Rising Above The Madness

A series of these blogs could potentially coming out over the next several months until I agree upon my next destination.

The term “rise above it” came from a comical character I used to work with.  This was a 70-year-old Anglo man in one of the most anglo countries on planet Earth (Thailand).  I would tell him about my situations, and even what had happened last year and he shrugged it off like it was nothing.

How come is it that men, of all colors, just cannot show empathy and sympathy for their fellow men, regardless of creed, color, ethnicity, and cultural backgrounds?  On the other hand, if this many would’ve stood up for me when the going got going, the outcome could’ve potentially been much different.

It’s like the story I told sometime last year about the African American woman and Anglo woman in the store.  The Anglo woman had been going to this particular store for two weeks.  The African American had been going there for more than two years.  When both women approached the counter, the clerk greeted the Anglo woman with a big smile: and that same smile was changed right upside down when the African American woman approached the camera.  Yes, the African American woman greeted her with a big smile, just as the Anglo woman did.

This clerk went on to give the African American woman a very hard time, checking the check to see if it was real.  Thankfully, the Anglo woman spoke up and said, “ummm, excuse me. Why are you doing this to this woman?”

The clerk responded, “because I don’t know her…and I know you?”

“You’ve only known me for two weeks.  This lady has been coming here for over two years.”

That little difference means everything in the world.  If people can just speak up in the wake of a racially influenced situation, the world can rise above the world.

That particular gentleman, who I still have to see everyday of my life, just needed to hear my story and show empathy.  Instead, he deflected, like one of the world leaders, and told me to simply “rise above it.”

Easy for you to say.

But I will rise above it.  I have risen above it.  Looking back on the last five years of my life in Thailand, I’ve risen against pure insanity.  The comments I’ve gotten from everyone — to the failed job interviews because of the color of my skin — I am enough.

So many people around the world, including a singer by the name of Lil Kim, chose and still chooses to bleach their skin to make themselves more “fair.”  And because of the events where sympathy and empathy lacked, these individuals ultimately altered their skin tone because they were tired of being made fun of.

I’m challenging everyone to stand up for your fellow samaritan by your side in situations such as this.

Choice

Everyone has a choice.  In the beginning, we all come into this world naked, scare, and ignorant to everything.  We have no color, no nationality, no nothing – just a name.

When it comes to our choices, they can be our best friend or worst enemy.  Sit back and think about it.  Everything in our life exists and is the way it is because of our choices. The choices we make are the roots of all our results.

My mother, unfortunately, has made a choice to live in the same neighborhood where gunshots are heard on a nightly basis.  Could she leave? Yes.  Why doesn’t she? Because she’s comfortable living uncomfortably.

African Americans in low-socio economic states in the likes of Gary, Indiana, to Flint, Michigan…..they make a choice everyday to go left, or do what’s right.  Everyone has it.

“For instance, have you ever been going about your business, enjoying your life, when all of sudden you made a stupid choice or series of small choices that ultimately sabotaged your hard work and momentum, all for no apparent reason? You didn’t intend to sabotage yourself, but by not thinking about your decisions—weighing the risks and potential outcomes—you found yourself facing unintended consequences. Nobody intends to become obese, go through bankruptcy, or get a divorce, but often (if not always) those consequences are the result of a series of small, poor choices.” – Darren Hardy

I recall having siblings and even friends coming home saying, “I ate a sandwich for lunch” – only to find them eat frozen food, packed with sodium and trans fat.  That small, mindless, thoughtless decision they made literally sabotage that “one good meal” they had previously.  A lot of people around the world don’t have intentions on becoming fat.  They don’t wake up one day and say to themselves, “fat is the new thing! I’m going to become obese so my organs can work double/triple and hammer my gut flora.”  Of course not.  However, unconsciously they make a series of poor A$$ decisions that lead them to the demise of…..them.

Podcast

Lisa Nichols – Cultural, Economic, Gender, Geographical, Spiritual Blueprints

“To begin the process of eliminating any negative money beliefs, let’s go back through the five areas that influenced you in the first place: cultural, economic, gender, geographic, and spiritual. Take out a piece of paper and begin thinking back. What was happening in your household around money during childhood? How did your parents react to financial stressors? What did they do with their money? How did they spend it? How did they talk to you about money? Were you granted your requests for money or was there “never enough” for your needs? Were they “responsible” or “irresponsible” with their money?
And when you started earning an allowance or generating a small income from odd jobs, babysitting, or a paper route, what did you do with your money? Were your parents in agreement with your money decisions—or did they disagree with your actions?
Jot down your remembrances about money growing up—grouping your memories into the preceding five categories. Your list might look like this:”

Cultural Blueprint

  • The majority of the households in my neighborhood were on government assistance.
  • The parents were always at work, which meant the children were always engaged in activities outside their parents control.
  • The majority of my neighborhood were African Americans with the exception of a few Mexican families.
  • The two nearby complexes became saturated with gang violence.

 

Economic Blueprint

  • My father and mother both had jobs, yet the money was relatively scarce from 1995-1997.
  • The most notorious story of my life is when both my brother and I had to wear “water shoes” to school because we didn’t have enough money to buy regular shoes.
  • I would be the first one in line in 1999 (last year living with my father), at school in the morning to eat breakfast and the first one at lunch – this being because food was  a rare commodity in my household.
  • In the beginning stages of 2000, my mom would get clothes that were 5 sizes bigger than us from the homeless shelter she worked at so we wouldn’t be too cold during the winter.

 

Gender Blueprint

The only blueprint was that my sisters needed their own room because they were girls.  What Lisa Nichols wrote in her book “Abundance Now” was this…

  • My grandmother lived with us once Grandpa Joe passed on. She and my mom ran the household.•  I was very good at creating relationships with other girls, my teachers, and my neighbors.•  When I was a teenager, lots of employers offered jobs that were ideal for girls.•  My brothers teased me for getting A’s in math and science. Girls aren’t smart, they said.•  No woman in my family ever went to college. Some never graduated from high school but got married instead.”

Geographical Blueprint

  • I lived in a neighborhood where I heard gunshots at least once a week coming from “over the hill,” also named the “Westside.”
  • The bloods and crypts were around, but my siblings never got into that mess because we were more of the studious types throughout grade school.
  • My friends, in the 6th grade, would repeatedly cuss, skip class, and get bad grades.
  • My school had only Mexicans (50% were gangsters) and African Americans (60% gangsters)…..the women were already having sex at the ages of 11-13.

Middle school wasn’t difficult, though.  I’ll have to emphasize that because I had someone who left an imprint in my life my 8th grade year (story in my podcast).

Spiritual 

  • My family wasn’t very spiritual, but my mother did force us to go to church from time-to-time.  I used to pray to god every night up until about 2006-2007.

Other blueprints can be….

Our church actively helped the poor in our neighborhood with food and clothing.
•  My minister urged parishioners to tithe a portion of their paychecks every week.
•  Once, when a neighbor was too ill to work, our church members paid his rent for three months.
•  Once, when I mentioned I wanted to own a hair salon one day, my Sunday school teacher said girls should become mothers, not business owners.”

Next, circle or highlight on your list the one or two circumstances that have been the biggest driving force in your current relationship to money. Which have largely influenced your current actions and thinking around money?

In my household, for instance, small amounts received from our grandparents for birthdays or Christmas were spent as quickly as possible. As soon as we got the money, it was shopping time—and we didn’t stop until the money was all gone. I bought chili cheese dogs at the local car wash, bubble gum, candy, costume jewelry, sandals—anything fun.

I’d even treat my friends to fast food, buying them all lunch. Broke was level set. We were like lottery winners who not only spend all the money, but who are heavily in debt within a few years of receiving their winnings. I followed that pattern.
Later, I had to work hard to overcome this powerful driver. – Lisa Nichols

Podcast

How To Spur People On To Success

There was a man by the name of JoJo, who was my next door neighbour years ago back in Las Vegas.  He was an interesting guy to say the least, but before he set off to church one Sunday morning, he stood in my living room giving me and my mother a lecture.  It went something like this.

“Look what’s happening around America.  The African American community, which is our community, is the worst community of all America because instead of being happy about one’s success, they find ways to tear their own people down to join misery again.  However, if you look at Mexicans, they encourage the hell out of each other because they want to see their own people succeed.” – JoJo

Now that I think about it – my brother, who’s always been the antagonist, is one of those people who would LOVE to see me fail.

This doesn’t revolve around just the African American community, but African communities are completely ravaged with extreme hate that leads, and have lead, to genocides.  This really makes me sit down and scratch my head, because countries like Maldives are unbelievably fascinating to me – given the fact that the government is so “pro” people and everyone gets along.  There’s no violence on the streets or even muggings…..but why?

While I was in Vietnam, two people would collide while riding mopeds, get up, put each others’ arms on one another and ask if they’re ok before going on about their day.

But this is probably just the way they’re programmed.

Let’s get back to success, where LeBron James, who’s a prolific basketball player, is hated immensely in the African American community.

How can we begin to program ourselves and wish someone success, regardless or religion, creed, or color?

“Pete Barlow was an old friend of mine. He had a dog-and-pony act and spent his life traveling with circuses and vaudeville shows. I loved to watch Pete train new dogs for his act. I noticed that the moment a dog showed the slightest improvement, Pete patted and praised him and gave him meat and made a great to-do about it.
That’s nothing new. Animal trainers have been using that same technique for centuries.
Why, I wonder, don’t we use the same common sense when trying to change people that we use when trying to change dogs? Why don’t we use meat instead of a whip? Why don’t we use praise instead of condemnation? Let us praise even the slightest improvement. That inspires the other person to keep on improving.” – Dale Carnegie

Praise!

Yes, that simple little compliment can change one’s life! I’ve seen teachers steer students away from suicide by telling them that they “are” enough.

One afternoon class had finished at the Dental Faculty Practice at the College of Southern Nevada.  My teacher, by the name of Mrs. Mulcahy, pulled me aside and said, “Arsenio, can I talk to you?”  I stood over the table where she was standing, just in front of the projector and she told me, “Arsenio, you can’t teach personality.  What you have right now is a gift and it’s going to take you a long way.”  Because of the praise by professor Mulcahy, I went on to be one of the finest dental assisting temps in all of Sydney, Australia.  That personality has flourished into something so magnificent and so wonderful that people in almost 100 different countries tune into my show.  That praise I never got from any of my direct or indirect family, or friends.

“Praise is like sunlight to the warm human spirit; we cannot flower and grow without it. And yet, while most of us are only too ready to apply to others the cold wind of criticism, we are somehow reluctant to give our fellow the warm sunshine of praise.” – Psychologist Jess Lair

Podcast

I’m Not BLACK & You’re Not WHITE.

Let that phrase sink in it bit.  We have been conditioned and categorized our entire lives like a damn canned food item at our local food market.  Labels – such as disabled, black, white, muslim, buddhist, liberal, conservative….all of which has divided this world completely over the last…150 years? Maybe?

Let’s say you came out the womb today, what would you be? What name would you have? Everything has been given to us from our baby years, to our adult years.

In Thailand, I’m just a “black man.” Therefore, the stereotypes that come with “black men” are: pimp, drug-dealer, thief, convict, hooligan, among so many other names.  However, if I was white, I would be deemed as a holy being that is rich and lovely.

I love what Muhammad Ali said during an interview four decades ago back in England.

“Momma, how come Jesus is white? Blonde hair and blue eyes? Angels are white? How come everyone in the last supper is white?”

“Momma, when we die, we will go to heaven, right?”

Mother answers, “naturally we will.”

Muhammad Ali, “well are there any black angels up there?”

“Oh, I know.  The white angels are up in heaven, too.  So, the black angels are in the kitchen preparing the milk and honey.”

-Tarzan was the king of the jungle in Africa – he was white.

-Miss America was always white.

-The angel fruitcake was the white cake and the devil fruitcake was the chocolate cake.

-The president lives in the white house.

-Snow White was white.

On The Other Hand

-The ugly duckling was a black duck.

-The black cat was bad luck.

-If I’m going to threaten you I’m going to blackmail you.

At the end of the conversation, he told his story about winning an olympic gold medal and went back home standing tall – hoping to get something to eat in a restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky where things weren’t integrated back then.  He sat down, ordered….and the woman said, “we don’t serve negroes.”

He replied, “well I don’t eat them either! Go back there and fix me my food!”

*Laughter*

He was thrown out…but the point I’m trying to make is this has been imbedded in our subconscious minds since the picture was invented.  How come every love story revolves around a white character?  Honestly, sit down and think about it.  The Jetsons, the Flintstones, the Rugrats, Doug Funny, Salute Your Shorts, Are You Afraid of The Dark, Nickelodeon was an extremely white network.  However, the only somewhat “black” cartoon I saw while I was young was Bebe’s Kids.  A bunch of bad a$$ African Americans.

bebe-3

I wish I was making this up, but unfortunately….it’s true.

This labelling has to be abolished in humanity wants to move forward.  Is it going to be overnight – NO! It’s going to take an individual sticking up for other individuals.  If you see someone being mistreated anywhere for their gender, creed, color, it’s up to you to butt in and do what’s right.  When these things start to happen, the influences that are left behind on passerbys will stick with them forever.

One person at a time.

Do the right thing.

African American Victimization & Anger – When Will It Stop?

“Oh, another African American coon! I bet white people love you!” – Podcast Listener

“You’re so ignorant to say that America isn’t the most racist country on the planet.  Comment somewhere else.”

This coming from a man in Georgia and another faceless YouTuber – both whom are African American.

This coming from people who have never traveled to Asia before.

Regardless of racism or not, this shows the severity of the situation amongst African Americans in not accepting others opinions while using hateful rhetoric to somehow demean an opinion.

I recall watching a random video of Jerry Tarknanian’s 1990-91 Runnin Rebels (University of Nevada Las Vegas) of UNLV and at BYU (Brigham Young University), there was a fan in the student section holding up a poster that said, “hey Jerry! Nice coon squad!”

I was called a ‘coon’ today (for the first time) by another African American.

We went from the great Jesse Owens, who had to overcome the most sickening conditions both in America and in Germany (him conquering and getting gold medals in front of the Nazi Regime), to Rosa Parks who just said “no,” to Martin Luther King giving his ‘I Have A Dream Speech’ to Mohammad Ali standing for all our rights…….now we’re killing each other on the streets of L.A. because one wears red and another wears blue.  The harsh reality behind Moonlight and how African American societies revolve around other African Americans hating and beating one another in the likes of Liberty City, Gary, Compton, Flint, Camden, Detroit, Louisville and dozens of other towns/cities in America.

Not only in America, but Africans also burning each other alive in Nigeria, Kenya, bombs going off everywhere, looting, homicides….going back to the Rwanda genocide.

I want to know how can we gain respect from the rest of the world if we don’t respect ourselves?  Hateful rhetoric and foolishness just shows the insecurity of another being, but there’s a blueprint within the mind which has built up sorrow and anger within.  If you look at Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and co…..more African Americans hate them than anyone else!

I can sit here and write forever about the problems in the community of African Americans, but what about the solutions?

Podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/11661252