Archive for February, 2010

February 28, 2010

This past Wednesday, I traveled to the University of Richmond (UR) to perform my spoken word poetry and hip-hop on the Congo. I was invited by Maria Sebastian of the school’s STAND chapter and Matt Sobel of the UR’s Sigma Chi Fraternity. Though I was impressed with the hospitality they showed me, I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm on learning about the Congo and the conflict minerals issue. The STAND chapter there has less than ten active members. The Sigma Chi Fraternity members there told me they didn’t know much about the Congo. Despite these two points, they had over 200 people in standing-room only attendance on a rainy Wednesday night. As I walked into the Commons Student Center, I saw NCAA games on the TVs and of course Winter Olympic activity. All of the campus life distractions were still taking place that night but these students came out to learn how they could stop violence and destruction in the Congo. That to me is incredible and speaks to what a small group of dedicated people can do to affect change.

What was also great to see was that the students followed up the next day with a “cell-out” protest. This is when participants turn off their phones and leave messages on their voicemails explaining that their phones are off in order to draw attention to how our electronics are supporting violence in the Congo. As we posed for the picture attached to this post, one student asked: “How many people died for that camera to work?” Another student said: “I was thinking the same thing.” That summed it up for me. We are winning because we are getting the average person and student to think about something they may never see on the television. Being able to shift every day minds towards such a profound issue as the Congo is proof positive that we are on the track and must never stop. I can’t wait to visit the next school!


Way to go Tiger!

February 19, 2010

Video states that if we truly believe in forgiveness, we should accept what Tiger said and get onn with our lives. He made a huge mistake and is working on himself and his marriage. To continue to hate him is counterproductive and only really reflects a void in our lives. He clearly acknowledged that his celebrity status drew him from his principles and he needs to get back to them. Many of us don’t need celebrity status to go astray. Let’s learn from Tiger’s example and let’s wish his family the best, and then leave them alone! He owes us nothing more. We shouldn’t spend our times believing in people that we don’t know in the first place. Way to go Tiger!

Haiti child trafficking case is an international problem

February 16, 2010

Post speaks about personal experiences with the international adoption community. While my wife was in Ethiopia working with children orphaned from AIDS, she ended up staying in a hotel with a bunch of westerners waiting for babies. One even asked my wife if she could have our baby! While I believe most international adoptions happen legally, there are too many cases where unscrupulous natives partnered with ill-intentioned foreigners create chaotic situations for children. Some think taking a child from their home situation is better because of all the riches in America but despite someone’s living conditions, being with family should take priority. Rather than looking at breaking up families (not to say this is what the missionaries in Haiti were intentionally doing), we who have means should spend our efforts helping to build sustainable societies for those affected. Our best intentions can lead to the gravest of consequences for children internationally

Why I DIDN’T Watch the NBA All-Star Game & Super Bowl

February 16, 2010

This weekend, I skipped watching the NBA All-Star Game. I am a basketball player and I love the game of basketball. I didn’t watch the Superbowl either. That may have been because the blizzard cut out my cable service but I am sure I still would not have watched it had I had cable service. Something has clicked in me this year, however, that has made me shift my time paradigm.

I have decided to make a deliberate effort to not spend more time watching people who have already achieved their greatness while I’m still working on my own. Now this is a fine line to walk. See, if I’m watching Oprah, listening to Zig Ziglar, watching a movie with my favorite actor, or even watching the NBA because I want to see how these individuals perfect their craft and how I can emulate some of their successes in my own life then I can watch them consistently. Or maybe you watched the Super Bowl because you needed a “feel good” pick-you-up type of story. We all need those on occasion. Unfortunately, most of us do not do that. Most of us (and I have been guilty of it myself) watch TV and lament over how better the lives are of the people we are watching than ours.

Have you ever said something to the effect of: “Wow, Janet Jackson is so beautiful” or “I wish I looked like Julia Roberts” or “Lebron James’ mansion is so large” or “I can never sing and dance like Usher”? You see, many of us may get high for a moment watching television, but when the TV gets turned off, we actually get more depressed because we look at our lives and get frustrated over what we don’t have. A friend once told me about a study which said that we are more depressed now than we were during the Great Depression. The reason is that during the Depression, people didn’t have the Internet and cable TV to constantly remind them of what they didn’t have.

In the 80s, there were shows like “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” to remind us of what we didn’t have materially but now that show has been replaced by shows like “MTV Cribs” or “Real Housewives”. Let me be clear: if you are watching the NBA because you are making a deliberate effort to study greatness, watch on. Maybe you’re a baller so you have to study it. If you are really interested in how to live your best life and you are watching Oprah not to be jealous of her jewelry but to see what you can do to take yourself to the next level then go for it.

I spent the weekend with family and at a convention working on my dreams. I watched highlights of the game after I was done working on my dream for the day. What I am saying is that you have to be intentional about your reasons for turning on your television. If you are not, you are turning something that can be a great ally to your personal development into your worst enemy. Be careful because you ARE what you THINK!

I think they knew…

February 3, 2010

My family owns 2 Toyotas made in ’07 & ’08. We were told Japanese was the way to go as opposed brands like Ford, which some referred to as “Fix Or Repair Daily”. We got the letters about the floormats and what to do if the acceleration problem occured, though they never admitted. I’m upset because I think they DID know. You can’t be at the top of the game for so long and not know your equipment is faulty. Is this a problem in Japan as well? Our cars fortunately were not recalled and I am glad Toyota is taking action. It seems however that they’re only responding because they got caught…