Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I did it!!!

Well, your boy can say that he's done what he set out to do.  Around the middle of May, I enrolled at the University of Phoenix in a class called Orientation to the Exceptional Child.  It's basically a course about special education.  It's the course you are to take to gain your provisional license in special education.  It was very difficult.  I had some rough patches in my life during the class, causing me to wonder if I could concentrate on this class and doing well in it.  However I persevered.  I had people in my life who encouraged me and pushed me forward.  Not just that, but the people who encouraged me FAR outnumbered those who lacked faith in my skills.  I am so thankful for the encouragers in my life.  This is a shout out to you.  You mean so much to me.  I'm typing this through tears because I really needed that push from you guys.  Thank you so much for caring so much about who I am and not letting me forget that I can do all things through Christ.  I can do all things with the power of God and godly people in my life.  Even those who aren't believers encouraged me and I'm thankful for you.  I know that at times I could be my own worst enemy.  I tried to do the right thing and it ended up biting me in the backside.  However you folks never stopped believing in me. Not only did I complete my task, I got a 95 in the class.  That's pretty good for a guy who hadn't done school in almost 10 years.  Now it's time to pray that 1) my transcript doesn't get lost in the mail and 2) that someone in the county wants me as a special education teacher and wants me bad enough to hire me like tomorrow.  Well that's a stretch, but I wouldn't mind at least a month.  Again, I'm so thankful for all your support.  God bless you all.  You're not just my friends, you're my family.  We proved again that any person can do anything with God's grace and friendly encouragement from people who truly want to see you succeed.  Do NOT let anyone tell you that you can't do anything.  Don't let anyone tell you that you're not good enough, smart enough, talented enough, or anything else that would bring you down.  You take those words and let them motivate you to BIG THINGS.  There's a difference between being real and being a complete hindrance to someone.  Don't doubt other people's abilities.  Be their friend and encourage them.  Let that person decide when they aren't good enough for something.  You have no clue what someone is capable of.  My friends, fight the urge to quit when people tell you that you're not any good.  Beat the odds created by doubters and naysayers.  Win the battle of wills.  From now on, no person will ever tell me I'm not good enough without serious repercussions.  Those serious repercussions are not limited to proving you SO WRONG that people look at you like you're an idiot for even thinking I wasn't capable.  When you look at your family and friends (what little friends you'll have with all the doubt in your heart) and have to explain to them why you aren't celebrating my success, that's all the backlash I need.  Keep doubting me, and keep doubting people.  You'll see how wrong you are and you'll see that life always comes full circle.  God's good to me like that.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Forgiveness...How to Do It in Twelve Thousand Easy Steps

Forgive according to dictionary.com means:
1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.
2. to give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).
3. to grant pardon to (a person).
4. to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one's enemies.
5. to cancel an indebtedness or liability of: to forgive the interest owed on a loan.
I wanted to stress that fourth definition.  I have been having trouble with forgiveness lately.  I was hurt very badly by someone I thought cared about me.  And for a while, I harbored some harsh harsh feelings about it.  Even though I believe I did everything correct, I didn't do one thing right.  I didn't forgive.  I didn't cease resentment like I was supposed to.  I tried to let go, but I couldn't get over the pain.  So I did something today, I told the person who hurt me that she and her family were forgiven by me.  I don't have a hatred for them at all, never really did.  However I did have anger in my heart from the hurt.  Everyday consisted of inner dialogue over how upset I was over the hurt I felt.  Everyday, my mind was filled with "how could this have ended differently?"  Now that I have forgiven, I can honestly say that I don't care how it could have ended differently.  I did what God told me to do.  God told me to forgive my enemies and bless those that persecute you.  So with this, I can say that I am done.  Now, will I forgive and forget?  No way.  God doesn't let you go through the trials you go through just to forget them.  He uses them as teaching tools so that when you're in that situation again, you can answer the question "how do I get through this?"  My heart is clear.  My conscience is appeased.  God is happy with me for what I did.  I couldn't care less anymore what the other person thinks.  I couldn't care less if the other person perceives me as a bad person.  I know that I did what God wanted me to do in our entire relationship and for that, I'm proud of myself.  I'm proud of my ability to let God work through me so that I could do what He wanted.  So again, I say that you who have hurt me are forgiven.  You that prejudged me before you knew me are forgiven.  God has blessed me with wonderful people in my life that refuse to let me feel bad.  I am surrounded by wonderful friends who have nothing but my best interest in mine.  God will show those who hurt me what for.  He always does.  Sometimes I have to ask God to have mercy on those that hurt His people because it comes so swiftly.  God has forgiven them and me, the least I can do is forgive them for their hurt.  Don't ever let things grind on you.  Be thankful for what God has put you though and chalk it up as a chance to glorify Him.  When you're hurt, let it marinate, cry it out, do whatever it takes.  However, don't let it eat at you.  Once it does that, they won.  Don't let those who hurt you win.  You stay strong and forgive.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Purses, Expensive Purses

I was watching People's Court today.  Quick sidenote, Judge Marilyn Milian has it going on, woo wee.  Anyhoo, I was watching and one of cases was about a very expensive purse.  This woman decided to sell her highly expensive purse online and the plaintiff responded and bought the purse.  This woman bought this USED purse for 1200!!!!!  Now I'm no expert on purses, but if I can pay 3 months rent for a purse, I'll save the money and pay my rent.  Look ladies, I know I'm not the richest guy in the world, but I don't think any person should spend 1200 dollars on a used purse.  You shouldn't pay that much for a new purse.  How can we as a society complain and whine about the economy when we're spending what some people get in a month to live on stupid things.  I know that people should have a right to spend their money on whatever they want, but at the extent of wasting is ridiculous.  There are women who only date men with money and neglect a good man when they don't make that much money, but is it really smart to have that man with money if he's just going to spend it on accessories and stuff you don't need?  Live your life like you want, but not at the expense of being foolish.  A fool and his money are soon parted.  It's not just a cute saying, it's truth.  If you're not smart, you will be penniless.  Ask MC Hammer, dude spent money on golden grout to go into marble tile floors.  Now he's still trying to somewhat recover.  People talk about how the economy is ruined, it's horrible, we're going to be a third world country, blah blah blah.  I would venture to say that the economy would be much better if we at the very least took some of the money that we spend on foolish things and put it back into the economy.  Oprah makes enough money to save America by herself...but she's too busy postponing the NBA Playoffs to have the final First Church of Oprah service.  Which by the way, was awful.  The only person alive today that should be worshipped like that is Jesus.  Poor Steadman.  Keep your money and pay for things that are truly needed.  Save that money to send your child to college.  Take that money and donate it to people who work hard and still struggle.  Notice I said WORK HARD and still struggle, not sit on their behinds and collect. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

How do you react?

Since the 1700s and probably earlier, it's been common knowledge that Black people have been lower on the totem pole to a particular group of people.  Now it's not everyone, it's just those that refuse to learn about the people that they deem second class.  When the Civil War ended, people thought that Black folks would finally get a chance to work hard and become succesful.  You know, achieve the American Dream.  The American Dream was always seen as the ideal life.  However it's caused nothing but heartache.  First of all, when Blacks were emancipated, a huge group of ignorant people decided that it was too much to have even more competition for success.  So they invented the Ku Klux Klan.  They were pretty prevalent in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  It gets worse when Blacks were seen as lower class and undeserving of certain things.  Sharing water fountains, eating at the same restaurants, and being closer to the front of the bus was not something that some people believed in.  When Black folks wanted to go to colleges with their White counterparts, it was a national incident.  One governor actually called the National Guard to stop Blacks from going to college.  Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, and others fought for equality.  They didn't ask for special rights and privileges.  They just asked for privileges like good school, government help to those who ACTUALLY need it, the ability to drink at a closer water fountain, and to sit closer to the door on a bus when they had bag upon bag upon bag of groceries.  Soon segregation was ended and it seemed as if things were getting better.  However I must say that the same ignorance and hatred is happening in the 21st Century.  I won't go into details, but basically someone made an assumption about yours truly that made no sense.  Truth be told, I was actually told that someone close to me had a family member say I was "no good" for someone else.  Now mind you, family member actually met me once.  As far as I know, I was respectful and kind.  However after one meeting, the phrase "he's no good for you" came out of this family member's mouth.  Where do they get off saying something like that about someone who they met once?  I think of all the wonderful things I did for this person, yet the family member just assumed I was no good.  Now I don't know what they meant by that, and truth be told there's a good chance I'll never really know.  However when you do wonderful things for someone, and that family member only speaks to you once in our lifetimes and they come up with that assumption....makes you wonder if someone's mindset is trapped in the 20th Century or earlier.  I know that I'm not supposed to allow ignorance to cause me to do things wrong.  However, it angers me when someone makes an ignorant statement like that.  It makes no sense to come out of left field and say someone is "no good for you" when that person went out of their way to make their family happy.  I know I said that I wouldn't address this whole thing earlier, but I can't let that kind of ignorance slide.  Now without at least calling out the ignorance.  There's only one reason you would say something like that when the only meeting you had with someone was very positive.  Look, I know that I can't change everyone's opinion about race and creeds and stuff like that.  Those who feel Blacks and other minorities are "lower class" will always think that.  However when you allow it to be the only reason you want your family to not associate with them in a closer than friends relationship, I really question your intelligence.  Funny how you see me as lower class after one meeting, yet you're supposed to be the highly intelligent person who spent years learning and studying and broadening your horizons.  You can't claim to be worldly and educated, yet after one meeting come up with a conclusion.  I thought you smart types were supposed to be learned.  Learned people do research on things before coming to conclusions.  I thought the scientific process involved research before hypothesis.  Just a heads up, this "no good" black man that isn't good enough (which I believe you really meant by "no good for you") just turned the tables on you.  Racism is beneath me, so who's really beneath who in this? 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Random Musings

I don't have a ton of things to talk about...so I'll talk about everything.

First, congratulations to the Dallas Mavericks for winning the NBA Championship.  I noticed that there was a lot of Miami Heat hate going on towards the end of the 7-game series.  Makes you wonder why.  I really had no problem with the Heat as a team.  They did what every other team in the NBA tries to do, except for the Clippers of course, win the whole kit and kaboodle.  The only issue I had was the horrible "The Decision" program that aired.  Imagine me getting on television for an hour just to tell people that I've been transferred from Mountain View Elementary to Cave Spring Elementary.  I'd be slapped stupid, probably by my mother first.  However the Heat's only sin was having so much put on them, partly by their own doing.  LeBron James actually took less money to be a part of the Heat.  If he would have stuck with Cleveland for more money, we'd have called him an underachiever who just wanted all the cash.  Now his choking in the 4th quarter is legendary, but he's 26 so I give him a pass right now.  He'll be a champion in the distant to near future.

Second, congrats to the Boston Bruins for winning the NHL Stanley Cup.  However all the news is about how the city of the team they defeated went bat poo crazy on their own town.  Look people, trashing your hometown doesn't do anything.  The cup is in Boston, Massachusetts.  Maybe you should encourage your team to do well next year.  It's a lot more positive than burning cars.  I won't go the immature route and pick on an entire country.  However I will say that any people who loot a town and damage other people's property are stupid.

Third, I hate stinkbugs.  I mean seriously, how in the world do they get in my house?  The windows and doors are closed all day.  Are they sneaking in through my window A/C unit?  Everyday I'm seeing stinkbugs in my room and it's getting kinda old.  There's a war going on, Tyrone Dudley vs The Stinkbugs.  I'm winning so far.  I don't kill them, that's inhumane.  However I do grab them with a napkin and flush them down the toilet.  So technically gravity, water, and centrifugal force are killing them.  I'm just the catalyst.  I dare PETA to say something.

Good to know the little girl from The Wizards of Waverly Place isn't with child.  After seeing Miley Cyrus smoking weed and dancing provocatively for men 3 times her age, I was losing a little faith in Disney stars.  We need a good girl to come along and save us from Hoochie-Mania. 

So Anthony Weiner resigned his position.  I'm not going to lie, I really didn't care what he did.  If every person who ever did anything bad or embarassing quit their jobs, our economy would be in way worse shape than it already is.  But I can see the outcry of emotion.  A guy basically says and does some reprehensible things in the name of power and glory.  I can see why everyone would be upset.  Well, at least Fox News and some liberals.  Most liberals don't care if one of their own does something wrong.  However if Weiner were a Republican...whew would there be an outcry.  Crazy...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Backwards and Forwards

It's been a pretty long time since my last blog.  In fact, it's the been since December.  A lot has happened to me in the past 6 months.  I'll catch you up before getting to the meat of my journal.  First of all, I am currently enrolled at the University of Phoenix to gain my provisional license in special education.  This is my 5th week of school.  I only have one week to go.  Then I could possibly become a special education teacher as early as the next school year.  Also, the school year is over and I am officially on summer break.  I am so excited to finally get rest and relaxation. 

Now on to the subject.  Before I go any further, I will basically say that I will not address this anymore.  This is the one and only time I will talk about this subject, and I won't go any further at all on this blog. Over the past four months up until a couple of weeks ago, I had a very special friend in my life.  Someone who I truly cared for and wished nothing but good for.  We did a lot together, hung out a lot, and gotten really close.  However over the last two weeks, things changed.  What changed, I wish I could tell you.  The easy answer would be the friend.  The diplomatic answer would be me.  However I'm not easy, nor am I diplomatic.  It just seemed like I wasn't the right person in their eyes.  I wasn't right either.  I was hurt and did what any person would do when someone's loyalties change.  I lashed out, said mean things, and just neglected to be as Christian as I should have been.  However I apologized and tried to move on.  Become a better friend.  However this friend isn't interested in making amends.  I went out of my way to send a very detailed email wishing this friend and their loved ones well wishes and blessings.  I know that most people are able to forgive and try to work things out.  This person is not.  That left me at a crossroads.  I wondered if I was wasting my time, or if I even wasted my time with this person for four months.  Some of my friends who aren't as forgiving as I am said that I was better off without them.  Others have said that they appreciated my effort to make things right.  They were thankful that I gave them an example of how to restore a relationship and friendship.  However the one person who needs to appreciate that the most has not made an effort to even speak to me eye to eye.  I always believe that if you have something important to say to someone, you say it face to face.  Text messages and emails are no way to speak to other people about important matters like that.  I don't know if avoiding people who have been good to you is the best way to handle something.  When someone treats you like dirt, then you avoid them.  If they put out an effort to destroy you, then of course you don't speak to them anymore.  However if a person has been nothing but friendly to you, and then you want to avoid them completely, I have to question your maturity.  Maturity is being able to be cordial and friendly with someone.  Maturity is being able to give someone else the honor and respect to at the very least look them in the eye when you have a problem with them.  The high road means you speak to them like an adult.  Like I said, I'm not innocent.  I said some harsh things.  However in the heat of the moment, I believe you can have those types of episodes when you're hurt.  Pain causes things to be done differently.  However the pain was caused by misdirections, wavering ideals, and changes in philosophy on almost a daily basis.  The pain was caused by a lack of defense when someone said something about me that simply wasn't true.  When someone tells you that I'm lazy and unmotivated, I believe that you defend them.  I believe you tell them everything they've done right.  You don't just nod your head.  When you want me to have your back in something, I want my back had just the same.  Maturity is lacking when you allow others to say things about a special friend of yours that you say you care about tremendously.  Maturity is lacking when that special friend pours their heart out to you and tells you that they are sorry and are wanting to restore the friendship, and all you can do is scoff at them and ignore them.  So I've made a decision.  If you can't find the maturity it takes to speak to me eye to eye like an adult, then you ought not be in my life.  If you can't accept an effort to restore a friendship, then don't bother being friends with anyone.  From now on, my efforts will go towards those who are mature enough to handle a bump in the road.  When there are way more worst things happening in your life or has happened in your life, and you won't walk away from those...what is different about this situation.

I know that this is long and slightly fish bowl-ish, but I believe a good venting is what you need.  If that special friend decides that the relationship can be somewhat restored, I'll be waiting.  Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you handle it.  Some people handle things a lot less maturely than their age or experiences would lead you to believe.