WHEN BLOOD AINT BLOOD NO MORE: WHEN IT’S TIME TO CUT OFF FAMILY

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“Sometimes they’re worse than enemies.”


We are connected by blood, grew up with each other, and as you age you may have to cut them off: family. I have not had to make this decision, but there are people who have had to do so. I was listening to the radio when I heard a hip hop artist talk about having to cut off his own brother for stealing money from him. His brother stole $300,000 and now that relationship has to be severed. Because it’s not really about the money as it is about the idea of him ripping off his own family. How do you steal from someone so close to you? But that is when you see people’s real motives, and how far they are willing to go when they want something. So what are other reasons that one must cut off family from their lives? Well, what about the entitlement aspect of being related to someone.

In family, you are supposed to pull your weight and aid those in need when they do from themselves. But what happens when the person has this give me because we’re blood mentality. You are not entitled to have just because you’re blood. You’re also not obligated to care for family like a child or children, especially if the person/s are able-bodied adults. My grandmother told me about life growing up in the state of Mississippi. She said that every family had a plot of land, no matter how big or small. And it was very important you tended to that land everyday. Because if you didn’t tend to your land everyday, then you and family didn’t eat when crop came through for everyone else. Hopefully, a neighbor and/or family nearby had some leftover crop, otherwise you were screwed. And it was that thought process which kept people together. Kept people strong as one. You had to get up when everyone else was getting up and sleep as well.

But today, there is this built in ideology that since we have the same blood flowing through our veins we are indebted to each other. And what’s crazy is that we are not part of the architectural design of each other. You have to not only be there in good, but in bad as well. You have to expect to give as well as asking for something. And as my mother raised my sisters and myself, “If you don’t call that person on a consistent basis, then don’t call them when you need something.” She was telling us that you are supposed to deal on the basis of sentiment, not cents. Call them to say hello, not just because you see some benefit in it for you. And once it becomes a relationship built on I need, and give me, then you have to disconnect. Because now, the person/people don’t respect you anymore. Because it’s easy to make a demand when you have not done anything to get what you are asking for form the person.

In the end, it’s all about respect and boundaries. They have to understand you have a life and they have a life. There is nothing wrong with under-girding those that are close to you. But once the relationship comes to the point of me, me, me, and you’re sacrificing your own piece of mind, then you have to disconnect. Because you never love anyone more than you love yourself. Even if the it comes at the cost of losing people. You only have one obligation to one person in this world, and that is you. Help those around you, but understand that help is purely voluntary and not owed.


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PARENTLESS BOND: WHY MEN’S ATTACHMENT WITH KIDS ISN’T THE SAME AS WOMEN

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“Her bond is different than our bond.”


When a woman is pregnant, there is a bond she creates with her child that no man is able to understand. The following link is of a video of a woman right after giving birth with her child exemplifying that bond between mother and child. (https://www.facebook.com/viralthread/videos/1317955175012988/) And I have always wondered, why don’t men have the same bond with the kid that the mother has. It’s because of human nature. But then I also began to think a little deeper as it pertains to fatherhood. And I have asked myself a question. When observing the human species as a mammal, were men meant to be in the lives of children? Was that evolution’s goal was to create an attachment? Or is being a father a human construct?

Because as a man, we have to build a relationship with that kid. Moms immediately have that bond because the baby grows inside of her. So the bond is more pure than with a man. That’s why when a woman leaves her child, it can be more hurtful than the father. But once again, does nature create these boundaries or do people have a hand in how we have relationships with children. In my opinion, I think it’s a little bit of both. We are very much dictated by social norms, yet nature is still there lingering. So what does this all mean regarding who we are as a species. And to narrow it down, I mean as men. Will there ever come a time where we will have that same connection?

And yes, I know as time goes on, children recognize us and we eventually become dad. But why does this exist. Because our biological attachment happens in the very very beginning. So by the time the human is fully created, we have no real attachment except for the creation of that human. But, I will say, there is something quite emotional once that kid arrives. There is a level of attachment that father has for that kid. The kid does not quite understand it, but the parent understands the importance of the parental-kid relationship. And that has a lot to do with our conscious as people.

And in the end, our consciousness gives us the ability to make sound decisions. And that decision is being there for your child. Other creatures in the wild generally let there children go at a far younger age than humans. But with the conscious we are given we stick around and raise them until we feel they have reached an appropriate age to leave the house. And without that, humanity most likely would not have lasted as long as we have lasted. Hopefully as time progress, we’ll find out more about ourselves.


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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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HAPPY FATHER’S DAY: WHAT DOES THIS DAY MEAN TO YOU

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“I may not have children, but what a feeling it must be.”


Today is the day we celebrate all the fathers in society. The men who are the protectors of their families. The ones that awaken early in the morning and arrive home late into the evenings. But now I ask the question to you; what does today to mean to you? What are some thoughts that come to mind when you think about father’s day? And that does not necessarily have to be your father. It can be a grandfather, cousin, uncle, or even a sibling. Who in your life has influenced you that deserves to be celebrated on this day? Let me explain how each of these men are deserving of this title as father.

How about a sibling, how does a sibling effect you by them being a father? I have not had this privilege given I have two sisters, but there are people who have siblings that impact them. For example, you want children and you have an older brother or younger brother with children. Their relationship with their children may rub off on to you choosing a mate to have children with in your life. You might say to yourself, “I want to have children with a man who is a father like my brother.” Well, what about men you know who are related to you such as your uncles.

That makes a lot of sense, uncles are siblings to your parents or your grandparent’s siblings. Usually your parent’s siblings are a good gauge for influencers in your life as fathers. If you didn’t have your father growing up, your uncles, who generally are your parent’s siblings may be able to step in and assist you. Especially if you are a boy growing up. Your uncle could be pivotal in your development as a young man in a life where you are growing up without a father figure. Yet, there is still one more person that is an important father figure in life, and that is your grandfather.

Grandfathers who have been through the majority of life. They know and understand the full road ahead of you, especially as a boy. They can prepare you for manhood. And as a girl, give you a good overall feel for the type of family man she should want as a husband. You’re able to gauge how great this man is by watching the offspring of him. The children, grandchildren, who have come from this person. The love and respect that people have for this man. He is a perfect embodiment of what a young boy would like to be and what a young girl want to marry. But of course, last but not least, your own father.

We always talk about the woman carry the baby in her womb. But what about the connection fathers have with their children. What about the fathers who understand their job is to prepare their sons for the world ahead. Or how about the girls who are going to most likely use her relationship she has with her father as a means to choose a guy for herself. And having these children as a father, you can learn so much from them. These children teach you how to be young again. Your sons interest themselves in your hobbies you onced loved as a young boy. And your daughters teach you how to love much more than you do now.

See, in the end, a father is more than just the initial process in the child birthing stages. They are important and pivotal all throughout the life of a child. And a kid or children raised with a strong father, it manifest itself in how they make decisions as they get older. Which is why you should involve yourself in their lives as much as possible. Because can you never get those times back not spent with them.


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YOU CAN’T CHOOSE ‘EM; FAMILY!

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“We are not what we used to be.”


We can’t pick them, we can’t get rid of them; and that is our family. The problems we face in life are challenging enough, but what about trying to appease the people who are closest to you. How about trying to live your life while they stand on the sidelines and judge. Sad to say, but sometimes these are people who can become more of a burden on your life than complete strangers. But why, why are families so much more tougher than others in society? Why is that these are the main people who you should be able to depend on the most that are the ones you have to sometimes protect yourself from the most?

Well, for starters because people feel that since you and them carry the same bloodline that constitutes they have a say in your life. Yes we are connected biologically, but we mentally we are different people. Just because we are spawn from the same lineage does not mean you know everything there is to know about me. As a matter of fact one of the reasons why relationships last so long is not just because you admit when you’re wrong and love your significant other. It has a lot to do with the idea that when you two have problems in the household you don’t pick up that telephone to call your family. Because family members are going to give you advice based on their own personal situations not what is good for you in life.

Where does this entitlement that since we are related you’re owed to something come from? Because every family has that mind-frame, why? In my opinion, I think people have that mind-frame because the meaning of what family is, is a very ambiguous meaning. It all depends on the person who is interpreting what is family. To one person, family does whatever it takes to help each other, some believe tough love is the best method. I look at family as everyone pulls their weight. Meaning if I have milk, you have cereal, this person has bowls, and this person has utensils, then “WE” can eat breakfast. Family is not for a single person or few carrying the load of all. Because usually what happens is if that person is longer around, the family dynamics collapse.

See, in the end, your family are not something you choose, but it’s what you’re born into. But that doesn’t mean  just because we have the same bloodline we know everything about each other. In addition, you shouldn’t tell family everything as well. Some things are mean’t for them not to know and some things are mean’t for them to know.


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TECH OVER FAMILY TIME: IS OUR MOBILE DEVICES RUINING OUR FAMILY BONDS

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“Is your life overtaken by your technology?”


Have you ever been at a restaurant and seen families in today’s society? The mother holding her cell phone, the father is holding his, the children are on their iPads; even infants have been known to play around with their own mobile devices. Yet whenever their child takes on negative behavior, they always want to blame it on someone or something else. For example, my kids are the way they are because of the video games. Yet they have to play the video games because their parents refuse to communicate with them. So now they take on characteristics of whatever it is that has their attention. Whether it’s the video games or their social media accounts.

Well why, why are so many young people forced to connect to their social media profiles as a means to connect to people. For starters, this is not the days where parents can always be there for their kids. The cost of living has caused so many to work more, meaning a bigger generation of latch key kids. So a lot of parents are unaware at times as to what their children are doing on a daily basis. Who is to watch after them and who are they to converse with after school. Well, they are going to gravitate to the next best thing which is vagueness. And that’s what excessive use of social media really is; a vague sense of connections to people.

But is it all technology and no parenting? Parents have a hand in how their children turn out as well. Yes, they have to work, but their yours. It’s not the social media, athletes, or entertainers job to raise your children. You must be willing to put in the time to care for them. Because all the people you expect to care for your children have families of their own. You have to be an advocate for your children. You are the one that brought them into this world, so it really isn’t anyone else’s job to raise your children except you. So what’s with trying to always shift the blame elsewhere. Or, and there is an or; maybe for a second, some of it might be the entertainment.

Let’s look at entertainment for a moment. Our entertainment has found its way into our daily lives that now young kids are begging for fame even if comes at the cost of them looking like fools. From Instagram to World Star Hip Hop, entertainment outlets have been designed for connecting people are now used for negativity. So naturally kids gravitate to this, especially when they see people becoming famous or even the slightest bit of notoriety from bad behavior. See, in the end, there are a culmination of issues from children having too much tech and not enough family time. But technology is not slowing down, neither is parents inability to be around. So, this is the beginning, it may get worse, or technology can be used to connect if utilized appropriately.