Recently I received an email from someone who was just as critical as me, but judging by the words they used lacked empathy or the willingness to open their mind to alternate points-of-views. The person was basically respectful, but I feel that he mischaracterized me. Several months ago I would have got upset and fired right back, but I was reminded by my own words. So I’m going to try to better explain who I am and my point-of-view. Perhaps it will clarify some of the positions I’ve taken or confuse you more. Either way I welcome your feedback and your stories.
In the beginning God created Adam, Eve and then me; I was just hanging out… OK I’m going to be serious.
I can only view the world through the eyes and experiences of who I am. I’m a 36 year old American Black male. I am my parents’ first child and a product of a southern Christian environment. But that’s not the end of the summary of me. God blessed me to be who I am and have long accepted that. It is because I’ve accepted and appreciate who and what I am that I can do the same for others. Life is easier that way and more enjoyable.
I’m not the smartest guy in the world, the wittiest, sexiest or the coolest, but that’s OK with me. I have tried to follow a few basic principles in life that may not score me a lot of points with the thugs, theologians or with academia but it works for me.
Thoughts, Ideas & Suggestions was created in November 2006, but I didn’t really begin to utilize it until December 2007. It’s a place where I could offer what the title says; express my thoughts, ideas and suggestions about whatever is on my mind. I do this because I felt that I had something to say, but no one to say it to. Eventually, I would have said it all and I’ll quietly sit down, but I’m just getting started. I have hard enough time keeping an article under a 1500 words as it is, and some of you know that most of them are not exactly what you would call short. I appreciate those who do read and comment on a regular basis.
I take my inspiration primarily from my own experiences, observations and conclusions. I like to add my own warped sense of humor or spin on some issues, but mostly try to get to what stands out with a question.
The prominate influential figures of my life include individuals such as my father who is probably my greatest influence, although I’m more extreme than he his on most issues. I guess I got the drama from my Momma. Others influences comes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Frederick K.C. Price, Dr. Cornell West and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson to mention a few.
As I’ve mentioned on occasion I am the son of a minister, my Great-Grandfather was a minister, my Great-Uncle was a minister and I have a cousin who is a minister. I’ve been around preachers for the majority of my life, so I guess you can determine that it’s kind of difficult for me to avoid discussions of religious, social issues, equality and justice for all. These individuals have been a tremendous source of inspiration and example to me. But my social environment and interactions played a great part too.
Although I’m who I am physically, it doesn’t mean that I must conform to socially accepted stereotypes of that demographic. I have never seen anything wrong with accepting someone based on how they present themselves to you. I really do believe that you should “be judge on the content of their character, not the color of their skin” or any other precondition. This is what I try to do. Of course I’m not always successful. I do see color, but why is that a problem? I see race and appreciate it. You have just as much to deposit into my life as I do yours. There are people I love, admire and respect who are Republicans and believe they feel the same towards me as a Democrat. I can be friends, trust and respect someone who is gay or lesbian and be confident in my own sexuality. I don’t care if you’re a Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Jew or Christian we have something in common and can be good friends, that does not compromise my beliefs as a Christian. I can find a Dominican, White or Japanese woman attractive and still love, appreciate and cherish Black woman. Why should I be offended? What is there to believe in? Race is not a religion, neither is love or friendship.
You don’t have to agree with me, but try to understand where I’m coming from. Perhaps I’m too open minded, but I haven’t found a reason yet that proves that it’s a bad trait. You have to love yourself in order to love others.
*Man! I did it again. See I really don’t try to go this long, but it always seems to happen. You have to forgive ME; I just have a lot to say. My goal for 2009 is to shorten up my blog post, but I hate breaking them up into multiple parts.*