The Notion of Superiority

The Notion of Superiority

As the life left him…life was breathed into a movement. The scales of justice and racial equality promised by our Constitution, that has leaned so heavily on the backs of Black Americans has tipped ever so slightly in the other direction. For 8 minutes and 46 seconds that police officer, whose name I refuse to use, suffocated an unarmed man in broad daylight while he was being recorded. While this man casually took a life, he had no idea what he had awakened in America.

People who have never been activists have been activated. In 8 minutes and 46 seconds the stark-naked brutality of racism was made clear. Folks who were able to look away previously, couldn’t turn a blind eye this time. It wasn’t just that this officer killed a man while he was being recorded. The shocking thing was how he felt comfortable doing it. In the mind of this officer with around 18 previous complaints alleging misconduct, he believed that he had a right to take that life. To him the life of George Floyd had no value. With one hand in his pocket while three other officers stood guard devoid of humanity, life and urine leaked from the limp body of a man accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill.

Once the video hit all the news outlets, the outrage spread like wildfire. We had heard the outcries that Black Lives Matter, but this time the chorus was bigger, and whiter, and even blue-er. Protests sprung up across the globe, and while there was always a contingent of white protesters lending their support, this time there were more, way more. There were videos showing police officers marching arm in arm with protesters, some taking a knee in support. There were even videos of police chiefs, officers, and elected officials declaring that George Floyd was indeed murdered, and the actions of the offending officer was in direct contradiction to the mandate of police departments countrywide.  

What’s going on?

With this kind of support why do some police officers shoot and kill unarmed black men and women? Some say it’s bad or inadequate training, while others say the reason is a more insidious one…racism. You can count me in the camp claiming racism. I will talk about training but let’s jump in the deep end of the pool first.

Racism is as word that enflames passion in nearly everyone who hears it invoked. Some white folk refuse to acknowledge it still exists and some black folk claim it’s the cause of everything wrong in the country.

What is racism?

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines it this way – NOUN – prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.The belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another.  (the italics and underline are mine)

I want to sharpen the focus by drawing your attention to a couple of lines from this definition.

Prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed against a person of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group.

Also –

The belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior.

That officer antagonized George Floyd to the point that he killed him, because he believed him to be inferior. That is the only rational explanation for him being not only willing but able to so casually take the life a helpless human being who presented no threat.

Racism wasn’t invented by America; it goes back to the beginnings of our time here on this planet. But America made its mark on it for sure.

How did we get here?

Walter Rodney a prominent historian and academic with a Ph D in African history writes –

“The role of slavery in promoting racist prejudice and ideology has been carefully studied in certain situations, especially in the USA. The simple fact is that no people can enslave another for four centuries without coming out with a notion of superiority, and when the color and other physical traits of those peoples were quite different it was inevitable that the prejudice should take a racist form.”

I’d like to refer to a part of Walter Rodney’s quote above, “The simple fact is that no people can enslave another for four centuries without coming out with a notion of superiority.” Because of the legacy of slavery whose affects have not expired, there is still a “notion of superiority” in the collective mind of White America. Sometimes it’s explicit like when the officer killed George Floyd. Sometimes it’s more subtle like the images of beauty and success we see in the media. I remember a few years ago seeing a TV commercial for a hair care product. The commercial featured an attractive white woman walking in slow motion with her long blonde hair flowing behind her. The narrator said, “Don’t you wish your hair was like hers?”

There was an assumption the white women’s hair was the definition of beauty. I knew for a fact that I’d never see a commercial like that featuring a black woman. Why? Because in the collective mind of White America black is not beautiful, white is. Why? Because here in America there is a “notion of superiority” when it comes to whiteness in America.

I mentioned the collective mind of America, because a collective mind does not include every mind. There are plenty of white people who do not subscribe to this “notion of superiority”. However, the existence of that “notion” is hard to deny, and its affects hard to escape. Some white people complain about protesters rioting and looting, but don’t recognize the reasons why they protest. They say it’s inappropriate and violent. But when Colin Kaepernick peacefully protested police brutality against black folk, many white people complained about that too. They presumed to be in a position to tell black folk how they can and cannot express their grievances. Why? There is a “notion of superiority.”

There have been many complaints mounted against displaying the Confederate flag, because it is seen by black people as a symbol of state sponsored racism and oppression. But some white people are angry and say it’s a symbol of their heritage. But they ignore the central reason for the Confederate States desire to secede from the Union. These people will say the Civil war was about states’ rights, and they’d be right. The states that joined the Confederacy were all states that supported slavery, and the war was to uphold what they believed was their right to maintain the institution of slavery.  Expressing his suggestions on the design for the Confederate flag prominent newspaper publisher William Tappan Thompson writes-

“As a people, we are fighting to maintain the heaven ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race: a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause.”

The actual Confederate Constitution makes it clear what the Confederacy was all about in Article IV section 2 –

(3) No slave or other person held to service or labor in any State or Territory of the Confederate States, under the laws thereof, escaping or lawfully carried into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor; but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such slave belongs,. or to whom such service or labor may be due.

Also –

Article IV section 3 –

(3)In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States.

Flying the Confederate flag or supporting flying that flag in addition to maintaining statues, buildings and other monuments that honor the Confederacy is no less offensive, hurtful, and incendiary as flying a Nazi flag. The Germans have outlawed any public display of Nazi paraphernalia because they have learned the error of their ways. America has yet to learn.

Where are we at now?

Hate crimes have been on the rise. Over the last few months there have been several young black men found hung from trees. There are people posing for pictures with their knee on a person’s neck, making a mockery of the murder of George Floyd. Black people have had the police called on them for using a charcoal grill in a park, for sitting in a Starbucks store, for trying to get into their own apartment, for falling asleep in a common area of their college dorm, for renting an Air BnB, and the list goes on.

I want to say that George Floyd was the latest unarmed black man killed by the police, but I’m sickened by the fact that he isn’t. There was Rashard Brooks who was shot in the back running away from the police. There was Ahmaud Arbery hunted down and shot by two white men while he was jogging. Breonna Taylor was shot dead in her apartment by police carrying out a no knock warrant looking for someone who didn’t live there. Speaking of apartments, Botham John was killed while eating ice cream in his own apartment, by a cop who thought he was in her apartment robbing her, because what else would a black man be doing. Philando Castile was shot and killed while trying to comply with an officer’s request for his license. Eric Garner was choked to death by the police who were called about him selling loose cigarettes. Walter Scott was shot in the back while running away from a policeman as well. I promise you there are enough cases like these to consume the rest of your day.

What does it all mean? One hundred fifty-five years after the abolition of slavery, racism is still alive and kicking the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. We are more divided as a nation than we’ve been in at least a generation. Every time we see a news report of another unarmed black man or black woman killed by the police the hearts of decent folk breaks just a little bit more. I say we might as well kick back and brace ourselves because more killing is on the way.

In anguish we plead to God and the authorities to make it stop. We see placards saying, “No Justice No Peace”. I say the killing will not stop, not yet, because enough black men and women haven’t been killed. Had we reached whatever that terrible quota is, the people would scream their demands until the necessary changes have been made. But, we ain’t there yet. We get mad for a little while and then resume our lives. Another horrific killing happens, we get mad again, and then chill out. For the first time since the sixties there seems to be a shift under our feet. The killing of George Floyd was so obviously heinous that the moral outrage of a nation has been awakened. I don’t hold George Floyd up as a hero or martyr, he’s a symbol. George Floyd is the fulcrum upon which the future of racial justice in America balances. Which way it tips is entirely up to us.

Where do we go from here?

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein

All decent people know that racism is wicked. But, one of the reasons the sickness of racism has been so intractable is because we have never asked why and consequently never got an answer.

Let me refer back to the writings of Rodney Wade –

The simple fact is that no people can enslave another for four centuries without coming out with a notion of superiority…”

Just like a stench that has floated in the air long enough to get used to it, the “notion of superiority” continues to waft in American air.” There have been riots, laws passed and enacted, and there has been some positive change. But we still haven’t addressed the stink drifting in the air all around us and so we collectively breathe in the “notion of superiority’ of white folk over black folk.

I am under no delusion that all white folk are racists. I know that is not true. But still, all around us there is something in the air that makes a certain police officer feel comfortable to suffocate an unarmed and non-resistant black man with a hand in his pocket while he is being video recorded. There is something in the air that makes two white men feel that they have the right to chase a black man jogging, close in on him, and shoot him dead in the middle of a street in broad daylight. I would suggest that it’s that “notion of superiority” that Rodney Wade spoke of.

If you were going to buy a house and found out that it had hazardous mold throughout, the first thing you’d have to do is recognize that there is indeed mold. Then you would take steps to mitigate that mold, and most likely remove things like sheetrock that were infested by the mold. What you wouldn’t do it pretend that it didn’t exist. Even if you painted over it, the “notion” of the mold would persist, then make you and your family sick.

In America we have painted over the racism. We passed some laws and pretended that the problem ceased to exist. The murder of George Floyd has reminded us that we still got mold in the house! So, we have to mitigate the mold, because it’s making us all sick.

What can we do?

  • Good people everywhere must stand up against racism wherever it exists. Just like with terror threats, “if you see something, say something”. Being passive is to be a part of the problem. Don’t sit by idly while racist jokes are being told. Don’t let racial bias of any kind, by anyone, anywhere go unchallenged. Please be clear, if you are silent, you are complicit!
  • White people…RELAX! The good news is that black people want equality not revenge. Join us in our protests, stand with us in our fight to perfect this American experiment. Stop being defensive and learn the healing art of listening. Black people want and deserve to be heard. Our grievances are not against all white people, but against racism. Be an ally as we tip the scales of justice toward equality for all.
  • There must be new more equitable federal standards for policing-

    1) Ban on choke holds including the so-called “carotid hold”.
    2) All police shootings and deployments of tasers must be reported to a federal agency where each incident will be documented along with the race of each party involved and these reports must be made available to the public.
    3) Police must be held to the same standard that civilians are held to when it comes to use of deadly force. The officer must be arrested immediately after shooting a person, unless the evidence of self-defense is overwhelming at the scene of the shooting. Their guilt or innocence will then be decided by a jury, just like civilians.
    4) Our police departments have to be retrained and re-indoctrinated to help them realign with the universal mandate of police departments across the nation, to “protect and serve”. The police must be taught that they are not our boss, they are in their positions to serve the communities they work in. When they respond to a call their dominant focus must be on how they can be of service.
    5) The police must be trained to de-escalate. The mindset they bring to any difficult situation they encounter can have everything to do with whether or not somebody dies that day. Also, resources have to be put into place to deal with mentally ill citizens they come into contact with. The police should not have to manage mental healthcare.
    6) Police unions should be aligned with the same mandate as the police themselves to “protect and serve”. Far too often rotten police officers are kept on the job by unions whose only concern is protecting officers at nearly any cost. It has to be easier for police departments to get rid of truly bad cops.
    7) Qualified immunity has to be eliminated or its reach has to be greatly reduced. In the United States, the doctrine of qualified immunity grants government officials performing discretionary functions immunity from civil suits unless the plaintiff shows that the official violated “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known”. This legal doctrine has been used to benefit police officers to the detriment of the citizens they are sworn to protect and serve.
    8) Screening must be done regularly to weed out officers with racial prejudices. Racial sensitivity training must also be done regularly.

  • In our schools, we must have a robust infusion of the genesis of slavery and its social impact in this country. We must also include in our educational curriculum the plentiful contributions African descendants have made toward the building and betterment of America. This will cast a new more positive and accurate light on the presence of Blacks in this country.

These are just a few suggestions that can certainly make a huge difference in the quality of policing in America, and the social atmosphere at large. But there is more…

Do Black Lives Really Matter?

No! Black lives do not matter here in America. If they did, George Floyd would not have died under the knee of a police officer, and Tamir Rice would still be able to play in the park. Black lives do not matter, but they should. In my mind “Black Lives Matter” is an aspirational statement, it’s something we must fight for until it’s true.

Where I come from, if you want to be respected you must be respectable. Now let me be perfectly clear, the police and white vigilantes killing unarmed black folk is wicked and must be stopped right now! However, if we as black folk want to be honored and respected, we have to behave accordingly.

Crime is a plague in many of our big cities. In fact, the highest cause of death for a young black man is homicide at the hands of another young black man. We as black people cannot proclaim that black lives matter if we ourselves don’t respect the value of black lives. This scourge has got to stop and we as black folk have to stop it.

We cannot continue to let black women be unwed mothers left to support children without the support and guiding influence of their dads living in the house with them. It is true that the welfare system penalizes families when the father is living in the house. The solution is easy, a man should marry a woman before he gets her pregnant. Women should require financial stability, responsibility, maturity, a ring, and a wedding before they allow themselves to get pregnant. A present responsible father living with his black sons will make a massive difference in what black boys decide to do with their lives. I am not criticizing men and women who have made certain choices in the past. We’ve all made choices that could have and should have been better. My intent is to look forward and consider how we can fortify our black communities now and into the future.

To the extent that it is in our power, we must take responsibility for our own safety. When we encounter a police officer the most important thing to us should be to get home safely. On the street with a cop questioning us is perhaps the worst time for our inner badass to come out. We must pick our battles carefully, and in a way that we stand at least a chance to win. If the officer actually is a racist or knucklehead it is even more risky to get that person agitated. So, if you encounter a police officer please keep these things in mind –

  • Don’t make any sudden moves. Only do what you’re told to do. Then, advise the officer exactly what you’re about to do, and then do exactly that.
  • Do not under any circumstances try to run away or escape.
  • Be compliant. Give the officer whatever documents are asked for.
  • If you are detained and put in handcuffs, avoid with everything in you the urge to adjust yourself, get more comfortable, or resist.
  • Do not ask for the officer’s name or badge number. Once the officer is gone, take note of the exact time, location, and the cruiser license plate.
  • When the officer is gone, call in and ask for the identity of the officer, and if you have a complaint, ask for the supervisor, and tell that person you want to file a complaint and why. Once you are no longer in potential danger, you have a much better chance to get favorable consideration.

It is always an unpleasant experience to get pulled over by the cops. But from what I understand, it’s far worse to get shot by one. This section is not about making it easy for bad cops to be bad. My intent here is to help you focus on what should be in your immediate best interest, and that is to get home safely. Please, swallow your pride and make it easy for the officer to go easy with you. I promise you your pride will heal.

If it is ever to be true that Black Lives Matter, then every single black child must have access to a first-rate education. In 1954 the landmark legal case Brown vs. the Board of Education, settled in the U.S. Supreme court, established that separate schools are not equal, and that all American citizens have a fundamental right to a quality education. Yet in 2020 many schools in inner city and rural areas are still segregated and not giving children, especially minority children quality educations. If you are now or will be a parent of a school aged minority child or you care about our children, go to the Board of Education meetings where you live and participate. Even better yet, run to be elected on the Board. You can make a real difference for the children where you live. Additionally, the education of minority children has to become a higher priority in the Federal government. Vote for the people who care, then hold them to task.

Access to quality healthcare should not be a privilege just for affluent people. Poor healthcare leads to poor health which in turn robs families without deep financial pockets of the ability to live comfortable lives. Living under the burden of financial ruin is fertile ground for crime and domestic violence. Minorities are almost always the most disadvantaged when it comes to the availability of quality healthcare. This has to change!

In conclusion

I believe that when can end racism. I know that’s a claim so bold that it borders on the ridiculous. We haven’t ended racism because we haven’t screamed loud enough for long enough. We haven’t ended racism because we made some strides and then quit the fight. We haven’t elected enough political leaders of color, who could in turn represent the needs of people of color. We haven’t gotten enough people of color on school boards nor have enough of us signed up to be police officers to serve in our communities. We haven’t demanded enough from our President and Congress, and we haven’t demanded enough from ourselves.

Until we get to a place where we will accept nothing less than justice for black folk in this country, then we will not have it. Just trying ain’t enough. A rally here or there will not get it done. We must demand that the promise of America be freely available to every one of it’s citizens.

We have an opportunity to finally tip the scales of justice into balance. If we lose this moment in time and not take full advantage, we may never get this chance again. It is your obligation as a fellow human being and as an American to stand against racism and actively pursue equality once and for all.

One Love…Really

You Are Here for Something Great

This is my most fundamental belief – EVERYONE is here for something great. To be clear, greatness can be manifested in MANY different ways. HOWEVER…to realize your greatness you must be WILLING to:

risk being hurt
risk being criticized and ostracized
risk having your heart broken
risk losing a lot to gain everything

You must be WILLING to stand alone and be misunderstood. You will take arrows for sure. You may doubt yourself and you certainly will face paralyzing fear…but STILL you must remain steadfast. You may question your sanity and others definitely will do so. You have got to be willing to jump over obstacles and overcome challenges until they give in to your steely determination.

You have a unique combination of talent, skill, and personal qualities that can affect this world for good in a way that NO OTHER PERSON ever could or ever will. EVERYONE is here for something great but few people will realize that greatness.

God, The Universe, The Force, or Gravity…(Gravity???) whatever you believe in, is holding on your behalf an AMAZING potential to make this world better when you leave than it was when you got here.

How will you respond?

I don’t know about you…but I’M ABOUT TO ROCK!!!!!

Let’s Go!!!!

My Prayer for 2020

My Prayer for 2020

Here at the dawn of a new decade, I pray that 2020 will exceed your expectations in every wonderful way possible. Last year was challenging in many ways. I pray that we reexamine and reconsider the choices we’ve made and look to this new year with optimism fueled by the steely determination to make positive change not only possible but common.

The Me-Too movement has continued to stand behind and up for, even more women who have joined the unfortunate ranks of those who have been victimized by men unworthy to be called men. To be clear, there have been men abused either physically or verbally by women, they almost never report their experience. There have also been men falsely accused of some horrible assault of some kind. I pray that women and men learn to respect and honor each other. 

In my home state of Connecticut, the last couple of months has seen a terrible spike in domestic violence. Each week there was a murder more horrible and heartbreaking than the previous week. The murders were presumably committed by the male partners of these women. I pray that in 2020 we will reach the tipping point. I pray that we will decide that we as a society will no longer stand by with prayers and thoughts while women get slaughtered by the men who should have loved and protected them, or simply left. 

I pray that mothers and fathers will teach their sons how to embrace not just typical maleness but the fulness of their humanity. I pray that we will rebuke the saying that “boys don’t cry”. May all boys in 2020 and beyond feel comfortable having a full range of human emotion and be taught to express those emotions appropriately. 

Saying that “boys don’t cry” teaches them that their feelings don’t matter. Boys that believe their feelings don’t matter grow into men who believe that their feelings don’t matter. Men who believe their feelings don’t matter don’t take care of themselves and they are shitty parents and lovers. Men who believe that their feeling don’t matter have no idea how to express their feelings in a healthy way. So, they do what they know how to do. They might slap their wife rather than saying she hurt his feelings. They might beat up their children because they’re overwhelmed and frustrated and can’t put the words together to say that. They might, kill their lover for something harsh she said or did. I pray that in 2020 we have a firm commitment to make teach boys how to be emotionally healthy, and men how to feel emotionally safe.

I pray that women are honored, respected and treated as the equals that they are. Please don’t let a short skirt, tight blouse, or flirty banter provoke any man to feel that he has permission to go a single step past what a woman desires and is comfortable with. I pray that real men will stand in defense of women and against men who bring shame to our brotherhood.

This year is a big election year hear in America. We will vote for congressmen, senators, and the president. America is close to evenly split supporting or not supporting our current president. Talking about his actions has led to arguments, hateful rhetoric, the ending of friendships, and even violence. I pray that in 2020 we realize the simple truth that we are one. Beyond the artificial bounds of political affiliation or even national origin, we are one. We fail to reconcile ourselves with that truth at our own peril. I pray that 2020 sees a record amount of participation in the American democratic process, and we vote for a person that will bring us together and not push us further apart.

Our climate is changing and there is nothing good about that. Some folks think that we can impact that change for good or for bad. I pray that the people we have elected to lead our country look out for the best interest of we the people, the corporations can take care of themselves. I pray that rather than throwing a piece of paper on the ground more people will pick up a piece of paper from the ground. Every one of us can make a difference, and I pray that difference is for our collective good.

The beginning of the year is a time when many of us set goas or resolutions. I pray that you set goals that are meaningful and inspiring. May you have the resolve to work every day to accomplish those goals and know the thrill off success. I pray that as you move through this year that in some way you can find inspiration and be inspiration. Let’s be opportunistic in looking for ways to be kind and helpful to each other. Give a smile or compliment to a stranger. It will brighter your day as much as it does theirs.

If you are lonely, I pray the warmth of love visits you and that you will know that the surest way to receive love is to give it away freely. I pray that we learn to look out for each other and say through our actions “yes I am my brothers’ keeper”. I pray the strong protect the weak and may we all move closer to each other. 

So, as we begin our journey into this brand-new decade, I pray that we soak up every chance to marvel at nature, to laugh, to share, to love, to grow, and thrive. I pray that this is your best year ever. If you are sad, I pray that you reach out for help, if you have no one else please reach out to me. I’ll have no bright ideas or sage advice, but I’d be honored to witness you. I will see you as a person worthy of being heard.  That I can do. I pray that all of us become hyper-aware of those souls lost in darkness, and reach out in love, knowing that we will benefit as much as they do.

In closing I pray that 2020 will be everything you hope it will be plus a bag of chips and a Fanta orange soda. With love I wish you a super Happy New Year! Amen.

Stay Fly and Fly High,

Just a few questions

Just a few questions

What if there is no heaven?

What if there is, but you wouldn’t like it when you get there?

What if there’s a hell and you would like it when you get there?

What if this life is all there is?

What if when you leave here, your soul, spirit, energy reunites with universal energy and you live on through those who come after you, the things you’ve done, or in the hearts of those who knew and loved you?

What if the real you, is the thought, or feeling, or energy of you?

What if, when you really get down to it, you never really die, you just reorganize?

What if depression is God calling you to your greatness?

What if autism is intellect on a higher order?

What if the knowledge of a certain death is a gift, if we could learn to use it to our advantage?

What if the voice of God is what you do every day?

What if there is no God?

What if YOU are God?

What if YOU are a part of God?

What if the only holy book you need is the journal that you write in and keep at the side of your bed?

What if a huge capacity to love was a requirement for all government officials?

What if we decided that good healthcare is what all righteous countries guaranteed to all their citizens?

What if all political parties dissolved, and the only concern of our elected officials was – what is good for the people?

What if violence could be loved away?

What if at the end of the day…LOVE IS ALL THERE IS?

What if bad things happen to good people is because good people can do something good about it?

What if your partner cheated on you to challenge you to leave and find a partner who would never cheat on you?

What if we are the only intelligent beings in the universe? What if we aren’t but the other beings will never come in contact with us?

What if you knew for sure that you are here for something great and you acted upon that belief with rock hard determination?

What if every thought and creative expression already exists?

If you could have any job or own any business what would that be?

If you didn’t know where you lived, where would you want to live?

If you didn’t know who you are, who would you be?

Here’s the thing…the life or world you desire just might be a question or two away from where you are right now.

One last question – what are your questions?

Stay Fly and Fly High

My Prayer for 2019

My Prayer for 2019

I pray that this brand-new year receives you with the open arms of love, possibility, and healing. May this be the year you move closer to a life that is abundant in every way you desire. Living with discipline can be challenging for sure. So, if you want to save money, change your diet or lose weight, start a business, or get through college classes, I pray that you will be able to break any goal you have into small manageable chunks, do what must be done, and feel the power of progress.

I hope that you will be able to love yourself. For some this may be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done, but it’s worth every effort you put towards it. From time to time just do something really nice for yourself. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, just something you wouldn’t ordinarily do. Go to a restaurant, a movie, get a massage, or put together a kick ass outfit and go to a play all by your beautiful self. Trust me, you’ll feel the love.

May this year allow you to forgive someone who has done you wrong. Releasing the pain you carry is all about you. In forgiveness you put yourself in the morally excellent space of knowing you’re big enough to move on, regardless of what the other person does. You don’t have to like that person, you don’t even have to actually tell the person you’ve forgiven them. Just simply let it go. You deserve that peace.

I pray that you can look past the short comings of others, especially those you care about. Life is much less complicated when we drop the excess baggage of petty annoyances. May you see the good in others, and they in you. I hope you will know the joy of performing an unexpected act of kindness towards a stranger. Please buy a coffee for the person in back of you and just keep on walking. Mail a money order to a charity, drop some groceries or clothes at a homeless shelter. The recipients will feel great, but I guarantee that you will feel even better. Send a nice thought to a stranger on Facebook in their inbox, particularly if you know they are going through a difficulty of some kind. Your thoughtfulness will lighten their load and make your day.

I pray that you will realize the truth that you are here for something great. I hope you’ll allow your imagination to dream amazing technicolor dreams, and that you’ll find the courage to boldly go after whatever it is that your heart desires. You cannot hold a dream in your heart too big to be accomplished. I hope that you will run right up to the edge of your limits and then confidently crash through the walls that have held you back in the past.

May this be the year that you see yourself as worthy of love, even if your choice is to be single. May you break through the bondage of loneliness. May you be the friend or companion that you want to have. May you know the kiss of a lover, the handshake or embrace of a friend, touch is healing…reach out just reach out. Please know that love exists around you, and all you have to do is send out the signal that you have love to give. Love will find you, hang in there my friend.

I pray that you’ll spend some time out in nature. Look at some flowers, a sunset, walk on a beach or in a forest, marvel at birds, dogs, and cats as they frolic free of any concern. You can have that too, I pray that you will.

I pray that this year will be less divisive than last year. Everyone believes what they do for their own reasons. As smart as you are, you are not in sole possession of all facts, knowledge, and wisdom. Allow people the space to be who they are. Funny thing is, that will move them to do the same for you. May we find a way to respect each other even if we don’t agree with each other. Kindness, tolerance, and above all love will bring us much closer than political flame throwing, I hope we’ll find a way to do better.

I pray that men will be able to feel safe to be fully human. May we confidently embrace all of our emotions and learn to express them appropriately. May we find a way to walk away from violence and not engage in it. I pray that women will be treated as equal to their male counterparts and may all men respects women’s right to feel safe in any environment. I pray that sexual abuse of any kind be spoken out against and resisted by all of us.

This past year as all years we have lost a lot of dear souls. If you have been affected by the loss of a loved one, I pray that you will be able to gradually move forward into a healing space. I pray that you’ll be able to reflect on the good things they have done and the good times you shared, and that those wonderful memories will linger on your heart and bring warm smiles to your face.

If you have any business or vocational aspirations, I pray that you will find the determination and creative power you need to succeed in exactly the way you see it in your imagination. If you have health concerns, I pray that you find the medical expertise that you need and that you will be able to summon the healing power in your beautiful mind to work powerfully on your behalf.

I pray that this coming year will be your best year ever. May it be filled will more good than bad, more light than darkness, more happiness than sadness, huge helpings of mac and cheese, sweet potato pie, red velvet cake, colorful salads (???), love, full body hugs, kisses, and laughter.

For all these things and more I pray…AMEN.

Happy New Year and One Love…Really

Stay Fly and Fly High,