EAT TO YOUR HEART CONTENT: HOW WE BINGE ON DAYS LIKE TODAY AND MEANING BEHIND IT

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“Comfort food is the best food.”


Today is the 4th of July, marking the 241st year that the Declaration of Independence was signed. But this topic today is not about the celebration. Today’s topic is about all the food that will be consumed from cookouts today. We all look forward to the holidays because it gives us an excuse to binge on all the food we want to eat. As a kid growing up, my mother would take my sister and I to the parade. We would sit there until the parade was nearly over, then head to the cookout at a family member’s house. And you can just about guess the food that lined the picnic tables.

I’m talking all kinds of good eating: Catfish, meatballs, fried chicken, baked chicken, pork chops, meatloaf, turkey, honey ham, brats, BBQ ribs, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, cabbage, sweet rolls, black eyed peas, mashed Related imagepotatoes, fried okra, yams, sweet potatoes, corn bread. The meat would be smothered in two to three types of gravy; soda, Kool aid, juice, sweet tea, some brews, and water would be the beverages of choice. And it didn’t stop there, you can’t forget about the desserts: banana pudding, chocolate pies, sweet potato pie, lemon pies, egg pies, German chocolate cake, pound cake, and ice cream.

The above food was the meals my family would consume on this holiday. But now that I am an adult, I don’t look at the holidays the same anymore. Not that they are not important, it’s just that living on my own, cooking on these days are not as special. I could always go to visit family, yet it’s not the same. Now most would say, start your own family. But I am far from ready for a family of my own. I think back to when I was growing up and the meals the family would have together. As time went on, people married, moved away, and some even passed away. Now, it seems far less special as when I was young.

And I guess that’s why these once great times to eat together have changed. There were children that used to fill the premises, and adults as well. But eating as a family, especially on holidays takes on new meanings. That Image result for soul food desserts banana puddingfeeling of being stuffed and sitting back with your pants zipper undone is not quite there anymore. Now the portions have gotten cut down because we have to live after the cookout. Fewer children and more teens who themselves are thinking about moving outside the home town for college. So now, there are middle aged to elderly adults left.

 

 

And in the end, the 4th of July reminds me of the great meals as a child. The firework show, even consuming small portions of leftovers the next day. You know, I never looked at the 4th as an Independence holiday, rather a special day family came together to have a feast.


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COPING WITH LOSS: HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH A DEATH IN THE FAMILY

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“We all cope in different ways.”


One of the hardest, if not the hardest moment of your life is losing a loved one. We all have these ideas of how we’re going to deal with the situation. We even go as far as purchasing insurance and putting together wills for when that time comes. But even with all the preparation it’s still a sudden blow to the family. So what is your way in which you have learned to cope with the death of a close family member? We all have our way of dealing. I know in my life time I have lost three close relatives: all three were my grandparents. And even though they were elderly, you’re never ready for them to go.

Some people become what I call the reclusive types. They go and hide, and no one sees them for a very long time. The sudden death is too much for them to deal with, so they have to get away. It takes these people sometimes years to gain the courage to visit the grave site of a loved one. And depending on how they died, it could really have taken a toll on reclusive people. In addition to the death and how the person died, reclusive people might also be a solitary type of person anyways. So the death just added to the further recluse behavior.

Now the other group of people who cope with death are the people known as the abusive types. These are people who usually deal with a lose by turning to some form of self-deprecating behavior. The harm to ones’ self can come in the form of drugs, sex, and/or alcohol. They are people who already have a hard time dealing with any minimal lose. Now they have to live with this major lose. So it wears down on them to the point they themselves become a detriment to their lives and people around them.

Now, another group of people are known as the spiritual types. They look at death and try to find the religious angle in coping. Their belief is that the person is somewhere better than here. The struggle in life is over and the person is on to something far more greater. And this coping mechanism makes it easier to deal with their own mortality. The end is a very terrifying realization, so to be able to look death in the eyes and deal with that, it’s quite uplifting. Yet, there is still one more group of people who cope with death that is different than the rest.

The last group are the types that fall under the category of realist. They are geared toward a less spiritual outlook. Thy tend to be more scientific in their viewpoint. They don’t abuse alcohol or substances, nor do they become recluse. These realist look at life and go, we all will die. The human body is only made to live 40 years, so the fact that we get 78 years is a miracle in disguise. Anything beyond 78 years and life is fair to this bunch; beyond fair. To these people, why asks for more, when there is so much greatness right here on Earth to experience.

In the end, we all have ways that we deal with death. I can’t say one person’s way is better than another way. It’s however you’re able to deal with death. I’ll say that if I were more of one than the others, I would be more of the recluse type. It’s a lot easier for me to look at death out of mind out of sight. Still thinking about the person, but place the death somewhat to the back of your mind. I’ll remember more good times than bad so I don’t have to deal with the constant death reminder.


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ARE YOU REALLY THE ONE AND ONLY: HOW MUCH DO WOMEN REALLY LOVE US

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“Am I your first choice or last result?”


Comedian Chris Rock had a very funny joke directed at men. He said, “You ever catch your woman looking at you, but not saying nothing.” “It’s because you aint her first choice.” That joke resonated with so many people in relationships. But is there something deeper to that joke that we are not looking at that we should? Are we hearing a joke as men that makes us feel a little more uncomfortable the more we listen to it? I myself developed a theory as to why this might be more disturbing than funny the more we read into it. And the disturbing aspect of the joke is a pill that is hard for a lot of men to swallow.

Men have this stoic, fearless, unemotional, unapologetic aspect to us. We are supposed to be so big and strong. Then when we experience hurt from a woman, the real human element that is us emerges. We never want to think of another man with the woman that we are in a relationship with; must less her actually doing it. We think and at times we know that we cannot be replaced until we are replaced. And that’s why Chris Rock’s joke about us not being first choice kind of stops us in our tracks. We want to believe we are the first choice since she is in the relationship with us. But here is my theory.

My theory starts like this; if a woman dates nine six foot four guys, nice body, beautiful hair, amazing smile, and highly viral, then switches it up. She now is in a relationship on number ten with a guy who is five foot seven, average body, rugged looks, and average sex drive. What was it about those other guys that brought her to this one man? There is something about this five seven guy, that those other guys didn’t have going for them. So she settled for the five seven because what he has that is stable trumps the other nine.

Now, here is the idea of not being first choice. Sorry Mister Five Seven, but you are not her first choice. Those other guys are the first choice, but what you have she needs in her life. But those nine guys were her wants in life. She really wants Mister Five Seven to be Mister Six Four, but Mister Five Seven isn’t. So she must make a decision, be with what is stable, or what is not, but her wants are met. The needs are from Mister Five Seven. So now she has to stare at what could have been if only Five was born Six.

And in the end, that’s what the stare is about. I wish you were what turns me on naturally and not what I have to learn to love. Learning to love takes times and it is a long arduous path. What is natural is instant. What’s crazy about the universe is that what you need in life is not always what you want. And what you want is not always the best thing you need in life. But if you can find your needs being met, and above average wants, you’re talking a great relationships.


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POLITICAL ETHNIC CHOICES: DOES ETHNIC CHOICE MATTER IN MARRIAGE CHOICES

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“Is love really color blind?”


Recently on the morning radio talk show The Breakfast Club, social activist and psychologist Umar Johnson was on talking to the hosts. He made a statement regarding interracial marriage that I thought was quite interesting. He stated that marriage is a political decision. And who you marry says a lot about your priorities when pertaining to ethnicity. Which is why he said that if you are an African American marrying a White man or woman you are not only taking them on as a partner, but also this group’s culture. And you are accepting the group’s community as well. Umar was making a distinct connection between what outside ethnic group you marry and your loyalty to your own ethnic group.

And what I thought about right off the back was, is this so? Does marrying outside your ethnicity as an African American renders you devout of self-love and respect because of your choice? And is this really a choice that is stemmed deeply in politics? Because I see Jews, Asians, Indians, and Hispanics stress marrying another member of their group. This is not just Umar who feels this way. Are those other groups wrong for preserving their culture? Because this is what the fight is about, preserving culture. When you marry a group that is different than your own, the cultures can be vastly different. What do you say regarding this, such as Jew marrying a Muslim?

See, in my household, my mother stressed marrying someone you love. And I felt this way, but when I became an adult, and took on my own experiences I started to look at things differently. I don’t think you are less than for marrying outside your ethnicity, but I also am not against people who are against interracial relationships either. Now some may say, how can you feel that way? I myself, as an African American man, couldn’t marry a woman of any other ethnic group if not accepted by her side. Meaning, if I meet a Chinese woman, and her parents/family didn’t approve, I wouldn’t see myself staying. As against them as I might be, I don’t think you should be forced to allow people into your family if you don’t want me there.

Now, that leaves the woman hurt, but that’s a problem she must come to terms with, with her family. You know your family, and you know what they accept and reject. I don’t want to be a member, nor do I want them forced to accept me. My best bet, is to remove myself from the equation. It’s not in my best interest to stay. Because if I were abusive, that’s a reason to not like me. I can’t stay in a situation where you dislike an aspect about me I can’t change, nor would I want to change. So as much as it would hurt the woman, I have to make a decision to remove myself.

Now others might disagree with my decision. They would say, if you love that person, who cares what others think. But to me, as awful as you might think they are, losing family is easier said than done. Are you willing to lose everything that have ever existed in your life for this one person? And if you and this person don’t last in the relationship, you’re completely alone in the world. Sadly enough, people are put into those decisions. And I don’t want to be the catalyst for that decision.

In the end, there are people who think love is color blind. And to me you like what you like. Human attraction is not always a socio-political decision because we are not that type of species. People are mammals that gain attractions to other mammals like us. Ethnic conflict is a social construct placed by man for means of control. There are men who are members of the KKK that are attracted to Black women and Nation of Islam men who have liked White women. It’s not ok socially, no one would admit that, but as humans you like who you like. Yet the social aspect of our society is far more greater than the emotional attachments.


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