Tag Archives: Ronald Reagan

Commentary: #45

trumpI have chosen not to say the name Donald Trump anymore because in my view he is an illegitimate president. Therefore, the number 45 is my identification for me. He must be feeling the heat of being the worst president in history but then that depends on your perspective. The numbers don’t matter because if you are a bigot, he is great to them because he is taking rights away from the “coloreds”. However, for all others, he is a disaster!

Since most sane people have come to realize that he is nothing more than a con-man and a huckster to which they know he plans to take away “white rights” too; can we assume it’s the beginning the beginning of the end of the Trump regime; it looks like it’s mighty close. There are people leaving his administration like there is a virus in the White House. We can only hope that Flynn’s testimony is damning enough to take the whole administration down with him.

With the surprise announcement that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who was fired by the last president and this one, is seeking immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony before the congressional Intelligence Committees, which he will not get. #45 will see that they eat their own. Like with Watergate he will cop a plea, resign, and the VP will pardon him. Then we get a more dangerous president in Pence and the same cast of characters will remain in place. Not only do I think of Nixon with him but Reagan also, they don’t tell you this about Reagan, there were about thirty of his senior administration figures “went to jail” under him, they were also caught bringing drugs into America.

A former member of Bill Clinton’s White House staff and a veteran of multiple presidential campaigns, Claude Taylor tweeted out this bombshell last week, citing an “independent journalist” who said they have multiple sources stating that Trump is already considering his options in the wake of the ever-expanding Russiagate scandal. As he should be! But let’s not forget white folk made him president to do two things (1) to take back their country and two (2) to make Pence president!

It bears noting that there is a recent historical precedent for a presidential resignation under fire. In 1974 President Nixon tendered his resignation when it became apparent that he was about to be impeached and convicted over the Watergate break-in of the Democratic Party headquarters and caught lying about it. He was subsequently pardoned by his Vice-president, Gerald Ford when he took over the presidency in the wake of Nixon’s departure. So again, they are using the same playbook.

Now that Michael Flynn is scrambling to save himself by seeking immunity from prosecution, it is fairly safe to assume that he is responsible for something that would be prosecutable. Everybody #45 has appointed is a billionaire, corrupt or a family member.  So the question remains who else would be impacted or implicated in his testimony; if he were to appear before either of the congressional committees currently investigating the Russian interference in the election and the Trump campaigns ties to Russia. Everybody around him seemed to be have been connected to the Russia’s, who are suppose to be America’s adversary. The only thing true that #45 has said was that “the system is rigged”! Frankly, they could have asked any black person to know that!

I know his loyal bigoted friend will disagree but even they must agree that they would never have stood for the black president having accumulated so much scandal. While tweets from Twitter may not convince anyone of the veracity of the reports beginning to surface of a potential resignation, even some prominent Republicans are reaching the same conclusion or making suggestions of a looming impeachment may be a pipedream but this guy is in way over his head.

According to West Wing Reports, it is rumored that Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele thinks that Trump will not finish his term and is advising his consulting clients to cozy up to Vice-President Pence. If this isn’t the beginning of the end of the Trump regime, it looks like it’s mighty close. We can only hope that Flynn’s testimony is damning enough to take the whole administration down with him. Let us not forget, his own FBI is investigating him!

The old heads know; we have seen this before and to sum up the state of affairs in America today “it’s a fine mess”! The only appropriate end to this regime will be jail for those involved and this administration so far is proving to be a disaster. Think about this; they will erase this part of history and make him a saint like they did with Reagan! And that is my thought provoking perspective…


Congratulations President Obama On Receiving A Second Nobel Peace Prize

551511_873990625956130_495015768969512347_nThe Norwegian Nobel Committee, based in Oslo Norway, announced yesterday the name of their laureate for the 2015 Nobel Prize for Peace. President Barack Hussain Obama is their selection for this year’s prestigious award. With the Nobel Institutes selection, President Obama becomes the third man ever to win a Nobel Prize more than one time. He joins legendary physicist John Bardeen and brilliant chemist Fredrick Sanger, who were each awarded two Nobel’s in their respective fields.

President Obama’s first Nobel Peace Prize was awarded by the committee shortly after he took office in 2009. Viewed as contentious at the time, his selection as a laureate was described by the committee as being due to his creation in international politics of a new political climate which emphasized multilateralism and his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. Strong objections were raised at the time by many who were critical of the Nobel Committee’s choice of President Obama.

Many argued that his selection so soon after having ascended to the Presidency was a political handout from the Norwegians. He had not been in a position to effect international diplomacy for any measurable time. Nor had he actually accomplished any action of note that had led to the spread of international peace. It seemed that he had been selected for no other reason than that he was elected to the Presidency.

Fast forward to the year 2015 and the Nobel Committee has once again selected President Obama, though this time he has had ample time and opportunity to make his mark upon the world stage. The Nobel Committee cited three separate contributing factors which led to their choice of President Obama a second time. The first was his for his leadership in brokering a diplomatic solution to the disarmament of chemical weapons in Syria. The second was for his strong commitment to drawing down the military presence of The United States in foreign countries, most notably Afghanistan and Iraq. The third was for his strong and continuing support of the United Nations and international law. Specifically his commitment to the U.N Assembly to move aggressively forward on U.N. resolution 21 and provide support for UNODA.

The peace prize will be awarded to President Obama on October the tenth of this year at the Nobel Institute’s Oslo headquarters. President Obama has expressed his gratitude to the Nobel Committee for their consideration of him as a laureate. He has subsequently pledged to donate the cash portion of the annual Nobel Prize to several charities that serve the domestic United States.

As reported by the National Report – See more at: http://nationalreport.net/obama-receive-second-nobel-peace-prize/#sthash.F26UOKZu.dpuf

The conservatives say Reagan was the greatest president of our time, but I say “hell no”! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

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A Conversation On Race

Image1.I have thought long and hard about writing this post about the mythical concept of having a conversation about race as our president suggests. Personally, I am so tired of hearing after each brutal incident or racial issue that we are told to be non-violent and that this is a teachable moment.

Frankly, both are insulting! For example, do you think anything would have changed in Baltimore if the riots had not occurred? NO, it was the acts of violence that brought the media who told the story of the continued problem of race relations and the poverty that is compared to a third world country on American shores.

I can start and finish the conversation on race in one sentence. “Go to church on Sunday, look around as you worship, and you will realize that it is the most segregated hour and place in America.” How can you have a conversation with people who have you believing that the Savor looks like them!

I take issue with those from the right and those of the other hue who paint every African American as a thug, baby momma, or worst. Let me remind you that there are the hairs of the people during slavery that saw all Negroes as slaves: freeman or not – a view based on skin color.

In the 1960s, there were also people of that ilk when asked about the March on Washington said in overwhelming numbers that “Martin Luther Coon”, as they referred to him, was stirring up trouble. They said there was no problem with race. When, in fact, Negroes could not use the same toilet or drink out of the same water fountain.

I think it’s safe to say that every living soul can see that racism exists in our culture, particularly directed toward black men. From the beginning of the nation, by law, and laws decided by the Supreme Court expressed such as truth. How in God’s name can there be a conversation? I would compare them to those Whites who chose to die rather than admit that slavery was wrong and should end. Bill O, Sean H and those of the Fox News crowd who has ginned-up like minded people with the view that “there is nothing to see her”. Oh, let’s not forget the Drugster who has said he wants to refer to African Americans as “Niggers”.

Let’s be honest, the subject of race has been with us and against “us” from the day they wrote the Constitution. It was always intended that “Coloreds” be a nation of people living in a nation without a nationality. This is about “privilege” for those who have been the majority and know that it is threatened. As the country continues to evolve it is predicted that as soon as the next generation that privilege may soon end, which is why Voting Rights laws were gutted.

I can go on and on about the historical facts that are clear and present. They called it the building of a nation. We call it building a nation on our backs and through slavery meant we got nothing as a result. Just look at police misconduct and killing; it should show all people that “racism is here”. The fact is that it has been prevalent for the last four-hundred year with ample evidence to support this claim. Therefore, any so-called conversation will be like striking a match in a windstorm.

Therefore, the so-called conversation on race in any serious way is like striking a match in a windstorm. Any sense of a conversation is mute because white folk do not believe there is a problem – never have and never will, as they are the beneficiaries of this terrorist behavior. Or more simply put – nothing to see here!!! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


The King of Kings

th (12)For two-thousand years the story of a life and death has altered the world’s perception of life and death. The story of a Jewish carpenter from an ancient city, betrayed by a friend, and executed by the state for being the King of Kings. The man, Jesus the Christ, whose story is the most compelling and well-known story ever told. In fact, it has come to be known as the “Greatest Story Ever Told” by so many and not one word written by the man himself.

I have a few questions for the faithful. How is it that you can or claim to love God who you cannot see? yet you cannot love the man who you can see. Many of you do not transfer the teachings of Christ to the living human being. Why are so many wars fought in the name of God, when it is surely not his design to kill, maim, and visit devastation upon the souls of man?

It is said, “We walk by faith, not by sight” and that “faith is believing true that which is unseen”. We believe in spite of the many versions rewritten by conquers and false images created to depict the Holy deity as a white European man painted by Michael Angelo. When history tells us there was no word GOD in any African language before the coming of Europeans!

I will tell you that there were only two peoples living in that region of the world during the time of Christ. One would have been Roman and the other would have been African in a place known as Palestine, not Israel. In fact that was the first lie of Christianity that Jesus was not black and the second was that the foundation of the story was recorded thousands of years before this man’s birth.

It is believed that he raised the dead, walked on water, fed the poor, and healed the sick. All of which was written by others after his death much in the same way man created this place called “Hell”. This brings me back to religion that resembles nothing like what Jesus taught while he walked among us. Many tend to wrap themselves in the clichés of the “Word” and take every word literally while they give to the greedy and not the needy.

Let’s be clear religion is a business used as a mental tool of man. Jesus said he will return and if he were to visit your church – you would not let him in? If I offend anyone – sorry – but being a Christian is more than posting cute religious pictures with bible verses on your Facebook wall and Instagram!

My Grandfather told me, when I asked as a young boy – what would happen when we get to heaven. He told me Christians will get three surprises when they reach heaven. (1) They will be surprised who they see when they get there. (2) They will be surprised who they don’t see when they get there and (3) they will be surprised if the make it there themselves.

All Jesus asked of us was to “Give Each Other LOVE!” And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…


The Oscar Grant Murder

If memory serves me correctly Moses came off of Mount Sinai with two tablets given to him by God that said, “Thou shall not kill”, which means murdering a human being is a capital sin. I wonder if there was a subtext on the tablet that says unless you are the police or vigilante. We see repeated cases where the judicial system places the people who seem to think they are above the law. Oh, they are because justice says its OK, particularly if the victim is a black man.

The case of Oscar Grant involved an “incident” where a former BART Officer, Johannes Mehserle, on the morning of Jan. 1, 2009, fired a fatal shot into the back of Oscar Grant III while he was on the ground being restrained by several Officers. Mehserle is white, Grant was black. The Officers excuse to justify his action was that he was “reaching for his taser”, which by the way happened to be on the opposite side of his body. So the jury was required to second-guess whether the transit-system cop intended to reach for his gun or his Taser.

In this case like many others, i.e., Rodney King that was among the most racially polarizing cases in California where four Los Angeles officers were acquitted, was captured on videotape. In fact, there were at least five videotapes by different bystanders of this shooting incident. Now, in the mind of a reasonable person and what I saw, it looked like murder. Yet, the verdict that was rendered by the jury was clearly different to that opinion. The jury said, felt, believed, and viewed this crime from what they saw “through evidence” as a case that showed an act of involuntary manslaughter and an unintentional accident due to criminal negligence.

Apparently the jurors didn’t believe Mehserle acted without regard for Grant’s life nor did they believe he was provoked and acted in the heat of passion. Instead, they found that he acted negligently, but without malice resulting in a guilty verdict of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a 2 – 4 year jail term or less depending upon “time served”.

It was a quick verdict. The case was given to the jury on Friday. Monday was a holiday. A juror was sick Tuesday. And then on Wednesday, one juror was replaced because of a previously scheduled vacation, forcing the jury to restart deliberations with a new member. Talks that day were cut short because of another juror’s medical appointment. So Thursday was the first time jurors had the opportunity to deliberate for a full day. But by mid-afternoon, they had reached a verdict.

It was reported that this was never a clear-cut case in spite of the overwhelming video evidence we saw “with our lying eyes” over and over again. These same voices said there’s an important point to remember here: Reasonable minds could have looked at the evidence from the three-week trial and come to different conclusions. Therefore, with respect for the legal process and respecting the jurors’ verdict that might not be perfect in the minds of many, it was a rational outcome concerning a reasoned process. In other words the word ‘guilty’ is not expected to be heard involving cops.

The jury’s conviction on a lesser charge than murder raised concerns of a repeat of the unrest in Oakland that followed in the initial days after the shooting. There were scattered incidents of violence reported Thursday night and unfortunately those fears have been realized. Police arrested at least 83 people in Oakland Thursday night for failing to disperse, resisting arrest, burglary, vandalism and assaulting a police officer. Protesters defiled several downtown smashing windows, sporadic looting, busted doorways and some newly scrawled walls with graffiti.

Let me be clear, laws are necessary as it relates to maintaining civilization and it is required to have law enforcement to insure order or as they say protect and serve. However, every police shooting, particularly those of this nature, is not justified and deaths like Grant’s must not be forgotten or tolerated because if history is any indication there are sure to be more in the future.

Let’s not resign ourselves to accept that there is an unwritten code of unfairness and wrong that is ingrained within the system of justice that cannot be addressed and corrected. Maybe the comedic genius Richard Pryor was right when he famously said; as it relates to JUSTICE what we get is JUST-US. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

SEE FOR YOURSELF!!!


Affirm Section 5 Of The Voting Rights Act

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The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was enacted to ensure that African Americans had a right that has almost always been denied since they arrived here in chains. The opposing parties are asking the Court to end a requirement forcing Alabama and other southern states to get Department of Justice approval to change its voting procedures and electoral maps.

The Voting Rights Act already allows governments that have changed their ways to get out from under this humbling need to get permission through a “bailout provision.” Nearly 250 counties and local jurisdictions have done so; thousands more could be eligible based on the absence of recent discriminatory efforts in voting. My question and it should be of every African American is why Section 5 should be removed?

History tells us that after the Civil War when slavery ended, wink, there were very clever measures designed to deny African Americans the supposed most sacred right to vote. There were Amendments to the Constitution that should have been sufficient. However, those Anti-Americans who preached liberty and justice for all found ways to circumvent the law. They used such things as Poll Taxes, Literacy Tests, and when all else failed Terror.

Then there came an era called Reconstruction which resulted in what they called “Separate but Equal” which was nothing more than American Apartheid. Of course that worked out well for the racial extremist. It took one hundred years for America to pass a law that was meaningful to work to some degree, the Voting Rights Act, and now was to dismantle.

Let’s take a look at some very recent history, like last year and last month, to see why this provision should not be removed. In the last election, Republican went to many extremes to suppress minority votes through a myriad of state laws making it a mission to deny their right to vote.  The consequences of those desperate maneuvers, along with the accompanying vitriolic rhetoric, restrictive voter ID laws, encouraged Electoral College gimmickry and professed themselves unconcerned about long wait times at polling places tells us why this act is needed.

The viability of the bailout option could play an outsized role in the Supreme Court’s consideration of the voting rights law’s prior approval provision, although four years ago, conservative Justice Clarence Thomas said the prospect of bailing out had been “no more than a mirage.”

I can vividly remember “Bloody Sunday,” nearly 50 years ago, when 600 peaceful, nonviolent protesters attempting to march from Selma to Montgomery to dramatize the need for voting rights protection in Alabama. As they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, state troopers under orders from the Governor attacked with tear-gassed, clubbed, whipped, and trampled them with horses. Seventeen marchers were hospitalized that day.

In response, President Lyndon Johnson introduced the Voting Rights Act and later signed it into law. It is very clear that America has come a great distance since then, in large part thanks to the act, but efforts to undermine the voting power of minorities did not end after 1965. They still persist today. Just because a man of color is the president does not mean the battle is won.

John Lewis, a Democrat, represents Georgia’s 5th District in the U.S. Housel

Voting rights is still and danger. So let’s not tamper with one of the few laws that have been a beacon to this thing called Democracy. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


The Second Amendment

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With all that talk about the Second Amendment I wonder if you knew the real reason for the Second Amendment. Did you know why it says “State” instead of “Country”? Well, much like most early laws it was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia’s vote. What was called militias initially; it was a reference to “slave patrols” regulated by the states.

Laws were passed in Georgia, for example, that required all plantation owners or their male white employees to be members of the Georgia Militia, and for those armed militia members to make monthly inspections of the quarters of all slaves in the state. The Georgia statutes required patrols, under the direction of commissioned militia officers, to examine every plantation each month and authorized them to search ‘all Negro Houses for offensive Weapons and Ammunition’ and to apprehend and give twenty lashes to any slave found outside plantation grounds.

Let me add that this was not germane to Georgia alone but most southern slave holding states!

Before and up to the signing of the Constitution hundreds of substantial slave uprisings had occurred across the South.  Blacks outnumbered whites in many areas, and the state militias were used to both prevent and to put down slave uprisings. The fact is that slavery could only exist in the context of a police state, and the enforcement of that police state was the explicit job of the militias.

Think about it, if slaves had guns then they could be emancipated, which would collapse the institution of slavery, and the southern economic and social systems.

I am not going to expound upon this debate further because when black people, i.e., the Black Panthers, tried to exercise their right under the Second Amendment am going to agree with the profound actor Danny Glover who made this comment on the Second Amendment something called CONITEL was developed and the California Governor sign a bill to deny that right.

The fact is that the Second Amendment was conceived largely to preserve the institution of slavery and to suppress Native Americans. Actor and Activist Danny Glover said this recently: “I don’t know if you know the genesis of the right to bear arms,” Glover said. “The Second Amendment comes from the right to protect themselves from slave revolts, and from uprisings by Native Americans. So, a revolt from people who were stolen from their land, or revolt from people whose land was stolen from, that’s what the genesis of the Second Amendment is.”

Anyone who has read the Constitution knows that it says nothing about the rights of people of color or women. Therefore to think that the Second Amendment had anything to do with the rights of all people are simply wrong.

I am a veteran, served this country, and love it but something there is a huge void between fact and fiction. I would suggest that all of us be careful when those on the right and others connect the word of a Dr. Martin Luther King to this debate, as again it is fiction far from fact. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


13 Ways to Stop Stealing From Yourself

28959_426173968522_7887579_nAre you a thief? If you are in debt and have no savings or retirement you are a thief and are stealing from yourself.  According to a new report by the Consumer Federation of America and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, 38% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.  One out of every 7 Americans has 10 credit cards.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, more Americans owe money on student loans than on credit cards. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) estimates that 30 million Americans have debt with collection agencies. 43% of Americans spend more than they earn.   According to a new University of Michigan report 1 out of 5 families owes more on credit cards, medical bills, student loans and other unsecured debt than they have in savings.

Many Americans have no emergency fund and little or no retirement savings. According to EBRI’s 2012 Retirement Confidence Survey 60% of employees state that the value of their savings and investments is less than $25,000.  Due to the recession and its after-effects many Americans were unemployed for long periods of time and exhausted their savings and retirement accounts and racked up mounds of debt.

Each time you swipe your credit card interest is accruing on the credit card balance.  If you don’t pay the balance off at the end of the month your credit card balance will continue to grow.  Paying for an item with a credit card on average costs 110% more than the original cost of the item.  Owing credit card debt makes the credit card companies rich and makes you poor.

Many Americans are so focused on paying down debt they forget about saving money.  No matter how much debt you owe you should also contribute to a savings account. Invest in yourself by contributing to a savings account.  You should have enough in an emergency savings account that covers your total monthly expenses and bills for 9-12 months.  You should put yourself first and follow the “Pay Yourself First” principle by putting money aside towards a savings account even if it is $1 a week then pay everyone else.

If you are living paycheck to paycheck find a way to reduce your spending such as bring your lunch to work, skip the Starbucks and bring your own coffee from home, shop at discount grocery stores and discount stores such as Aldi’s, Save-a-Lot, Wal-Mart, Target, Bottom Dollar Food, Grocery Outlet and buy store brands, use coupons. You may prefer to buy meat, dairy products and fruits and vegetables at a local farmers market or a regular grocery store.

Buying items you cannot afford it simply stealing from yourself.  Buying a car that costs more than your annual salary, owning a home that is upside down, owing student loans with a balance of $50,000 or more is not practical and causes extreme financial hardship.  If you make sacrifices earlier in life and do research to find the best offer for a loan or credit card, contribute regularly to a savings account and educate yourself about interest rates, credit card and personal finance you will be in a better financial position.  You will have to make hard sacrifices to get yourself out of debt.  Here are 13 ways to stop stealing from your yourself.

  1. Pay in full. Pay balance in full each month to avoid paying finance charges.
  2. Pay bi-monthly. Pay half of the balance with 1st paycheck of the month then pay the remaining balance with 2nd paycheck of the month.
  3. Pay weekly. Pay the minimum monthly payment the 1st week after you get the bill, and then each week pay as much as you can toward the monthly balance. Repeat this every month.
  4. Pay extra. Pay as much as you can when you get the bill, and then pay more towards the bill when you get extra money.
  5. Automate. Set up automatic payments from your checking account the day you receive your paycheck or the day after you receive your paycheck to pay down debt.
  6. Use unexpected income. Use your income tax refund, economic stimulus check, bonus check or sell new or used items on eBay.
  7. Negotiate. Negotiate for a lower interest rate, get fees waived or request a settlement to help reduce the balance owed to make it easier to pay down debt.
  8. Create a budget.  Balance your checkbook and create a budget to identify what you owe, what you earn and what you spend to find areas where you can reduce spending. Pay no more than 35% of your total monthly income towards housing, pay no more than 15% towards transportation, pay no more than 10% towards debt excluding mortgage, pay 10% towards savings and pay no more than 25% towards remaining expenses to create a balanced budget.
  9. Live Below Your Means.  Buy needs vs. wants; buy only the things you need, delay the things you want until you have the money to purchase the item.
  10. Pay with cash. Use credit cards for emergencies only and purchase items with cash.
  11. Purchases. Avoid making bad decisions such as buying rent-to-own furniture or buying a big screen television and other items that have no value.
  12. Pay on time. Avoid paying late fees whenever possible. If you know you will pay a bill late contact the company to setup payment arrangements.
  13. Keep balances low. Keep credit card balances at 20% or less of the credit limit.
By Harrine Freeman, Speaker, Financial Trainer
202-251-2503
One of Black Enterprises’ TOP 12 FINANCIAL MINDS (2010)
Winner of the 2011 New York Book Festival
Author How to Get Out of Debt: Get an “A” Credit Rating for Free

http://www.hefreemanenterprises.com/

htpp://johntwills.com


CONGRATULATION POTUS

Today is a great day that will never be surpassed by the passage of time; rather it will be permanently etched in the pages of history forever more. What we are witnessing today is something that was beyond the imagination of anyone living or dead. From that day in the summer of 1619 when the first slave was dragged onto the shores of this place called “merica” to begin a journey of degradation and suffering as chattel. The wretchedness and evil placed upon a people of African descent in the name of God to remain the least of thee.

Matthew 20:16
So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many are called, but few chosen.

From this day: Happy King Day

To this day: God Bless POTUS and Family

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Let us march ahead and never turn back! And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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Granddaddy’s Lesson

grace 1My grandfather is always on my mind and in my novel “Just a Season” I featured him endearingly. I chose to do so because he was a huge influence upon who I am today. In that novel I devote a chapter to one of his more profound teachings, or as he would say “learn me”. If you have not read this epic novel – I would only suggest that you do because you will see the world through new eyes. What follows is an excerpt that I call Granddaddy’s Lesson.

Today we live in a world where there is no more Granddaddy to share that precious wisdom necessary to guide our young men and women into adulthood. I was very fortunate or maybe blessed, to have had a loving grandfather who shared many valuable lessons with me. These lessons formed the foundation of my very being…

“Granddaddy would say if you really hear me, not just listen to me, you will inherit life’s goodness. I would hear him talk about things like “God bless the child that’s got his own.” He constantly reminded me that everything that ever existed came from a just-single thought, and if you can think it, you can figure out how to do it just put your mind to it. I would also constantly hear that a man must be able to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done regardless of the circumstances. “I raised you to be a man and as a man, you don’t know what you will have to do, but when the time comes, do it.” Granddaddy drove home the point, the difference between a man and a boy is the lessons he’s learned.

Granddaddy would also say you will always have an enemy. Your enemy is anyone who attempts to sabotage the assignment God has for your life. Your enemy is anybody who may resent you doing positive things and will be unhappy because of your success. These people will attempt to kill the faith that God has breathed within you. They would rather discuss your past than your future because they don’t want you to have one. Your enemy should not be feared. He would say it is important to understand that this person usually will be close to you. He would tell me to use them as bridges, not barricades. Therefore, it is wise to make peace with your enemy.

“Just remember these things I say to you.” I certainly could not count all of these things, as it seemed like a million or more that I was supposed to remember. However, he asked me to remember above all else that there is no such thing as luck. The harder you work at something the luckier you get. I would tell him that I was lucky, maybe because I had won a ballgame or something. He would smile and tell me luck is only preparation meeting opportunity. Life is all about survival and if you are to survive – never bring a knife to a gunfight. This would be just as foolish as using a shotgun to kill a mosquito. Then he asked me to remember that it is not the size of the dog in the fight; it is the size of the fight in the dog.

Granddaddy’s words had so much power, although it would often require some thinking on my part to figure out what he was talking about, or what the moral of the story was supposed to be. It may have taken awhile but I usually figured it out. For example, always take the road less traveled, make your own path, but be sure to leave a trail for others to follow. Life’s road is often hard; just make sure you travel it wisely. If you have a thousand miles to go, you must start the journey with the first step. During many of these lessons, he would remind me not to let your worries get the best of you.

Sometimes he would use humor. For example, he would say something like “Moses started out as a basket case.” Although most often he assured me that hard times will come and when they come, do not drown in your tears; always swim in your blessings. He would tell me he had seen so much and heard even more, in particular those stories from his early life when dreadful atrocities were done to Negroes. Some of the stories included acts of violence such as lynchings, burnings, and beatings. He would make a point to explain that the people who did these things believed they were acting in the best interest of society.

He would tell me about things he witnessed over time, that many of these atrocities were erased from the memory of society regardless how horrible the event was. Society’s reasoning would make you think their action was right, fair, and justified. Granddaddy would add, if history could erase that which he had witnessed and known to be true, how can you trust anything history told as truth? He would emphasize that I should never, never believe it, because nothing is as it seems.

I would marvel at his wisdom. He would tell me to always set my aim higher than the ground. Shoot for the stars because if you miss you will only land on the ground and that will be where everybody else will be. When he would tell me this, he would always add, please remember you are not finished because you are defeated. You are only finished if you give up. He would usually include a reminder. Always remember who you are and where you came from. Never think you are too big because you can be on top of the world today and the world can be on top of you tomorrow.

I think Granddaddy had the foresight to see that I could do common things in life in an uncommon way, that I could command the attention of the world around me. Granddaddy impressed upon me that change is a strange thing. Everyone talks about it but no one ever tries to affect it. It will take courage and perseverance to reach your place of success. Just remember that life -is not a rehearsal. It is real and it is you who will create your destiny don’t wait for it to come to you. He would say, can’t is not a word. Never use it because it implies failure. It is also smart to stay away from those who do use it.

He would tell me that I was an important creation, that God gave a special gift to me for the purpose of changing the world around me. It may be hard sometimes, you may not understand, you may have self-doubt or hesitation, but never quit. God gave it to you so use it wisely. He would add often times something biblical during his teaching, or so I thought, like to whom much is given, much is expected. It is because we needed you that God sent you. That statement profoundly gave me a sense of responsibility that I was duty-bound to carry throughout my life.

Granddaddy’s inspiration, courage, and motivation still humble me, and I’m filled with gratitude that his example profoundly enriched my soul. So much so that in those times of trouble, when the bridges are hard to cross and the road gets rough, I hear Granddaddy’s gentle voice reciting words once spoken by the Prophet Isaiah: “Fear not for I am with you.”

Excerpt from “Just a Season”
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(c) 2008

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