SHOP TIL YOU DROP: KNOW WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Two White and Red Star Gift Boxes

“Do buy yourself out of a home.”


the season of giving

As you all are out there shopping for gifts this Christmas, remember that you still have to live after the holiday. And that is something people don’t think about as they yank items off the shelfs. You have a family that you have to care for, so think before you just snatch and buy. We are all in the holiday spirit, then you realize something, “Oh yeah, I’m dipping into my living money.” Don’t get put in the street trying to keep up with the rest of shoppers. But these are generally people hard of hearing because they need to keep up.

know when to say when

How can you tell when you need to stop spending and just go home? I have a suggestion, how about stop soon as the money in your pocket is getting low. That’s right, we tend to shop with our debit and credit cards. Then we get our bill at the end of the money or check the bank balance and realize something. You have went over your budget and now you’re scrambling. This is what I mean by shop with what you have in your pocket. Or if you don’t want to carry cash, then get a debit card. But not a debit card you’ll be using connected to your bank account. Put money on this card, and when it’s gone, you know when to stop Christmas shopping.

they’re doing it, why can’t i

If you make $50,000 per year, you’re not shopping for gifts like the person who makes $250,000 per year. So you know what, know what you can afford. I know what I have to spend and what I don’t. But for some reason, people hate looking at their reality and excepting that reality. So they go deeper into debt because they want to be included. I don’t need to be included in the conversation. So for me, it’s easier to say no to buying over what I have in the bank.


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MERRY XMAS: WHAT DOES TODAY MEAN TO YOU

 

Christmas wishing card

“Seasons Greetings.”


Today is Christmas, which is arguably the biggest holiday in America. A day where families across the country sit in their living rooms and open gifts. In addition to gifts, there will be dinners, movies being watched, and sports on television. Now let me ask you, what does today mean to you? Is Christmas a day for gift giving, or is today the day for you to reflect on all the good things that have happened thus far in your life? Because as with the gift giving, there are people across the country without the ability to buy gifts for loved ones. Not only purchasing gifts, some won’t even have a meal for themselves to consume. Yet if you look throughout the history of Christmas, giving gifts have been something new on this holiday. For the longest people made their gifts for each other. There was more thought that went into buying gifts.

So why is everything about buying the best gift today? Is it that the true spirit of Christmas has been lost? Or is it that Christmas has evolved like everything else in society? Maybe this is the evolution of Christmas. Because as I walked the streets of New York, you could barely see the sidewalk below you there were so many feet walking these streets this holiday season. Everyone was in the Christmas spirit. Now notice I said the Christmas spirit. A lot of people don’t view this type of shopping as the Christmas spirit. They view it as nothing more than another snatch and grab. A more greed and shallow driven holiday that was meant for sharing love and religious sentiment. But like I said before, everything in our society evolves, even our holidays. So what will the future of our Christmas season look like as time progress.

In the end, we all have our different interpretations for what today means. When I was a child, my sister and I received gifts and talked amongst ourselves. Then later on, we would go to my great grandmother’s house for dinner. But since everyone have grown and gotten married, time is now split between so many different families there isn’t this big family dinner. But as far as the celebration of Christmas, who knows, it might go back to its roots as life becomes more expensive in America.


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LIFE’S GIFTS: DO YOU HAVE THEM OR HAVE YOU JUST WORKED HARD

“Gifts are free, trust me, it ain’t free.”


As a writer, you would think that one has a gift to be a writer. But, as a matter of fact, to say they have a gift discredits the hard work they put into their writing. You’re not born with it, but the fact that people think it is a gift can also be seen as a good thing too. Just as it seems discrediting, you also did your job by making it look so easy. Yet for some reason, if only people could see all the blood sweat and tears you put into your craft, they wouldn’t see it as some gift you were given. Ok then, why, why is it so hard for people to see that you put work in for so long.

One main reason it’s hard for them to see what you do as a gift is because anything they can’t do themselves must be some special power that you possess. And in order to be you, they must go to some far away land to be that great. When in reality it has nothing to do with being special. But another reason that people see what you do as a gift is because what they fail to notice everyday around them, you pay closer attention. And that is what separates the genius from the average person. Let’s look at Albert Einstein for a moment. He wasn’t some special type of guy, it’s just that a certain body of science peaked his interests. So he worked until he became good. Even his theory of relativity was discovered riding a bus home.

We all ride the bus, but how many of us ride the bus thinking to ourselves our body constantly in motion, relative to the bus’s movement if the bus were to stop. People usually think about errands or some other mundane activity. We don’t really travel thinking about science or mathematics. But for the people that do, their minds are always thinking about the complexities of life. Meanwhile, you’re stuck on your daily routine.

Because in the end, these are the people who supposedly are endowed with all the gifts. Yet what they have is no more than hard work and an open mind into whatever it is that interests them. What is the difference between you and Einstein: patience and love for what he does. He didn’t have a gift, for the longest he couldn’t even tie his shoe and he was a failure in science. He never took no for an answer and always came back wanting to know more and conduct more experiments.


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THE CHANGE IN TIMES: WHY HOLIDAYS ARENT THE SAME AS THEY USE TO BE

Image result for holidays“Togetherness isn’t togetherness anymore.”


When I was growing up, the holidays were spent at my great grandmother’s house. As time went on and people started having children and getting married, the numbers decreased. Now the number of people in my family coming together is drastically low compared to when I was a child. At first, I thought it was just my family, but now I know that it is families all throughout the country. A few reasons why this has happened is due to a few factors. One of the factors is that working on a holiday is worth making the extra bucks toward the family household income. Another reason that holidays aren’t the same is because the cost to travel considering so many people have greater distances today. But third reason for a decline in the celebration of holidays is splitting time between families because of marriage.

Is this good for the American family that spending holidays have come down to work and splitting time? And the answer is not that it is a question of is this good, but more so, the change in how holidays are being celebrated is a necessity. But even the meaning of the holiday season has changed. Now on Thanksgiving, instead of spending time with family, people leave early so they can shop for Christmas gifts for Black Friday. We care more about catching the sale on an item we’ve been eyeing for some time than giving thanks. And instead of reflecting over the year during Christmas, we’re enamored with whatever gifts we’ve been given. So what happens when you don’t have a family or even indulge on days like Thanksgiving or Christmas.

It has to be depressing when you go home and there is no food for you to eat or presents under your tree. So for these people, they hate to see this time of year where everyone is galvanizing together to shop. As for me, I lived so long with these types of festivities, it’s no that big of a deal to not engage in the craziness of Black Friday or wake up to Christmas presents under the tree. I would much rather, if I had the finances, purchase gifts for others, than ask for something for Christmas. So, I look at the gifting as more of a children’s time to enjoy than adults anyways. For adults to ask what you gave them for Christmas just sounds too forthcoming and to be quite honest, out of line.

In the end, holidays have changed so much, just in my lifetime and I am only 30 years old. So if you’re in your elderly years, you must look at Christmas as too much of a greedy holiday today. Whatever the case may be, it will continue to take on many forms. And with the cost of living becoming more and more of a problem, you will see more and more people working around this time. It used to be odd to work on a Thanksgiving or Christmas, but not anymore. It has become all the craze to get that time and a half. So much so that some jobs have gotten stiff, stating you have to work on the holiday and another to get scheduled to work.


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GIFTS: How So Many Of Us Miss Our Calling

“What is your purpose?”

Gifts, we all have them, but not the one, one receives on holidays. I’m talking about the gift given to you in life. Some people spend their entire lives not utilizing their gifts. Whether its because of a personal fear or our outside influences. Having a gift and not using it is not only robbing yourself but others of great opportunities. Well, what opportunities?

What about the knowledge that is not used. You know how many Albert Einsteins have been born since Einstein, yet never attempted to engage in anything remotely scientific. Imagine where this country could be scientifically. Or better yet, there is a Steve Jobs working a nine to five that he/she hates. For whatever reason they refuse to attempt at using that gift. Imagine where we could also be technologically. Steve Jobs believed that those feel they can change the world most often do change the world.

And sometimes it’s not all math and science. Look at Martin Luther King Jr. What if he was not interested in human rights? What if Michael Jordan had not have picked up a basketball? You see, a gift is something precious. I can’t fully explain it in words. But it’s this feeling that I have to do this in life. It’s my duty, my calling. Initially, its hard for people to see, but in time they will. It’s hard to get people to see what thy can’t see. Why is that? What’s it about your gift, that people can’t initially see? Well, the problem is that its not a gift to others, but your vision. Telling people your calling is this vague existence. You say, to people, you go, “I have a calling to be a humanitarian.” People say, “Quiet, go get a day job.” Now at this stage you have a choice. Should you take this advice? Or, should you pursue your interest?

This is a tough stage, go through with the gift or quite. Now, in my opinion, I say go for the gusto. Because when the lights go out they’re out forever. You only get one at bat, make it count. That’s the inspirational words, but what about the reality. What about not achieving your goal. How many people can live with not reaching that point where others can see the gift? What a painful feeling to be working so hard just to be let down in the end. But see to me, it’s worth it. Go for it all even in the face of failure. Because I can live with failure, but what I can’t live with is not trying at all.

FAMILY TIES: WHY WE’VE GONE IN SEPERATE DIRECTIONS

Related image

“Why have people become so distant?”

You ever see those 1950’s images of the family sitting around the table having a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner? Everyone is smiling from ear to ear. People pass food and/or gifts as they indulge in giving and food. Well, note I said the 1950’s because those days are so far behind us. Well why, why have families become so distant over the recent years for the holidays? There are a few factors: work related, family issues, and distant living.

First you ask yourselves, what is this thing with work related? Well work has gotten in the way over the years. Living in society is so expensive that it requires people to now work during the holidays. Everything used to be closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas, now businesses are open. People need the money, so they are opting out of visiting family. You now have to make so many decisions in life, the family or the rent. Catching up on old times or utilities. You have to make some tough choices in this world so not visiting family is something they have to understand.

But it’s not always about the job. What about the families that just flat out don’t speak to each other? This is a reality as well in our world today. When we’re young we are close to family, but as you get older you take on different views and ways of life. These ways can sometimes conflict with family causing people to not see each other. Another reason can be that the backbone of the family dies. This person was someone that was able to bring everyone together. But since they have passed away everyone go their separate directions.

Then again, it’s not all about fighting and work. Some people live far away from family. If you live in Los Angeles and family is in San Diego, great. But if family live in Miami and you’re in Los Angeles, well I’ll send you a postcard. Besides the sheer distance, the cost can run pretty high when trying to travel long distances. We go months, some people years without seeing immediate family. It’s nothing personal, but we just live way too far away.

See in the end, there are a lot of reasons why people no longer spend time with family. Some people are loners others would rather just relax. Whatever the case families aren’t like they used to be. A lot of it has to do with relationships as well. When you get married and have children, you see less of family. They split time with their spouses family, but also at home as well. However you view why families have parted always reach out because you never know when you’ll see them again.

Our Deepest Fears: What Marianne’s Words Meant To Me.

“Our Deepest fears are not that we are inadequate…”

The author Marianne Williamson stated in her novel A Return to Love that, “Our deepest fears are not that we are inadequate.” “Our deepest fears is that we are powerful beyond measure it is our light not our darkness that’s most frightens us.” The entire passage is one that I have come to know by heart because the meaning behind the words resonate so much with me. The quote prior resonates because you would think people would be afraid of their failures in life, yet it is success that scares them the most.

Well why does success scare people so much? Is it that they won’t be able to handle the attention that comes with it? Or is it the idea that the more you give to people the more they want; and you fear not being able to satisfy their need? Marianne went to answer these questions by saying, “We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous.” “Actually who are you not to be?” Which only meant, when you look into the mirror, why second guess the reason you are in the position you’re in or was given the talents you possess? Why not you?

Marianne went on to state, “Your playing small does not serve the world.” “There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others won’t feel insecure when they’re around you.” We who possess such skills that set us apart from everybody else forces you to want to take a step back. We want to run with the pack even though we run faster than anyone in the pack. Why? Because we don’t want anyone else to feel insecure because they can’t keep up. So what do we do, we run with the group because we think it makes us noble. But it actually uncovers a character flaw that exist inside of us.

She let us know that, “You were made to manifest the glory of God that is within you.” “It’s not in some of us, it’s in everyone.” “And as you let your own light shine, you can unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” “As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” These quotes let us know that your power that you possess is not just in you it’s in everyone around you. The only difference between you and them, is that you actually will do what they only dream of doing. But once you step out into the world fearless and confident, this confidence frees up so many other people seeking to be just as great as you.

What’s interesting about Marianne Williamson’s novel, A Return to Love, is that our deepest is only a passage in the book. The book contained so much more than our deepest fears, yet our deepest fears are the constraints which harbor so many people from being the greatest version of them they can be. How did this passage help me? It freed me up to pursue my dreams in life. Dreams so many will never attempt; becoming a successful author and filmmaker.

You see, growing up for me was about going to college attaining your education. Upon leaving school, finding a job that not only pays every two weeks, but hopefully one which will assist in paying for graduate school in the process. Well, while going to graduate school, I found myself looking over my screenplay which had not been completed. Writing the script was a daunting task. So difficult I tossed it partially finished and continued to pursue my MBA. It wasn’t until I was almost complete with my degree I felt a lack of accomplishment.

Why? Because I was not pursuing anything I was passionately willing to do for the rest of my life. It was while finishing up my MBA I began to work more in New York City’s theatre scene that I picked-up my script once again. Finishing the script I took on new ideas and a new way of thinking. It was then I knew I didn’t belong in a corporate environment. Because the stories I have to tell, people need to read and listen to. That’s when Marianne’s passage started to resonate with me. My only reasons for not pursuing my dreams is not out of failure, it was fear of what comes with the success.

But the cost of me doing nothing felt like much more hurtful than doing something. I can live with working toward something and failing. What I cannot live with is the idea of reaching the age of 70, 80, or even 90, looking back going I should have. Because if you ask any man or woman in their elderly years what was their biggest regret in life they’ll tell you it’s no being reaching for the greatest them they could be. And that is more of a fear for me than anything in life. Getting to the end of my life and realizing it was for nothing. People might look and go, it looked nice to me, but what was it for me. Regret is one of the biggest pains of anyone in life. So in closing I say thank you Marianne, those words have been that bit of logic that have stuck with me for the past few years now. Those words as I journey through this tough terrain as a novelist and filmmaker: “Our deepest fears are that we are inadequate.” “Are deepest fears are that we are powerful beyond measure.”