Take a minute to take stock of your life. Identify who and what is a positive influence. Be that by their guidance, friendship or love. Embrace them and move forward with them. Then negative influences? Discard them and move on. Everyone and everything can not come along with you on your path. Reaching for the stars is hard enough by itself don’t let yourself be weighed down by those that bring only negativity to the table.
In December 1967, Rev. Dr. King announced the plan to bring together poor people from across the country for a new march on Washington. This march was to demand better jobs, better homes, better education—better lives than the ones they were living. Rev. Dr. Ralph Abernathy explained that the intention of the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968 was to “dramatize the plight of America’s poor of all races and make very clear that they are sick and tired of waiting for a better life.”
In April 2019 we are still dealing with many of the same issues that Dr. King addressed with his Poor People’s Campaign. If anything the gap between the haves and the have nots has widened not shrunk. Income disparities have become so pronounced that America’s top 10 percent now average more than nine times as much income as the bottom 90 percent. Americans in the top 1 percent tower stunningly higher. They average over 39 times more income than the bottom 90 percent. But that gap pales in comparison to the divide between the nation’s top 0.1 percent and everyone else. Americans at this lofty level are taking in over 188 times the income of the bottom 90 percent.
Between 1979 and 2007, paycheck income for those in the richest 1 percent and 0.1 percent exploded. The wage and salary income for these elite groups dipped after the 2008 financial crisis but have nearly regained their pre-crisis value. Meanwhile, the bottom 90 percent of earners have seen little change in their average income, with just a 22 percent increase from 1979 to 2017
Medical bills were the biggest cause of U.S. bankruptcies. A new study from academic researchers found that 66.5 percent of all bankruptcies were tied to medical issues —either because of high costs for care or time out of work. An estimated 530,000 families turn to bankruptcy each year because of medical issues and bills, the research found.
Fifty years ago President Lyndon Johnson articulated that:
“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”
Today our President uses devise speech to tap into fears and subconscious racism embedded in each of us to keep the “every-person” divided rather than united.
A popular saying for many in the Trump base is that we’re losing our America. But the truth is it was never, for the vast majority of them anyway, “their” America. The America they claim they are losing was and has always the America of the rich white man. Access to the best schools and quality health care. The ability to “legally” manipulate the tax system to shelter money from the ever increasing taxes you and I pay. Consistently looking to increase their bottom lines at the expense of the average American.
Now let’s be clear here and not misunderstand what I am saying. I’m not saying that every wealthy white man acts this way or that they are inherently evil or solely responsible for many of the ills that the average working American, regardless of color or gender, faces on an everyday basis. What I am saying however is that there is a select few who have always had the money and the power to control the narrative. To keep the masses at each other throats, pointing accusatory fingers at each other and fighting for the scraps thrown their way.
It is amazing how often the poorest of the poor will vote against their self interest because they have been led to believe it is in their best interest to ensure the well being of the wealthy. Ensure their well being because after all one day they will drink from that same prosperous cup. That is as long as (insert race, gender or religious identity) doesn’t take what is rightfully theirs. The concept that they are more like that person they have been conditioned to believe is threatening them then they will ever be to the wealthy who promote the narrative is seemingly foreign to them.
But the truth is Dr. King had it right in 1967 and if he would have lived to see his campaign through he would have been seen as more of a threat to the “establishment’s” way of life than anything he accomplished during the civil rights movement. Simply put there is power in numbers, there is power in unity and if the majority of Americans put aside their hatred of each other, embraced their similarities and united in the fight against inequality there is no telling what this country could accomplish. Imagine a country with affordable and quality health care and education for all. Wage equality and a tax system that treated the 99% the same as the 1% and maybe as a byproduct of coming together to fight the inequalities we all face we’ll gain better understanding of each other. Now that’s a dream worth fighting for.
It is that time once again. The ending of one year the beginning of another.
A new year! A call to action! The opportunities to be better tomorrow and each succeeding day than you are today.
A chance to break free of the mundane, to refuse to paint in black and white and between the lines but instead wherever your imagination takes you. To paint your future in the bold strokes and daring colors it was meant to be painted in
A new year is the chance to embrace the truth. The truth that nothing is impossible as long as your faith remains strong and you dare to dream.
A new year,
A blank canvass,
A new beginning,
Make it yours
Because after all the future is but what you make it
Oracle: But you already know what I’m going to tell you.
Neo: I’m not The One…..
Oracle: Sorry, kid. You got the gift, but it looks like you’re waiting for something…
Oracle: Your next life maybe, who knows?
About a month and a half ago my heart stopped for what I was told was 30 minutes. Doctors told my family it doesn’t look good, that if I did survive brain damage was likely. Yet I was told the team continued to work to bring me back long past the time they would normally work on someone, thankfully I had that AR always resuscitate order LOL. Less than a week later after being heavily sedated I was awake and alert with no brain damage. Some hospital workers and the hospital chaplain started calling me miracle man. Since that time I have been in the hospital recovering unable to walk or sit up as my core/trunk muscles had atrophied. Having to rely on others to clean you after going to the bathroom on a bedpan is a humbling experience. Depression began to set in. Then with the help of family and friends I began to realize their was no need to be depressed rather I should celebrate this “next life” that I had been granted. That I had the gift and was given this new chance to realize my destiny.
“I am a Jedi. I’m one with the Force, and the Force will guide me.”
“For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.”
“Close your eyes. Feel it. The light…it’s always been there. It will guide you.”
“Now I know there is something strong than fear — far stronger. The Force.”
Having come to the realization that I was given this second chance to realize my destiny I needed to understand how I could actually begin to accomplish it. First I needed to heal myself physically I needed to get stronger. Thoughts of pumping my body full of pills and simply doing the exercises the therapists were showing me would accomplish this were flawed as my progress was minimal. But then what night I had a breakthrough in my thinking I came to understand that to heal physically and mentally I needed to tap into my belief in myself and my faith in the Lord. As with the fictional Force I understood that the Lord is a powerful ally and has always been there I simply needed to close my eyes, listen closely, feel his healing power and allow him to guide me in my recovery. Once I became one with the Lord I knew nothing would be impossible.
I have subsequently been transferred to a rehabilitation center and each day I close my eyes and call on the Lord to give me the strength to move forward in my rehab to get stronger each day. I visualize that he is wrapping me in a bright white light and that his healing hand is touching my soul, giving me the belief that I have it within me to overcome the physical issues before me that I am able sit up, stand up and walk. As each day goes by I have seen myself gaining strength. I am able to pull myself up, I am able stand I am able to walk.
I am still searching for what my ultimate purpose is. What my “gift” is. Why have I been given this next life. Who knows maybe it as simple as sharing my story of faith and belief to help others find theirs. Whatever it may be I do believe now that in this next life I have been blessed with the Lord is guiding me and with the Lord by my side nothing is impossible.
The mind is your most powerful asset. The body cannot live without the mind. In times of physical difficulties visualize yourself as you once were. Use your mind to call upon your faith, no matter what it may be, to find the courage and strength to overcome your difficulties. Use your mind to manifest the physical healing of your body. The stronger your mind is the stronger your body will become.
Dreams are the roadmap to greatness. You will never reach your full potential without dreaming of the possibilities that you can aspire to achieve. The power of dreams manifest themselves in a mind set that asks what if, that casts away fears of failure. Dreams set the goals, spur you to action, keep you focused and moving forward. Just imagine a life without dreams, living day to day existing only to exist. No goals to aspire to, no desire to grow, a life defined by the routine safety of the known at the expense of reaching for opportunities in the unknown. Is this really the life you want? Of course not, you want to spread your wings and reach your full potential and the only way to that is to follow your dreams.
Do not concern yourself with what others have. Do not set your expectations based on the achievements of others. You will never reach your full potential by doing that. You can only reach your full potential through your desire to achieve greatness, to be better today then your were yesterday. Always look inward not outward for your motivation. Looking outward does not fortify your self esteem against failure. Any setback you encounter may deter you from continuing. Look inward and at times of adversity you find the inner strength and desire to be great. These traits will propel you to keep you moving forward until you reach your goal.
The Rolling Stones once sang “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometime you find you get what you need”. These words could not ringer truer in our live. Many times we doubt our ability to reach our full potential. We shy away from “going for it” either thinking we can’t do it, others telling us we can’t do it or simply a matter of fearing we will fail in trying to do it. This results in lost opportunities not only the opportunity of reaching the goal at the end of the journey but the opportunities that inevitably present them along the way. By not even trying we cheat ourselves of the chance to dream big by taking advantage of the possibilities life presents us. Possibilities we may not have known were out there but offer so much potential once we discover them.