I wish they knew……
I wear an invisible sign that says please LOVE ME,
under the strong, independent exterior that most people see.
I’m not unfriendly,
I’m protecting a heart that’s easily broken.
I’m not angry,
My body is fighting pain that words cannot express.
I’m not that brave,
I’m actually scared to death of being hurt.
I’m not a workaholic,
I’m just committed to a future for my family.
I’m not alone,
but life can often make me feel lonely.
I LOVE MY KIDS and MY HUSBAND,
Their the only reason I keep going.
I’m unhappy with some events in my life,
BUT I’m GRATEFUL to be alive.
I’m just a little brown girl in a very big and cruel world,
doing her very best to survive.
My feelings are not WRONG
and many of the thoughts that consume me are not RIGHT.
This composition is not for approval,
just a little INSIGHT.
You know the old saying, “one bad apple spoils the bunch”? I’ve come to wonder if the writer was really referring to decision making. It has been three months since my last post and in that time I’ve faced a number of personal and professional “setbacks” if you will. These moments have not been due to a sudden car crash, unexpected illness or jump in gas prices, NO, nothing like that. Instead they have been result of past bad choices. Not a week ago past but 8-10 years ago past. Without warning, mistakes that I have worked diligently to rectify suddenly appear smack in the middle of my life. What happened to learning from mistakes? Moving on? Getting better? Why now? Why not then?
Let me begin by saying that I am in NO WAY denying responsibility for MY decisions. However, I do believe that a mistake should have immediate consequences and an opportunity to make amends. I was taught to “make good choices” but no one ever told me that in some ways mistakes NEVER stop biting you in the butt! Even if you learn your lesson from a youthful mistake, you could suffer consequences for a lifetime.
So now what? Well, I can’t change my past but I will be sure to tell my children the TRUTH about mistakes. No one is able to truly get past their mistakes. You lose a small piece of your future in each one you make. They are not fleeting or temporary; they are infectious. They are spoiled apples that will cause every other apple you produce to be a little less sweet, a little less shiny and harder to eat because of the stink bad apples have left behind in your life.
Punishment is now unfashionable… because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.
Today’s world is filled with two things in abundance, individuals and their opinions. The news cycle, magazines and social media are all filled with stories about the actions of others, followed by our commentary on them. In recent weeks, social media was in an uproar over the grooming of a child born to a certain musical power couple. Powerful words flew back and forth chastising the couples perceived missteps as well as supporters who protested that it “wasn’t anyone’s BUSINESS”. In isolation this statement seems harmless, but as I studied the comments and opinions I made an observation. Threaded within the fabric of social media and other public commentary were statements that read: “It’s My Life, I’ll live it how I want”, “Why does anyone care?”, “Unless you’re paying my bills keep your comments to yourself.” One after another, each phrase gave me the distinct feeling that men are becoming islands. But is that really possible? Can a person live independently of others when almost every aspect of our lives is interdependent?
I must admit that by being a teacher, I am inclined to believe that human beings should care about the condition of others. It could also be the voice of my mother telling me that “one bad apple spoils a bunch” as she would caution my blind support of certain people. Either way, I was raised to believe that “wrong is wrong” and “right is right” whether it is popular or not. I also realize that there are areas of gray in life and I am not here to discuss them right now. I’m simply talking about the blatant and in my opinion unacceptable ways we are justifying the destruction of the people we claim to love the most. Any statement that doesn’t boost someone’s ego, make them smile or feel warm and fuzzy is received with defensiveness, venom and backlash. When did we become so self-righteous that we no longer could recognize solid, practical and well-meaning ADVICE.
Individuals of conviction are supposed to be firm about their beliefs and it is often those individuals who move others to see the error of their ways and change. How can someone who is against abuse encourage a person to assault others? How can someone who believes in healthy eating provide bad food for a friend? Is one acting out of jealousy when they say that an outfit/picture/song/etc is inappropriate? Are you judgmental if you think someone struggling to raise kids alone should focus less on romance and more on stability or self-improvement? Can you really proclaim to be healthy when the weight on your bones prevents you from being active? WHERE DO WE DRAW THE LINE between being supportive and being an enabler? At the end of the day, adults WILL make their own choices about life. The thing is; how does one make a “choice” if they are never offered the alternative?
Yesterday was filled with the smell of grills burning, the taste of barbeque and the sound of fireworks. The 4th of July commemorates the day that the United States gained its own legal, separate identity from Mother England.
The word independent paints a picture of freedom, success and doing things your own way; alone. However, as I ponder the current state of affairs in this country, the myriad of cult like, follow the leader activities that seem to saturate the media say otherwise.
From Facebook to Instagram, there are daily hot topics shared repeatedly by the masses. I find myself often looking for glimmers of individuality and creative thinking as proof that we are not a society of brain washed robots dressed as human beings. Women follow the latest trends and emulate the wardrobe of Hollywood stars while men try to maintain their “swag”. The few who do pave their own way are seen as rebels, weird or just simply “different”. I wonder if our hard fought for freedom has only served to erase our individual identity. What do you think?
Dear Dads and Father Figures,
This time last year I found myself infuriated over the insensitive, over-the-top and unnecessary posts of women being wished HAPPY FATHER’S DAY either by themselves or their loved ones. Over the course of the year the pain I felt for great fathers like my husband, who had been robbed of the ONE AND ONLY day set aside for them, only grew deeper. I have voiced my concern about this senseless epidemic in the “African-American Community” (I didn’t see Hallmark making Father’s Day Cards for single mothers of other races….hmmmm) to my husband many times. Being the “glass half full” man that he is, his only reply was “Babe, they can’t take my day away. Don’t focus on them.”
He was absolutely right. Instead, I want to say some of the things that will be lost in the messages of others on YOUR day.
The little girl in me who still sometimes questions her natural beauty says THANK YOU for treating your little girl like a princess and giving her a secure sense of self that she will greatly appreciate one day.
As the mother of a pre-teen boy, I THANK YOU for instilling the values, lessons and strength that ONLY A MAN can provide. THANK YOU for teaching your children that real men know how to LOVE.
THANK YOU for respecting the mother of your child/children and ensuring that they grow up to do so as well.
THANK YOU for being a leader and making tough decisions for the well-being of your kids.
THANK YOU for understanding that a PROVIDER gives physical, mental, emotional and financial support. For if giving money was all it took, then loan officers should get cards too, lol.
Last but not least, THANK YOU SO MUCH for never attempting to hi-jack Mother’s Day although you too, may be raising children without any help.
This of course does not cover ALL of the reasons you deserve to be honored on today but I hope that it helps to know that some women still believe that Father’s Day should be about YOU.
A Diamond Breed