Friday, September 22, 2006
I grew up and now live in a country where 99% of the income is held by 1% of the people and 99% of the people hold 1% of the income... take a moment... absorb it... YES!
In the past few weeks I've had a blast. I'm on vacation, my only worries have been accumulating things that I already have in excess. Do I feel guilty? NO...
I think our biggest problem as a privileged society is that we worry more about what we are doing instead of concerning ourselves with what we are NOT doing.
I will not apologize for my Jimmy Choos or my LV bag. Lord knows I worked hard for them. I like nice things, always have, always will work hard to maintain a certain level of comfort.
I will not feel bad about craving a new iPOD or upgrading my car. I recognize that me buying my car won't stop the women and children of war torn Sudan and Liberia from starving.
WHAT I WILL DO is make an effort to contribute not only financially but giving myself to a worthy cause.
I WILL recognize that I cannot be THE solution but a part of it. I cannot single-handedly change the injustices of the world but I can shed light on them and be a part of righting many wrongs.
I have a life list. I've only ever shared it with one friend. It's full of things that I want to do but mostly associated with status and prestige. I have no short term goals to improve the life of someone else who needs alot more than I do.
As Ramadan is about to begin, it's a time for sober reflection and a season where giving is celebrated and emphasized. Fasting in any religion really is about sacrificing your wants and needs in return for a chance to grow closer to who you perceive your higher being to be...in my case the only one I know to be in charge- The Notorious G.O.D. :-)
I recognize that there is a God who said He prefers good deeds to be modest and continuous, than grand and infrequent and in that spirit, I have made this priority on my list. I will give, I will give myself, my time, everything that I am allowed to give to improve the life of someone who hasn't had it as good as I have even though there's no earthly reason why I got chosen over them.
I will NOT stop drinking my $4 cups of coffee because I don't care what anybody says; it does taste different from Folgers or Nescafe. Besides were it not for that $4 coffee I would not have had what Miss Oprah calls an AHA moment! :-)
Friday, September 15, 2006
In the spirit of my vacation, I decided to take a shopping trip to my favorite city in the world; New York. It was Labor day weekend, Hurricane Ernesto was at its best and it took me 9 hours to get to NY! My luggage was somewhere in Conneticut; Delta JFK employees were not helpful and needless to say I wasn't in a vacationey mood by the time I got to my hotel room but I thought to myself "stay positive, make lemonade out of these lemons, it's just a minor setback besides DELTA had promised my luggage would be delivered to my hotel room the next day so... FINE!
I hadn't been to NY since Dec. 2001 rite after 9/11, at the time, the stereotype of New Yorkers been rude rang painfully true. Everyone lived in fear and terror, no one felt safe and everyone was suspicious of their fellow man and with good reason. This time was different, people looked me in the eyes, said hello, smiled at me and I thought "WOW I guess going through something as traumatic as 9/11 together awakens you to the fragility of life and creates an unspoken bond". I wish that feeling had stayed with me through the trip...
For as long as I lived in the South, I never witnessed any form of racism, maybe it did happen but like I always say if you weren't raised in certain conditions then you don't know to look for them. In other words, ignorance is bliss. I attended a college where 93% of the population were white, in my 4 years in college I only had 2 black professors. Still... Nothing; UNTIL I GOT TO NEW YORK!
I stepped out of the airport and a Middle Eastern gentleman walked up to me asking if I needed a taxi. I said no thanks and was about to cross over when I heard raised voices behind me.
A Nigerian airport employee had started to harass the guy I guess about soliciting passengers. Next thing I hear the Middle Eastern man say "You cannot judge me by the way I look, this beard is part of my religion and I have a right to wear it". Meanwhile your African brother is yelling and jeering at this man "Go and shave that sh*# off! Al-Qaida! Bin-Laden! You don't belong here!" Needless to say, not only was I shocked but I was thoroughly ashamed, utterly disgusted and embarrassed.
YOU ARE A BLACK AFRICAN IN AMERICA! YOU EITHER CAME HERE ILLEGALLY OR VIA AN AMNESTY PROGRAM LIKE VISA LOTTERY AND YOU HAVE THE EFFONTERY TO OPENLY THROW RACIAL SLURS AT A MAN TRYING TO MAKE AN HONEST LIVING!
The word bigot is mostly associated with white people because it is (unfairly I might add) easier to assume that they think they're superior to other races. However, what I think is worse is someone that can identify with having odds against you inflicting the same treatment on a fellow minority. I guess ignorance isn't always bliss.
"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends." - Maya Angelou
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
How Do I Love Thee?
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Finally Suri Cruise graced us with her angelic presence last week.
GOD she is beautiful.
Now that's a baby that would have been well worth all the stuff I complain about (see previous blog) Gosh Suri looks like you went to Car Dealership Heaven and drove out with a Maserati baby. She's GORG!! Yes I do have my copy of Vanity Fair with my faddy self.
I might have to name my little puppy in honor of lil' Ms. Suri (when I do get one)
This is why people should be allowed to adopt. I mean getting pregnant has got to be like playing Russian Roulette. What if my husband forgets to tell me about that great-aunt on his mother's side with the lazy eye or I don't know about a distant uncle who's left leg is half an inch longer than the right one. GENETICS lessons in Biology have taught me enough. RECESSIVE GENES ARE A BITCH!!!!
With as much as I talk about this stuff God forbid I have a baby who's all lop-sided; swagger to right, left side of her face looking like she has no muscles (Poor baby like she begged to be born) lol
Anyhoo... babies like Suri give me hope so if anyone knows a SINGLE half Brazillian, half European man with some good hair and to die for bone structure, please send him my way. I am not shallow and I do know that looks aren't everything; however I am somewhat risk adverse and would like to take out a lil' insurance.
"Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind"- Shakespeare