Friday, December 19, 2008


“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start”

Recently these words of Nido Qubein have been in my mind. To me she speaks of self-belief and overcoming adversity. To rise above any circumstances in America where the odds are against you, you first have to believe that you can achieive.Then you have to distance yourself from people who would love to see you fail. The sad thing about this is that some of the people you will have to give the “stiff arm” are family, friends and possibly lovers. For all it takes to overcome adverse conditions you will have to dig extra deep to separate yourself from those you love. I never said it would be easy, or that it has been for me, but that is why it’s called adversity. After you surround yourself with supportative friends and find yourself a mentor you are prepared to go through any situation one may face, so go get’em!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008


When I hear “the world is at your fingertips” I’m put in the mind frame of a little kid being told they can “do anything” by their parent. Now that I’m an adult and searching for my “anything” I’m finding that phrase rings truer today then at anytime in history. What is unsettling about the amazing progress brought about by the internet is that most poor people either don’t have access or haven’t realized the power of this tool. Imagine the cultural change if every single citizen had reliable internet access. Current stats show that home internet access is on the rise in households at or below the poverty line. If programs where created to teach adult internet and computer literacy the positive ramifications will reverberate through our community for generations to come.

Photo credit: business watch international

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Giant’s receiver Plaxico Burress wanted to go out with a teammate and decided to bring a gun. By the end of the evening he ended up in the hospital with a self inflected gun shot wound to the leg. Now the 31 year old receiver is facing a few felonies and mandatory jail time. Most people are looking at this situation from the same angle. He should have not had a gun the first place! In his case maybe your right. In cases where high profile athletes decided to enjoy the local night life with a firearm, for personal protection, responsible and legally, I have no problem with that. I mean what would you do if you where in a dark crowed room and everybody knew how much you made?

It is hard to criticize pro-athletes after incidents like Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics for wanting to carry firearms. In Plaxico case he wasn’t an athlete trying to be something he’s not. Facts are he has a concealed handgun license out of Florida and he has done many good works for the community. It is still up to the New York criminal system to punish Plaxico. One would hope a hole in the leg and loss of game day checks would be punishment enough.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A House Divided...

Recently I watched some news reports out of Chicago where 250 fired workers staged a sit-in to protest against the loss of their jobs and the actions of those they feel are responsible, the employer, Republic Window and Door and Bank of America. You see Bank of America refuse to continue offering credit to Republic which resulted in them closing their doors. The out of work men and women carried signs saying “Bank of America – you got bailed out – we got sold out” drawing international attention and making their fight the focal point of millions of frustrated unemployed Americans. All this coupled with watching the Big 3 humble themselves at Capitol Hill hoping to avoid failure and the resulting staggering number of job losses made me think about the increasing void between the haves and the have not’s as well as a old speech by Malcolm X.

I believe, should these companies be allowed to fail the additional losses and the resulting ripple effect will cause a rift in the social fabric of our society. These events are, if you will, creating a perfect storm with the middle class at its center. If we continue at this pace the division between the two classes could create the same turmoil as the last time America divided it’s self into two.

As Malcolm said, “I believe that there will ultimately be clash between the oppressed and those who do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation. I believe that there will be that kind of clash, but I don’t think it will be based on the color of the skin…” Even if you don’t vote or care about equally rights for the ‘working class’ and have a secure career, be aware all Americans care for and will fight for money.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Follow the Leader

Recently I watched three young, yet adult men ruff house and play around while waiting at a bus stop. As I casually observed them it was obvious that the two older boys were through with kid games and wanted to get into something a bit more serious. It surprised me that their plans changed after the youngest one voiced his disapproval. I was baffled at first that the boy’s opinion was valued over the rest. Then it hit me, the reason they listen to the younger boy is that he is their leader. I doubt that they would have been into too much trouble, but it demonstrates the importance of positive leadership in ones life.

Everything falls back on leadership. From CEOs, sports teams, our relationships and even the President. Our successes and failures lie in who we decide to follow. Choose wisely.