We don’t all think alike: a problem much too often?

Divisive thoughts 1

I often observe things that make me ask the question: Why do they think like that? I’m a regular social media user. Facebook is one of my social media hangouts. Occasionally, someone will post a question to Facebook, which functions as somewhat of a survey. Recently, there was one that posed the question: If you could delete anything from the world, what would it be? I don’t always respond to these little informal surveys; however, this time, I was game. When I read the question, I focused primarily on the word “thing.” To me that indicated and inanimate object or a concept. I don’t know why exactly; it just made sense.

If you’re a Facebook user, you know that once you respond to a post, you’ll receive notification when anyone else responds to that same post. The question previously mentioned garnered many responses, and they started to come in almost immediately. Most people indicated things like hate, disease, cancer, bullying, the kind of things that affect human behavior or the human body, leaving a mark that the world community could very well do without. I’ve come to notice that whenever someone posts a question like this one, there is a small number of people who respond in a way that indicates a bias against a human being. By the way, my response to the question was hate. I think hate, if eliminated would shut off the entry to all manner of social ills that plague human kind.

Before I go any further, I must admit my bias might shine through, though I hope dimly. One of the responses to the question indicated “Obama.” I found that response rather odd. First, most people evidently thought like me, apparently thinking a concept, an infection, destructive weather, earth quakes, or something that forces itself upon all of us should go. However, the response that indicated the name of a former President of the Unite States was troubling to me. Mr. Obama is no longer president, yet this person felt he, and I’m guessing here, had left a mark on the political landscape that would only be erased by his elimination from the planet. As I thought more about the response, I couldn’t help but think: How violent, how cruel a response this was. Furthermore, I thought this response came from someone who was infected by the thing I indicated the world could do without: hate.

Our country, the United States of America is quite divided now. This division is nothing new. There has always been an under current of hostility that has been bucking to get loose and openly project vitriol against “them’; those other folks who don’t look like us, talk like us, or who by virtue of birth/culture occupy a demographic that is deemed minority status. I have come to think that anyone who hates, for any reason, but especially because of some warped stereotypical concept of another human being, is just as much a victim as the person to whom they project their sick thoughts.

Being a person of faith, I take the Holy ancient Judea-Christian scriptures seriously, and when they tell us that God loved the world (the people in it) so much that He gave His Son as a sacrifice, I see the inestimable quality of that sacrifice. This sacrifice was offered out of love, but the perpetrators who carried it out administered it out of hate.

Divisive thouhgt 2

A world without hate, would be a marvelous thing, and it will be eventually. Oops, my faith is showing.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.


Tired oneOftentimes, I find myself at a point of experiencing some feeling, some emotion, some frame of mind that is the antithesis of what I think I should be. There was a time, when I would feel guilty for having these feelings, since they are seasoned with pinches of dismay, disappointment, weariness and a few other mood disrupters that people of faith just aren’t supposed to have, at least that’s what they say. You know (they), that opinion leader who lingers around everywhere, but you have no idea what they look like.

That feeling I’m talking about lands hard from time to time. You feel vanquished in a way that tends to shake your mental and emotional infrastructure more than anything physical about you. Of course, when you’re emotionally and mentally challenged long enough, the body is guaranteed to follow likewise. From listening to chronically ill people, I think this feeling lies in wait to prey on us. Before, you get all judgmental, this feeling I’m talking about has nothing to do with loss of faith. After all, if we’re honest, faith if graphed, probably wouldn’t look like a straight 45-degree line. Faith is authored by God, but exercised by faulty creatures called human beings, who find themselves confronted with all manner of challenges daily; challenges that come to rob and steal whatever peace we’ve been granted by the grace of God. These challenges cause jagged interruptions in our faith line graph. Those of us who truly have faith in God continue to experience upward movement of our line, though jagged, the dips are temporary.

Tired Two

When you have a chronic illness, or two, or maybe even three walking with you as you go through life’s journey, some days are good, and some aren’t. I’m not assigning qualitative evaluations to the actual days God presents, but more so one’s ability to take each day in and enjoy it for all it presents. Some days the drugs you take, as maintenance, to keep that cancer from recapturing the territory it conquered before remission, have an accumulative effect. It’s during those times, that the beauty God projects on natures 360-degree screen is just hard to appreciate. You’re tired, seemingly void of energy reserves, challenged to put one foot in front of the other. Add to that, the human interactions, which should be an unquestionable blessing, are just not gliding smoothly. People are asking for this and for that, with what seems to be an unconsciousness of your condition. I know that sounds a bit like self-pity, doesn’t it? But when you’re tired, you’re just tired. Self-pity has nothing to do with it.

The great Civil Rights Heroine, Fannie Lou Hammer is known for saying, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Hammer was dealing with the depths and breaths of injustice nurtured by the Jim Crow Laws of the South. The tiredness which I’m referring to in this piece is no way equal to what Hammer was navigating; however, on a personal level, the symptoms are certainly similar.

Writing has, a cathartic effect. Believe it or not, I don’t feel the same as when I started this piece. I’m still “tired”, but not too tired to realize God continues to bless me despite my feeling like a balloon still trying to hold onto its circumference, but without enough gas inside to float. Yes, I’m tired, and my prayer is that this state of mind doesn’t set up permanent residency in my being ever. I pray that I continue to be the one of faith walking with confidence “through” the valley of the shadow of death.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.

Blessed to live a long life, against worldly odds

long ife

If you live long enough, things happen: You might become wiser, when you apply life’s experiences and the lessons learned from them to how you live; you realize that there are many good things in the world; you find yourself having fewer contemporaries…just to name a few. The latter is a reality that is clearly apparent; watching people you know leave the scene often gives you a sense that you’re becoming more and more a lone survivor. Granted, your mortality is just as real as those who have left you, but you’re still here and you’re becoming more the member of an exclusive club, as you keep breathing.

When you are living a meaningful and blessed life, you really take note of the value of living a long life. I know I’ve written several times before about me having Multiple Myeloma, that incurable, hideous cancer. I’ll be celebrating my nineteenth anniversary since diagnosis in four days, March 12th. Some people might say that at sixty-eight years of age, I’m not that old. I’m not one to be talking about living or having lived a long life. If someone is saying that, I vehemently disagree. Roughly 22,000 new cases of Multiple Myeloma are diagnosed each year and about 10,000 deaths occur yearly. Confronted with those numbers, and still here, as I am, I’m living a long life.

There’s a gospel song, titled, “The road is Rough.” The chorus to the song is: “You know the road is rough and the going gets tough and the hills are hard to climb. I started out oh a long time ago and I’ve made up, I’ve made up my mind. Yes, in Jesus strong arms where no tempest can harm, I’m safe and secure. I’ve decided to make Jesus my choice.” The doctors have done a great job with me. I’ve been blessed to be located close to one of the world’s best Myeloma Treatment Centers in the world. My faith tells me that all things are working to my benefit because of the God I serve. With all the prayers being deposited on by behalf, and God’s providence, there are no roads too rough for Him. I’m the most grateful benefactor. He is my choice.

If you’ve read any of my musings before and wondered why I call myself “Old and Blessed”, I hope this gives you a sense of why I feel this way. There is nothing like living and living well against the odds. Of course, when the odds are against you, God does His best work.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.

Thank you!

I’ve written before about why I blog. I would imagine many others who take the time to share their thoughts, their feelings, tidbits of their soul write for many of the same reason I do.

One thing I would think we bloggers enjoy is knowing that folks are reading our musings. Furthermore, we enjoy even more when readers take the time to give a bit of feedback.

To all of you who do read my stuff and especially to those who respond: Thanks so much! Encouragement comes in many ways. Responding to a blogger is priceless.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.

Because You Are Different …

The heart expressed in this blog is the kind I wished we all harbored. I don’t reblog often, but this one is truly worthy of much sharing.


I grew up in a white working-class area of the English Midlands in the middle of the twentieth century, and didn’t meet anyone who wasn’t white till I went to university in Liverpool in 1959. In my hall of residence, among others, there was a jolly Jamaican making delicious dishes in our shared kitchen, a sweet Chinese girl who played the piano like a professional, and a beautiful Indian girl with long hair down to her ankles. We also had a black Jamaican President of the Students’ Union in the early sixties. So my primary reaction was Wow! Awe and admiration! These were amazing, talented and exotic people, interesting to talk to and be with.

My first personal encounter with racism came a couple of years later in France, where my landlady was most upset because her niece was set on marrying an Algerian. I was studying in an international…

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Think for yourself, or others might

Brainwashing one

I often take inspiration from my pastor’s sermons for topics on which I choose to blog. One of his recent sermons offered an apropos topic for me to scribble some thoughts. The sermon was titled “The Body Snatcher”, taken from the old 1950s movie, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” which was later redone in 1978. The plot of the movies was formed around alien spores from space that were able to reproduce duplicates of human beings. These creatures were void of normal human qualities, such as emotions. The Biblical text, for my pastor’s sermon, was Acts 16:16, which tells of an encounter the Apostle Paul had with a young girl who had been taken over by a demonic force. Realizing that the sickness from which she was suffering provided a business opportunity, there were those who used her sickness to promote fortune-telling for a fee.

Influence over others has been a hallmark for getting things done since time immemorial. Supervisors impose their “SUPER” vision in the workforce daily. Managers and leaders use virtual remote control to channel people from one task/project to another seamlessly. I think we can say that society is, for the most part, a benefactor for good with this practice. The community activist, who sees a social ill that needs addressing, and rallies public support to remedy that ill, does a good thing. Contrarily, one who has less than honorable intentions who recognizes a need but focuses attention on a group as the reason for economic, social or institutional degradation, does a bad thing. For example, most of a nation’s population is convinced that their economic troubles are due to a minority group that’s draining resources from the economy. In either of these cases, people are remotely ushered into a certain emotional or mental position by someone else. The ability to apply personal thought is supplanted by a charisma, an intrusive influence that causes one to adopt someone else’s thoughts, hook, line and sinker.

Brainwashing two

The current political climate in which we all live in America today in unquestionably operating on a body snatcher-type MO. The smart politicians can recognize where and how people are hurting, usually in the pocket-book, and somehow turn that suffering into a sense of victimization brought on by “them”. You know “them”, that group who is suffering, too. That group that should be allies in a fight against what all disenfranchised folks are suffering from, but they just don’t look like us, they don’t live in our part of town, they don’t go to the same church as we do… It must be their fault that I’ve lost my job, my house, my style of living. It just couldn’t be because I’m not prepared to work in a shifting environment, more attuned to technology and computer use. I’m a part of the class that has made society great.

I often wonder what heights of good emotional and mental health could be achieved if people would be encouraged to think for themselves. How closer would we be to achieving liberty and justice for all?

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.