Saturday, May 14, 2016

A POEM




Every day                                                        It might be a hello,
it’s a new day,                                                 Or a how do you do.
Where we can look at life,                              Or a gesture or a smile
In yet another way.                                         That says I see,
Where e can eliminate                                    And I care…
The drudgery of before,                                  About you.  
And acccept our capability 
Of being much much more.  

Today is the first                                              There is no lack
Of the rest of our life                                       Or unfulfilled need,
We ain’t gotta  give in                                     When we look at what we have
To toil or to strife.                                            And not  succumb to greed.
Let’s just focus on the beauty…                     By looking at our physical
Cause that comes without a price.                 Our mental and
                                                                        Our spiritual stuff,
You see you don’t have to pay,                       We’ll totally understand
To have a good day.                                        That we have more than enough
All you gotta do is see                                              
Every moment,                                                So y’all join me right now
As an opportunity to share,                             In celebration of,
As a way to demonstrate,                                This joy filled day...
That you really do care.                                   And by making a vow
                                                                        To keep it that way,
So I’m gonna give                                           By being our spiritual selves,
All that I got,                                                    And not just a lump…
And not view it from                                        Of metaphysical clay.
The perspective, 
Of a little or a lot.
But from seeing myself as the                          I’ll holla….
I have…. 
giving to the I have not.

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 3, 2016

LIVIN IN THE NOW

I know y’all are just as tired as I am of people like Tupac, Michael, Prince and others dying of questionable causes, and then trying to figure out what happened to them, after the fact. Here we are theorizing and hypothesizing, discussing and concluding, yet we have no viable grounds to work from. Fact of the matter is, the best we can do is to have an opinion of what occurred, and take it from there.

Tupac did an alleged expose on the illuminati, and spoke of how they are a major proponent of the inequity that exists within race and class, Michael unabashedly repeated time and time again that “…they don’t really care about us”, and both he and Prince waged a major war against multinational entertainment conglamorate Sony, and theoretically won. They, and many others, of celebrity and non-celebrity status, have fought and died for what they believed in, and although I don’t have the insight and acumen of Dick Gregory, of one thing I am sure, even though we don’t know the half of what’s really going on, we have the resources and wherewithal to not only find out, but to do something about what ain’t on the up and up, and what ain’t in the best interest of us all.

How? Let’s stop talking about what Jay Zee and Beyonce are on until we talk to them. After all we get information about them, from the same source that informs us of what happened to Whitney, and we don’t believe that, so why are we even considering what’s being said about Beyonce having all of a sudden become a black activist, and  about to tell Jay Zee that all his stuff is “…to the left.

Let’s start looking at ourselves and literally asking our selves…”What you on. What you doing about you. We spend way too much time vicariously living our lives through others. We’re rying to make them who we want ourselves to be, we’re putting them down when they don’t live up to our expectations, and then we cry when they leave this earthly realm and say to ourselves…” That ain’t right what they do to our people, and then they lie about what happened. Who is they? It ain’t the illumanti, it ain’t the powers that be, it ain’t the one percent…It’s us Boo, cause we’re allowing stuff to happen and contributing to its perpetuation by not being all that we can be.

Once we get even a vague idea of who we are, once we make a decision to be better today than we were yesterday, and once we purpose to unconditionally give of ourselves to others, we won’t have time to be looking at somebody else’s life, cause we too busy looking at ours. You see, if I’m in your mind then I’m out of mine, and can’t do anything about either of us. However, if I’m working on me, it don’t matter what you doing cause I’ll be able to constructively deal with whatever’s going on, with you and everybody else.

We can stop being tired of what’s happening to us, by adamantly addressing what’s going on inside us, and then collectively resolving what’s going on around us.

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

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Do It From The Space You're In


Altruistic individualism’ is the phrase from which I shall contextualize this essay, and what it implies is ‘unselfishly interacting with another by being yourself’. Brilliant concept as far as I’m concerned, but applying it to our everyday lives is another story. Individualism is a reality that permeates both our conscious and subconscious thoughts, and the phrase, ‘It’s all about me’, fittingly describes how we usually lead our lives. 

In this world that we are all a part of, a competitive way of thinking is promoted and sustained from nursery school to the time we leave this plane of existence. Success is viewed as the ongoing accumulation of wealth, and our every waking moment is spent on proving how right or better we are than somebody else, and we pay little or no attention to how our actions might affect another. Our focus, for the most part, is on what we call ‘makin money’ or ‘gettin paid’, and this self-centered mindset diminishes our concern for the well being of others.

Let me borrow a portion of the Gestalt Prayer, attributed to the psychotherapist Fritz Perls, to indicate how we might consider viewing our relationships with others.

I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.

My contention is that, at birth, each of us was divinely endowed with the gift of a unique selfhood. By simply living life we will attain certain strengths, weaknesses, thoughts and aspirations that are common only to us. Each day we spend here is not for adhering to the thoughts and opinions of others, but for the realization of who we are, and how we can use our gift, that is hopefully expanding every day, to achieve the objectives for which we were created. 

When we are trying to be our true selves, our paths will inevitably cross with the one(s) who are on the same page at the same time that we are. By coming together as one, we can create the beauty that is inherently present in our diverse yet collaborative mindset(s).

We don’t have to strive and struggle to get together with others in order to make  positive changes  in this universe of ours. We just need to stay focused on the space we’re in, while constantly attempting  to appreciate, honor and sanctify that space. It is in the process of doing so that our competitive nature will naturally subside, and altruistic individualism will be the result of our doing the best we can with what we have.



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

Thursday, March 3, 2016

White Privilege...It Ain't Personal

Let me set the record straight by stating that ‘white privilege’ is not a Black concept, it’s a reality. White folks didn’t ask for it, they didn’t earn it, but it was given to them by virtue of their being white. When the races were set apart hierarchally, to justify the system of black slavery in colonial America, ‘white privilege’, an offshoot of white supremacy, was inadvertently established and continues to perpetuate itself. By simply being born white, one is automatically placed on the high end of the social stratum. It’s  as true today as it was yesterday, and will continue to be so until even the very idea of race is no longer an issue.

I say this to every white person on the planet..regardless of your socio-economic position, regardless of your level of education, regardless of how fair you think you are to people of other persuasions, the fact of the matter is that being white gives you an upper hand when it comes to dealing with social issues. You can go just about anywhere in the world without having to prove your right to be there, and/or explaining the purpose and intent of your presence. As for others, unless you’re invited, you’re prone to being scrutinized in stores, restaurants, schools, white neighborhoods, or anywhere where white people have staked a claim. But for black folk, being on the bottom of the invisible hierarchal scale, we are looked upon as  being ‘racist’ for even bringing up the notion of inequity

My contention is that white privilege makes white people feel that they’re ‘right’ in regard to their perception of people of color, even if they don’t realize that this mode of thought is a result of an innate advantage that they may not even realize they have. What emanates from being in this state of existence is a sense of entitlement, and as long as others (black folk in particular) stay within the boundaries of where the one who is ‘privileged’ expects them to be, then everything is all right. However, in most cases, as soon as the non-privileged one speaks contrary to what is believed by the privileged one to be ‘right’, there’s a problem. That’s when the non privileged ‘other’ becomes the perpetrator, and the privileged one becomes the victim. The ‘other’ person is then looked upon as an ungrateful child who is expected to behave better and show more appreciation for the alleged ‘victim’s’ efforts to make them feel accepted and loved. 

Well let me inform you of how I, one of the ‘others’, actually feel about my present state of being. I feel restricted to sharing my true feelings only with people who have also experienced them. I’ve done my best to share them with you, white people, because you’re the ones who are in a position to both understand and do something about them. Up to this point you’ve been listening but, despite your belief to the contrary, you’re not really hearing what’s being said. 

Almost inevitably, when I’m in the company of a white person, and I even suggest a feeling of racial disparity, what results is a response that exemplifies the statement, “I’m not like that. Don’t put me in the same category as racially biased people.” Well guess what white people, you’re already in that category, and we all are by virtue of us being whatever color we are, and subjected to the values that this racist society imposes upon us. In order for us to reach an equitable understanding, we’ll have to accept our societally imposed position, and stop expecting others to adhere to whatever opinion we’ve formulated of them no matter how true these opinions may seem to be. 

White privilege is real, and if you’re white, you’ll never be black. You’ll never fully understand what it’s like to be a person of color, so if you’re as concerned about my well-being as you say you are, then you’ll listen to and respect my right to have an opinion about you, and at least be willing to try and understand that opinion before taking it as a personal affront.

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



There’s also a link that features a multicultural group of men addressing each other on the ramifications of white privilege. To check it out copy and paste the following link to your internet address box.


https://youtu.be/ywp4w_q_Tj8?list=PLcY3PgkksG7dbXo7OMm99XyVTYciDp4Yd

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Yeah, I'm Talkin To You

   
Lot to do. 
Not enough time.
Maybe I’ll drink some wine.

Yeah, I got time for that.
A little weed perhaps.
Maybe smoke some crack.

Now you might be asking “What is this, some kind of addiction or rehabilitation scenario?” Well, not quite. What it is… is an abstract analogy of how we live our lives on a daily basis, sometimes unawaringly. Let’s say we’re on a project, ranging from cleaning house in Irvine, to writing a proposal to offset the gang violence in Chicago. All of a sudden we come to a standstill. Why? Maybe we broke a nail, lost our train of thought, or whatever might have occurred that suggested we could be doing something else. So now what do we do? We whine about the lack of time, we conceptualize a need that we really don’t have, or we just sit there with a ‘what now’  mindset.

The opening poem points out how we might visualize people who choose to take the ‘high’ road, in response to the aforementioned situation, while neglecting to look at our own mode of travel and thus realizing that we share the same path minus some of the ‘stimulants’ that they might have chosen. We don’t drink, or only do so on the weekend or after five PM during the week, and since it’s only two PM on a Wednesday we start whining about being under too much pressure. We don’t smoke weed so we search for a means of saying ‘f*@#  it” without the aid of an herbal enhancer. Crack is out of the question, so we don’t indulge in that particular chemical outlet , but we still feel whack, cause we can’t make a decision on what we’re gonnna do. 

Let’s face it. It’s not just those we consider to be addicts who attempt to resolve issues in this manner, because we’re all addicted. We’re addicted to a desire to feel good, all the time, and we inadvertantly do whatever it takes to maintain that status. What we forget, like every so called substance abuser forgets, is that our sensual gratification comes not only from what we do, but also from how we feel about what we’ve done. True happiness and feeling good comes from within, and if, at any given time, no matter what we’re doing, we can focus on doing what we do, without being concerned about how others or even ourselves guage the value of what we’ve done, then we can make it through the day and sleep at night knowing that we did the best we could with what we had to work with.

Again, we’re all prone to doing whatever it takes to feel good. My contention is that once we become aware of who we are, and come to believe that whatever we’re doing, we’re doing the best we can at that moment, we can begin feelin good right then, and can contiunue to do so until we decide to do something else. Let’s face it, whatever we choose to do, and however we feel about doing it, is ultimately a matter of choice. In a nutshell, here’s what all I’ve said sounds like…

Doing all I can
With what I got
And right now…
I don’t need nothing else

As a matter of fact…
I’ve got so much,
That I can give,
Some of it to you.

Ya heard?

I’ll holla...

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

Friday, January 22, 2016

What Now Black Men

This blog is addressed to my black brothers in particular, and those of other persuasions may find it interesting as well. The gist of this dialogue is that we, as black men, as the first beings on this planet, must be the first to step forward…as individuals, to vitalize the Divine Intent, i.e. to make stuff righteous.

It is my contention that if we used at least a tenth of the time that we employ chasing sex, money, and other ego enhancers, and used the same talents, gifts and creativity to focus on the well being of our people, we’d be rid of the afflictions that threaten us on a day to day basis. Drugs, gang activity, police brutality, terrorism, hunger, homelessness, rape, murder and other harbingers of death and destruction would have no foothold where we reside, because we would collectively use what we have to offset and eliminate them. 

What’s the barrier? It’s us y’all. We want what we want, when we want it, but the problem is that everybody else on the planet wants the same thing, that being whatever it takes to make us feel good. We complain about the government, our places of employment or non-employment, our bosses, our peers, our wives, our women and our children putting more on us than we can handle. Then we seek gratification in other arenas that allow our egos to be stroked, and wind up feeling only partially satisfied, disgruntled, broke and ready to blame somebody else for the outcome.

As a black man in an alleged white society, I’ve come to the realization that we’re all living in a matrix of me and mine, and what can I do to get more. Historically, some folks have opted for taking some of somebody else’s stuff. Somebody else’s land, somebody else’s resources, and most importantly controlling somebody else’s life. I had convinced myself that it was white folks doing all of that to us, and even though that mindset still exists because most of the resources are in white folks’ possession, I’ve come to the conclusion that what happens to us in the long run, is the result of what we’ve allowed to happen over a course of time, that being a belief in, and adherence to, the same principle that most others embrace, i.e. feeling good. 

My contention is that we’ve got to stop adhering to other people’s outlook, and start establishing and maintaining our own set of values that reflect the Divine and Universal Law. That Law? Let everything I do reflect the purpose for my being here, i.e.to use my gifts for the benefit of others. At times we’re going to hurt somebody’s feelings cause we choose to stand on what we deem as the righteous thing to do. Let’s face it, some people are not going to like us or the things we do. The fact of the matter is however, that if our motives are pure, and our true intent to benefit all involved, than the ultimate outcome can do nothing but be in the best interest of all, even if we don’t recognize it as such..

What Now Black Men…Be all that you can be. Stay strong in exemplefying what a man is. Come into the world where real men reside, and set the example for what real men do. Yeah, there’s gonna be some sacrifices and a lessening of some of the things that made us ‘feel real’. As we grow individually, however, and as our collaborative activities build and persevere, our progeny will know that we were here and that our legacy, of having done our best to fulfill our role, is worthy of being emulated and practiced over and over again. Being true to who we really are…will ensure that our LOVE will radiate out to all the lives of which we are a part.


I’ll holla…

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

Thursday, January 14, 2016

I See Me

I look at you 
Don't like what I see
Cause I don’t realize
That I’m looking at me.

If we see it we be it
So let’s stop acting
Like who we see
Got issues.

Let’s reconsider
That it might be us
That needs to be checked
And reassesed.


We think he think he all that.
We feel that she all up in our video.
They better leave me alone we say
Life Is hard enough as it is.

Yeah, that’s what it look like
But that ain’t what it is.
It’s all about us Boo.
So what we gon do?

Do we think he all that?
Didn’t we put her in our DVD?
We carrying them, all that,
And then some.
Ain’t it  on us
To let it go.

Life is simple.
We complicate us
By blaming them
For being who they be.

We compare 
Rather than reflect
We judge and condemn
Rather than recognize
And realize

That what and who I see
is me.

And now 
I have
An opportunity
To be a better me
And to let all else be
What it is.

Only then 
Can I look and see
That what I’m looking at
Is a mini me.

And what I might 
Wanna do
Is to be a better me 
Than the one I see.

After all  
I know I think
that what I see 
is who they are.

But I'm not sure
I’m aware  
That what I see 
Is not  necessarily 
Who they be.

Maybe next time
I’ll look for me.

I’ll holla…

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