Women, an untapped resource for peace, maybe?

Wangari Maathai first African woman recipient of Nobel Peace Prize

I just finished watching Star Trek Discovery Season Four for the third time. For anyone who follows me, you might remember I’m a huge Star Trek fan. I’ve been watching Star Trek since it was first broadcast on television in 1966. Through the years this entertainment staple has changed considerably. One thing that became obvious to me while watching the fourth season was the preponderance of women on the star ship. The captain is a woman, most of the bridge crew are women, and women serve in major areas of operation throughout the ship. I’m sure the producers of this entertainment giant didn’t cast the actors for the show haphazardly. There was no doubt a message there somewhere.

When I began my blog seven years ago, I spent a considerable amount of time trying to produce a title uniquely appropriate for me. At the time, I was sixty-five-years-old and a sixteen-year survivor of cancer. Sixty-five years may not seem very old; however, when the factor of cancer is added to the mix, old is appropriate. Now, the handle old and blessed is even more appropriate. I have beaten the odds the world might have waged against me. My age has granted me the opportunity to see innumerable amounts of history unfold in this oftentimes troubled world in which we live. One thing I’ve noticed is that women are often a productive, behind the scenes calming force. They are the servers of family and community, not always eager to have their ego fed for doing what comes natural for them.

I was brought up in a family where women were strong influences on my life. I don’t mean to diminish the important role men played; however, they weren’t there in the numbers women were. Women taught me how to care, serve; how to seek peace in situations that could have escalated to the point of conflict. I remember when I first learned that women were the backbone of much of the civil rights work history attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was not a surprise to me that that was the case. It also wasn’t a surprise that Rosa Parks, a woman who refused to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man, sparked the beginning of the thirteen-month bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. Women have played invaluable roles in supporting the Black church, ensuring its sustainability from its birth until today. And although their contributions have been undeniable, they are often denied the recognition and opportunity to serve in certain roles because of Biblical interpretations that place men at the forefront of organizational leadership. When I read the Bible, I’m impressed by the important roles woman played in supporting the work of Jesus. I don’t recall Him saying anything about relegating women to the back of anything. Women were the ones who first received the message of the resurrection, were they not?

Malala youngest recipient of Nobel Peace Prize

I’m watching events unfold in the Russian/Ukrainian war, and I’m dumbfounded to think of any sensible reason this is even occurring in our time. One would think that in the third millennium a civilized nation would’ve reached a point where the slaughter of innocent civilians by a powerful military apparatus would be unthinkable. However, the testosterone-driven paranoia of a demagogue has brought about a state of unrest around the globe. The unrest is fueled partly by the thought that there are so many potentially threatening shoes in Putin’s arsenal left to be dropped, the nuclear option being the most frightful. Would we be in this position if a woman was in power?

Yes, I know I’m making what some might consider some broad generalities here, but I can’t help but think more women at the helm just might result in a more peaceful society where listening before guns are drawn might become the norm. I do realize that some women have developed a mentality straight out of the playbook written by men; living in a man’s world has prompted them to adapt, or risk failure. I would hope those chameleons are few and far between.

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


This is not an easy topic to write about. I’ve thought about it for a long time, and how I might address it in a blog. When I first started my blog, I told myself that I primarily wanted to write posts that were positive and uplifting. As I look back over the seven years that I’ve rented this space to share my observations about people and the various experiences they have, I realize I’ve not written very much about hurt. Of course, I’ve posted musings about my cancer and other kinds of physical discomfort, but I’ve not written much about the hurt that generates energy deep within the center of a person’s being. That hurt that occupies space within us and is sometimes triggered by a movie we’re watching, by something someone says, by a smell that reminds us of something from our past or any number of emotional encounters.

My purpose isn’t to depress you, but to offer awareness of an emotional platform we all have inside of us. A platform most of us don’t wish to visit. Sometimes it causes us to resist certain things like close relationships for fear we’ll be hurt. That fear comes from some experience/experiences we might have had decades ago. It might have occurred when we were in elementary school, middle school, or high school. At the time it happened, we might have sloughed it off as if it were no big deal. We might have wanted to be a member in good standing with the in-crowd. Bringing something that bothered us to the attention of a friend, who might have said something hurtful would have shown weakness. That word, that phrase, that act was quickly tucked away to be buried under years of lifetime experiences. Those experiences would consist of things like graduating from college, having a successful career, getting married, having children and so forth. One day, we get an invitation in the mail to a thirty-year high school reunion, and that thing, that hurtful thing rises from the deep. It hurts just as much as it did over thirty years ago. You thought you had gotten over it; however, you know that the minute you see the person who hurt you back to an exact moment in time. You’ll have to deal with the experience from long ago all over again. You feel so infantile, but the feelings are real.

I know, you’re probably thinking now that I’m speaking from my experiences. Maybe, maybe not, but as I said earlier this hurt is more universal than most of us care to admit. It is a part of that brokenness that many of us have adjusted to. The interesting thing about it is that it doesn’t prevent us from successfully moving forward in our life’s journey. I’m not a psychologist, so I’m speaking from the position of just a human being who knows we have stuff to deal with. I have no solution to offer on how to deal with such things. Okay, I’ll admit there is a bit of me in this post. You know one of the interesting things about that high school reunion is that when you see that person who hurt you, they look nothing like the little devil who caused you emotional harm decades ago. And to make matters even more confusing is that they’ve found Jesus. What are you supposed to do then?

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

Have you had a life-changing event?

From left around the table: Felicia, Martha, Hansel, me and Chris at One Africa Resort, Elmina Ghana

The title of this piece isn’t being used rhetorically. I’ve chosen it because I invite you to ask yourself that same question. I’ve had many from what I might call minor in scope to music-in-the-background, Hollywood dramatic. This question recalls getting my driver’s license at age 16, graduating high school, going to college, and graduating, being diagnosed with cancer, and surviving these past 22 years, accepting Jesus as my savior, and last but certainly not least, taking a journey to Ghana West Africa.

I’ve been a strange child all my life. That assessment isn’t mine alone. I’ve attended more than one family reunion, where we sit around and talk about days of old, and my cousins would talk about how I was strange coming up as a kid. I wouldn’t participate in many of the childhood shenanigans many of them did. I would correct them whenever they exhibited behavior that didn’t seem appropriate. One thing I felt as a child was the need to assist my mom as much as I could. Being the oldest child, left with a mother and siblings, after my father died, what else was I supposed to do?

One thing I do remember experiencing at a very young age was the emotional and mental rumbling from the big question the haunts a lot of us: Whom am I? Of course, there was a second part to that question that came much later in life, after I graduated high school.  That second part was why am I here?  Now at seventy-two years of age, I’m still asking myself these questions, even though there has been a plethora of answers presented to me throughout the years. I think there’s been a certain fluidity to my existence that forces me to reexamine answers and solutions that may have been sufficient from time gone by. Sometimes these questions cause me to pause for what seems like inordinate amounts of time. For example, I’ve been quite for a while. It’s not that there hasn’t been plenty to write about; it’s been me overthinking, starting, and stopping in my mind until I convince myself that I have nothing to write about.

It’s been two years since I made the trip to Ghana with Chris, my cousin Hansel, his wife Martha, and my oldest child Felicia. I’ve written before about that trip. It was sole stirring at a level like nothing that has come across my life’s path. Hansel died early December 2022, two years after we made our trip. Martha told me recently that he was glad he made that trip. It meant a lot to him. It meant a lot to me, too. Our little delegation from our extended family made a “trip of return” to our Motherland. A trip that was thought never to be made at the time our ancestors were kidnapped and shipped across the Atlantic Ocean. I recall looking out of the “Door of no Return” in Cape Coast Castle/Dungeon in Elmina, Ghana and thinking, “Oh yeah, here I am I’m back.” It’s always good to be back home, especially if the journey took four hundred years to make. It’s also good to have a since of being reconnected to a place you never thought you would be able to see.

Certainly, the experience of connecting with my God, was life-changing with hope and promises of a peaceful eternity. I also think my God wants me to experience all that I can during this leg of my journey to feel connected. Returning to Africa was a Godly blessing that affirmed that for me; a life-changing event that has changed my way of thinking about the world and my place in it.

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

      Peace be still

I hate to be agitated in any form. Yes, I know some of you have found the secret of living your life 100% of the time within, as opposed to without never being agitated by all the crazy stuff out there. At my age, I too have found the inner control mechanism that allows me to create my own joy, happiness, and peace within; however, my process isn’t always a manufacturing success. What follows is a post I made on Facebook seven years ago. It made me think and ask the question: Have I grown beyond the state of mind I operated from then? I know this isn’t a great post, but I’m doing it because it offers an opportunity for us to think on things like peace and how we should make it operational in our lives.

In my meditation this morning, I found myself thinking about agitation versus calmness. Have you ever noticed how we are so impressed by the “parting of the Red Sea, the raging of the sea with the disciples on board the boat, and other upheavals of nature” due to both natural and supernatural reasons? I’m certainly impressed by these movements of God’s Spirit amid such occurrences, but have you thought about the fact that it’s during the calm that people feel at peace and the creatures, who live amongst the water, fauna, hills, mountains, and other habitats can thrive and go about their normal activities?

Thank God for peace and tranquility. Let’s pray for more of it. Wouldn’t it be great if the evening news had no agitation of nature or society to report? Peace be still.

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