we simply can't live without it. We learn to appreciate people and things when we know their value. When value isn't recognizable in something, it becomes like stained glass and broken windows. 

"Hurt people hurt people" is true, we see it almost daily. It's mainly due to the fact that people don't take the time needed to heal from traumatic situations, disappointments and failures. Society conditions us to believe that failure equals weakness. This idea influences people which is why people don't like to admit when they're wrong, hurt, ashamed or embarrassed. Instead, they display unfavorable character traits that are harmful emotionally, mentally and sometimes physically to others. 

Placing value in self first allows us to have self actualization, sustainable relationships and investments. 

#1 - Self Actualization 
If I can't see the value in myself, then I can't recognize and appreciate it in anything else. More often true than not, people become displaced and detached from things when they no longer can connect to its value. Society can beat down our self esteem so much to the point where we no longer have the passion to exceed in our gifts and talents. We become overwhelmed and lose grip of the value we had within ourselves. Embracing who you are and your place in the world allows one to feel empowered thus enabling them to be a better person for self and others. 

#2 -Relationships 

Regardless if it's a friendships with classmates, neighbors or colleagues at
work, church or organizations; a spouse, partner or puppy love, we cannot sustain viable relationships with other people when we don't value ourselves. The example of the mother or fatherless children who recall their parents being depressed, on drugs, alcohol or in need of medication don't see someone valuing their lives or the people they love. When children see people fighting, killing, stealing from others, that doesn't reflect them valuing them. Value connects the idea of love and respect through actions seen within healthy relationships. 

#3 - Investments 
If you are invested in something, you appreciate its value. That's what's makes investments valuable. Our society gives such skewed views of investments. You can't reap a harvest with no seed! Money doesn't bring value to you. If you only see yourself as having value when you have money, when the money is gone there goes your will to live, integrity, passion, happiness, etc. Before you can invest in anything be it education, family, home ownership, relationships, business, etc., you have to know your self worth. You have recognize the value in you before you can invest in anything else. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Pulling My Hair Out!

Stress is often treated like success, illness and ideas. We don't always see it until something happens. We don't focus on the causes and effects that stress has on us emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually and financially until we're in the heat of it. Stress is the elephant in the room that ushers in intimidation, fear, anxiety, worry, frustration and disappointment. It hinders us from living our best lives because our attention is focused more on fulfilling others happiness than maintaining our own peace of mind. Here's how to avoid pulling your hair out over stress related things. 

Meditation is key in helping us avoid pulling our hair out. Literally, it helps us to focus on what's important. Taking time to sit still for a moment, allowing your emotions to calm down and your body to realigned and balanced is healthy. Most heat of the moment decisions are made irrationally, when our emotions are flustered and our judgement is clouded. Meditation helps you see all the working pieces together and not just the ones that aren't working as your desire. Taking time to listen, breathe and reflect allows us to stay ahead of the game and not continually be knocked down by the uncertainties in life. 

Changing our bad habits is hard but necessary. Sometimes we develop bad habits to help us cope with things that we hate doing. I can relate to this. I experienced this, like many Americans at work. Loved doing what I do but I hated being disrespected by management and leadership. Being treated less than human, not acknowledged, appreciated and constantly overlooked for promotion yet called on to support, fix, build and design. Stop doing things that cause you to pull your hair out when you no longer received any fulfillment. Move into a new area and thrive in your purpose. Don't get stuck in bad habits that help you cope with things you simply don't have the desire to do anymore. 

Friday, December 29, 2017


People are so quickly distracted. We get sidetracked and focused on the wrong things so easily which causes us to feel as if we aren't making in progress. In reality we aren't making the progress in certain areas of our lives because we're too busy focusing on non factors. Can you easily identify the non factors to your goals/aspirations/dreams? If so or not, it's time to make changes and get back on track. 

Leading in the Wrong Spaces: Often times in social organizations, church and even at work, we find ourselves leading in the wrong spaces. These spaces include the gossip corners, the mess boxes and rumor mills that can be found in any social atmosphere. The question we have to ask ourselves is, how are we leading in these spaces. Are we adding commentary by casting judgement, laughing along or adding more fuel to conversation? Leadership can  have both positive and negative effects. If the social circles, groups and organizations you're a part of focuses more on tearing others down with gossip, rumors and hate speech, then you may want to refocus your role in leading in the wrong spaces. 

We all have a Trump figure in our lives that distract us from the real issues. As President Trump has taken office, I've found more blogs, articles and headlines focusing on the minor things, mostly drama filled reactions and actions of his, but not a lot of attention on the behind the scenes decisions that truly effect the way that we live. We must refocus on the progress made and how to sustain it as opposed to spinning our wheels around every simple thing that put out in the media. Regardless of alternative facts or fake news, somewhere in between the distractions are the things we should have our attention on including equitable healthcare for all, the water crisis in Flint, the growing number of failing public schools and for profit schools, gentrification of affordable living communities and the continued fight for basic human rights of many citizens. It's time refocus our thoughts, actions and efforts to continue the work of progression. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Have You Bought Wisdom?

Dr. Tony L. Burks, Educator and Writer, has written an amazing book, Bought Wisdom: Tales of Living and Learning. One of the things I cherish about my relationship with my great grandparents is the wisdom they shared with me. Often times, it was their stories that taught me how to forgive, love and embrace life as it comes.

Dr. Burks is an amazing story teller and his book is nothing short of a great example. Below are my thoughts and perspective of such life changing and inspiring experiences shared in Bought Wisdom.

Bought Wisdom displays the importance of experiences. Life teaches us how to feel comfortable with our ability when society can quite often make us feel as if our abilities aren't good enough. Dr. Burks experiences gave me hope in knowing that greatest is an endless journey, one in which we are steadily building our skill sets and stretching ourselves to do more than what's comfortable. In order to get to this place, we have to be willing to accept our capacity to learn.

As an Educator, Bought Wisdom showed me the power of having patience during the process. It helped me to connect the dots around the purpose in our pain. In order to see this, we have to know the limits of our capacity. This translates the pain of our experiences into purpose.

Learning is on going! Dr. Burk's tales of living and learning expresses heartfelt moments that reflects the power of applying what you've learned to healing not only the wounds of your past, but others as well. Sharing your story builds, inspires and elevates self actualization. One thing I've learned from Bought Wisdom is that the power of story telling helps to inspire us to our greatest potential while pushing us into greatness.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Bloody Hands

Unarmed, Black and Brown men, women, boys and girls being harassed, chased down, targeted, beaten, wounded, abused and KILLED in communities across this country. More outrage over dogs being fought than innocent lives been taken by the corruption of a system that was never designed for all to succeed. Americans being shot down in the streets by police officers who should be protecting citizens and policing crime. But it seem as if America has it backwards to where officers are policing citizens and protecting crime. Strengthening injustice through profiling stereotyping, labeling and targeting the least of them. America, there's blood on your hands. 

Preventing women, LGBT, veterans, disabled mentally ill, immigrants and marginalized groups from having back, human rights determines what side of history you will be on. In 2017, more groups that are not of the main, elite, White, Christian class are fighting for basic human rights to simply be able to walk down the street without being robbed, attached, profiled or gunned down. The hatred that keeps us divided also destroys the moral fiber of the American dream that we want to believe is not a nightmare for man. America, there's blood on your hands. 

America, your bloody hands have never been clean. We're suffocating from the hatred, injustice and blatant disregard of human life. Bloody hands that chain our children to failure, abandons our seniors and veterans, criminalizes people of color, shuns gays, bans Muslims, ships off immigrants and casts down women equality and empowerment all because of fear that those different from you will rise above the oppressive, dehumanizing expectations set. Bloody hands, blood on your hands, the blood of the people flood America's soil and will eventually drown the raise the bodies of innocent slain and cover the oppressors. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Pulling the Plug on Affordable Healthcare

Healthcare Reform is needed as it effects our lifespan. If we don't have adequate and equitable
resources to survive, then the least of them won't. We have to change systematic, oppressive notion of survival of the fittest when it comes to policies that govern our lives.Each school year, every season, as surely as time passes by, the neglect and lack of concern for equitable, quality and affordable healthcare for all Americans weighs in our education system. We often fail to look at the importance of affordable healthcare for families who have young children, those caring for their parents or loved ones or battling chronic illnesses. Policy makers have to over look how policy becomes the biggest threat to our health because of the lack of reliable resources. However, in reality we know that they are are.

The effects of affordable healthcare on mental wellness in our communities that attributes to several things including homelessness, crime, abuse, neglect, homicide and most importantly the early development of children. More families are disadvantaged at the early development stage creating more roadblocks to success for their family. In fact, it's a cycle that keeps the unprivileged, disadvantaged, overwhelmed and overlooked citizens oppressed.

We all play a role in the growing number of children developing learning disabilities due to poor living conditions, hazardous environments and the lack of proper healthcare. Children who are neglected and come to school without adequate hygiene or nourishment are victims to the lack of integrity this country has for it's own.

How Can We Help:
1. Support local church/ non profit food pantries
2. Advocate for quality grocery stores in food desserts
3. Write your local elected officials; hold them accountable
4. Post about it on Social Media to build awareness
5. Sign online petitions that support affordable healthcare reform
6. Ask questions in public meetings on how we can help
7. Stay up to date on affordable healthcare reform
8. Donate hygiene supplies to local schools

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I'm With Her!

It's time for us to accept that women are next in line to run the world. . . and I'm here for it. 

One of the greatest roles in my life has been to be the Chairman of a foundation supporting grandparents raising school aged children in honor of my great grandmothers; Lillie's Foundation and a stellar, innovative, all girls Charter school building tomorrow's global leaders; Ivy Preparatory Academy. It's a great privilege to honor, support and empower women, especially the Black, Brown and mixed raced women who have led, taught, carried, motivated, birthed, reared, protected, celebrated and created our people. 

Here's why I'm with her! 

  • Women leadership matters
  • Women bring a different perspective to the table 
  • Women think critical about dollars and cents 
  • Women think about the entire picture in a more critical way
  • Women understand the importance to removing barriers that impede upon the success of all 
It's important for us to train our young boys and girls to work together, support and celebrate each other. It's equally important for us to show that gender doesn't automatically qualify you to hold a certain role or have a certain degree of power. Empowering women to be leaders doesn't take away the influence of manhood. 

Our young girls are tomorrow's global leaders and we want to see our sisters, daughters, nieces, god children, students and friends break through the glass ceiling and surpass the successes of our past and present. In order to do that, we have to be intentional about how we build success pathways but that requires us to be present, engaged, resourceful and consistently in-tune with their dreams, hopes, fears and aspirations. This is why at Ivy Preparatory Academy, we are #IvyStrong; and it's why I'm with her! I believe in our girls. 

Check out how we're building tomorrow's global leaders, our girls! #Ivy