Friday, April 9, 2010

INFLUENCE: Have You Touched A Life Today?

Do me a favor. I want you to think about the person or persons that influenced you.... to buy a house. Get an education. Be a productive person. Be responsible about having children. Get and keep a job. I always tell my daughter, "you are who you hang with". Do you believe that? Who did you hang around? Who made you the person that you are? I'll bet you right now your answer to the majority of these questions are.... a family member, a teacher, some neighbor, a friend or a pastor. What's my point?
If you don't have anyone that is a positive influence in your life, anyone to teach you how to become a productive, responsible person that respect life and property and value education then what happens? Lack of discernment happens. You lose the ability to recognize differences between right and wrong, what is appropriate and what is not, what is moral and what is immoral. If you look over your life I am willing to bet that someone taught you about discernment. Do you see what an affect not having the influences of both parents (our first teachers), clergy, neighbors, and school instructors have had on society. How do we rebuild? Where do we start?
Try mentoring someone. I have mentored in formal programs and just to whomever I feel could use my counsel. I teach my adult women friends about finances, talk to young couples about marriage, nag high school boys about keeping it in their pants and encourage college girls not to give it up so easy. I think the government should pay mentors to pair up with faltering families and troubled youth. Give them bonuses if they can get that person or family to take a path forward. O.K. it is not a perfect plan but it is a start. What do you think? Who have you been an influence to? Who influenced you?

Monday, April 5, 2010


My daughter was in first grade when we had the "death" discussion. I was told by doctors I would not survive my bout with pancreatitis and as organs began to shut down and last rites administered I groped for words to explain death to my child. Even after I beat the odds my daughter would plead a year after the fact for me to promise her I wouldn't die. Of course I couldn't do that because I knew one day that I would.
"There are far worse things that could happen to me than dying," I said to her one day. "Like what?"she asked puzzled as her eyes rolled around to indicate maybe I didn't understand that we were discussing the ultimate "boogie man," the final frontier. "I could be like a vegetable in a coma, somewhere between life and death," I offered. Her eyes popped open as she tried to wrap her little mind around that. "Suppose I was awake but couldn't move at all, couldn't talk or walk, completely paralyzed." Silence ensued as she knew someone like that and I imagined she was visualizing me in that person's place.
I am more than just a body. I have a spirit and once the body wear out your spirit goes on. So even when I die I'll come to you in different ways as my dad comes to me. On some beautiful Spring days I'll smell a hint of his cologne in the wind, or I'll glimpse him out the corner of my eye and think had I turned quickly enough I would have seen him. At night when it's quiet and I'm in bed my mind replay long ago talks and I close my eyes and feel my hand in his.
Above all my little girl, God will be there for you always. He will comfort and guide. When you are old enough to read His word you will be assured in knowing that my love is everlasting and life is eternal for those who truly believe. She's never again pleaded with me not to die.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I've gotten a challenge. You know I can't back down. Here is the challange. All you have to do is blog to the alphabets A-Z for the month of April excluding Sundays. My friend Lee invites all bloggers to participate. For more info. check out Lee's blog

I have always known writing is my destiny. Before I started school I hid under our kitchen table cloaked in secrecy by the lace floor length table cloth left to my game of choice "scribbling." With an eraser less pencil I scribbled on the blank side of discarded bill envelopes. In those days I envisioned myself as a "secretary." Later when I learned my alphabets my writing skills advanced to jotting down every family member's order at supper. It didn't matter to me we all had the same order. I just had to write something. In middle school I started reading "Nancy Drew" and the "Hardy Boys" mysteries. It was the spring board to my starting to write real stories. By the time I was in high school I advanced to writing one act plays. One of them made it to my high school stage. The play received a standing ovation. It was that moment I knew I wanted to pursue writing as a career. Then it happened. My senior year my parents explained why I couldn't go to college to be a writer. "There is no such thing as a black writer. You need to concentrate on something practical," my parents said firmly. It was no need to bring up Niki Giovanni or Maya Angelou, you just didn't disagree or question your parents that way. A dream deferred.Writing kept returning to me like an old lover whose advances to put black ink on white paper I continued to rebuke. Three decades after my parents senior talk, I read of a writing contest in the newspaper that made my knees buckle and my heart beat loudly in my head. Fingers poised over keys I succumbed to my lover and the sight of my words on the computer screen filled me with an ecstasy of pleasure I could not have imagined. I was finally where I belonged.