IMPERSONOLOGY

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“Is tech getting in your way?”

What’s your Instagram? Tweet me. Send me a DM. Let’s text. These are a few of the replies or questions that we say to each other in today’s society when showing interest. How come we can’t just approach each other and strike up a conversation? It’s almost as if our technology has gotten in the way of our conversations as men and women. You may ask, well how has this happened? Well, let’s first  start with social media sites like Instagram.

Instagram is a photo, video, and file sharing site where people can view each others profiles by way of posting pictures and video content. There are people with as few as no one following their daily activity to millions of followers. The problem with this form of connecting that you get a false sense of people’s real day to day lives. There are countless picture quotes that will explain an open window into people’s lives. But this site makes the viewers sometimes gain an image of who you portray yourself to be not necessarily who you really are in life. This could effect our intimate relationships because this person you met might seem like their life is exciting but at a closer glance it’s not.

Another form of impersonal relationships have been through Twitter. A website where people can tell what’s on their mind through 110 characters. Now, if you ask me, anyone trying to get their point across in such few characters don’t have much to say. Problem is, is that only is it impersonal, but it has been known to get people into trouble. Why is that? Well for starters, you are able to detect tone in the voice when something is typed. The tone is subjective, so if read the wrong way, it could land you into trouble. Another  problem  is that people spew ignorance from their mouths under a fake profile that they would never say in person. It makes them feel almost untouchable and safe.

Well, what about Facebook.com which boast about 700 million people plus globally. It’s a community of users initially created for college students to connect and now is open to anyone. Anyone from middle school to college, and above. Problem with this medium is that even though you can connect to people you might otherwise have forgotten, it can also effect relationships. Facebook has a portion of the website called single, relationship, married, and/or complicated. It has been the cause of many fights as well as people asking you to friend them who may not be approved by your significant other.

Now the previous were just some of the most popular of the countless sites people log onto every day. Others include Tinder and Grindr, where singles go to meet people. And within no time you can meet someone for a date or even sex. Then there is Snapchat to connect to your audience via video content. And there is even another relationship site called Cuddle, where singles go to date. So as you can see, these cellular telephone and computer apps have gotten in the way of intimate relationships. People used to approach each other and meet. Now you must request a friendship via the internet. In the end the future of relationships could be in jeopardy at this rate. In jeopardy when there is no more building and easy access into each others lives is just a click away.

#AWAKE UP SOCIETY!

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“Are you awake in society or do you think you are?”

As I observe the social media comment sections in Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter; you see something. Something that a lot of people claim to be, yet most will never reach the level of cerebral understanding; #AWAKE. People say this, but what does it really mean? What does it mean to be awake. And no, I’m not speaking regarding the awake we feel the moment our eyes open from sleeping. I’m speaking about the consciousnesses of the mind that seeks to understand the world around us. And even by that statement, I mean awake as far as our relationships with each other.

Well, I am still seeming to be ambiguous with the statements I am making so, let me spell it out. I talking to be awake, meaning hearing or witnessing something that is sensitive to the mind that forces you to break it apart and observe it with an objective mind. One of those things is politics. We are all witnessing the presidential election where that hash tag awake is posted. But people put awake after calling Trump racist. For example, “Trump gaining in the poles and millennials not active in voting.” “It could really aid in Trump winning and a serious shake up of America socially.” #awake #wakeup #woke.

Really, are you really awake. People out there sitting on the couch seriously think that if Hilary Clinton win that she is going to do it for them. But that is not to say Trump’s constituency has anything coming to them either. I am under no illusion that Trump will hurt America socially any worse than America is at the moment. The only difference between Trump and Hilary is that people feel more comfort in being them; yet the sentiment is still there. You have all these celebrities saying Trump is racist, yet they can’t even get Hollywood to budget a film if there are too many of a minority group. Celebs say sexist, but complain to the industry about equal pay for women. Seems to me like you can’t say clean your yard, if your own house is on fire.

What else makes you awake politically; how about to the idea that banning guns isn’t the issue. Because banning guns have no effect on getting guns. Why because criminals don’t care about legislation. So Republicans say, Stop and Frisk, but that doesn’t work because it is unconstitutional. Neither of them ask where are the guns really coming from and this is how to stop it. Well, is that possible? And if so, why haven’t it been stopped. For instance you have an inner city problem with guns that banning guns and frisking won’t fix. You see, how they get there is more corrupt, which is not a topic no one wants to delve in to. You have guns property of police departments and military in the hands of gangs in America.

Which leads into my next awakening which is the exchange of guns and money. Hmmm, oh I get it, the gangs get the guns, for selling drugs that is. The guns are confiscated during a bust, and the police showcase the guns with drugs on television and newspapers. The convicts go to jail and are forced into the business of the correctional facilities where a multinational corporation provide clothing, bedding, and food for the inmates. Well, stop it from getting to that point. You mean stop the guns used so drug dealers can perform their jobs. Or how about the drugs. Nearly 80% of cocaine has been known to come through the Port of Miami. If there is a real war on drugs, that port can’t be locked down? Over 70% of America’s Heroine comes from the middle east’s Golden Crescent. Yet we have thousands of US troops around these borders. And still no traction. Come on, these are not geniuses trafficking guns and drugs.

And no one knows anything. You mean the traffickers are one step ahead of government. Or maybe it’s because there is corruption. Which leads me to my third awakening, which is the corruptible behavior of our leaders. When you look at a city like Chicago, where the murder rate is high enough to rival third world countries, you go nothing can be done. But Chicago is also a city with it’s internal decision making problems as well. One that has stood out in the recent years was Ron Blagojevich trying to sell President Obama’s political seat in a corruptible move which landed him in prison. How can the city control street violence if men and women at the legislative level are under investigation? Leaders who the public trust to do their jobs.

Maybe it’s racism, maybe no one cares because the victims tend to be Black and poor. Well in the third paragraph I stated briefly how people see Trump as the catalyst for more racial tension. But in reality it has always been here; lying dormant within people. I know and understand that the only way for the system to intervene is if a young White female or male to get caught in a cross fire in Chicago, legislation would happen immediately. But that’s not just Trump, Hilary would call for swift action as well while not addressing the situation otherwise. And that is the difference between people who are awake and call themselves awake. We think there is specific party saving the masses, when in actuality they both play the same game.

Hilary is docile with her bull and Trump is loud. Her language as well as others like her is soft and his is more aggressive. Just because he says I don’t care doesn’t mean she does for not saying she doesn’t care. We believe in society that overt is wrong and silence means opposite. Yet I would rather know someone’s sentiment and make my decision than for them to remain quiet and cut me behind the scenes. But I guess we as a nation will continue to be lured in by language and not in addition to language watching the moves of decision makers as well.

THE SINFUL 7EVEN (SHORT STORY)

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When you’re a pastor of a congregation, your duty in that role is to not only serve as the orator of God, but also as a community leader. In my job as pastor of the church I like to get to know as many of my members as possible. Given the small size of my congregation, this task is possible. I come across the lost and the saved, the good and the wicked, as well as the ones with love and hate in their hearts. Those who I find to be the most intriguing to speak with are the married couples. Having the opportunity to counsel married couples have allowed me to work as the liaison in which men and women need to keep their relationships on track. In meeting these couples I am always inundated with questions ranging from how do we make our marriage work to how did your marriage stay together so long?

How do I make my spouse happy to what should I do if I have fallen out of love with my spouse? So many questions arise from not only the young newlyweds, but also from those who have been married for years. I became intrigued with counseling married couples ever since the sinful seven. You might be wondering, who or what is the sinful seven? The sinful seven are a group of men and women I spoke to during a couples retreat. They were seven couples faced with issues in their marriage that put their marriage in jeopardy of ending. What was quite interesting, is that each couples dealt with a separate sin that was disastrous to their relationship.

Case in point the, man whose wife wanted him to lose weight. He would come home from work and each night, sit in front of the television with a plate of food. This man would eat to the point of passing out, sometimes even eating the leftovers that his wife wanted to consume for herself the next day at work. His poor eating habits had caused him to take a on a series of health related issues as well as a strain on their sex life. He had developed an inability to focus at work, and even children were ashamed to be seen in public with him in public. Overindulgence of food, drinks, or wealth can is seen in biblical scripture as one who is a glutton.

For those of you who are not familiar with the bible, gluttony is a sin. A sin in which someone must eat to the point of withholding, usually food, from others they care about or don’t know. They must consume in order to harbor from the needy, only caring about their well-being. Gluttons are very selfish, and in the case of this married couple, his health suffered. He couldn’t understand what he was doing wrong. His children and wife were both taken care of; had a great job, nice house, abided by the laws; so how am I a sinner.

As I counseled them, I told the man, abiding by the laws of the land is not enough. If you love your family as much as you say you do, you wouldn’t allow your overindulgence to interfere. The fact that your health has deteriorated shows not only a lack of self-importance, but a lack of responsibility to your family. We all love to eat, but anything that is done in

access will always negatively affect ones’ life. After much consideration, the couple and I agreed to a strict diet for the husband. Since then, he has lost quite a bit of the weight and his health has made a tremendous turnaround. Even the children are more reluctant to go in public with him. As far as their sex life, he and she are expecting their third child.

My second couple is the wife with too much yearning and wanting to be someone she’s not based off of others’ achievements; the bible calls it envy. Envy, this lack of ones’ own abilities and superior achievements due to the desire to want to be or have something someone else has. The husband was a fine young man, highly educated, with an exceptional career. He worked night and day, not because he couldn’t afford the essentials his family needed, but from the envy of his wife toward others. She would see someone with something she didn’t have, and it became a competition from that point on. This person drove two luxury vehicles, so she wanted three. The couple’s house cost five hundred thousand dollars, yet she wanted the house for one million dollars, so it would compete with the others in the neighborhood.

The advice I gave to the both of them is simple; who are you trying to impress. Before that I wanted to know about the wife’s childhood, and where she came from. You find that people who envy others, either grew up in an environment that was poor and their friends had things. The other is that they grew up well-off and their household was based around what everyone else had that they didn’t have. The wife was the first, she grew up in a really poor household. Her father died when she was a young age, and her mother struggled to raise her and her siblings. Meanwhile the wife went to school with students who always wore the nicest clothes, drove best cars, and lived in extravagant homes.

That can be a tough life for a child who has to watch everyone from the other side of the fence. It can make a kid grow to develop a lot of self-esteem issues or even resent their own parents from witnessing such a divide. Now, I’m not agreeing with the idea of having self-esteem issues from someone having something you don’t have, nor am I implying it’s alright to have a vendetta against your parents either. It’s just difficult and confusing to a child, who can’t understand why they have to struggle so hard, and their friends don’t have to do so. In my explanation, we envy people based off the outer. We don’t know their lives behind closed doors. What is picture perfect in our

eyes, could be another person’s hell internally.The more I spoke to the wife, she feared losing her husband because of the way she behaves in the marriage. They were expecting their first child together, and raising a child in an environment in which both, or in this case one of the parents delves in excessive envy. Children are smart, they will grow to learn how to pin their parents against each other once they understand one of them has a weakness. After the counseling session, the wife has since then learned to except and be happy with the life her and her husband have carved out for themselves. Not only that, but she has given birth to their first child, and is expecting a second child.

Then there was my third married couple, how could I forget this one. A wife whose husband had an affinity for, let’s say the opposite sex. It didn’t matter who she was, young or old, tall or short, slim or curvy, married or single. He had to observe any woman that crossed his path. It could be the female neighbor, a co-worker no the job, even a member of his wife’s family hinted at him flirting. When we met, he kind of shrugged his shoulders and said, “Hey, I can’t help it, I’m a man aint I.”  Yes, you have to right to look and observe whomever you please, but when you’re married it comes to point where it becomes quite disrespectful.

As I’m speaking to him regarding his actions, I noticed something his wife was doing as he is talking. She had this movement with her hands every time he would speak, where she appeared to be covering up her stomach. I even stopped speaking to him, as I asked her what was wrong. At first glance, I thought it was stomach cramps, until further observation. It was a movement across her bell that I have seen before, but did not want to address. So, in order to figure out why she cradled her stomach so much, I introduced a series of questions. The first being, how did you two first?

Before she could answer the husband stated that it was in college during Spring Break. He went on to explain how beautiful she looked in her bikini she wearing, so he had to introduce himself. In trying to get the wife to answer the second question, I asked, when did you two firs fall in love? He once again interrupted before she could answer, stating that it was at a really nice restaurant. He remembered it well because of this amazing evening gown she was wearing. The third question was, what made you two decide to get married? He, for the third time interjected, stating that he was so lucky to waking up next to such a beautiful woman every day. Then, my attention shifted to her, as she began rubbing her stomach once again.

She didn’t speak up, until I asked her about the things she enjoyed before marriage and children. That’s when her husband kind of rolled his eyes and turned in the opposite direction. The wife spoke up and stated that before they got married and had children she was into gymnastics and yoga. The responsibility of parenting and birth of her three children had drastically altered her body. Immediately, there was no time for the gym, and no gym meant no exercise, no exercise meant weight gain, and weight gain meant lack of interest. Finally, I had solved the issue in this relationship. Her husband lusted for the bodies for other women after the altered appearance of his wife. He, for not one second, tried encouraging his wife, nor did he try to help her lose the weight.

So now, what she thought was the love of her life, is actually the real weight holding her back from progressing. His lust for other women because of his lack of interest in his wife’s appearance, had caused a major rift in the marriage. I explained to him that his actions for a single guy in his early twenties might be understood. But, he wasn’t a college co-ed anymore, he was an adult man, in his thirties with a wife and three kids. His disdain for his wife not only could effect her, but he doesn’t want his children seeing their mother treated in that manner. Since our conversation, he has been more supportive of his wife. Not only that, but her confidence has been restored and she has begun to attend her yoga classes once again. Her and her husband sent me a photo of them vacationing at a resort with their children, I feel they’re going to make it just fine together.

I would like to now introduce you to the fourth couple. The hardworking husband with a wife whose only mission in life is to be held up on a pedestal by her own self self-confidence and personal status. We call this in the religious environment pride or this extreme sense of hubris and self-reflection. The wife was a former model in catalogue magazines who made quite a living off her physical appearance. As the husband and wife approached their middle aged years, the wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. The chemotherapy forced her to lose her hair, as well as losing one of her breast to the disease. After the cancer went into remission, she began to cover her body in public. She would wear veils to cover her face and head, even fully padding her shirts, as to cover up the fact that she had lost one of her breast.

I am an old man, and through the grace of God, I have never had any debilitating illnesses. I don’t know the feeling up losing something that defines who I am as a man. Women who are stricken with this disease are heartbroken when they are told they will lose their hair or even the loss of one or both of their breast. But, when you’re a woman who has made your living off of the way you look, as in this case, adjusting can be quite that much more difficult. The wife in this case was so prideful, she went as far as burning photos and magazines with her likenesses on the front cover. Her pride had caused her husband to feel afflicted and disconnect with her children.

My advice to the wife was difficult, because like I said, I have never been in her situation before. I did tell her it was best to focus on the people whom have stood by her through all her problems. If her husband married her while she was modeling, and fought with her through the sickness, that is something to be proud about in and up itself.  It showed that the people wholove the most are there when you are down just as much as when are up. Since our counseling, she is a lot more motivated. Her excessive pride in how she use to look in the past has taken more of a backseat to what she is grateful to have today

Now, now, where should I start with regards to the next husband and wife? Well, in a nutshell, the husband was lazy. When I say lazy, I don’t mean lazy like he would leave his shorts on the floor and wouldn’t pick them up lazy. I mean lack of drive and desire to succeed laziness. You may ask, what would make a woman marry a man has no desire or will to succeed. The only thing that comes to my mind when meeting this man was sloth. That’s right sloth, or the lack of foresight to care about ones’ surroundings due to the carelessness in ones’ emotions or spirit.

The husband was very productive when they first met. He was one of the hardest working people his wife had ever met. This is what made her realize he was the man that would be her husband. His irresponsibility came about soon after he lost his job. At first it was fine because the wife understood his plight at the time. Then what was one day unemployed, turn to weeks, then months. Not only that, but he had not made an effort to even look for a job eventually. This put a real strain on the marriage, with the wife carrying the full weight of the family. It came to a point where she felt, if he wasn’t going to be contributing in any shape or form.

When I spoke to the husband he told me that he had been working since he were a teenager. Losing his job not only meant a setback to his family, but also the first time in life he had been unemployed. He felt useless to his wife and kids, and what was temporary became permanent. My advice to him was that he should not allow his accomplishments in his past dictate the future of his life. We made a deal that every day he is to wake up before his wife in the morning, and come home at least by the time she gets off of work. In this time, he is to look for a job, whether it be part-time of full time work. He is to find something, until he can fully contribute to his family. Well, I am happy to say that since that time he has not only found a new

full time job, but has had to become the breadwinner since his wife was laid off her job. He has since told me that it feels good to be able to take care of your family instead of the one being taken care of. I hope the wife gets back on her feet, I’m sure everything will work itself out.

This sixth couple was my most difficult marriage of the others. This is because the husband and the wife both, had dual responsibility in the marriage going downhill. The people who they felt were suffering the most were their two children. You see, the both had demanding careers, but wanted more and more. As a matter of fact the wanting for more became to excessive that they had to hire a nanny to care for their children whilethey both worked. This ultimately caused a strain on the relationship between the parents and the children. The nanny received the respect that the parents should have been getting and the kids started to resent the both of them.

This greed, or pursuit for wealth and status for which a person has no boundaries was affecting their family. For the bible says, “For what shall a man profit the whole world and lose his soul.” I ponder in my mind of why anyone feels that they must go to such great lengths to attain money and power. What is use of having all this money and power in the world, and yet you have no one to share it with at the end of the day? They were both operating under the impression that only if we supply our children with a big home and fancy trinkets we could purchase their affection. There’s just one problem, kids don’t care about your money and how much power you have; it means nothing to them.

The nanny received such praise because she was the one in their lives. She taught them how to ride their bicycles, read them bedtime stories, and kissed them goodnight. Their parents paid for expensive vacations, but even on vacation both the husband and wife were both far too busy to focus on their children. So as I stood before both of them, I say, is worth it. Is it worth it to lose a connection with the only people in your lives that truly care about you the most? You can’t work a job forever; so whose going to be there for you once the work stops? Are your children going to be there for you through those elderly years? When you look back on life you are going to resent yourselves when all you’ve ever done was pursue power. Power that once you die no one will remember because it will go transferred to someone else.

The more I spoke to the husband and wife, the more they felt what I was saying made sense. No parent wants to feel like they are neglecting their children; at least one who is responsible. In the end, the man and woman decided to cut back on their work. They even were able to spend more time developing a relationship with their children instead of them growing up with the nanny as their caregiver. They both sent me thank you letter with a nice contribution to the church. I say thank you to both of them and keep up the good work.

Now my last married couple came to me with a problem that I find all too common in marriages. The husband felt is wife had been having an extramarital affair behind his back. The wife said that she wasn’t, but often thought about it, in order to gain his attention. She wanted him to feel the wrath of her frustration. Now there is a word I understand wrath, which  brings us to the last sinful couple. Wrath in the bible is the reaction one has in the form of anger toward someone else as a means of retaliation. The wife held feelings of anger toward her husband for neglecting her in the marriage. She wanted him to feel the same pain she feels when he does not pay attention to her.

The husband stated that he wants to spend more time with his wife, but some minor financial setbacks I the household has caused him to work a lot more. He didn’t know why she couldn’t understand his passion to help feed and clothed his family. Before the two were married, it was your typical boy meets girl relationship. They would go everywhere together, do everything together, and see everything together. Once the married went into full swing and children were part of the equation, more time went into the family and less into the both of them. Her scorn for him not showing her enough attention came in the form of her yearning for attention elsewhere.

I have never condoned cheating before in my life, nor will I start now. If you feel that spouse is not giving you what you want and need most, there should always be a conversation about Most people say, well I did that, then when you ask about the sit-down, they never really had a physical sit-down. We expect our spouses to just know what we want, and at times that is feasible. On the other hand, this non-communication can prove to be disastrous to a marriage. In my advice to the both of them I encouraged them to create a specific time slot. This would be the time slot for husband and wife time. They are to make this promise and stay true to this promise. Only an emergency can disrupt the pack that they have set forth. My advice stuck with them and since our meeting, they sent me a letter telling me how well their marriage has panned-out since our talk. He has been paying more attention to her, and they even discussed having another child. I say good luck to them, and God speed ahead.

So as you can see, the life of a pastor is not only standing before a congregation giving Sunday service, but providing guidance to those who need it most. Marriage is important to me because I feel that children need that stable relationship which will serve as a template for when they decide to date and marry in their own lives. Since the Sinful Seven, I have met couples with a host of other issues, some from the seven I counseled, to new causes for concern. Whatever the case may be, I am more than happy to be of assistance to my parishioners and their families.

PROSTITUTION: THE BUSINESS OF SEX

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“Should it or shouldn’t it?”

With marijuana slowly being legalized across America by way of dispensary ownership; you have to ask another question. What else will the United States consider in the future? Well, what about prostitution? Will there ever come a time where sex will be legalized for sale? I mean, we already have the porn industry well men and women have sex on camera for pay. Why not having sex via brothel? But wait a minute don’t we have a few already?

We do have a few brothels already in the state of Nevada. But they reside deep within the desert. One of the most remote is known as the Moonlight Bunny Ranch. Not only is it remotely located in the desert, but also the most famous. Men from across the country and around the world come to visit the Bunny Ranch in Nevada. The hoops the owner had to jump through and continue to jump through is constant. But what about other regions of the country?

Will the United States meet some time in the distant future regarding men and women having the opportunity to have sex for money. Because the controversy of porn was seen as that in the beginning. As a matter of fact, porn walks this weird tight rope as it pertains to legality. But we look at it as perfectly fine in today’s society. If the conversation comes up, it will be shot down immediately. Why, what is wrong about legalizing two adults having sex with each other? One of my first guesses is the morality aspect.

We see prostitution is morally wrong, and capitalizing off of it as unethical. For the government to regulate men and women having sex for pay is considered morally wrong. But if that’s the case what about porn, strippers, and women who openly admit they sleep with men for money. Which by the way is an odd way to justify one legal and the other illegal. And for the most part I am not talking porn or stripping; but more so women sleeping with men for money. If a woman says I sleep with men and they give me money, she’s considered promiscuous. But if she says I charge men money for sex, then it’s illegal. Where is the line drawn.

When a woman says she sleeps with men for money, isn’t that prostitution? No because there has to be an agreed upon amount, and an exchange of currency form one hand into another. Well, that qualifies as prostitution also. That has always stuck out to me when I’ve heard women make statements like that. The other moral issue is the concern that young girls will seek to sell their bodies for sex when all else has failed or a quick way into money. The corruptibility it could have on the lives of females is feared to be devastating. Then what about the other aspect which is marriage.

Marriage is a reason also why prostitution is feared in America. We already have cell phone apps which allow you to meet people for random hookups. Think if there was a place to have sex for pay. It would really effect monogamy in this country. And it also leaves women at a great disadvantage. Men would outright ignore a lot of women because why work for your attention if it’s so quick and immediate. Now with that said, is it still good?

I think in my opinion, prostitution is the oldest profession, but it will be more so international than domestic. Because let’s assume women rally for the freedom to be a sex worker, other women would fight it. Plus, I don’t think America is the right place for this type of profession. Yes other countries have it, but they also have a lot of criminality in it as well. So in the end, even though there are some people who walk a fine line when it comes to sex for pay, it should still be illegal in America.

FOR THE LOVE OF YOUR CHILD: WHAT CAN THEY DO WRONG THAT COULD END IT ALL?

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“How deep is your love as a parent?”

So parents, is there anything your kid can do that will upset you enough to never speak to them again? What are the lengths you are willing to go to protect your child? For instance, the mother of serial killer Jeffery Dahmer stated that as heinous as his crimes were, she still loved her baby boy. How is this possible? Is it possible that a parent is obligated to love their child no matter what? And if so, are there differences between a father’s love and a mother’s love?

You see, when a child is young, there is very little a kid can do that a parent says you are no longer my child. Kids have been known to get kicked out of school, break curfew, and steal valuables. These are things that cause them to be put on punishment, but parents still love their child. It would seen as cold and heartless for a parent to turn their back on a child for getting kicked out of school or something else so mild. Then what would it take if these are things that won’t force you to turn on your child?

Let’s look at more serious charges against your child. Let’s assume your child physcially assaulted someone. I think that depending on the circumstance, a parent will take the side of their child. If the child was defending themselves parents will uphold 9/10. But if the assault was predicated by your child, what do you do; especially if the person died? I think the mother, giving she carried the child, is more likely to forgive than the father. Well why is that? Men have a more stern outlook on life than the more heartfelt woman. We don’t carry life, so it’s much easier for us to make the decision, even if it’s our offspring.

Well, how about  something worst than a physical assault? What if the offense was murder? What if it’s a first degree murder that was intentional? Is this enough for a parent to turn their backs on their child? Some to most are willing to under these conditions. As much as you love your child, intentionally harming another person’s child is strong enough to cut ties. Why because your child took another person’s child. The first thought that goes through a parent’s mind is what if that was my child. So the feeling of lose internally takes place.

There is one particular area where a parent will turn, and that is in the case of sexual assault. Especially if your child is an adult and the person is a minor. Pedophilia is the ultimate breach where parents will say they can no longer have human connection to a child of theirs. Parents will stand for a lot, but the lose of another child’s innocence is the line.

So, as you see, there are certain boundaries crossed where parents may accept or reject something their child may do. The boundary usually becomes grey once a crime has been committed. Very rarely will a parent turn for anything less. In the end, parents have a duty to protect their child, even sometimes in a criminal situation. It is a natural reaction to protect your offspring, but trust and believe there are limitations.

GOT SOME BLOW (SHORT STORY)

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Standing next to my brother, I must been only a few feet tall. I can still hear the drug addict as she approached, “Got some blow, got some blow?” He looked around, scanning the street from left to right, as he placed a tiny baggy of white powder in her hand. She gave him the cash in their hand to hand exchange, and then she walked away as quickly as she first approached. I must have watched a few dozen more people run up to him that day, as he scolded each of them, “Hey ya’ll, stand back, you gone get some, stand back.” I always wondered about the substance inside those tiny little baggies that everyone was going to crazy over.

In my childlike mind I envisioned sugar, which they were using to bake some type of meal at home. But I quickly dismissed this theory because why didn’t they just go to the grocery store. The grocery store had way more sugar than my brother was offering. It also was a hell of a lot cheaper than my brother was charging. I couldn’t understand for the life of me why they were spending ten to twenty dollars on something so small. There was one thing for certain, people went crazy for it. People would sometimes seal their purchase and snort the powder standing right there. That’s something that shocked me; they would snort this stuff and even rub the leftover residue across their gums.

By the end of the day, my brother would reach into his pocket and pull out a wad of cash. Watching all this money really sparked my interest. It seemed like he would be counting money for hours. I knew in that moment what I wanted to do in life. I wanted to sell to people whatever it was my brother was selling. You see my father was never around, and my mother was a waitress at a diner. She would come home from work as well with a wad of cash. Only her stack was a lot smaller in size than my brother’s. What was odd, is that when my brother would hear our mother outside, he would gather his belongings in a hurry. He grabbed the baggies, a small scale, a tiny scupper, a credit card, and an even bigger bag of white powder.

“Why would he run,” I thought to myself. Mother would be so grateful if she knew how much money he was making. I mean, she struggled raising the two of us, how could he be so ashamed to let her in on his new found wealth. Something struck me as odd after he would take his belongings into his room. Right before our mother would open the door, he use to put one finger to his lip, “Shhhhh, you didn’t see nothing, ok.” “Keep quiet about what you saw, and I’ll take you for some ice cream.”

That’s all I needed to hear from my big brother was that we were going for some ice cream. I never understood why he didn’t want me to say anything, but who cared. All I could think about once he said that was cookies and cream. There was nothing better than cookies and cream with my brother. Mom would walk into the house, and give a keen stare at my brother. “Have been out looking for a job today?” “Been looking all day, and couldn’t find nothing,” he would reply. I wanted to say so bad, “You do have a job.” “What about all the customers who buy your nose sugar?” Yet something kept me from saying it, maybe it was from the promise of cookies and cream ice cream.

She would walk pass the two of us, as she made her way to the bathroom. My brother would wait until she entered the bathroom and walk into his bedroom. There I would be, sitting alone on the couch, wondering what was going through my mother’s head and in my brother’s bedroom. It’s almost like they would exit the exact same time from the two rooms. My mother would give another keen look as she sat on the couch. These looks she would give him became all too routine; like she could sense the deceit. She would peer pass my brother, looking toward his room door. It’s as if she knew; she just knew he was hiding something. Which was something my mother hated, she hated lies; she hated the deceit, and she hated the betrayal.

My brother was all three rolled into one, only I didn’t see it that way. To me, he was a superhero; like in the movies or a comic strip. In my eyes, standing next to my brother, was like standing next to the President of the United States. There was nothing he could do that would upset me. This was the man who would introduce me into manhood. He is the one who taught me how to fight and how to pick up girls; how to love and how to show loyalty. I mean, who else was going to show me, not my mother. She wasn’t us, and we weren’t her, so how would she know? Who could teach her how to understand us better than my brother and I. So she did what any woman would do raising children on her own; she prayed and asked for the Lord’s guidance.

My mother didn’t know much, but she knew something wasn’t right in her household. I realized something wasn’t right while my mother and I were watching television one evening. There was some news reporter speaking into the camera about some war. He said it was a war that the country was losing and something needed to be done about it. I’m thinking to myself, a war, what country are we attacking this time. Only it wasn’t a foreign country, it was in this country. The television cut from his face to rows of rundown houses and apartment buildings. Something caught my attention as the camera kept panning the neighborhoods on the screen.

I thought to myself, those communities look like the one that I live in. Not only that, but those people walking the street look a lot like my brother’s customers. The reporter was saying how they obtained footage of the war. There were people with those tiny little baggies my brother had in his pocket, as well as the snorting of the powder. Then I became quite irritated to tell you the truth. How could a country be at war with my brother’s business? My brother was supplying these people with a product in which they were paying for out of their own pockets. The customers were a little creepy, but everyone in my neighborhood was strange in some shape or form.

I couldn’t wait until my brother came home so I could tell him about this war. He would enter the house, as normal, and walk into his bedroom. That’s when I would follow after him and knock on his door. With confidence, I approached him and said, “I was watching TV with mom tonight.” “The TV said that there was a war on your business, they can’t shut you down like that.” He never even broke a sweat as he looked me in my eyes and replied, “They always trying to shut me down, but the goal is to keep moving around so they can’t shut you down.” It still was confusing to me even after speaking with my big brother. Well that’s until I overheard a telephone conversation my mother was having.

She would be discussing the issues in the neighborhood; everything from fights in the street to murders on the sidewalks. For some reason she really took issue to the customers my brother was supplying. I’ll never forget what she called them, “junkies and fiends.” She went on to say they were, “strung out and tweaking.” I had never heard her speak of these words before, which carried such fowl connotation. So what did I do, I would sit near her as if I didn’t understand the conversation; soaking it all in. By the end of the conversation there was a clear painting of what she was discussing. The painting was grim, it was scary, it was violent, and it was all that described my brother.

My brother couldn’t be what she described, but my mother was a wise woman. Even though he was my superhero, she was above him in her own regard. So here I was, stuck at a crossroads, not knowing which path to take. Should I honor my loyalty to my brother and ignore her comments, or confront my brother about what our mother had said. So you know what, I approached her; that’s right, for the first time I stepped to my mother. Not like a boy, but like a man. I looked her dead in the eyes and said, “Don’t talk about people like that, they have done nothing wrong.” “If it were wrong, then how come the police have not arrested them yet?” Her anger for me listening to her telephone conversation subsided, once she saw how much it bothered me.

It was a look I would never forget; combination of shock and anguish. She would place her hand on my cheek on tell me how much wrong was in our community. I didn’t want to hear it; it wasn’t true, it couldn’t be true. If what she was saying was true, then my brother is up to no good. He was one bad man who was charting down a path of destruction. I had heard enough, so told her, “Don’t tell me about how bad these people are, my big brother supply these people.” “He gives them sweet sugar to put in their noses and they always come back for more.” “He divides it up with a credit card and weighs all of it right here, I watch him do it.” “Just so he would give everyone a fair amount.” “Now you sit here and say these things are bad, how mom, how?”

Her shock and anguish turned to tearful emotion and pain. This was new; I had never seen my mother cry before. Something must be wrong? What did I say to make her turn so quickly? She leaped from the couch and scampered into my brother’s room. Next thing you know, she had gotten hold of his big bag of sugar, and tore it open. The room quickly filled with powdery mist as continue her assault on his room. From the other side of the door, I was thinking to myself, “When he gets home, he is going to be heated.” “Mom ripped open his bag, poured out all his sugar.” “Now what is his customers going to do about their nose sugar.” “He is sure to lose them all to some of the other salesmen who stand on the corner in the next block over.

She stormed from the bedroom, almost knocking me to the ground, as she dialed on her cell phone. Her exact words once the person answered, “Hello, 9-1-1, I need the police, right now.” “Don’t ask for the emergency, send them now!” I thought to myself she has done it now, tore up my brother’s room so bad, now she needs medical attention. But I couldn’t understand why she needed medical attention from the police. The police are supposed to come when someone is going to jail. Who was going to jail? I knew she wouldn’t have called on herself. Maybe she was calling on me because I yelled at her.

The fear of going to jail made me run from the room, into my mother’s bedroom. I hid underneath her bed, while I heard the sounds of sirens moments later. They’re here, the sound of their heavy footsteps on the porch made me cringe in fear. As they entered I heard my mother yelling, “I want him gone, take him to jail.” I grew more terrified hearing her say these words. It hit me, she was talking about me, but I wasn’t going to jail. But I had to do something as she called out to me. Then when I wouldn’t reply, she made her way to the bedroom. As they entered, she yelled, “Boy, where in the hell are you!”

I slowly emerged from under the bed, shivering from fear. “Boy what the hell is wrong with you, come here!” She grabbed my arm and forced me from the bedroom. It felt like I was on my way to the gas chamber. Here it goes, just like this, this is how my life will end. As we stood before the police she looked at them, “My son here has been telling me all about his brother’s dope dealing in this house.” “I want him arrested; he is to not step foot in this house selling dope. I paused, looking at her in shock, oh no, not my brother. My brother didn’t sell drugs, drug dealers hurt people. My brother didn’t hurt anybody; he was simply giving people some sugar for their noses.

Hell I don’t know why people needed sugar for their nose, but boy did they love it. Eventually footsteps were heard from outside, as my brother entered the house. He looked in shock, “Momma, what happened?” “Why are the police here?” They walked over to him, “You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” My brother was shocked until he took a peek inside his room. Once he saw the all his sugar on the ground, he closed his eyes and dropped his head in shame. I still remember how they took him from the house, my mother not even acknowledging his existence. I had never seen my brother until that day when the police took him away in handcuffs.

Each and every day after my brother left, I would wait on the porch for him. I waited days, then weeks, then months, but the inevitable set in; he wasn’t coming home again. By the time I was on my way out of elementary school into middle school my brother came home. Only this time, he was muscular and had all these tattoos on his body. He asked me if I still loved cookies and cream ice cream. When I replied yes he offered to take me to go get some. On our way to the ice cream shop he was approached by one of his old customers. The man said, “Haven’t seen you around in a long time; still got some blow?” My brother said, “Naw man, I don’t sell blow no more.” The man walked away as my brother and I entered the ice cream shop. I was glad he didn’t sell it anymore because I never wanted to see my brother walk out of my life again.

THOUGHT

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“Are your thoughts your thoughts?”

“I think therefore I am.” “Your thoughts become reality.” “I believe this to be true therefore it is.” We as humans always want to feel that just because I think something is true makes it true. Now, this has a possibility of being true because like I said prior, your thoughts become reality. You think something, it becomes your process, then your action, and then it’s what your life becomes. Well, when does the thought become unreal? It becomes unreal once the thought blocks you from logical thinking.

What I mean by logical thinking is that we want to think that our belief systems mean something just because we believe it. The problem with this frame of thought is we don’t realize certain thoughts and feelings exist because things have been laid out for us in the past. And the past at times dictate the present. Meaning, 100 years from now, Gay marriage won’t be a topic of discussion. Why, well people will think they agree because it’s their thought, but won’t realize it was put in play 100 years ago. The same is for dating in certain age ranges. 100 years ago a 16 year old marrying a 30 year old man was normal. But today we frown on it not because we feel that way, we were born in a time where the laws changed.

With what has been said, why is it so hard for people to acknowledge the truth? People find it hard to do so because they can’t stomach the fact that their belief system means nothing. If what they believe means nothing, then what else is not true in their lives. Ultimately they have to live with the idea that their lives may have been a waste. This is fine if you are in your early adulthood; there is still time to change. But if you are toward the end of your life, then yes, your life may have not meant anything. So how does one keep this from happening?

You keep it from happening when you open up your mind to learning new things. Having new experiences in life on a consistent basis. Your learning will force you to challenge new thoughts and you gain new insight into the world around you. That is a major issue with the world is that we don’t like putting ourselves in the know. We reject so much new information because we get set in our ways. The problem with getting set in a way is that if there is any new information presented that is needed to replace the old and you are still on the old, you are left behind. Meaning it’s nearly impossible for you to function in the general population. This renders you obsolete in society.

So in closing, when your thoughts become reality, this can be good, so long as the thought align with rational thinking. The problem is we all think we are rational. We all feel that we have that one magic word which will change everyone’s mind. But it never quite pans out that way. But the thoughts we harbor can also be a killer if we retain thoughts that become antiquated. making it impossible to live in the world.