The pervasive concept of “us vs. them” is the basis of racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and in the words of Pastor Shirley Caesar, YOU NAME IT! While it can be fun to participate in simple sports rivalries, or debate who’s greek organization is the best, the hurtful nature of exclusivity does far more damage than people realize.  (more…)

There is this notion that “respect must be earned.” I’ve heard this all of my life and have pretty much always fallen in line with that thinking. However, the older I get the more I realize that this is NOT the way things should be. The english language is tricky because we tend to use a singular word to describe multiple things. Most people will say the word “respect” in exchange for the word “admire”, which causes a fallacy in the idea that “respect must be earned.”  (more…)

People come and people go; that’s just the way life works. We are living in a generation that is slowly getting back to understanding the power of connection. Yes we have personal responsibility, but we are also better together. With this longing for relationship and the fulfillment that comes from them, there is also the reality that every relationship comes to an end. (more…)

Everybody wants a hook up nowadays. Internet stars seem to be born every minute, and everyone becoming an entrepreneur or building a brand. One of the most effective ways to market yourself in this climate is to hitch yourself to a big name, so you can be associated with a known figure. The right co-sign for someone who is already “poppin” can do wonders for your brand.

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It’s been said, time and again, that everything that has a beginning has an end; yet we tend to always be surprised when relationships end. Excluding death, people will end relationships for any variety of reasons. Some legitimate, others … not so much. As an introvert, I tend to be somewhat of a loner, but coming to grips with someone’s departure from your life, can difficult, no matter your predisposition. Here are 5 tips to help you through the transition of “moving on”:  (more…)

Whenever bad things happen, or relationships end, people go on the hunt for closure. Closure is the sense of resolution at the end of something, that brings a conclusion after an emotional or traumatic event. Tons of doctors and tv shows make their living on trying to bring closure to the people who need it. But trying to find closure, in many ways, can be like chasing mermaids and unicorns. I’m not saying that closure doesn’t exist, it just may not come the way most people expect it.  (more…)

Earlier today, my wife came into my classroom, to talk to me, and she lets me know there is a little crust in my eye. I tried to get it, but she said I made it look worse. So I stood up to let her get it, and when she was done, I tried sit back down at my desk, and completely missed the chair. Now, I’m on the floor! Thank goodness none of my students saw me, and even though she laughed at me, she dusted me off and made sure I was okay. (more…)

California is a unique place, and the people who live there (I believe) love to tell you where they are from. They are fully aware that there is no other place like California. California is a destination for millions of vacationers and dreamers, with bright lights and big cities in their eyes. However, those from there wear it as  badge of honor, even if they have to move somewhere else. I know people who have lived in Texas for 30 years, but still identify themselves as from California. It is just amazing to me.  (more…)

We tell people all the time, “Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.” “Embrace your own uniqueness.” “There is only one YOU.” Sure we say that stuff, but we really don’t mean it. How many times have you gotten caught up in those discussions about your “top 5 rappers of all time”? People magazine does their “Most Beautiful” and “Sexiest” lists every year, and every barbershop has pitted MJ, against LBJ and Black Mamba. We compare people all the time! (more…)

There is a statement going around, that honestly makes me cringe just about every time I hear it. “They’re in their feelings.”

It’s not so much the words that are spoken, it is usually the tone in which they are spoken. It usually sounds condescending, almost like mockery. It’s the tone you would use to kick someone while their down, because whatever the issue is, someone has it all together, while the other is losing it. We seem to do this as if we don’t understand what it means to feel something. (more…)