Thursday, January 27, 2011


    This morning the first thing I said to my son was "Time to get up." The second thing I said was "Stop talking and hurry up." The third thing I said to him was "What's irrigation?" His first two responses were little more than a head nod to acknowledge me. His third response was more lively. Irrigation?!?! Irrigation?!?! This is what you want to talk about in the morning???
     Of course this is not what I WANTED to talk about in the morning, was my initial thought but that rebuttal would have been counterproductive. I am the epitome of what could be described as a suburban chick. Give me a mall with The Gap, and a good meal at Applebees and I am perfectly happy at this point in my life. I have no interest in farming or irrigation. Heck, I don't even like gardening. My best attempt at such was ten years ago when I planted several varieties of annuals around the front landscape of my house. I haven't looked back since. Those lovelies just put up their pretty blossoms at the appointed time and season.
     But on this day, before the crack of dawn I am willing to talk about all things agricultural because I love my highly intelligent yet equally undisciplined child. I will discuss the positive and negative effects irrigation has on the environment with him since he doesn't quite care enough to give it his very best effort and would be happy with a mediocre grade. It may be a mild irritant for me right now but, I consider it an investment in his future. When his level of maturity begins to catch up with his intellect, I don't want him to behind.
     That's what you do for family. You do it because you love them. There's nothing that we shouldn't do to within reason to help our loved ones. I'm not so sure when and where things got jumbled, but God help me the day I go out of the way to help a stranger in need, but will not do the same for my family. Yet, it happens all the time. People in service positions want to make an impact on society and even the world.  They pick a cause. It may be orphans, or abused women and children, or public safety, or ministry, and all the while the people that are the right in their line of vision are not receiving the very best from them. At the end of the day, (or the beginning of the day in this particular case) our minds are already thinking ahead to those things we need to do. Often in our personal time we are distracted by other people who want/ need something from us. I propose we all slow down enough to look at and appreciate the people that will be around for the very most important and defining moments in our lives. Lets make sure that when life's most joyous or grievous occasions take place that we are not experiencing them with family members that feel more like strangers.  Making an important impact on someone, and ultimately the world starts with our loved ones.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pride and Predjudice

     I received a box in the mail courtesy of one of the major shipping and delivery companies. Since I am an online shopping addict, I tend to get drop offs on a regular basis. That being said, there is a certain protocol that i have become accustomed to when anxiously awaiting my "door prize". Since most packages are worth an insubstantial amount of money, Mr. Deliveryman usually knocks three times, rings the doorbell, sets the package down and walks away. That's the way our transactions take place 99% of the time.
      Things did not go the same way on this past delivery. There was no knock. My doorbell is in perfect working condition so I know it was never pushed. This time my package was dropped at the door with little or no indication to let me know it was there. There is not doubt in my mind that my package had been run over by something between the time it left the warehouse and the time it arrived at my doorstep. The box was crushed open on one side and then the entire package was haphazardly wrapped in packing tape.  Perhaps I just give off the aura of someone who would have made fuss. I have to admit I sure would have. I would have sent it straight back, and let all those involved figure out what happened and where. However, I was not given the opportunity to do so. I can only assume that the delivery driver was not up that challenge.
     I have titled this post Pride and Prejudice, because I personally I have a low tolerance for people don't take pride in what they do. I'm of the mind, that there is no dishonor in doing anything you do, as long as it's done honorably. One of the first questions we ask people when sizing them up is, what do you do for a living? There is a lot of importance placed on what job you have and how much money you make. Often times, I hear people forecasting their future status when they are dissatisfied with their current employment. They may say I work at the grocery store, but I am planning on going to law school. When I hear someone make such remarks I often think. What's wrong with working in the grocery store? Imagine what life would be like if nobody wanted to take that job.
     Nowadays everyone wants to come up with a fancy impressive title for their job position. "I am a adolescent recreational enhancement advisor." You're a gym teacher? Cool! Why not just say that. Like it or not some kids are gonna take gym way too seriously, and others are going to forge notes from home so they don't have to participate. The vast majority of students will fall somewhere in the middle. If you love what you do and put your heart into it, most everyone around you will respect you for it and give a little in return. It's not what you do that defines you, it's how you do it.
     Let's stick with the grocery store scenario shall we? Have you ever gone through a check out line and the store clerk was totally nasty? There have been times tellers wouldn't even look up and acknowledge my presence. How hot under the collar are you when that happens? When you come across a clerk who seems to have missed orientation on how to properly pack shopping bags, isn't that inconvenient? But, I for one celebrate a friendly clerk with good packing skills. Not only that, I thank them! My time unpacking has become less complicated because someone who took the time to do their job with expertise. The list could go on and on with examples of different people with different sets of responsibilities. Unfortunately, the ramifications of those with greater responsibility only gets worse.
     The world would be a better place it we give our best in whatever we do. Let's all commit to doing the best we can not only for our own satisfaction, but because we're all connected. We all have to work together to make the world function well. No judgments here, friends just observations and love. I'm stepping off my soap

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's the Same Difference

    I went to bed thinking last night about a movie that I had watched as well as book that I have been reading. Anytime I do either of those things I look for characters that I can identify with. It's just kind of a habit of mine that draws me deeper into a story. In the book East of Eden John Steinback slowly and carefully describes his characters in great detail. I was so impressed with my ability to relate to so many of the characters. He really captured a gamut of emotions in such vivid detail. The themes of love, disappointment, fear, hatred and  jealousy were described in absolute detail. It's taking me time to go through the story because I keep going in my mind to actual events that I have experienced. I read about these emotions and I think..."hey that reminds me of the time when _____" .
     I drifted into dreamland thinking about how people are really more similar than different. I find this fact to be an equal combination of comforting and disappointing. It's great to feel as if you're special. Mothers devote their time telling their children just that. "You're not like the other kids there's something different about you,"  they say. As time goes on many of us come to the realization that most people aren't nearly as impressed with us as mom is. At the same time it's nice to know that you can find someone that understands how you feel and what you've been through. I remember as a child learning a scripture that said, 'There is nothing new under the sun.' As it was explained to me you or your circumstance is not nearly as novel as you would think. I think this is actually a helpful and hopeful revelation in the time of distress, and a reminder to stay humble in times of success.
     We seem to live in a day in time when every little difference is pointed out, magnified, and blown out of proportion. Too often our differences are used to cause derision and strife. Ignorance breeds fear. You have Christians vs. Muslims; Blacks vs. Whites; men vs. women; wealthy vs. poor; Democrats vs. Republicans etc...I contend that diversity can be celebrated.  Look for things that you can learn from others of a different persuasion.
     How often do you take someone else's word at face value about a group of people? Why is the basis of someone else's worth contingent upon whether or not they are exactly like us? If I take a good hard look at myself I realize how little I know and how flawed I am. That being said, should I be the standard by which all others should be measured? My goodness I hope not! Why must animosity be coupled with negative criticism when pointing out contrasts in others? When you look past most of these dissimilarities you will find that there are many more similarities that can be used to bring us together than differences that force us apart.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What's Really Going On

     A particular subject has troubled me two times in as many days. For that reason I feel compelled to step up on my soap box and voice my opinion. Let me get straight to the point: Black People it is time to raise our standard... POW! There I said it. Well actually I typed it. But, if I were to SAY it, there would be a tremendous amount of attitude. You know, like the stereotypical black lady on reality TV attitude.
    Let me tell you what lit my fire concerning this subject. I was driving down the street flipping through the stations looking for some feel good music. It was one of those moments when your in a great mood and are looking for some tunes that express your sentiment. There's a great local station that plays a "mix" of music. I was rather enjoying myself but decided to see what was on the local urban station. I switched just in time to hear the word "'ho" poorly bleeped out of the song. Boy did that pump the brakes on my happiness. If you ask me, there are a very few circumstances in which it is appropriate to refer to a woman as a ho'. I am just crazy enough to actually try and stick with the original meanings of words for the sake of confusion. I am aware of all of the spin off's on the word and forgive me for saying they do not belong in main stream media at 6 pm. Oh wait is urban radio considered main stream? I can't help but notice that language is not readily found on country, alternative, or even most mixed music radio waves. Why then is it okay for the urban lover's ears?  
     Again this morning before 8 am I am  driving down the road and my ears were assaulted by lyrics celebrating the singers drunken stupor coupled with a request for his companion to pull her pants down. Really?!?! True enough it's 5 o'clock somewhere. But given your standard American English accent, I highly doubt he was in any exotic locale that would support his drunkenness during those tender hours of the morning.
     Before we go any further, and you write me off as a complete prude let me reveal to you that chocolate, wine, and sex (in no particular order) are at the very top of my personal list of carnal pleasures. Wine may be the newest passion on that list. I enjoy reading about it, shopping for it, and certainly drinking it. Chocolate targets the same area of the brain that is associated with love. Need I say more?  And R. Kelly used to sing, I don't see nothing wrong,with a little bump and grind.  I like to think that anyone walking away from a sexual experience with me has been satisfied beyond their wildest dreams. I'm sure some part of that my thought process is wishful thinking. But, sufficed to say I have had very little negative feedback over the years. Sorry, no references will be provided. You're just going to have to take my word on that. I'm not anti-sex. I imbibe enjoyable adult beverages. And when it comes to 'hoing I am more than capable of minding my own business. I have my own life so as a general rule I will only get so upset or involved in the life of anyone who is not looking for my input.
    My problem is that these topics seem to be the central theme of our culture. Why? I ask. Are these things all we are good for? Of course not. Yet we are debasing ourselves to the point in which such topics and issues have become deep seeded albeit stereotypical characteristics of who African Americans are. STOP IT! We as a culture of people are collectively better than that. Stop glorifying and glamorizing a lifestyle that will continue to cause unnecessary struggles to influential minds that look up to you. Do I personally think that celebrities are role models? No. Do I think that anyone who has the ability to influence ANYONE should use their influence for good? ABSOLUTELY. And let's not negate the fact that star power does exist. That's why celebs get endorsements. If you are willing to take an endorsement than you should be willing to use your influence in a responsible manner.
     I know there are a many contingent arguments that can accompany the struggles of our race. I know that many problems that come from neighborhoods and cities we populate have less to do with the color of our skin, and more to do with socio-economic status. I do not deny extenuating circumstances that add to the struggle of our culture. There are many. Let's just make it a point to live purposely and purposefully and continue to rise. One love y'all.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Who Am I

     I had a good conversation with a friend the other night. He had posted some pretty thought provoking clips on Facebook. The man talking was an advocate for social justice and equality. As he spun knowledge and wisdom from his brain into the fabric of the moral conscious of anyone willing to receive it, I came to the following conclusion; Even if I don't agree with what this man is saying, I totally respect his willingness to lay down his arguments and justify his beliefs.
     Upon first glance this man looked little more then an eccentric senior who may or may not be totally "with it" upstairs if you know what I mean.  His hair was kind of wild. He was what I thought to be hiding behind sunglasses. His overall appearance just seemed to be slightly un-groomed. But when he began to speak I realized that his level of insight and intellect were so far beyond mine that I literally had to stop the video and ponder his words. I had to let his information marinate and sink in a little bit at a time in order to keep up with him. I came to know that this man is in fact an educator at an Ivy league university. The information he laid down was factual, though like anyone else the opinions were his own.
     When we know someone's background, we have a certain set of predisposed assumptions of what their stance will be on a situation. I try very hard to take each person as the sum of their life experience. It doesn't always work out that way, but I make an earnest effort. I think the world is a better place if you approach people sincerely and specifically. I had a man look me in the eye and say thank you the other day after I purchased some carry out and it made my day. I could not recall the last interaction I'd had with a stranger when our exchange was anything more than standard thoughtless politically correct pleasantries.
     What I am getting at here, is that I would love for anyone reading me, to take my words at face value. I hope and pray to get to the place some day where people have to stop and contemplate my words because I am a wealth of knowledge. But, my approach in doing this is going to be different. I am not going to set before you my stats. Where I'm from, what my background is, my political affiliation, my religion, my level of education etc.... take my words and evaluate them. I am trying to be open and honest. I will attempt to express the foundations of my sentiment, so that you can accept or reject what I have to say. To do the latter might muddy your perspective on  what you believe my view is. I loathe that we have come to the place where we ask people a certain set of interview like questions. 1) What do you do? 2) Are you married?
 3) How old are you?  [and then when we we are comfortable enough]  4) So do you/where do you go to church? And the final nail in the coffin. 5) How about what's going on in Washington?
     Let's see where you reading words by someone who you know little or nothing about gets us. Let's see how similar or different we REALLY are.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Here I Go!

     I created this blog several days ago. It was very hard to decide what I wanted to say so I have remained silent. Believe me when I say speechless times from me are few and far between. As time goes on anyone who follows this blog may look back on these words in amusement. Anyway, I decided today was the day to sign in and see what happens.
     On two different occasions I wanted to get on the blog and let her rip. The first time was after finishing a book I read by Frank McCourt. Teacher Man to be exact. I was afraid that it was going to turn into a book review and that was not what I was looking to do. I really wanted to chronicle my personal feelings after having read the book. It all came rushing at me at once and I chose to stay in that moment and just acknowledge those feelings and reflect. Really they all came upon me faster than I would have been able to type anyway.  In retrospect let me just say that I greatly appreciated his transparency in that book.
     The second time I considered blogging was in the midst of a completely emotional incident. I decided against it. I have no intention of turning this into an online diary. I suppose there are all types of people in the world. Some of those individuals enjoy reading dramatic entries from overly emotional people. But let's face it there are enough forums for those types tomfoolery. The blog is called her soap box not her soap opera! Daytime soaps or reality TV or heck even Facebook can provide you with your daily fix of such things if that's what your looking for. I'll save the drama for my mama. (Isn't that what mothers are for?)
     As vocal/verbal as I am, (and I suspect such may be the case with other blabber mouths) for all of my ranting and raving, I am quite particular in the sets of things that I actually share with people! I actually consider this to be a skill. Most people assume that someone who is talkative, is telling you there whole life story. Often times that is the case, but not with me. I suppose time will tell how much of myself I will actually reveal to those who choose to take the time to read what I have to say and interact with me.
    This is new territory for me.  I am looking forward to seeing where I wind up. I am looking forward to the people I may meet along the way. *In my best Jerry McGuire voice* Who's coming with me?!?!