Yesterday, I was very upset. It seems the lies my family have shared with those that would listen were believed. And what came to mind during this brief moment was something I was once told. “Everyone deserves their good name.” That statement holds true for the person that ruined yours. Yet, the part of you that protects and loves you wants to seek revenge despite the truth.
In Humility Matters the author writes:
“An angry reaction is to use words that harm another. Calumny is to speak about another and harm his or her good name. It might be a truthful fact but not necessary for me to promulgate. Slander is to actually speak and promote lies about another and testify false things about another as if they were true. Everyone deserves a good name, and for us to devalue another has an irrevocable and damaging effect on that person’s social well-being. Calumny and slander, however, most harm me because I falsely put myself above the other either in judgment or in vanity. My own being is tarnished. If I do this, I am not to be trusted. If I am not trustworthy, I forfeit the honor of bearing witness.”
And tho my name has been ruined I must find ways to bury old feelings. I must figure out another way to detach from those that ruined my name in the first place. I must finish the task that opened this door of reality of the affects of people ruining my good name; so, I can continue of the path of living a joy filled life.
I look to you with hope and pride;
I see your future brightly.
Your deep concerns and aspirations
I will not take lightly.
The future is a mystery
That everyone explores.
I’ll share your possibilities,
Embrace your distant shores.
I’ll answer you when questions stir,
Encourage you, implore you.
But life’s a challenge shaped by dreams,
A gift I can’t live for you.
So live it well; respect it full;
Play your spirit out.
Seek and then discover
All the best that life’s about.
Remember that you’re not alone—
My love is always there.
The challenge that defines your life
My heart will gladly share.
You’re on a voyage into time,
A trip to somewhere new.
You may not always see me there,
But I’ll be there with you.
–Bruce B. Wilmer
Someone was hurt before you, wronged before you, hungry before you, frightened before you, beaten before you, humiliated before you, raped before you…yet, someone survived…You can do anything you choose to do. – Maya Angelou
In every crisis there is a message. Crises are nature’s way of forcing change — breaking down old structures, shaking loose negative habits so that something new and better can take their place.— Susan L. Taylor
“I smelled the stink that only a street whore has after a long, busy night.” ~Iceberg Slim, Pimp: The Story of My Life
This morning as I searched for a positive quote for today I stumbled across a man called “Iceberg Slim.” His birth name was Robert Beck. Apparently he took the easy road to securing his financial future by honing the craft of manipulating others and becoming a pimp at the age of 18. From the sounds of things he truly capitalized on using the sexual gifts God gave to women to please their husbands for his selfish purpose.
After being released from a short stint in jail Robert Beck ended his pimping career at the age of 42. One would say, “Good ridden to bad rubbish.” But! No! He didn’t crawl into a hole underneath a rock and disappear from all good society! Instead he became an author and wrote about his exploitation experiences as a pimp.
What makes his career choices gut wrenching for me, as a woman and mother, is how the literary community sought to tell and sell his story. I just gotta ask why publishers and movie makers, especially black movie makers, sought to make money from a story that exploited women? And even though I know the answer, I still find the need to ask such a naïve question in a cynical way.
My heart goes out to the women he exploited. And my prayers are for the family members that lost loved ones that didn’t make it to tell their stories. And my soul cries for the women that were and are affected by his tell all book of “man’s inhumanity to man.”
If you can control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his action. When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do. If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one. ~Carter G. Woodson
Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. ~Booker T Washington
No Life Should be Lived in Vain
As I ponder for meaning to the end of a young life I searched for meaning to my existence. The world has lost a key-player. His name is Liang Yaoyi. He was only 11 years old when he died a heroic death of a man. He lost his life fearlessly to brain cancer. Which means he did not leave the earth as a beaten spectator. He was in the game of life! And he was indeed a key-player that world will miss because . . .
Had he lived he would have became a doctor with purpose. He would have been a trail blazer to the world of medical science. He would have set the world on fire with new medical ideas. His ideas would have taken medicine to greater heights as his love for life became contagious.
His unselfish dying decree surrender him as a leader that understood he had came to the end of his journey. And what is so amazing about his death is: Liang Yaoyi passed the torch of life by donating his liver and kidneys as he bravely recognized he own life was ending.
And I do hope you realize I am writing about the bravery of an 11 year old boy. Fate gave him choices that have spiritually flatten adults; but, he fought to the end of his life with a gallant spirit of a victorious man. RIP Liang Yaoyi for your young life was not lived in vain. [tears]
When Keshia Thomas was 18 years old in 1996, the KKK held a rally in her home town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Hundreds of protesters turned out to tell the white supremacist organization that they were not welcome in the progressive college town. At one point during the event, a man with a SS tattoo and wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a Confederate flag ended up on the protesters’ side of the fence and a small group began to chase him. He was quickly knocked to the ground and kicked and hit with placard sticks.
As people began to shout, “Kill the Nazi,” the high school student, fearing that mob mentality had taken over, decided to act. Thomas threw herself on top of one of the men she had come to protest, protecting him from the blows. In discussing her motivation after the event, she stated, “Someone had to step out of the pack and say, ‘this isn’t right’… I knew what it was like to be hurt. The many times that that happened, I wish someone would have stood up for me… violence is violence – nobody deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea.”
Thomas never heard from the man after that day but months later, a young man came up to her to say thanks, telling her that the man she had protected was his father. For Thomas, learning that he had a son brought even greater significance to her heroic act. As she observed, “For the most part, people who hurt… they come from hurt. It is a cycle. Let’s say they had killed him or hurt him really bad. How does the son feel? Does he carry on the violence?”
Mark Brunner, the student photographer who took this now famous photograph, added that what was so remarkable was who Thomas saved: “She put herself at physical risk to protect someone who, in my opinion, would not have done the same for her. Who does that in this world?”
Keshia’s choice was to affirm what some have lost.
Keshia’s choice was human.
Keshia’s choice was hope.”