INCREASE YOUR BASE: HOW LEARNING OUTSIDE OF YOUR STUDIES IS IMPORTANT

Pile of Covered Books

“Read, understand, put to use.”


please read

Ever wonder why certain people are able to think a certain way as it pertains to their vocabulary or their ability to rationalize subject matter. The reason being is that they have built a base for themselves because of all of material they have read over the years. And that is something a lot of people just don’t do. And if they do read it’s usually a fictional novel. They very rarely read books that are based in different forms of science. Rarely do they read or wonder how the world around them operates on an atomic level.

where did that come from

Ever been watching Jeopardy and saw someone firing out random answers and getting them right. And I am not referring to the people on the game show. I’m talking about the people at home. Well, the reason they can just shoot off random answer like that is because of the base they have accrued over time. Unbeknownst to them, they are able to guess these answers without even knowing where it came from, but it’s there in your head.

bor-ing

People have a hard time building a base because they see what is being read as irrelevant to them. And that’s what keeps them from building a base, thus not being able to call back when information is needed that will be useful in their lives. Now, is it all about boredom, no, but so many people are just not in the mood to learn new things. They work all week and just want time to have fun or to themselves. The last thing they want to do is continuously work.

the paradigm

As you live and read and learn, you don’t really understand what it is you’re learning to do. What are going to use all this information for in the end? So as you go to sleep and wake up, you learn and learn. But with the learning and learning, you continue to progress. And that progression comes from the base you built over time.


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ACCEPTANCE VERSUS TOLERANCE: HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE RESPECTED

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“I want love by choice not force.”


In America today, more than ever we are stressing the tolerance of other groups of people. People who you may not agree with, yet you leave them to their own devices to be them. Me on the other hand, I have a different view of the topic at hand. Me myself, I would rather be accepted than to be tolerated in America. What is the difference between being accepted and tolerated? To accept someone is to celebrate them in all they have to give. To tolerate someone is to only accept them by means of force. We push people to have tolerance while acceptance is more pure. Why is this so important today?

Because with the introduction of our new Commander and Chief Donald J. Trump, people feel like he’s very insensitive to certain ethnic groups. Mainly people in the Middle Eastern communities and Hispanics. But when I hear people say that they tolerate a group of people it’s still similar to saying you’re not fond of a group of people. Now, let’s not get that confused with hate. Notice I said it is similar, but not the same. And I say similar Woman in Blue Hijabbecause the similar reasons he disagrees with a group is the similar reasons why people tolerate a group. For example, he says we need to vet countries where radical Islamic extremists are coming from entering the United States. Then people say I disagree with how Islam treats it’s women, yet I tolerate their culture.

You’re similar in that your feelings toward them are strong, maybe not on his level, but it’s there. It’s harder to say you accept Islam because you do disagree with some of its principles. Yet no one wants to think they agree with him on any level. But let’s be clear, is it people who accept and or tolerate communities that they gentrify. No, the goal is to remove those living their and make way for their families. This is on par with the same racial sentiment you’re accusing the president of conducting himself in, in our country. See, I have a different perspective on the whole acceptance versus tolerance belief. Like I said before, I would much rather be celebrated because it’s pure.

Now here is something interesting I can share with you regarding the acceptance. People treat you in the manner in which not only you carry yourself, but how you think someone else sees you. So you are hurt when not accepted because you’ve based your identity off of someone who ultimately does not respect you. And if you’re seeking validation from someone that does not respect you, they’ll see it and use it against you. Still, people fight for the tolerance. Then again, is all tolerance bad? Am I looking at this tolerance word with too much conviction? Let’s analyze the other side.

Tolerance is me not accepting something you say or do, a practice you are conducting yourself in, but I can still respect you enough to not hate you. Meaning, I believe you can be tolerant to gay marriage, yet not hate gays. I don’t believe you should have the choice in them getting married and I Image result for rainbow flagdon’t condone violence against someone living how they choose to live. But I don’t think we should live in a society where are forced to agree. And as long as we can disagree and continue, there is nothing wrong with opposing. Now, with that viewpoint you won’t reach everyone, but as long as people know where you stand, that is key.

In the end, knowing where people stand is the tough part. We live in a country where everyone says the right thing. And a lot of that comes from fear of losing something. So we are becoming a nation where we teach each other how to lie to one another. I don’t want you to lie about how you feel toward me. And if you don’t like something, express your right to not be involved in what the person is doing. Because using means of force will only result in more conflict and further alienation.


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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.

GENDER FLIP

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“What if I were a woman?”

Have you ever thought what your life would be like if you were the opposite gender? I have found myself going, “How would my life be different had I have been born a woman?” “Would I have the the same cognitive processes I do now?” “How would my physical attributes look in this feminine body?” “Would I be just as safe walking the streets as I am now?” “What would be expected of me from society?” So many questions to myself go through my mind. But I have another way of approaching the situation. If I could go back to that conceptualized moment of birth, I would take notes with me from today’s society. Meaning I would write an advice letter from a man’s perspective then send it back in time to my female self in how to deal with man.

My advice to female self starts in elementary school. I would first start off by telling me that life didn’t make us fair. Sorry kid, boys’ muscular structure is different than women. So chances are you won’t be the fastest kid in school. You will dominate among women, but as far as being the fastest in general that’s all biology. But I will tell you that you will be a better communicator. Man has been endowed biologically greater than a woman in which that is physical, but you are greater in which that is emotional. Find your skill that makes you unique from the rest, using that greater in which to shine.

Your next stage in life will come middle school. This is the beginning of your adolescent life. You will start to develop so much mentally through this stage as well as physically. But you will know this because you’re in your female body. But if you’re reading this message to you, you should know that it’s also boy’s adolescent stage as well. We are going through puberty, and our affinity for you will start. Now, our voices don’t only crack and we are not only growing hair everywhere, but we don’t fully know why we like you as well. At age 12 years of age it is very unclear, but we’ll understand coming through middle school into high school.

Now, as you pass from middle into high, you’ll realize a key attribute as a teenager. It is that virginity for you is different for us. Sex is way more emotional for you than us. We will go to farther lengths for sex, and at times you won’t understand why we are willing to risk it all. You’ll even notice we are willing to spend money, play sports, dress a certain way, and talk a certain way for your attention. Now, everyone has some sort of price, once the level at which you’re willing and able to pay exceeds your price, get out. There is a catch to I want this much, but I’ll give you more; what’s the catch. Which brings me to another thing about us as guys, we don’t operate off of something for nothing. But also keep in mind, that once people understand you have a price and a price only, you could find yourself doing things you never thought you would, so beware.

Which brings me to the advice I’ll give you about being an adult. That is men have come to realize that we don’t necessarily need much going for us once we have trinkets. Meaning, man me talking to female me must know that once we have acquired tangibles, we know it impresses you. So we realize at times it’s all we need. Now, this is when you must use your gift of communication. Always remember, to a degree, you’re better at communicating because you utilize more words for expressing what you want. Men are looking for the most simplistic measure, you are more complex. Make people seek out the complexity within.

In the end, I am writing this letter you as 29 year old man me, to now adult you as a woman. There is so much more to learn and understand in life about even man men now. And hopefully, just hopefully you’ll pick up another letter from an older more wiser man. A letter which will tell you the next stage of life which is middle age and ultimately elderly years of what we are as men.

OFF THE BLOCK: Why Black People Should Travel

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“Why we need to leave the block.”

As a Black man, I wish I could take my views of the world and place them into the minds of so many other young Black males. I am always trying to broaden my horizons as well as understanding other groups. I love Black culture, but I also love learning new cultures as well. I think there is a problem that permeates within our community that makes us not want to leave the block. I live in Harlem, New York, and the same faces I seen on a daily bases hanging on the street corner. I would like to ask these guys one day, “Have you ever been off the block?” “Have you ever even been to Times Square?” “Have you been to The MET?”

And for those of you that don’t know what the MET stands for, it is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City’s Upper East Side neighborhood. Working there as an Usher for concerts and performances, I love eying the many sculptures and art pieces that have been sent from around the world by various countries. Such as the Egyptian antiquities sent from places like Alexandria and Cairo, even the stone carved sculptures of the Medieval Period of European history, as well Mesopotamia in the Middle East and the Native American artifacts of this country.

I would just love to put other Black men in the know. To know that you are missing out on so many great things in life. You say why Black men? Well, we have this tendency to only see what is on the block. We can’t for some reason see past the block. And a lot of times, we don’t know of anything past the block. For example, my oldest sister is who introduced me to eating sushi with chopsticks. Starting with the food, and has opened my mind to what else is there to know about the Japanese culture. But see, cultural understanding didn’t start with my sister, it came from my mother.

As a child growing up in a traditional Black family, we ate soul food on a daily basis. But it was my mother who said, “Hey, it’s Chinese food Friday, Gyro Saturday, or how about Mexican food Sunday.” So I wanted to take myself to another place mentally from my childhood experiences. She also put us in schools where her children would get a more universal experience. Our cable television was used to challenge us as well: History Channel, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, and even Jeopardy quiz show of random information. we frequented the library where we were asked about anything interesting that we wanted to do or learn. So from my childhood, I was so intrigued to know more.

Another reason I want Black men to leave the block, is to get a passport. I am currently working on getting myself a passport as well. We need to travel, and I’m not talking Las Vegas or Miami. I’m talking Sydney, Australia; Tokyo,Japan; Moscow, Russia; Berlin, Germany; or Cairo, Egypt. Why international? Well because for so long, Black people have been told that you’ll experience hatred and rejection from outside the country. But the most oppression has come via United States. Why do we believe in the hype that we are so hated. Not only is this not true, but internationally, people know, understand, and respect our will to fight through our struggles here in America.

As for me, if anyone says this particular group hates you, I make it my business to open the dialect with that group. Because if they do, I’ll be able to breakdown where they got it from. For example, I was watching television where a man in Russia said he didn’t like Black people. When asked why considering you have and may never come in contact with Black people. He stated, That’s what he sees on TV and in the movies. So I went, ahhh, he just gave me enough information to make my decision. That is why it’s our job to travel and show people we are not what people have been told. Because if not, we will continue to believe thoughts and ideologies about us that were not pushed nor created by us. Putting yourself in the know is crucial in our lives moving forward.

Until You Walked In Someone Else’s Shoes

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“Don’t be so quick to judge unless you know the journey.”


When you look at the picture before you, you may ask yourselves. Who is the man behind the shoes? Why are his feet so rugged? Where has he been and where is he going? What’s unfortunate about the photo above, is that we typically look at someone’s shoes and judge them by what’s on their feet. The thoughts that initially go through the mind is they must be broke. They must not care about the way they look. But, who ever said someone with rugged shoes don’t care about the way they look. There could be a number of reasons why their feet look the way that they do. I know me, for example, I go through multiple shoes per year. The reason being I walk a lot from work to business meetings to restaurants to home. With that much movement, anyone would purchase shoes throughout the year. There is a reason I do so much walking in the city of New York. I do my best thinking when I am walking around the city. As a first time author as well as a first time filmmaker, the year 2015 has been a busy year for my feet pounding the pavement.

Like the one shoes I bought this year; brown boots from the Amazon.com website. I still remember that  new smell and that new look. What I enjoyed most of all are the compliments for my new boots. After about a month or so, no one looked at my feet and what was once adulation from peers quickly went away. The loss of comments never effected me because the journey taken in these boots are more memorable than the compliments. Walking throughout the city in a fellowship program that I started earlier in the year is what I remember the most. I ran errands for the director/producer, helping him on various projects to the point I wore the bottoms away. This led to me buying another pair of boots, but this time black. These blacks boots were the same brand, just in a different color. I felt like a new man once again as I took my trek into the big city. Going from my job to my fellowship, the soles on these rapidly wore away. So from that point on, it was split toe flip flops sandals and dress shoes.

I often noticed people staring at my feet in sandals, almost wondering why I was not following the pack. Given it was the summer, all around me wore nice sneakers, loafers, and moccasins. Instead of paying for expensive designer shoes, my money went toward my short film I was working on. Oh, and the dress shoes, worn to the core, but the worn look was comforting. It reminded my of not only going to work, but kept me working toward something more. Nice new shoes are refreshing, but a new pair of shoes can in a way be connected contentment. Now, there is nothing wrong with being content, what I’m saying is that it keeps me hungry. When people get new clothes and new shoes, they don’t recognize their current situation, even if the situation is bad. For example, I see people living in poverty stricken communities, but everyone has new shoes. People seem to lose sight of their current position when they have new amenities. I stray from always buying new and keeping old to keep me pushing toward something more.

If by now, you’re still lost as to what I am talking about it’s all about the grind. When you look at someone’s shoes, you never know why they are wearing these shoes. It could be affordability, or it could even be for a purpose. In my case at times it has been affordability, but I also like to keep junk shoes and clothes around because it keeps me wanting more out of life. So why you’re concerned looking down, I am looking forward. Forward at what tomorrow will bring; forward at what life has to offer.