Ism’s

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Religion has been around since mankind has been in existence. Along with religion has also been Agnosticism and Atheism. However comma as soon as you mention the latter, those who associate with them are immediately judge. It’s funny, as much as I think I have an “open mind” and try not to judge – I find myself judging associates of mine because of who they are. Is it because I grew up in a semi religious household? Certain religions have taught us not to accept homosexuality, races, Atheism/Agnosticism, or anything and anyone that does not agree with the “rules” of their religion. It wasn’t until I went to the 13th grade and took a “Religion of the World’s” course, that I began to learn about other religions and what they have to offer. Even with the new found knowledge, I still hadn’t learned, truly, about Atheism or Agnosticism. Not until now, now that I have people in my life who associate with these ism’s.

Atheism, the absence of belief in the existence of deities – there is no higher being. The etymological root of the word means without god. French philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre believes, “Atheism existentialism are concerned less with denying the existence of God than with establishing man needs to find himself again and to understand that nothing can save him from himself, not even a valid proof of the existence of God.”

Agnosticism, is the view that the existence of God, a divine being, or the supernatural is unknown or unknowable. William Rowe is quoted as saying, “in the strict sense, however, agnosticism is the view that human reason is incapable of providing rational grounds to justify either the belief that God exist or belief that God does not exist.”

Religion does not need to be explained. In fact, one could say it has been over explained. It is what drives many decisions, what the majority associate themselves with whether it be the various forms of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Muslim, Taoism, and many more. If however comma we wanted a more formal context… according to Webster Dictionary: “the state of religious; the service and worship of God or the supernatural; commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance; a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices; cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.”

What does all this mean, I gave formal definitions with no real world context. I think I can sum it by quoting one of my newfound favorite scientist. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, “The moment someone attaches you to a movement or philosophy- they assign all its baggage and all its philosophy to you. And, the moment you begin having conversation they insert that know everything important about you because of your association. That’s not the way to have a conversation. Why not just have a ‘real-time’ conversation and explore each other’s ideas/thoughts rather than assign a label to it and insert you know what’s going to happen in advance…I’d rather not be associated with anything.” All of this is exactly what I did. I had a preconceived notion of cynicism being synonymous with atheism and from this I had to take a step back, understand what these forms of ‘isms meant and respect those who associate with them. While this post may be superficial/lack depth I think one could surmise the importance of judgement.

There is a lot of knowledge I have gained from those I meet because of the respect I have for them. Do I agree with everything they say? No. But, I am willing to have an open conversation and understand the various points of view without a pre conceived notion that their view is one way because of who they are associated with rather, the facts they provide regarding the point they are trying to make.

1-Luv,

D

(May not fit entirely with the post but, still a good listen.)

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Lighthouse

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My skepticism has always been whether or not Luv truly exist. I have written several blog posts about and still remain clueless…at times. Given the numerous times I have seen cases of false luv, my notion was that I was correct and everyone who tried to convince me otherwise were wrong. However comma as I mature and have experienced bouts kismet energy, my previous truths have altered slightly. Now, I tend to focus on why people settle, those who were once in luv fell out of luv and why, and how do you keep luv alive.

In the times we live in, the idea finding the perfect soulmate/kindred spirit is slowly fading from the hopefuls. Because of this, people meet, skip dating and go straight to courtship. Erase a lot of things they once would have never tolerated (e.g smoking cigarettes) and within 6 months to a year holler they are engaged or expecting. They settle because they are afraid of being old and alone.

Then there are those who thought they were in luv, they fell out of luv and why? Could they have been a part of the group that settled? Could they have originally fallen in luv with lust or the idea of luv? Or, could it be that old say ringing true, “People come into your life for a reason, for a few a few moments or for several seasons.”

So, let’s say you truly fell in luv with someone; they matched your fresh, and somehow you two fell out of luv. Is there a way to keep the luv alive or try to revive it? Role playing, spontaneity , going back to what attracted you to the person in the first place? Talking? Philosophy? Poetry? Whatever it may be. Does counseling really work? I know a lot of times when kids are in the relationship the mother takes on another role and loses herself in the process and for that we apologize. Or a man comes to the realization he has so much more life to live and decides to leave. But, how…how do we keep our luv alive? Or is it as simple as once it’s done, it’s done.

I remember when I was a little kid, I kinda knew my parents were getting a divorce but, I thought I could fix it. I created a dinner for them, had their favorite song on the record player as they entered the house and my sister and I went upstairs. As time went on, you could see they weren’t happy but, you saw (through rose colored glasses) that they were trying for the sake of us. There were happy moments but even as a kid I knew it wasn’t going to last. Needless to say, they eventually divorced.

I find someone who truly understands me however comma is betrothed to another. What is this, the universe playing hide and seek? Or, out of the blue, I am reacquainted with my past but, are stars don’t align. He is not from my planet. He doesn’t understand what luv or self worth means but; do I settle because I don’t want to be alone? Because I don’t like the options that are out there? Because the person who has my soul – is from my planet but possibly from another life time? I can’t. I won’t. I have too much self worth; too much self luv. I don’t want to be that person who settles then, years down the road realize I made the stupidest mistake and wasted time I will never get back.

This post is clearly not about some insightful knowledge that can make you re-assess all of life’s wonders about luv but begin the topic of conversation with a starter on how we can keep luv alive. From a lot of those I’ve witnessed in relationships, mutual understanding, respect, appreciation, friendship, uplifting, and caring nature for one’s being we’re traits I hope to take with me when I am blessed with a bountiful relationship of my own.

So, I guess I will leave you with this question. What have you found that works in your relationship? How long have you two been together?

1-Luv

D

P.S. Take a listen

I️ Reject Your Reality

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I️ defy the odds,

My reach is amongst the stars.

Don’t set my limits

Don’t give me goals.

That’s not how I️ work

For only I️ know.

My sight is set on what has not

Been found.

History, happiness, luv, philosophy

That which is profound.

Knowledge is never ending

So, why should I️ concede?

My drive should not intimidate you

Instead, paint a scene.

Try matching my fresh

Let’s take a ride,

Go on a journey

To space; a futuristic time.

Alternate realities are meant to be challenged

It’s only fair.

Just don’t tell me I️ am wrong

Because I am not you

And to tell the truth,

I️ really don’t care.

💋

Roller Coaster

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It was the mid 90’s, driving to school; moms bumping 95.9. Anita Baker, Sade, Temptations, Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, and countless other R&B and Soul artist fills the void with the art of story telling. My first tapes, Salt n Peppa and Tevin Campbell, for my parents anniversary- Tony Toni Tone “Anniversary” played on the record player while they entered the house and were greeted with dinner under “candle light.” My first crush; we connected on Musiq Soulchild and Carl Thomas. The Chevelle and Ludacris would feed my emotions when driving on the road. Floetry would later confirm what I already knew to be true. Sadly, Keri Hilton would give me subtle hints that I was heading in the right direction. H.E.R and Alina Baraz would give hope that life’s greatest goal could possibly land in my lap. So, what am I saying? Am I talking about music and the journey it can take you through? Am I talking about affection? Or, am I speaking about both? My mom did always say I was living in a fairytale (Anita Baker).

Each of the artist specifically mentioned resonate most with me because of life’s events and the story behind them. Good and bad. But, that’s what is good about storytelling – music can do it if done right. It can make your life a melody. I mean, that is what songs are, “keys to life,” right? Something personal happened to someone, they sang about it, we related, and now, our instances are forevermore connected. “Poppa was a a rolling stone,” “Mr. Messed Up,” “Lie to Me,” “Make You Feel.”

There are a lot of things that happen that make you question life, friendships, real luv. An associate of mine said, “Don’t fall in luv with the face and body. Fall in luv with the spirit, heart, and character.” In reality when you meet someone for the first time, you fall in lust with their face and body (booty work, buddy, push it). You meet their representative. It’s not until a few “sessions” In do you get a glimpse of the their true identity (secret: catch them at an off moment, when they’re sick, had a bad day, you go out and they lose at a game you guys mutually chose to play (Outkast-Take off your cool) to see who they are) and hopefully their guard will come down, become “vulnerable” to the idea of a beautiful relationship (friends or maybe more), become vulnerable to the idea of luv. My motto, “Keep it real from the beginning. No pretenses.”

Oops I did it again. How did I get on the topic Loveeee, Love and Affection? I thought I was talking about music… “makes you lose control (Missy).” Ah! I was. They are synonymous so, it’s only right that I got confused and in turn confused you. Since we are here, Riddle me this: When did you first fall in luv… with music?

1-Luv

D

P.S. I hope during the time you read this, not only did you sing a long with some of my references but, also took a journey down your past, assess the music and life’s events that happened- good or bad and enjoyed my vague attempt of giving you a shimmer of my personal.

Becoming Cultured

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As a society, we can sometimes become wrapped up in what is acceptable actions, religion, music, activities, etc according to our nationality. Not realizing, what makes us different and what another culture does can sometimes unify the different races. Over the last few weekends, the togetherness I have seen amongst those I have encountered at Comicon and Renaissance Festival have been a reassuring sign that there is still awesomeness amongst us.

Fantasy Does Exist!!!

I went to Comicon and immediately became overwhelmed by the hero’s, the cosplay, the artist who cater to our need to escape reality. I met legends, saw Vader (I wanted him to say ‘Luke, I am your father.’ but jumbled my words and could only say ‘LUKE!’), purchased pieces of art that expressed me. I was amongst my people – not “black people” but, my people, those who enjoy comics and movies and fantasy. The cool thing was, there was no shaming, no judgment of the color of your skin; it was meant to be fun and fun was had.

Then, I had my first experience at the Renaissance Festival. It was full of pirates, wenches, nymphs, fairies, and pride and guess what?!?! Again, the crowd was diverse. We came to enjoy the artist and be entertained. Again, I was amongst those who luved fantasy, the era of the Renaissance, amongst culture; I was amongst my people.

Look at Me Becoming Cultured!!!

So, what does this mean? Experience is what drives perspective, gives new outlooks on life. Being cultured is not just about learning the history of your race but also, being willing to learn things from other cultures. We don’t have to stick with only “black culture” because that’s the only thing we know or that’s the color our skin. As a society, you can’t grow that way and have a full understanding of what life is through just one set of eyes. Accepting differences, interacting with other communities is what makes the human race great. And for the first time, I finally understand it completely.

My challenge to anyone who reads this: just as you would go to the museums to experience pieces of history, read the required books while in school – don’t stop there. Find local festivals to attend, don’t be afraid to try something different because it’s not apart of your comfort zone, if your children speak to you about religion or other cultures, don’t dismiss them; rather encourage their inquisitive nature. You never know, you too may find something fascinating – I know I have.

Next stop…New York Comicon

Impression

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We search for acceptance from our friends, family, co workers, children, husband/boyfriends, the person walking down the street, the waiter at a restaurant, not realizing that an impression has already been made.  A person has already looked at you and assessed your actions based on their standards.  It’s not until one decides they want to know you that their initial impression ranges from dislike, content, and/or admiration.  Questions: “So why?,” “Why should you care?” and “What is the fix?”

So Why?

Why do we try to make an impression? Why do we care so much? Why? Why? Why? My five cents…we do it because we were conditioned this way.  Think of when you were a kid; before you left the house your parents would warn you not to “act a fool,”  “your actions are a reflection of this household,” they would say.  What about your first date?  The unwritten rule, “Don’t show him/her who you really are.  “Wait a few dates/months’ or the crazy one “until you are married and he’s trapped.”  You go on a job interview, wear certain clothes, you speak and conduct yourself in a manner that is so uncommon that you have to coach yourself days before the interview; then you get the job and the first few months you are on your best behavior and once you feel comfortable you become a little more relax.  Restaurants – same thing, there are even social etiquette classes on how to conduct yourself in a social setting; as we speak, there is a format on how to engage your audience when blogging – “Social Norms” we call them.

So…why should we care?

I have a coworker who wants a James Jean “Crayon Eater” tattoo, however, is hesitant because of the social stigma that blinds our creativity and individuality.  She’s not sure how she would be perceived.  In speaking with her, this is one of her favorite artist, his work describes perfectly what is in her head.  Why should she care?

My son, a young black boy growing up in a “free”  but racist, discriminant, world.  Why should I care? Especially when, as much as you try to ensure they speak /respect others, peoples hate can sometimes affect how they treat people of color.  Why should I care?

The Fix

If we were meant to be the same, we would all be the same color, height, weight, sex; we would speak a certain way, conduct ourselves as a “Collective.”  My response to my coworkers hesitancy about getting the tattoo, “Tattoos are extensions of art, an extension of you.  If this is something you luv, do it.  When you luv it, you don’t regret it.”  In her situation she should not care what others thinks.

Me, I am 7 of 9.  I was once part of a collective: I had to think, act, and dress a certain way until I realized there was a way to construct my social etiquette without losing sight of who I am.  As I mature, I realize there is a need to “instruct” others on how they conduct themselves.  Every action will have a reaction.  We as individuals choose how our first impressions to others will be and should accept the reactions given.

My son, I should care.  I want him to make an impression, his impression.  So, what do I do?  I explain to him what I have learned, show him what happens when he goes left, or goes right, I teach him to think for himself, I provide him with the good, the bad, the ugly; I explain to him my idea of life and what it’s about, and as he grows/matures I pray that his impression is a positive lasting impression.  I pray whatever path he chooses, he thought about it and accepts the journey he will take.

As long as we are aware of our actions, impressions though needed should be our own.

Un – Traditional Thanksgiving

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Over the last month, we went from “this isn’t real,” “this just happened,” “WTF,” “to Anger management and needing counseling,” and finally, reality setting in – what’s next (in regard to politics) and Oh! by the way…it’s Christmas!  Let’s rewind that last word; it’s Thanksgiving.  While mainstream media wants to “gloss” over Thanksgiving and go straight to Black Friday and Santa, I want to take it back to the good times. Back to when all of your family came under one roof and cooked, laughed, slept (itis kicked-in), and reminiscing took place.  I missed those days.

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Growing Up

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day my mom would begin the labor intensive preparation of making sure I didn’t eat all the cheese for the macaroni and cheese and let me lick the bowl the left over pie filling was in. She allowed me to help her prepare our Thanksgiving meal.  We didn’t have a traditional Thanksgiving meal we had an awesome one.  We had crab legs, shrimp, stuffed salmon, mac n cheese, ribs, greens, sweet potato pie and “itis.”  Thanksgiving Day, we would sit around the table and express our thanks, commune as a family, sleep, watch tv and repeat.  The Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after, we did not rush to the malls to buy Christmas presents rather, we continued our family time together and went to pick a Christmas Tree, hang decorations, decorate the tree, and watch movies.  Those were the good times.

Now

I have dinner with my family, some plot on which stores they will go to right after dinner and those who aren’t shopping either still sit and connect with the family or go back home.  Me, I go home and now that my son is old enough, he and I will do like my mom and dad did me, put up a Christmas Tree, hang decorations, sit and watch movies and enjoy the company of family.  This the one day out of the year where you would actually sit with family (which I intend to do) and now, it has become a day of spending money on “great deals” when most “great deals” are generally the day after Christmas.  I’m Just Saying.  Thanksgiving Day is not the same and I am blame Mainstream Media. 

What I am thankful for…

Now, in the spirit of things I would like to start back to how things were and where they should have started by being thankful for the blessings that happened to me throughout the year; reflecting on the good things.
I am thankful for staying “consistent” with my blog – I generally start something and when I get stuck (hit a barrier in creativity) I don’t go back to it for awhile.  So, I am proud of myself for my unrelenting determination.
I am thankful for my son who is challenging me to be a better me, mom, and a human being.
I am thankful for my wonderful Support Group who understands my struggle and helps out in any way they can.
I am thankful for each struggle that has come my way and I did not let it beat me, instead, I fought it and prevailed.
I am thankful that “Conscious Rap” is making a comeback.
…this is just to name a few
Thanksgiving was that one day where you were forced to be thankful, hence the name.  If we continue to lose sight of ourselves, our family, and our community, how will we ever unify and pay it forward to those who need help?  To help the next person we must work on ourselves, we must luv one another, we must stop and appreciate our blessing and through those blessings help someone else.  As I leave you with my wonderful past and my present and my thankfulness, I also ask you, “What are you thankful for?”