Monday, October 18, 2010

When always being positive before Calamity isn't enough…

It’s no secret that life deals you hands of ups and downs, all the time. It’s not our decision; it’s going to happen anyway, but what is there to do when we go through those things that seem to have no end? How is it even possible to have a positive outlook when “stuck” is all that we seem to have? Well, whenever we ask that question to someone, our answer is always, “Pray about it,” “Give it to God”, or, “Things will get better.” All of this is true. We are supposed to pray that things get better while going through the storm, but just praying about some things getting better is not all it takes to make it better. Yes, it’s true.

While praying, we shouldn’t just ask for God to make things better. He helps those that help themselves. A lot of times, changes in the way we put our prayers may be what we should consider. We should start asking God to show us the way to make things better. Too many of us ask, “God, please make this better”, then sit on our rump and wait for the better to come. Is that right, though? In some cases, yes. In cases where we have no control over our situation, that may work, but we still have work to do, even in that situation. The work is to have faith that all will be better. Having faith through difficult times is hard work, especially when the hard times make us feel as if we have hit rock bottom! I mean, how can one lose their home, their car, their spouse and children, and their employment, and have faith that it will get better? Well, there are several more homes out there, several more vehicles, there’s always hope for reconciliation in marriages, and no matter what people are trying to make us think about there being no jobs available, there’s always available employment. During those times, it’s hard to even think that way, but that’s the power of mind control. As I always say: you control your mind; don’t LET it control you.

Our mistake is that we always see the bad, and it takes control of our hope. Think about it: the bad is normally what happens first, and us having hope that things will get better for what happened happens second, which means that the bad showed up first. If we practiced on having faith, no matter what happens in life, then that means that faith will be there first. Get it?

We have to practice on having faith at all times; that’s the key. If we begin to wake up every morning and have faith that whatever the day brings, we will make it through successfully, we would then handle all situations gracefully when they occur. Terrible situations do happen, this we know. How often do we sit and realize that though? Many people tell us to always think positive, but in my opinion, that’s only beneficial with positive emotions. It may keep you in a good mood, but when you only plan for positive outcomes in all situations, when the bad happens, we are affected devastatingly. Now, I’m not saying all of this to try to get people to think more of the bad, but always remember that everything is not perfect. Facing that fact takes off some of the negative affect of depression and the feeling of “let down” when things don’t go the way we hoped.

When things happen in our life, we have to remember that everything, the bad and the good, happens to us because each person, thing, place, or situation are all steps in our journey. We have to get rid of the “Why me?” question. We have to get rid of the feeling that things will never change, or that we can’t deal with it. Remember, if we couldn’t handle it, it wouldn’t happen. That’s the truth. While going through, it helps to replay what has happened to you before, that you made it out of. That helps to regain focus. It serves as a reminder that things will happen, and just like we are happy about the things that are good, we can also be happy about the bad things, because we know how to remind ourselves that we can handle it. Or, in current slang, “We got this!”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

RACISM, or just over analyzing?

Let me get this out of the way: I'm the only African American female at my job. Now, I was at work on 10/12/2010, around 5:20 p.m., with a Caucasian coworker, and one of her associates who was there to visit her, who is also Caucasian. The coworker stated that she saw online that a mass murderer from Memphis, Tennessee, an African American, had been convicted of murder, and had received the death penalty. Something inside me said, "Uh oh. What will be said next?"
She went on to state that the headline of the next story read, "Memphis Welcomes Five African Penguins." She said, "Now, they have that story right under the Mass Murderer's story!" Her and her friend laughed out loud, and he said, "That's how they should put it huh?" HALT! Are they saying that the story of the African penguins was put after the story of the African American mass murderer because there was a connection? Were they really making a racial joke of this in front of me and thinking that I wouldn't pick up on it?

Ok, I'm used to being told that I read a lot into situations, and that I make stuff more serious than it seems. I just have a feeling that this was racial talk that was meant to be subliminal, but I caught it, in which a lot of subliminal talk doesn't go over my head too much, too often. Now, this same coworker has said little racial things before,for example, saying, "Ninja" instead of Nigger, but with me being me, and in my work environment, I just brushed it off, and prayed for her, but I'm beginning to think that the more I DON'T say anything, the more this is happening, because she feels a sense of comfort in knowing I won't confront her. I have chopped it up to me just not responding to ignorance, and blamed it on her being younger than I, and not really knowing any better.

So, I can't help but wonder if I'm doing the right thing by not saying anything about the constant ignorance that I endure on my every day grind on the j.o.b, or if I should go on and speak up at the risk of them calling me, an over analyzer, sensitive, or crazy. It's a known fact, that African Americans are quick to be called "sensitive", or "crazy", or better yet, "pulling the race card", when we speak up for ourselves. With this being my job, and with past experiences I have had with this place, I have learned to just shut my mouth and roll with the flow, all while trying to get the h.e. double hockey sticks out of there!

There was a time, at my current job, where a lease agreement was being stolen from me by this same coworker, (which means that a $50.00 commission was being snatched right from under my nose), and I spoke with her about it, calmly. Instead of her talking more in detail with me about the issue, she went and told the manager, and I was called into the office and told that, "Nobody is out to steal from me, and I should have come to management with the problem." Let me back up a little bit: there was a time when I did go to management about something ELSE this girl had done, and management told me to talk to her about it. So, the next episode, I did talk to her about it, but I was the one called in the office like I had done something wrong.

These are only a couple of instances that I have been through. This job has caused me to be stressed out so bad at one point, that it caused me to have high blood pressure, panic attacks, and ongoing anxiety. I totally believe that I will be delivered away from this situation in due time, but the situation with the penguin connection to the African American mass murderer's story stunned me. I really don't know why, because it's at the point where I know to expect this kind of behavior from my every day surroundings.

So, now I'm struggling with whether I should even go to management with this, or just let it go, and continue to be ready to throw them the Chris Brown "deuces" when my blessing for another job comes. Something is telling me to lean more toward not even worrying about it, because of the way things have gone in the past.


Ok, I had to get back on here and update this blog. After I posted this blog, because the situation sat on my mind for the rest of the evening that the incident occurred, I opened the Bible, and started reading. This is what I read:

Proberbs 10 19 and 20

(19)"In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise."

(20)"The Tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the heart of the wicked is worth little."

There is no doubt that this is my answer. I will just remain quiet about the situation, because the heart of the person it came from is worthless. (Plus, remembering that my past attempts to discuss situations never ended up being successful). I can now put the situation to rest.

Social Networking: Beneficial, or Not?

So, there's been a lot of talk about social networking sites lately. There's Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and so on, and so forth. True, social networking is a great tool to put to use when you want to reconnect with old friends, classmates, family members, etcetera. I have found Facebook to be extremely beneficial in those aspects. I have found family members that I didn't even know existed! On the other hand, there are the downs of Social Networking. Social Networking is being blamed for the disappearances, rapes, and murders of several adults and children. I even watched a video on Facebook of a young woman, clad in a two piece bikini that held the striking resemblance of a barbie doll. The video goes on to show several slides of her, then it gives an explanation that she turned down a random guy's invitation to meet up. The guy alledgedly got information that she voluntarily put on her profile, which included her personal address and phone number. He showed up at her doorstep, then the video goes on to show slides of her laying in blood. She had been murdered.

I have to be honest, I don't know just how true the video is; it may have been a hoax, but there is a striking reality about the punchline of the video. Somewhere, it has happened. There are pedophiles that seek out the pages of young children, who really don't know any better to not put their personal information on the web. They put their phone numbers on there so their friends can have access to it, but they have no idea the dangers of this. Pedophiles get the information, and they are meeting up with these children. The show, To Catch A Predator, proves this sickening truth. So what can be done? Is there anything?

Of course! Plain and simple: stop putting your personal information on your personal profiles. Giving the benefit of the doubt to some, there are people that don't understand that if you put your address, place of employment, of phone number on the profile, it can be seen by many. I have had some notifications to come to my profile that looks like this: "Jane Doe has changed their number to (555)555-5555.So yes, your friends get notifications when you change your personal information.

There have also been people upset about current employers, or possible future employers looking them up on social networking sites, and finding out information. Many people have even been fired for pictures, and information on their own personal profile. Well, this goes back to NOT putting your personal information out there. Make up an alias. On my Twitter account, my name could be Riding Hood.(Just an example) There is no way in the world that an employer will know to look for me by that name. Yes, you can have the freedom to post whatever you want, and put whatever pictures you want without the dangers of employees finding out.

The situation with the children may not be as easy. Parents are nowadays allowing their children to get profiles on social networking sites. Yes, adding them as friends is ok, because it does let you keep up with their every move......on their Facebook wall, pictures, comments, etcetera, but what's going on inside of their inboxes? Face it: kids are smart. They could give you the password to one account, and be using another one that they made up. So, one solution to this is to make sure that you are talking with your kids about the ins and outs of social networking sites, and please let them know the dangers. Take time out to show them a few episodes of To Catch A Predator. Look up some information on the web about children that are abducted as a result of these sites with your children. Yes, it may cause fears, tears, and a a few nightmares, but hey...ever heard of, "Scared Straight"? It may even make them NOT want to get a profile.

Know what you are doing on these sites. Always be aware that your personal information is going out to everybody that looks at it, all across the nation. Make all of your profiles private, and only add people that you can trust. Only use these sites for the good, while looking out for the bad.