Monday, June 12, 2017

Shaunie D In Kenya A...A Dedication

Africa is an entire continent, not a country. As a matter of fact it’s the second largest and the second most populated continent in the world. Kenya is a whole nation, not a state. It’s 224,445 sq mi, and has a population of about 48 million people. That’s bigger than Iowa and California combined, and it’s comprised of 6 million more people. That’s where Shaunie D is going y’all, and we want to bless you Shaunie. We want to bless all the people you meet, and all that you see, hear and do while you’re there. It’s a big place, but so is what you’re about to do.

I’m gonna share your words, cause I know that by doing so we will all feel the post graduate frustration, the  subsequent anticipation and the well deserved heartfelt exuberance you expressed. Here’s what you said:

”I went through about 5 months of job hunting (and stressing) after graduation. It was so hard to be patient. In October I became a program assistant for an afterschool program called the “Kids Rock Klub”…Unfortunately they didn't get their grant renewed for the program, and I shifted from 40 hours a week to 15. Yikes! Good news though.Thanks to my boss passing my resume around, to different nonprofits, I start working for the Corona/Norco YMCA on the 13th. So many twists and turns with this post-grad life! Aside from that I'm going on a missions trip to Kenya in July! I've wanted to do it since I was 13 so words can't describe my excitement.”

Yes they can Shaunie, and we want you to always hold on to our belief that what you’re experiencing is a Divine Calling, your life is unfolding exactly as it should, and we’re more than excited about your future.

While you’re away, and we’re back here discussing the critical issues of the day, be present wherever you are and understand that it’s you who will determine whether to take what you learn and use it to guide our world toward justice and joy, to use the time spent there as an opportunity for reflection and relaxation, or maybe a combination of both. Just remember that whatever choice you make it’s the right choice, because your desire to go, and reason for wanting to be there, were made with the best of intentions.

If at any time while in the Motherland, where it all began, you begin feeling that some experience is falling short of what you thought it would be, please remember that it’s only because you expected something different, and your expectations were based only on what you heard or saw somebody else say. We all know that what you hear from somebody else is only an opinion if they have not experienced it. And even if they have, what they say can still be untrue if their motive for telling you is not pure. 

You fixin to know the truth Shaunie D, and when you get back, we want you to share it with us, and with all those who are willing to listen. So don’t expect any thing to be other than what it is, and accept every thing for what it is, cause it’s the truth Ruth, and we already know that we ain’t gonna get nothing but the truth from you.


We’ll holla…

To comment or respond to this blog please click on the word comments at the bottom of this page, or email me at grace.calvin187@gmail.com

Monday, May 22, 2017

Expect Or Accept...The Choice Is Yours


There are two basic ways of dealing with other people. One is to have expectations of them, the other is to accept them for who they are. It makes sense to expect certain responses when coping with your children or others you are in charge of, because you have the power to reprimand them. With those who do not feel indebted to you however, children and otherwise, accepting unpleasant responses from them can be difficult to say the least.

Case in point is an excerpt from August Wilson’s play “Fences”, when the youngest son asked his dad “How come you ain't never liked me?” What did the father say? “Liked you? Who the hell says I got to like you?”  It was obvious that the son did not expect that response, and accepting it was the furthest thing from his mind. Nevertheless, it pointed out how important it is to not expect something from anyone or anything over whom we have no control. 

So what do we have control over? Our choices. What we can do is to 1) take a little time out before making mood-altering decisions, and 2) ask ourselves if we are willing to accept the consequences of our actions. We want of course to believe that we know a person well enough to have certain expectations of them, but it’s always safer to consider our inability to control what they say and do.

Making an effort to accept whatever the outcome of our requests might be, is a choice that allows us an opportunity to better know two people… the other person and ourself. After all, we both had choices and our willingness to accept the outcome of whatever the other person’s choice might be, will help us to learn how to accept both the bitter and the sweet.

I have earnestly tried to keep my expectations of others in alignment with what I expect of myself. Life lessons have proven time and time again however, that what I want might be unreasonable because I’m only going to get what another is willing to give.

My intent now is to not ponder over why a person responds in the way they do, but to realize that this is just where they are at this point in their life, and that what I need to do is focus more on how willing and able I am to accept that fact. Easier said then done of course, but it’s what I’ve chosen to do, and thus far, when I’m able to do it, my life becomes much simpler, and all the people in it, a lot easier to deal with. 


I’ll holla…

To comment or respond to this blog please click on the word comments at the bottom of this page, or email me at grace.calvin187@gmail.com



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Don't Be Skurred

An excerpt found in Richard Wright’s novel ‘Black Boy’ , published in 1945 reads as follows:

Our too-young and too-new America, lusty because it is lonely, aggressive because it is afraid, insists upon seeing the world in terms of good and bad, the holy and the evil, the high and the low, the white and the black; our America is frightened of fact, of history, of processes, of necessity. It hugs the easy way of damning those whom it cannot understand, of excluding those who look different, and it salves its conscience with a self-draped cloak of righteousness.”

I was born four (4) years after the 1945 publication of the above Richard Wright description of the United States, and am moved by both his ability to see things as they are, and his fearlessness in conveying them to all who would listen. I am not surprised, yet surely disheartened, that this description held true then, and still holds true today. With an overly assertive being taking on the highest political office in this nation, we might want to involve ourselves in addressing this ongoing description of our country.

Fear is still the tactic employed to keep us hoping that our so-called leaders will not allow harm to come to us as long as we adhere to the statutes that they have agreed upon and use to govern us. We’d like to think that we the people had a say so in the construction of these laws, yet we have no real knowledge of the motives for their imposition and enforcement. Most of us want to know why we must adhere to things that don’t seem fair, yet we don’t even ask the question cause we assume we’ll get the answer my father always gave me…”Cause I said so.”  We’re scared that if we even dare to question Big Daddy’s authority we risk losing protection from the threats of terrorism, global warming, xenophobia and other oft repeated fears. 

Now these fears are all justifiable, however they mask the fear that undergirds this country’s strategy. The United States’ fostering of racial inequity, its advocation of being right and other countries wrong, and its penalizing of those who dare to challenge its intent, are simply tactics employed by those in proverbial power to both offset and obscure the fear that surpasses all others…the fear of being found out.  

Let’s grow up y’all, and stop being satisfied with what’s being said and find a way to make folk accountable for what’s being done. We all have fears but let’s focus less on those  being perpetuated by folk who want to own and control everything, while convincing us that we can get some of it if we obey. We can then focus more on the practice of the real American dream…that being the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all, both here and abroad. We must look for, find and share the truth. Then and only then will our unsubstantiated fears have a chance of disappearing.

I thank Richard Wright for the insight and inspiration, my father for inadvertantly furthering my desire to know why, and all of you for lending an ear.


I’ll holla…

To comment or respond to this blog please click on the word comments at the bottom of this page, or email me at grace.calvin187@gmail.com

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Virtue In Sin

Now I ’ve thought about two perspectives regarding our behavior. One, is the belief that 
we’ve all been born sinners.. The second, is that we’re born into a sinful world. I’m going with the second one because I believe that we are born perfect, and our major objective is to love who we are, and to love those we share this world with.

I believe the very concept of sin has been overplayed, and that we can rather view our negative behavior as the mistakes we make in our treatment of ourselves and of others. We make these mistakes because we’ve been bombarded all our lives with the striving to be better than another. Our focus, on whether we’re superior or inferior to somebody else, makes it hard for us to think about how we’re treating them. How we view or treat another might make us uncomfortable at times, because our inborn intent is not to hurt them. However, by focusing on whose right and whose wrong, we usually see the other person as wrong, and wind up being overly judgemental and ready to condemn.

We’re so upset by how we’re been affected by another, that we negatively respond by talking about what they’ve done to us, verbally and/or physically lashing out at them with a vengenance, or we simply vow to never be involved with them again.We’re so focused on correcting their faults that we don’t even think about reassessing ourselves and considering the role we might have played in bringing about this discomfort.

Once we realize and understand, that our seeing a shortcoming in another has given us an opportunity to view our own faults, we can return to who we have been created to be.

A recognition of our own mistakes is the beginning of righteous living. It can lead us to an altering of our thoughts and actions, and can take us back to that original state of pureness of heart.  Once we start embracing and enacting that state of being, we will begin to receive all the joy and peace that has eluded us for such a long, long time. 

It’s simple y’all, but not easy, so let’s not beat up on ourselves if we make another mistake. Just remember that it’s an opportunity to experience our human weaknesses, so that we can return to being a blessing to someone else, and to ourselves in the process.

I’ll holla…


To comment or respond to this blog please click on the word comments at the bottom of this page, or email me at grace.calvin187@gmail.com

Saturday, December 31, 2016

HUGS ARE HAPPINESS

It’s make a resolution time. That moment at the beginning of the year when we say we’re going to commit to doing something, but we don’t always do it for the entire year. I’m not going to make one this year, but I’m gonna step up my game in doing what’s already being done…hugging.

Check out this information at http://20somethingallergies.com. It’s entitled: Boost Your Immune System in 15 Seconds: How To Thump Your Thymus, and it goes like this.

“Behind your sternum, or breastbone, sits the thymus gland.It is part of the lymphatic immune system and is responsible for maturing infection-fighting white blood cells (T cells) made in our bone marrow.‘Thumping your thymus’ is a method of gently tapping on the thymus gland to create vibrations that stimulate an increase in the maturation and release of white blood cells.It has also been shown to slow down gland atrophy. The thymus gland begins to break down and shrink after puberty, and it’s been theorized that this happens in humans because we have lost the instinct to stimulate it regularly.”

After reading this I surmised that as children some of us were hugged by our parents, grandparents and others on a regular basis. Then we got too big for our britches, and the hugging stopped. For me that means if you stop hugging, you gotta start thumping in order to boost your immune system.

Did a little more research and found an article by Josh Richardson entitled 9 Reasons You Need To Be Giving and Receiving Hugs Everyday. It can be found at http://preventdisease.com/news/14/012314_9-Reasons-Need-Giving-Receiving-Hugs-Everyday.shtml, and here’s what it says:

“Hugging helps the immune system, cures depression, reduces stress and induces sleep. It's invigorating, rejuvenating and has no unpleasant side effects. It is all natural, organic, naturally sweet, no pesticides, no preservatives, no artificial ingredients and 100 percent wholesome.” The article went on to say that hugging, aside from stimulating the thymus, cultivates patience, prevents disease, boosts self esteem, and communicates love and caring without having to say a word.

I don’t know about y’all but hugging is not going to be my New Years Resolution, but a way of life. Our world definitely needs more LOVE and HAPPINESS, so if I can give and receive it with a simple hug, and get healthier in the process…it’s on y’all. 

I’ll holla…

To comment or respond to this blog please click on the word comments at the bottom of this page, or email me at grace.calvin187@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Separation Can Be Unfair


I heard it after Katrina had hit New Orleans and the survivors sought refuge in the Superdome. It was when the woman pointed to the large screen television overhead and said to her three children, “There’s your daddy, he’s in Utah.” When I asked how he wound up there, she told me that the authorities had ordered the women and children on buses separate from the men. She then added that she was unaware of when they would see him again, but at least theyknew where he was.

We were in a Dogon village in Mali, where the reigning chief practiced Animism, his son practiced Islam, and other family members were Christian.  Yet despite their religious differences, they and all members of the village lived harmoniously together. Upon our return to the states however, we learned  that the Muslim rebels, outside of the village, were getting closer and closer, and that the people were fearful that they might lose their very lives.

During the physical enslavement of African people here in America, slaves were forced to watch their loved ones being taken away, with no knowledge of if and/or when they might see them again., Still today we experience this sense of detachment from one another, due to separation issues.  Our religious differences coerce us into believing that we’re going to heaven, and others are not, so we tend to distance ourselves from them. On a larger scale, racial and economic disparities compel us into thinking that if we hang around those who are privileged, we will acquire some of what they have, and not have to affiliate ourselves with those who have not.

Needless to say, we always have choices, and it’s up to us as to whether we make them in accordance with what will benefit all, or limit ourselves to doing that which is advantageous to only ourselves.

It’s Christmas time y’all, and by the Grace of God, each of our families has been granted an opportunity to come together and share our lives with one another. This is our chance to become one with all those who are participating in this holiday  extravaganza, on a global scale, and give our shared universe a LOVE energy, that surpasses anything that’s ever been experienced.

What I’m bringing to my family’s gathering is an attempt to be honest with myself and to share my true feelings with everyone else. I’m going to make every effort to practice open-mindedness, patience and tolerance which will allow me to accept whatever another might want to share without my judgement and condemnation., Then I’m going to do my best to make this occassion the most joyous interaction that we as a family have ever experienced.


My hope is that the folk in New Orleans, Mali, and all over the world will take on a similar mindset, and give us all an opportunity to not only experience what it takes to keep us as together as One, but also a chance to make this Oneness an integral part of our everyday lives.              

I’ll holla…


To comment or respond to this blog please click on the word comments at the bottom of this page, or email me at grace.calvin187@gmail.com

Friday, December 9, 2016

Gratitude Is An Attitude

We’ve spent this entire year beseiged by threats of terrorism, global warming, black and brown young folk killed by police, water shortages, our New Years Resolutions not adhered to, our children, bosses, and spouses giving us a hard time. Getting chubby, feeling ugly, needing clothes that fit, and a hairstyle that works. Getting rid of so called friends, and losing loved ones. Making money and spending it before we get it, knowing that the car need fixin and the baby need a new pair of shoes. And then we supposed to be grateful on tomorrow.

Well, how bout making gratitude our attitude. How do we do that in spite of all that’s going on around us. I say we start looking at anything that makes us uncomfortable, and figuring out how to be grateful for the experience. 

I’m gon start with the fact that Nicole and I have unexpected tenants in our house, and altough we LOVE them dearly, the rythm that had finally been established, after living in this new home for about sixteen months, has been altered and we gon have to develop a new one. We can do so by being grateful that we have an opportunity to contribute to the well being of our progeny, while at the same time strengthening our virtues of toleranse and patience.

Then I need to look at my disdain for the direction our country’s government is headed in, i.e. no sustainable change for our future; being ever aware that with our new president is just a vivid depiction of what has been lying underneath the facade of democracy, peace and justice all along. However, I can be grateful for the fact that my mental, physical, and emotional health is better than it’s been in many many years, and comfortable knowing that I’m going to do everything in my power to be the best that I can be in every arena of life.

When it comes to family, I’m certainly taken aback by our lack of communication with each other, except through social media, and I constantly struggle with what if anything I can do to make things better. But I can remind myself that opportunities like learning more about my loved ones through their scattered appearances on my show and rendevous with one another on varied occassions, will always occur. Maybe not as often as I would like them to, but occur they will. 

As for my role in all of this, and my desire for all of us, all I can say is let’s be thankful every day, in every way cause one day of gratitude is not gonna make any real change. It’s about understanding that all we have is a daily repreive contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition, and the way to maintain that condition is by being thankful for whatever happens because it’s always an opportunity to make one a better person. So I’m gon be grateful starting right now, in order to prepare myself for not only tomorrow, the official Thanksgiving Day, but for all the days that follow.


I’ll holla…


To comment or respond to this blog please click on the word comments at the bottom of this page, or email me at grace.calvin187@gmail.com