Posts Tagged With: friends

BROKEN


Ughhhhhhh!!!!!! 😩

My heart hurts. My mind is full of anger, confusion, and worry. I want to CRY and SCREAM and RUN and FIGHT… and hide, all at the same time. As I told someone else, I don’t have the emotional bandwidth to engage with people right now. So there will be no debate here. You either hear me, or you don’t. But that’s up to you. What I know is that I have been unable to sleep, and in my time of reflection, there have been myriad thoughts swirling around in my mind. Up until now, I have not spoken freely. But this must change.

And so, I will no longer remain silent.

To say that we reside in a nation divided, would be an understatement. It hinges upon readily observed and documented injustice, along with a perceived hopelessness, perpetuated by the repeated occurrences of mistrust, brutality, prejudice, and discrimination that I fear have now come to define the character of our country, to its citizens as well as the rest of the world.

These attributes have been affixed to the very nature of who we are as a population, brought about by the actions of those who have been appointed, and thereby obligated, to be the benevolent and compassionate custodians of liberty, safety, and justice for all.

But somewhere along the way, the vision was lost, or perhaps it was intentionally discarded.

We have become a nation in which the pursuit of wealth and success comes at the cost of compassion and consideration of others. We are teaching our children that it is socially acceptable to be selfish and obtain their definition of happiness by any means necessary. And in so doing, I fear we have developed a culture that prizes possessions over principle, money over morality, and status over solidarity. In a country whose very name embodies cohesion and promotes collaboration, The United States of America, we now seem to encourage divisiveness and egocentric aspirations.

We have been broken.
Broken promises.
Broken relationships.
Broken trust.
Brokenhearted.

I’m not sure how much more my heart and mind can endure. I used to think that civil dialogue could help heal the wounds between us. But in this current civilization, civility is not always possible. I learned a long time ago that people motived by feelings, who take action before considering the consequences of those actions, are NOT interested in talking. They are only interested in purging their emotions by any means necessary. There is no reasoning with them.

But I’m tired.

Tired of being the black man who is all too conscious of the fact that wearing glasses makes me appear less threatening. Tired of being the one who some people point to as the example of a “good black person” (wth is that anyway??). Tired of being the father who is constantly updating the Minority Rules of Social Engagement, and reinforcing them to his fives sons and one daughter, as a contingency against the very real possibility that their lives could one day depend on them.

I am a black man in America. And to some, that means I am a life without value. Disposable.

But my life has value as much as any other human being. And I will do everything lawfully within my power to uphold that right and recognize that value, in myself and others.

As I sit here in tears, I’m thinking about how I used to avoid making such precise statements about my feelings for fear of people misunderstanding me, unfriending me or taking offense. But I will say this without reservation, your approval of me will never be worth more than the welfare and well-being of my family. I’m committed to finding solutions and taking action. But I will not sit idly by while the world descends into chaos.

If I lose friends over this… ask yourself, were we really friends?

Categories: commentary, current events, opinion, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Sugar Coat


I’ll be the first to admit when I don’t understand something. I think everyone suffers when you pretend to understand something you don’t. Usually, I’ll go to the source to try and find out whatever bit of information I’m missing so that I’ll have everything I need on which to base my opinion. If I’m unable to go to the source or the source proves unreliable, I just leave well enough alone. It’s not that I can’t have an opinion, I just don’t think my opinion is any more credible than those who formulate ideas about what an actor is really like, based solely on the roles they play.

Seems silly.

That being said, I’m trying to understand something… how is it that people somehow find a way to make everyone a hero? We make horrible decisions and must deal with the consequences. Nevertheless we will still find a crowd of people rushing to console and defend someone under the guise of being a “real friend”.

I don’t need friends like that. I need someone who will tell me point blank, “Riis, that was wrong.” or “Riis, you need to apologize.” or even “Riis, you messed up bad. Either you make this right or you suffer the fallout alone because I can’t support this kind of behavior.”

See… give it to me straight. Don’t sugarcoat my feelings or pity my shortcomings with silence. I will never grow that way.

Let me say that again…

Don’t sugarcoat my feelings, or pity my shortcomings with silence. I will NEVER grow that way.

Growth is invaluable.

Growth is sometimes painful.

Growth is necessary.

I can’t live without growth.

But I can live without the sugar coat.

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Seeds and Desire


I’ve had the privilege of knowing some awesome women, who over the years have given me an earful of priceless information from the female perspective.  Some of them are in great relationships, while others are still searching for one. Still others are enduring a bad relationship simply for the sake of being able to say they’re in one.

One thing that I find interesting is that in all of these cases, to be loved was of the highest priority.  I don’t mean sexually (it’s sad, but without that disclaimer some people would assume as much).  It seems that from childhood women will often seek affirmation through “expressions” of love.  Whether it be gifts, or letters, or time spent together…

…the underlying desire is to be loved.

What seeds were planted in your childhood?

Material things aside, many of the women I know have said that they would be very happy knowing that someone thinks they are the most wonderful, most beautiful woman in the world.  However, this love needs to be demonstrative, without any ulterior motives.  They want to feel needed and special.  They want to be a priority in someone’s life.

Some of the women I know have even said that any rebellion exhibited as teenagers had more to do with their feelings of being unwanted, unaccepted, and made to feel unattractive, more so than just wanting to get into trouble.  I was told that if someone had loved them, the way they needed to be loved… they would have most likely become very different people.

I recognize the effects on women who grew up without a father, or whose mothers were inattentive.  Some of them have dealt with it. Others are still struggling to come to terms with their childhood.  Unfortunately, this can deeply affect their current relationships with both men and women.  Some of my female friends have confided in me that it seems hard to find a good man, mostly because they tend to run at the first indication that any man possesses characteristics similar to their absentee fathers or estranged mothers.  Friends who exhibit these traits are unceremoniously dismissed as well.

Honestly, I think both men and women truly want to be loved, though we may act otherwise.  Men are just more prone to hide this fact than women.

WOMEN: What has been your experience, if any, with your childhood affecting your desire to be loved, and the way you receive love?

MEN: What things have made you reluctant, if at all, to communicate your desire to be loved? 

Categories: commentary, intimacy, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

InspirationaList


You know what/who inspires me…???

  • …people who blog without feeling obligated to entertain. They write from the heart and their wit and intellect is evident without being contrived.
  • …watching someone pay it forward. For instance, I make it a point when driving to allow space for cars attempting to merge into traffic. It costs me nothing except maybe 5 seconds of my time. Down the road, I’ll sometimes see that same car give the right of way to a pedestrian or another vehicle and I smile.
  • …receiving awesome messages from new readers who tell me how they can relate to, or may have been moved by, something I wrote.
  • …people with amazing talent who seem to do things with ease that I couldn’t do if my life depended on it!
  • …people who have taken the time to encourage my gifts, whether it be my music or my writing. I will always value and appreciate the feedback.
  • …my friends who I can count on for prayer and support when I’m hitting a rough patch. Thank you to my forever family.
Categories: opinion, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Ship” Anchors


Heavy Anchor

We’ve all seen anchors before, right? You know, those heavy pieces of weird-shaped, dark metal that boats drop whenever someone shouts “anchors away!” 😲 Seafarers are probably far more familiar with the various designs (and let me tell you, there are a lot of them). But I’m no sailor. When I think of anchors, I think back to cartoon characters like Popeye the Sailor Man, or various Looney Tunes characters who were not being very nice to each other (or the boat!) 😂.

What I do know is that anchors are designed to hold a ship in place. Once lowered, they prevent the ship from drifting due to heavy wind or strong currents. Most of the time, anchors are used in a manner of prevention. They are stabilizers. They secure the boat and keep both it and its occupants safe.

But I’m sure that as much as sailors value the stabilizing force these anchors may bring to the ship, their vessel will never move forward until the anchor is removed. Anchors will have to be lifted, or in worst cases, cut before the ship can make any forward progress.

In this regard, people can be anchors too. These are the family, friends, or coworkers in our lives who help to hold us in place. They are the ones that often keep us from drifting off with every unforeseen circumstance, issue or condition. They are stabilizers. And I do believe it is important to have these anchor in our lives. We hold onto them.

And yet, much like the anchors of a ship, sometimes we won’t be able to move forward in our lives with these anchors in place. Our various “-ships” will be stuck. Even if those “-ships” on the surface, look amazing and/or valuable. You know…

Sponsor-ships

Intern-ships

Partner-ships

Member-ships

Friend-ships

…even Relation-ships.

In cases where these “-ships” aren’t healthy or balanced, the anchor then becomes nothing more than an encumbrance. The very thing we rely upon for safety, turns into a dead weight that causes us harm, and impedes our progress.

J.J. Brando

Love My People

That’s why it’s important to check in every now and then, to assess these pivotal relationships. I’ve had to look soberly at the “-ships” in my life, and determine whether or not they align with my goals and objectives. A few are simply distractions, keeping me moored to the person I used to be, instead of allowing me to navigate toward the person I know I am to become. So I’ve had to cut or weigh anchor.

But thankfully, many of them are exactly what I need to stay focused. They point me toward my future and protect me from every wind that attempts to topple me.

To them, I say Thank You.

Do you have anchors in your life?

 

Categories: opinion, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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