Life

Insanity

So the quote goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I would credit the quote to Albert Einstein, but I found out the original quote came from someone else. Who knew?! Anyway, it still defines insanity, especially when you are seeking a better outcome. Now if you’re satisfied with where you are, by all means, continue doing what you have been doing. However, if you desire something different, something better, you have to change what you are doing.

My question to you, which is the same thing I have asked myself, are you tired of doing the same thing over and over again and getting nowhere? Or are you satisfied with where you are? If you are tired or unfulfilled, it’s time to do something different. Even if it means restructuring or rebuilding your life.

Personally, I do not want this year to end like it began. I don’t want to go into 2021 carrying the same old baggage. It’s time to switch things up and to continue switching things up until I get my desired outcome. Then I’ll have to switch it up again. I do not believe things were meant to stay the same. Now that’s insanity!

So, not long before I decided to write this blog, I watched a short clip of an interview motivational speaker Lisa Nichols had with Steve Harvey. In the video, Lisa said:

My biggest accomplishment is being willing to give myself a thousand second chances. And every time I got to 999, I press reset. . . At some point I have to stop asking– Can I be great? Can I be brilliant? Can I be okay and still be accepted? I just stopped asking permission and just gave notice unapologetically. Not in a braggadocious way. Not in a way that shrunk anyone else. In a way that said I only got one life and I’m going to ride this one until the wheels fall of.

Lisa Nichols

Lisa’s right, we only have one life. We owe it to ourselves to stop doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. I don’t know about you, but like Ms. Nichols said, I’m ready to ride this thing called life until the wheels fall off.

Be Blessed!

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday

We matter!

Another week down. Moving on to the next. Last week was a bit much. It began with another shooting of a Black man by police officers. Another one! Just thinking about it is stressing me out again.

Last week I could barely concentrate for crying. I actually became physically ill. It was too much. I was mentally and emotionally worn. I kept asking myself– Why are we, Black people, still fighting for equality? To be seen as worthy? Why is it that our Black men are viewed as a threat at first sight? Why are we, Black women, “angry,” when do not feel like smiling, or are having a bad day, or just simply being? Why are little Black kids handcuffed for acting out? Why are we not loved? Why are we not valued? Why do we not matter?!!!

Last week, Doc Rivers, a former NBA player and now head coach of the Los Angeles clippers, voiced what we have all been feeling. Emotionally, he said, “It amazes me why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back.” I felt that. Just thinking about it now makes me want to SCREAM! Doc Rivers’ Interview.

We have been used, abused, and murdered. Yet, we still love our country. We have fought wars and given our lives for this country. Yet, we are seen as animals (usually monkeys), second class citizens, dirty, nasty, unworthy, illiterate, thieves… Believe me, I could go on and on! No matter what we accomplish, or how pleasantly nice we are, we are never good enough. We are never quite there.. Ha! Almost there.. but not there.

So for those still wondering why we are screaming, “Black lives matter!” it’s because, unfortunately, our lives do not matter!

Praying for a better week– a safe week– a week without tears (unless they are happy tears).

Be Blessed

Shaun

Life

Expect the Unexpected

Last week I wrote, Trusting God’s Plan. Two days ago, Pastor Steven Furtick posted, “This is the year of things we didn’t expect. Don’t underestimate God’s ability to bring something beautiful out of our unmet expectations.” Both are confirmation that letting go and allowing God have total control will yield the best outcome.

Letting go means not thinking about what is to come, or how a certain story will play out. If you are anything like me, you sit and think, “If I do this, this will happen.” And “this will happen” usually leads to 100 different scenarios. Lol.

Story time! I promise to keep it short. Lol

Sunday I wrote about a situation with my neighbor and his dog. Monday morning I decided that I was going to knock on his door and ask him not to tie his dog to my tree. Had the entire scene played out in my mind. Actually, I had several scenes played out. You know, “If I say this, he’ll probably say blah blah blah.” Well, let me tell you how it actually went down. As I was heading to work, he and his wife were walking the dog. The wife had stopped to talk to one of our neighbors and he was talking on the phone. Y’all, everything happened so fast. I flagged him down and got his attention. Afterwards, I explained that my son was taking classes virtually and that I worked from home most days, and how the dog’s barking was interfering with our work. He quickly apologized and returned to his phone conversation, and I went on to work. None of that happened as I thought it would. I wish I could say that it ended there, but it didn’t. All morning I kept replaying the scene over and over in my head. Kept wondering what he thought of me. What his wife thought of me. Did they think I was rude? Was I rude? Couldn’t I have waited to address the issue? I mean, this really bothered me. I kept hearing God say, “Let it go,” but I could not let it go. Thankfully I became engrossed in something I was working on and forgot about the situation. When I got home, I went over and introduced myself (something I should have done before the incident), and I apologized for being so abrupt that morning. They also apologized and said they didn’t know anyone lived in my house. Umm… how could they not know, but… okay. As I walked back home, I noticed that they had removed the leash from my tree. Smiling

I said all of that to say, when I finally gave it to God, He worked it out. Is anyone else hearing, “Turn it over to Jesus, he will work it out. He can. He can. Work it out”? Y’all, I hear songs all day long. Lol.

Anyhoo.. I did not expect that outcome. I expected some kind of pushback that never happened. None of the scenarios that preoccupied my mind that morning, or even the day before, were close to what actually happened. But isn’t that how it usually happens. Nothing ever happens the way we imagine. Which means we really need to concentrate more on being present and less on what will happen next. Y’all, it is sooo freeing to just let go and let God do His thing.

Along with Pastor Furtick’s post was this image that said, “Are you missing what God wants to give you because of what you thought He was going to do?”

Expect the unexpected.

Be Blessed,

Shaun

Life

Independence Day 2020

Freedom is not free. What sacrifices are you willing to make?

What legacies are you passing on? What will your descendants say about you?

Please watch NPR’s YouTube video, Frederick Douglass’ Descendants Deliver His ‘Fourth of July’ Speech, and please, please share. Note: The actual speech is titled, What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?

Here are my thoughts after watching the video:

I believe Frederick Douglass’ descendants reading his “Fourth of July” speech is just as powerful as the speech itself. It is up to us to continue the difficult conversations surrounding racial issues, even on Independence Day.

Honestly, I considered not sharing this video. I did not want to interrupt the happy celebrations. But are the celebrations truly joyous? Because after the fireworks, BBQs, SAFE social gatherings, and “Happy 4th of July” pictures and posts, racial inequality remains. I mean.. only a few days ago Mississippi finally removed its racially divisive flag— in 2020!! What year did the United States gain its independence? Umm..1776. What year was slavery abolished in the United States? Supposedly 1865. And what year is this, again? Hmm.. 2020 in the 21st century.

Y’all, we cannot continue to pretend everything is okay, because IT IS NOT. Change is happening NOW, and WE must keep up the momentum. We cannot sit back and wait for another great leader to come along and tell us what to do. They have already done that. They have already equipped us with everything we need. Now it is our time to follow through. Not tomorrow or next month, but NOW!

Who’s with me?!

P.S. Be sure to watch the commentary at the end of the video. POWERFUL‼️

‪#HappyFourthOfJuly‬

Shaun

Life

Up Thinking

I really need to be asleep. Have to be on the road in a few hours. Today we are honoring my great aunt, Aunt Deloris. She will be 75 next month. She told us that she wanted her roses while she was still here, and ain’t nothing wrong with that! So, today is her day. I cannot wait to see her. Wish I could love on her but with cases of COVID-19 steadily increasing, I will love her from afar. Being in her presence will be more than enough.

Anyway… I cannot seem to turn off my mind. Been thinking about events that have taken place over the past month. Especially events in Mississippi.

In June 2014, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer 1964. I watched the documentary (click link attached to Freedom Summer 1964) a few days before my 41st birthday. Side note: Since the city of Hattiesburg had a significant role in the movement, the documentary was shown at The University of Southern Mississippi prior to being aired on television (which aired on my birthday- Woohoo!). After watching that documentary, my brain started working overtime. I had all kinds of ideas about doing a follow-up documentary about Mississippi, 50 years later. I had so many questions and was eager to find answers.

As I stated earlier, the events that have taken place over this past month reminds me of Freedom Summer 1964. However, this time the white people who are marching and volunteering along side Black Mississippians are actually Mississippi residents. Unlike Freedom Summer, they did not travel here from other states. Many were born here. Some are descendants of those who opposed change in the 60s. In the documentary, someone said, “Crack Mississippi and you crack the whole South.” Well . . .

Hopeful. Very hopeful. Change is here. Change is happening. Mississippi IS Thriving!

Anyhoo.. I need to go to sleep. My alarm goes off in less than two hours. I’ll probably hit the snooze several times before I actually get up. I am so excited about seeing everyone… from a distance, that is. Lol

By the way, I am way too sleepy to proof this. So forgive any errors.

Shaun