29 December 2017

The Musings Of A Septuagenarian Novice Signing Off & Welcoming 2018 With Trepidation And Conviction

What I've noticed during the beginning of each decade of my existence is that there was always a set of circumstances that marked its uniqueness beginning at the age of ten (Denarian). My mother remarried and my step-father became my beloved "Pop" for life. I, also, started my menses and my life of care-free days at the playground with the softball team was restricted and I began my years of dependency on Midol once a month not to mention other prohibitions. During my 20th year (Vicenarian) my politics were more to the left and Pan-Africanism and research on the history of my ancestors on this continent and globally with their detractors/oppressors became a preoccupation. I took nothing for granted and as Malcolm X had stated; think for yourself and always research what you hear and come to your own conclusions.  During my mid-twenties, I married and began a family which was no easy task due to medical concerns.  As I began my thirties (Tricenarian) my husband and I were surprised with another pregnancy and I completed my graduate studies.  Upon my 40th year (Quadragenarian); I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and fought resolutely through 2 separate diagnoses...five years apart.

16 December 2017


The message this Christmas is brief and I've also featured the various archival  holiday messages on my sidebar. Many of the issues raised then haven't changed and I imagine will be with us for years to come.  The Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays controversy and the validity of the differing points of view are re-visited.  I've been quite clear about my views on the subject, however, I recently read an article by John Pavlovitz, a self-described "20-year ministry veteran trying to figure out how to love people well and to live-out the red letters of Jesus." and it broadened a few concepts I had about this subject.  In my opinion, this article has been one of the better perspectives on Why I'm a Christain who says "Happy Holidays".

*Enjoy this season of love, communion, goodwill, and charity. 

11 December 2017

A Few Thoughts On "God A Human History"

Author Bio
I was first introduced to this book and author while viewing a Super Soul Sunday segment on OWN.  Oprah was interviewing Reza Aslan about this somewhat controversial book on his concept of God.  Mr. Aslan has an impressive bio and I've provided a link for your convenience.  As a practice, I usually present books that I find interesting on my sidebar with links to reviews and occasionally will do a Goodreads review on my sidebar sites of interest. This one particularly held my fascination and I wanted my subscribers or those who've not heard of his work or his background to read and share their impressions.  I must say, that this book also provided a more succinct language acumen for my own questions and perplexities about "The Almighty" and other names associated with this omnipotent force 'from which all knowledge flows.'

Briefly, Dr. Aslan cites:

That we ascribe our various virtues and vices, feelings and flows to God.  We humanized God and that we are 'hardwired' in our brains to do so.  He further states that the very process of conceptualizing God compels us to knowingly or fashion "him" in our own images. The humanization of God by making him (gender bias) us.  This force begs our predilection to say we are fashioned in his image, however, humans have fashioned him in our image.

11 November 2017


 This is a re-posting of a compilation of former Thanksgiving messages .  Once again, we are at the crossroads of human suffering with a lot of recent trauma related to President Donald Trump, killings of unarmed black youth, pathological hatred, Russia-gate justice denied, overall escalation of human misery, global wars, persecution, genocide and the unremitting and daunting effects of poverty. The latter is just to name a few.  In the midst of all this...we continue to  publicly celebrate the rite of Thanksgiving.  Acts of kindness still abound, many people are doing well despite the hardships expressed which is usually the case.  "Many things are true at once" , however, we must not forget or fail to continue to advocate and diligently work for changes that enhance humanity and lend to making subsequent Thanksgivings more meaningful.
"Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received.  Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse." ~ Henry Van Dyke ~

Photo Credit:  Public Domain

 It's that time of the year again and I find myself still trying to reconcile the concepts of being thankful or grateful for what we have and frankly what we hope that we'll keep and certainly relieved that things aren't as bad as they are for much of humanity. "Fearing to lose what you have is not the same as appreciation" ~ Terry Guillemets ~

I've written several posts on this holiday from different perspectives including that of some Native Americans.{ See link 'National Day of Mourning.'} There are the exasperated  sighs  from  folks who find some form of gratitude or thankfulness in the most dire circumstances when they encounter people like me. Their perceptions are that we are the ones hardwired to focus more on the maladies of humankind instead of being thankful for those blessings that others share or for those who are doing relatively well despite their problems.  The consideration of societal and individual limitations coupled with solution building can enhance one's ability to be truly grateful in the face of dreaded happenstances.  As a collective we should give thanks.  I do believe that.

There is, however, a passage from one of Dr. King's sermons that reinforces my perception that we should always shine a light on and work towards the resolution of the suffering and injustice that much of humanity endures on a daily basis. The celebrated day of Thanksgiving is no exception.  The passage reads: "The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me? But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"

With that said; I  enjoy reading articles and collecting quotes on thankfulness and gratitude. Many of them made a distinction between being thankful and having gratitude.

"Being thankful is to acknowledge the contributions of others. While, thankfulness represents an understanding of such contributions, it does not necessarily represent a deep, heartfelt embrace of the contributions."
"Having gratitude is to really feel and embrace the contributions of others and the power of the universe in your life.  Gratitude moves the intellectual acknowledgement of being thankful to a deep feeling representing the intersection of intellect and soul."  ~ Wecare ~

This policy for the uninsured under constant fire!

Gratitude is a real, palpable feeling, like pleasure or pain, and thankfulness is the most natural response to it. Two distinctly different things, joined at the hip." ~ Alan Roettinger ~

It makes it difficult for many of us to find a reason to be thankful. Of course we have heard time and time again that there is always some one experiencing greater hardship than we are, and although true, it does not always make our personal hardships any less painful." 

Life indeed is a roller coaster ride, enjoy the highs and find reasons to be thankful for during the lows and you will make out just fine."  ~Michael Szczepanik ~

"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it."  ~ Maya Angelou ~

11/23/11 statement on Thanksgiving rings true today as it did then and merits reprinting:

These are troubling times and many are left with feelings of hopelessness, despair and frankly an attitude of skepticism on what this day means to millions of folks not only in this country but around the world.  The haves vs the have-nots which is a common refrain on the nightly news and on many sites in cyberspace.

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