Category Archives: American Culture

Boxes in the Basement

I’ve got boxes, bins, and binders in the basement that need to be burned!  The boxes represent court documents that dissolved relationships.  The bins encompass unread memos from political appointments and official responsibilities.  The binders are filled with professional developments that are no longer relevant.  I’ve moved these containers to the basement because I need them out of sight.  I’ve reluctantly preserved them as if I’d need the reminder of what responsibilities in which I had not been successful–as if I’d analyze where I went wrong (and try again).  These resources must be burned.

Why would I feel the need to hold on to things that will bring me no joy?  Why can’t I simply bring one box at a time up to the trash bins and have them removed from my home??  Will I ever in-full-faith review that content again???

Their mere existence binds my hands.  I knowingly hide these boxes in the dark hoping that I can redefine my purpose.  The space that they take up in my basement represents the space in my mind, my heart, and my soul.  They are the scars that I hide beneath my clothes.

I am no physician.  Neither am I a psychologist.  I can not heal myself.  I simply lick my wounds and pray that they go away.  Yet I know that faith without work is death.

And I am slowly dying.  The mustiness and mildew will soon build.  The mold will grow into something unhealthy.  I need to stop it now.  I need to open the windows and let the light in.  I need to ventilate and remove.  I need to burn every piece;  not one at a time, but in bulk.  I need to dance on the ash and never look back.


My Story Is Spelled My.Stery

“Deja vu” is the mind affirming a familiarity with a circumstance. Was it a dream or a coincidence? That moment that causes us to stop and question ourselves, when we look around and know that somehow we’ve been here before–that is the moment that we realize that there’s a higher consciousness and a heightened sense or awareness.

We are leaving clues for our future selves intermittently. Pictures, mementos, and miscellaneous scribblings that capture something meaningful are unimportant at any given point in time except for the one moment that means everything.

Our mental health is gauged not only by how we interact with the world, but also by how we manage our own thoughts and feelings. A person who collects things assigns meaning to each souvenir. Awards and trophies are merely framed papers or inscribed tin fastened to molded plastic or crafted bark. The more important, the more likely we display these artifacts to the world. And what the world honors, we covet.

We are proud of those things that we’ve been taught are valuable. Yet we treasure most those things we’ve come to craft and mold on our own. Our creativity spawns all kinds of ideas. From our flesh comes offspring, and from our conceptions come legacy. Any deviation is an opportunity for evolution. And as convoluted as this may seem, we all have that moment when we hear a familiar sound or whiff an almost forgotten aroma. It triggers memory. It’s at that moment that we question our being and recognize that we are not just present in that moment, but we’ve become increasingly aware more than we once were.

Wise men don’t know everything. But they earn wisdom from learning that they can not know everything. There’s a calmness from surrendering a need to have more, to know more, or to understand everything. Some call it bliss in ignorance. Others call it letting go to let God.

That higher consciousness is merely a lack of consciousness. An unknowing, un-relentless, unfamiliar mystery for which the end is neither foreseen nor aforementioned…

This is where we are right now. Only a fool would assure us otherwise. The clues we leave are the clues we find later… and this prescription for fulfillment is what we call happiness. Because in that moment, we believe that things happen for a reason.

Until we are again clueless…

Sorry, Not Sorry

Spending many years in reflection

Fewer years in regret

A moment or two mourning losses

A second or so welcoming the growth

There are more than five human senses

More than seven wonders of the world

The provable truths can be disproven

The wrongs are too embarrassing to discredit

Our lives are not our own

Like ants we are apart of something bigger

A colonization vulnerable

Enough to be washed away by one hefty

Spring shower

Our selflessness has eroded

Consumed by what is personal

We may never earn the glory

That we so badly think we deserve






Deposable deniability








No one is sorry

Except for the ones who didn’t cause the pain

Lacking empathy, sympathy, or concern

The voices in our heads don’t silence us

No filters, no compassion

We think it, we say it

We see it, we photograph it

Our newsfeeds are cluttered with other’s posts

(Without an original thought of our own)

No illusions

Nothing concealed

Proudest, boldest generation in history

Killing each other, killing ourselves

Watching the genocide

and dispelling the lessons we were supposed to

Never Forget

The fear fuels the ignorance

Which justifies the hatred

Personal losses are the only ones

That drive change

(the kind of change that’s inevitable)

There’s an expectation

For change to occur. It is both

Demanded (by those who need it)

& Resisted (by those who control it)

So many are not sorry

Because so many will never own their






Teach Empathy

I wanted to say model empathy, but you can’t model something if you forgotten how to do it. You also can’t do it well if you’re out of practice.

Gun owners who haven’t lost loved ones to gun violence wont give up their guns.

Bigots who’ve not been impacted by bias can not accept a racist label.

Yet victims of sex crimes are not the only ones who feign indecency (but the victimizers won’t stop until they’re apprehended, convicted, and restrained).

We recognize wrong, but we point it out in the judgement of others. It’s our own discomfort that changes us. It’s the prisons that others put us in that victimize us.

Those who oppress never apologize. At best, they resign; but most often they justify their actions as fitting for the circumstance, for the environment, for the moment in time.

There are large chunks of society that can not exercise empathy. To them, your analysis doesn’t matter; your criticisms are minimized; your position is not their position. To them, there is no unity. Unity was their enemy all along. There’s no empathy so it doesn’t matter.

This is where we are. Empathy has expired. Entitlement erases empathy. Oppression erases empathy. Ignorance erases empathy.

You already know what we need. But you’ll never convince the non-empathizers without imposing on their values, oppressing their freedom, or stripping them of their rights. You’d have to witness them endure everything that they’ve caused; everything that hurts; everything that strips away…dignity. And maybe they may grow a sense of empathy.

But they’ve already witnessed it occurring to others, and they failed to act. It’s not personal until it happens to you. Empathy is personal. When tragedy occurs to groups of us, it’s interpersonal, but it’s still doesn’t belong to everyone.

Watching is not enough. Talking is not enough. Teaching is not enough. But all of these are a start.

Teach empathy. Model it.




Birds Singing

For most of my life, I’ve lived in the midst of the woodlands. I was never far from the sound of traffic though. Rarely do I get to sit and watch people go by because we are all in a hurry to get somewhere.

Dogs bark and birds tweet, but I’m rarely able to get past the gossip hounds or the twitter rants. The coffee is never fresh brewed and the tea is always cold. I’m living in excess, but my needs are barely met.

I suppose my reflection has once again prompted my personal call-to-action. I WILL (for a moment) put down the phone. I will brew a fresh cup of java; even though it will surely make me sleepy. I will donate the things that I don’t need; and want a little less.

I won’t contemplate the lies I hear; I’ll be listening less. I won’t turn on the news because it’s usually the same old things expressed… differently.

I will ignore the news that the president’s spokesperson has retired her voice; even though I am entertained at the thought that the president will resume speaking for himself.

I will ignore that another black man was shot by police in the Deep South; even though it will be characterized as a righteous kill.

I will ignore that my clients make transactions right before my eyes. The battered doors and smashed windows weren’t warning enough for me.

I’ll ignore the bloated bank account because I remember that last week’s debits were overdrawn. The gas bill is low this week, but the electric bill is rising.

I’m just going to park the car, lock up the bike, and walk

Down the street


People go by.

Assessment Comes After the Lesson

As much as we try to plan or predict what the future holds, it is our ability to reflect that is most effective in determining what we’ve learned. Outcomes can be measured. Our data fosters understanding. We are hopeful that our information will translate into preparedness.

Teaching does not always equate to learning. We’ve forgotten that our effectiveness should not be determined by what we know, but how we develop our ability to learn.

Flawed systems are only determined after the fact. Omniscience neurally exists. What I mean is that we feel, but our feelings are emotional. Wisdom comes not by determining what we know, but knowing what we do not know.

What we think we know may not be a true reflection of knowledge. It may simply be a manifestation of our beliefs. Misconceptions, however, are not evident without exploration, reflections, and reality.

Life is the test.

Survival is contingent on action.

Knowledge is dependent on experience.

Practice is superficial if it is never applied.