I Don’t Want To Spend Eternity Running

I often have the most intellectually-stimulating and thought-provoking conversations with KIDS. One young teen that I work with is so scholarly to the point of eeriness. He said to me that he was somewhat upset with his Sunday school class because he was told that his pet dog would not go to Heaven. Well, being a dog lover…and a Sunday school teacher, I took it upon myself to inquire of Jesus, Himself in prayer about it.

After several days, Jesus gave the words to say. I will share the conversation with you here:

Me:  Lord, I don’t know, I won’t be looking for my dog I had at age 10 when I get to heaven, but if this is important to others in their mustard-seed size faith, what do I say to them? Will there be pets in heaven?

 Jesus:  Well, I made ALL things for myself. I made the dogs, cats, bunnies, canaries…AND I made the spiders, snakes, and flying dinosaurs!

 Me: (Wide-eyed) LORD! I don’t want to spend ETERNITY running from spiders, snakes and flying dinosaurs! Heaven won’t be FUN with all of THAT going on!

 Jesus:  You’ve almost got it!

 Me:  Huh? Well, pets…You know, they Love us unconditionally, and we Love them. We get so much Joy and Peace from our pets. Good feelings.

 Jesus:  You’ve almost GOT IT.

 Me:  Oh Wait! Lord. All that Love, Joy, and Peace…comes from You, doesn’t?! It only come THROUGH our pets, but from You! All of that Love, Calmness, and Joy are waiting in Heaven for us with You! And all the fear conjured up by spiders, snakes and flying dinosaurs won’t be there!

 Jesus:  Um huh.

 Me:  Thank You, Lord.

Then…I knew what to say.

 

Just Black

I’ve been watching Bravo’s reality show REAL HOUSEWIVES OF POTOMAC. First off, I had never heard of Potomac, Maryland as many of us had not. I thought, “Wait…they live in a river? How does that work?” Anyway, the ladies are six Black, well-to-do (either through marriage or their own capital ventures or a combination of both) women. They range in age from mid-20s to, I would say, 40s. I only want to touch on one topic here: Race. All but one of the ladies look as though they could be of mixed-race ancestry. It seems every episode one or more of the ladies is iterating about their ‘light skin and light eyes,’ but own their Blackness. Power to them! One standout, who looks Black, identifies herself as biracial. Okay. We clearly SEE one of the races is Black. She never says, “I am not Black,” she simply says, “I am biracial.”

Well, Good Googamooga! Two of the ladies have made it their life’s mission to get this woman to say she is Black and THAT’S ALL. They and Twitter, have accused this woman of “hating her Blackness,” “being ashamed to say she is Black,” “she not proud (enough).” Honestly, I’m baffled by it all. The green-eyed ones seem to be the aficionados on the Black race. They make statements in their interviews like, “Black people don’t act like that,” “I don’t know any Black girl that does that,” “She’s been around White people way too long.” These are the same women who make this brainiac statement, “People think I’m White until I open my mouth, then they know I’m Black.” Why? How? Because Black is a sound, right? What?!

I. Have. Not. Missed. An. Episode.

Any-who, I wrote all of that to say this: I have a problem with people stereotyping Black people; all people for sure, but I am focusing on my Black people because I am Black; not African American, Black. When people look at me they do not mistake me for any other race nor bi- or multiracial; just Black. When I speak, people know that I am American. I do not produce an accent that can be confused with any part of Africa, Australian Aborigines, India, nor the Caribbean Islands; just America. I have been Black long enough to know that all Black people do not look, behave, or believe identically. We are as diverse in cultural and political experiences and influences as we are in skin tones and hues. All of us do not enjoy or promote the same types of entertainment. Many of us are diverse even in our ancestral histories as to how and when our particular ancestor(s) made it to these New World shores.

I am befuddled, but slightly forgiving, when non-Black people lump us all into the same categories. Befuddled because with all of the research they have done on the Black American “culture” (acquired, because slavery stripped Blacks of the originals), one would think they would see that we are far more than one culture. I’m slightly forgiving because they are not Black, so they do not and never will care as much as I do to research us any further. That would be a never-ending undertaking, anyway. So, some non-Blacks absorb just enough about us to be borderline insulting, using terms like “you people;” not reasoning along the path of “you’re our people, also.” I kind of forgive them for this reason.

When Black people stereotype Black people, I am flat out floored. We KNOW there is diversity amongst us and it has nothing to do with “house slave/field slave” ancestry because they were ALL slaves. There are Black people whose ancestries comprise of free Black people in the sense that they were not owned by anyone. They were, however, terribly restricted by laws fashioned just for them in living here in America. Just like every other race of people, we have Blacks who were raised in the country, some in the city, some in the suburbs; some play the piano, harp or accordion and some play dice; some like to live amongst a variety of other races of people and some do not.

Silly me, I thought all Black people KNEW this about each other, but again, with the differences in “culture” and experiences, some of us do not know this and will not research nor ponder it any further than our personal environment. So, I am not so forgiving of Blacks who stereotype Blacks. I believe this lack of empathy contributes to the race problem in America kind of through the intellectual ‘back door;’ seemingly, not knowing that what they do to and think of one Black, they do to and think of themselves.

No Empathy for MEAN PEOPLE

I saw a bumper sticker once that read MEAN PEOPLE SUCK! I agree wholeheartedly. Psychiatrists like to delve into their past to find out what seed produced their anger and bitterness. Who gives a flying fig what it was? Everybody is not responsible for it, so get over it!

The attitudes of mean people keep them in bondage to sickness and mistreatment. And they make the rest of us just want to stomp the snot out of them.

Mean people get a false sense of superiority and power when they spew their verbal venom about. Unfortunately, there are some people who are moved to commit the ultimate retaliation. Mean people believe that everyone else is misusing them. They are the victim in every situation, in their own minds. They are the staple to everyone else’s success, in their own minds. They are constantly spending (or throwing away money to be accepted or liked by others. Maybe that is why they always feel used. If they are not trying to be accepted, then they are trying to rub everyone else’s noses in their own, sometimes, pseudo-poverty.

If my neighbor and I have the same size (and value) house, but he chooses to drive a Korean import and I choose a British luxury car, does that mean my neighbor is poor? Nine times out of ten, it means my neighbor OWNS his car and perhaps his home, and I just have a bunch of bills.
Mean people don’t have to go out of their way to show meanness. They practice it all of the time. They study evil and incorporate it into their daily living.

There is hope for mean people, though. Although some make it hard to believe, meanness is only their second nature. Their first is kindness, purity, and helpfulness and other good characteristics. Every now and then, one or more of these characteristics surfaces. So, we get brief glimpses of the genuine person. That genuine person is being held back/is in captivity. What a shame!

The next time you encounter a mean person, pity them; then stay away from them so you don’t fall into the pitiful pit with them.

Reading. Love it or Hate it

Reading was never a strong skill for me. It takes more than one re-read for me to understand some things. Often my mind wanders while I am reading something I am suppose to understand and repeat. I’ve learned to read in little chunks, go away, then come back to the article, book, or whatever. To be a good writer, you must be a good reader. Well, at least be somewhat well read. For those of us who are weak readers, but love it, I say persevere and make it fun. Love it or hate it, but do it.