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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Be Extraordinary! Success!!

I was having 'a moment.' 'A moment,' is when I freeze. I succumb to my exhaustion and I do nothing until I can create an effective strategy which is productive, calm, inspiring, rewarding, creative, responsible, fun etc. 

Sometimes one moment is longer than another moment. That's fine. Because there is little point in my going forward if I'm just making more work for myself. Whether it's in a relationship, employment, self-employment, a dream.

One Man Calling - 2014 - $10

This particular moment was taking longer than I could accept, so I surfed YouTube for something to inspire me. I remembered a quote someone sent me via email years ago. It was around the time of the protests around the war in Iraq.

We were afraid of war and all the fallout. We wanted the world to be better not worse. We didn't want people to be murdered, butchered, robbed, abused, victimized, homeless, exploited, orphaned, widowed, raped. We were afraid of war.

What was going to happen to our world?
I had to turn off the news for a while reeently - a consequence of having 'a moment.'  Not because what I was hearing was difficult to hear, but because of the slant (or better, the level of awareness) of some reporters. I felt the reporters I heard had left so much unaddressed. I didn't see any television news coverage or search the net for articles. I wasn't that interested. I had read the article in Toronto Life Magazine by Desmond Cole, "The Skin I'm In," before I heard it covered on the radio and was really impressed that the article made the front cover. I also became really afraid because Desmond Cole can easily be made a target.

Then I became really afraid. I wasn't even sure what I was afraid of. I could live with that fear and have been for ages. I needed to address that deep down inside fear. To examine it.

Then I found this. This is was sent to me in an email around the time of the protests around the war in Iraq. At the time it was quoted that Nelson Mandella had wrote it, but later credit was given to Marianne Williamson.

“Our deepest fear
Is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear
Is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It’s our light
Not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant?
But actually who are you not to be?

You are a child of God!

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world!
There’s nothing enlightened
About shrinking
So that others don’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us.
It’s in all of us.

And as we let our own light shine
We subconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

So it’s Holy work
To move past your our own fear.

It doesn’t just help you.
It helps the world.”

Punching Rain - 2014 - $640 - Prints Available

Years ago, I became close friends with a man of Jamaican descent who was raised in Scarborough. He told me that when he walked home from grade school, the local police officers would coast beside him and insult him ridiculing the size of his lips. When he told the story, the rage didn't come from the fact that the comments were made, it was that he knew that he could not retaliate. He did not become a criminal, but his some of his peers did.

We worked together. And when further incidents occurred in his adult life, I suggested that he report it. He said that would make him a target and that he wasn't interested in living that life.

I had a different experience as a child in Mississauga. Every time my parents drove at night to our home in an affluent neighbourhood, were were pulled over and flashlights were shined in our faces. I just thought the police were thorough. It took years for me to understand that we were being profiled. There was most likely less than ten families who lived in that area, if there were even five.

Every black person I know who was born here or who moved here when they were young has a story to tell you about the police that will seem illogical and unbelievable. You will ask the year, as if we have come so far none of this should even be happening. But it is. Most black men I talked to said the number of times a black man is stopped Toronto exceeds the number quoted in the cover of the article in Toronto Life Magazine by Desmond Cole, "The Skin I'm In,"

But something happened in my predominantly caucasian school in Mississauga. The police came to our school in kindergarten and explained their role in society. Sometimes Elmer the safety elephant came. They seemed like really nice adults who wanted to make sure I was safe. I was acquainted with the police in a friendly manner before I knew how unfair they could be if they tried. It made a huge difference in my life.

I can't find the link to share it here, but years ago a Black Toronto Lawyer, was pulled over by the police and showed them his business card. Yes, he drove a luxury vehicle. He told the police that he was a lawyer and an officer said, "A lawyer and a drug dealer!"

These stories could go on for years. 

So what do we do? What do I do? 

Remember! We are powerful beyond measure!!

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