Archive | September 2011

Why I’m Still So Glad I’m From FAMU

This past weekend for the second time in three years I attended the Atlanta football classic featuring FAMU vs Southern University in a battle of both football teams and band bragging rights.  FAMU, naturally, won both battles.  I love attending the Atlanta game and Homecoming because I am always reminded of one thing: I’m so glad I’m from FAMU.  Yes it is a song that we sing, but it is also a true feeling that we share.  Below you will find some of the myriad of reasons why once again I’m glad to be a Rattler:

1.  FAMUans love their school and they love one another.  It really is that simple.

2. FAMUans know how to party.  I’m not talking about the 20-year-old set here.  Trust and believe that I am also speaking of the 40 +.  Special shout out to Jemal Gibson and Keshia Walker on this one.  Jemal throws the best house party around and Keshia is party promoter extraordinaire.

3. FAMU men take care of their women.  Not speaking romantically just speaking.  If you are a female and you are with your boys they have got your back.  Period.

4. FAMUans are FAMUly.  Some call it camaraderie.  Some call it a cult.  We just call it FAMUly love.  We may say and do what we like to each other ( 😉 ) but come for one of us and let another see it and the Rattler will strike, strike, and strike again.

5.  The Marching 100- no more needs to be said.  Someone said to me prior to me taking my trip “but Southern has a really good band.”  Yes, Southern has a really cute little starter band and they tried but they do not have a great band.   There was no comparison between the starter band and the REAL band that took the field.  Southern looked like the little McDonald’s band that opened the halftime show.  Cute, trying really hard, and one day they might get there.

6.  Somehow we manage to pull off making the colors orange and green look REALLY good.

7.  Our dj’s are the best.  Kind of  like the band they are known nationwide.  Shout out to my buddy DJ Vince Adams who kept the parties going.

8.  FAMUans have heart.  Shouts out to Marc Christmas and A London Arrington for daring to go against the wind and do something different.

These are but a few of the reasons I’m so glad that I attended Florida A&M University.  It’s hard to put the feelings into words- especially in this type of forum.  All I can say is I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world- then or now.  Much love Rattlers. sssssssss

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…The Serenity to Accept The Things I Can Not Change

Webster’s Dictionary describes serenity as the quality of being serene with serene defined as suggestive of utter calm and unruffled repose.  And therein lies one of the greatest challenges that I face in life.  It is one of my constant battles- accepting the things I can not change with serenity.   You see, my adult mind understands that everything does not go my way and I don’t get everything that I desire.  I understand and I primarily accept these things as fact.  Accepting them with unruffled repose  is the challenge.

I don’t want to give the wrong impression here.  I’m not stomping up and down and throwing a tantrum because I’m not getting my way.  I am  however suffering some degree of unnecessary angst.  I have friends (attorney types who must learn this in law school- serenity 101) who counsel me with “it doesn’t matter, ”  “it is what it is, ” and “don’t worry about it, things work themselves out.”  Intellectually I know these things to be true, but I struggle with the notion of shrugging some things off and accepting what is.  Little things, I roll with.  It’s when the issue relates to people closest to me or ideals that I hold most dear where the trouble begins.

So what does one do?  One does the work.  Generally the most difficult tasks for us are the tied to the lessons we MOST need to learn.  So I first recognize when I’m at that point of “unsettledness,” and then I give myself a good talking to.  I had such an instance occur on Saturday.  There is a truth I’m encountering that I don’t want to recognize as such.  As part of that resistance I decided to push the envelope thus sending myself into a tailspin when the result of my action pointed right back to what I know to be the truth.  All this occurs on my way into work.  So, by my own doing, I arrive at work out of sorts, melancholy and dealing with a lot of mental  angst.

Now most of you know I am a strong believer in the Law of Attraction and within that the notion that we can manifest our desires by our thought patterns.  That being said, I also strongly believe that we are sent messages to help reset our thinking.  That’s what happened to me on this occasion.  I arrive at work out of sorts and within an hour I am reminded that while I am expending all of this energy on something that I can not change I am surrounded by solutions to the issue that are within my control.  I was overjoyed with the realization. There was a  strong reminder that I can accept the things I can not change with utter calm because the universe will always offer an often better alternative.  If your spirit is open to receive it that is.

I would love to hear your suggestions for how to win this battle.  Serenity is a constant goal.  I strive to live in peace while spreading love.

Spread love…peace and blessings.

What A Wonderful World

Yesterday the United States recognized the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy.  The build-up was incredible.  I saw stories beginning on at least September 1st regarding the occasion.  I was almost on overkill before arriving at the actual date.  My choice was to filter out a lot of the earlier stories and then focus on the stories as presented yesterday. Last night I watched the most fascinating documentary on CBS “9/11: 10 Years Later.”  It was a documentary shot by a couple of brothers who were intending to document the life of a young fire fighter recruit.  The story totally changed as they filmed the events of 9/11/01.   As I watched this 2 hour program (with very limited commercial breaks) I came out with a number of observations, but the greatest of them was “what a wonderful world.”

The following are my observations about the 9/11 tragedy (and surrounding events) as the were documented in NY and the other cities on that day:

1.  I now understand how so many firefighters died on 9/11.  From what I could see they all rushed to the towers when they heard of the first crash.  Yet, when they arrived there was nothing short of chaos.  No one really knew what to do (there was no drill for this).  So while some were on walkies attempting to get/give commands and others were in stairwells attempting to guide people down to (hopefully) safety a large number were standing in the lobbies, hoses in hand awaiting further instruction.  When the buildings crushed guess who the people were on the main lobby level?  Firefighters.  They had cleared others out.

2.  Miracles happen every day.  When it is not your time to go it is not your time.  Engine Co 6 which was the subject company of the documentary did not lose a single man on 9/11.  Not only did they not lose even one man, but the two brothers  filming the footage also survived the events of the day.  Again, I’m not talking about filming from afar.  I mean camera in the building of the first tower on and running when the building collapsed.  That absolutely boggles my mind!

3.  For many weeks/months following the events of 9/11 this country was united as one.  As my friend Shawn stated yesterday on Facebook, there were few dividing lines of race, creed or color. I will admit, however,  that I would not have wanted to be of Muslim faith at that time.  This country developed an unhealthy fear of anyone Muslim or middle Eastern.  But in general, love abounded.  Funds flowed willingly from not so full pockets to help those affected by the tragedy.  This nation and its people were proud to be Americans.  I never want us to experience a tragedy like that again, but I sure would like to find a way to regenerate the spirit of nationalism that it generated.

4.  Many of the people of 911 looked death in the face and proceeded forth anyway in an attempt to save others.  I don’t know that I have the level of bravery or selflessness required to do the things they did, but I am glad that there are those who willingly face any obstacle to help their fellow man.  In the words of Anne Frank ” I still believe, in spite of everything,  that people are truly good at heart.”

5. Regardless of what we sometimes think about our country, this is still a wonderful place to live. We have freedom beyond measure.  We have wealth enough for several nations and we have people who love their fellow man.  What else is left?  What a wonderful world.

If the tenth anniversary of 9/11/01 has touched you in any profound way I invite you to share your thoughts.  I also urge you (I am speaking to myself here as well) to get back to the goodwill we felt toward each other in the days following that event.  Open your heart to love fully, give freely, and look out for one another.  Have someone else’s back whether you personally know them or not.

Spread love… peace and blessings.

Sports Life Lessons

My 15 year old son and I have  conversations  about sports and prize money.  You see I started him playing tennis at age 6 with his grandfather as his sponsor.  6 years ago my father passed away and the tennis training went on the decline.  My son is also in the second year of playing  golf for his school.  Most recently our discussions revolving around these sports centers on not only how much one can earn playing the sport but also how knowledge of the game can be used to one’s betterment regardless of whether one is a professional athlete or  not.

You see I don’t really expect my son to become a professional athlete.  If he advances to that level I will support him and be happy.  But, I will also support him in whatever endeavor he chooses.  Thus, it is important to note that golf and tennis are the top networking sports.  The tennis court and the golf course are where a lot of business deals are discussed.  I learned under the tutelage of Dean Sybil C. Mobley at the School of Business and Industry at the illustrious Florida A&M University.  You can’t expect  to be included in the deals if you don’t know how to play the games.

There are other lessons at play here as well.  James Blake is the number ten top tennis earner and has never won a grand slam.  So why does he earn so much money a year?  Because people  appreciate and respect his story (I’m not going to share it.  I want you to know it by looking it up.  😉 ) He is handsome, personable, and you want to root for him.  Most of the individual sports players earn far more from endorsements than they do from winning.  Serena Williams earns $60  million every 5 years from Nike and has a lifetime contract.

On a far different angle, I read news today of an athlete from my alma mater (FAMU) who was apparently killed by a lover.  I discussed with my son that nothing that happens at the hands of another person is worth taking their life over and going to jail for.  Nor, is it worth taking your life.  You can be on top of the world and lose everything;  feeling in a sense as if your life is over.  But  it is NOT.  Prove it you say?  Gladly, Michael Vick had a $100 million contract,before being sent to jail for dog fighting, to play football and as of last week has another.  One wonders how does lightening strike twice like that.  It’s not lightening and it’s not luck.  He refused to give up and I’m sure that’s what sustained him even as he served his sentence.

Yes, the sports arena offers many life lessons.  One of which may be that it’s all just a game and winning is an attitude.  Understand that and you will always win.

Spread love…peace and blessings.