Help Me Understand – You Get A Championship Ring Even If You Never Play?

With the NBA finals on television I have been trying to follow the games to the very end. I know that both teams are quite talented, which is how they got to the playoffs in the first place so either team deserves to win. But I do find it odd that even though only 5 basketball players can be on the court at one time, all 15 will receive a ring if they win in the NBA finals.

Not only do the players receive a ring but all members or employees of that team get a ring. This means that aside from the starting lineup, the coaches, management and staff also receive a ring. Even the mascot & cheerleaders of that team are eligible for a ring. You don’t even have to get off the bench or set foot on an actual basketball court to get a championship ring. I can’t believe it!

So tonight when Tony Parker makes the winning shot bringing the San Antonio Spurs to victory Patty Mills & Aron Baynes, two players I’ve never heard of, will also receive a championship ring. What sense does that make? Why does everyone on the team get a ring when the only people that contributed to the victory are the star players and the coaches? Cheerleaders don’t help basketball teams win games neither does the office staff.

Giving everyone on the team a ring is like saying every time I buy a Happy Meal from McDonald’s I should get a tax write off because a percentage of my purchase will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House.  Why shouldn’t McDonald’s give me a tax break? I am indirectly sponsoring their charity so if they donate because I buy their food, I should somehow be entitled to a tax deduction myself, right? To me this is the same illogic that the NBA uses when they “give out” their championship rings to every member of the winning team.

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My New Is Now

With half the year now gone I’m starting to focus on things that I can do to better myself. I even made a list and here are some of the things on it -

  • Invest more in others – Although not all of my friends check in on me, I should continue to check in with them. You never know what someone else is going through.
  • Be a better housekeeper – When I clean, I clean. When I don’t, I don’t.
  • Cook more often – You’ll never starve with me but I would like to expand my ‘recipe repertoire’
  • Study the Scriptures more – It’s always good to get in the Word!
  • Drivitude – I am mean out here in these streets so I need less road rage & to work on my drivitude! (driving + attitude = drivitude)
  • Be a better daughter – As my parents get older I should take it upon myself to check up on them more often. After all, they took care of me and the time will come when I will have to take care of them (or at least pay somebody else to do it for me)
  • Exercise more – This goes without saying
  • Eat better  – This too goes without saying
  • Donate to more causes that my friends are supporting – Every year I’m running in some charity marathon or asking my friends & family to donate on behalf of a dead relative so I need to support other people’s causes as well
  • Read more – I used to be a voracious reader of anything that I could get my hands on. But this past year, I haven’t read nearly as many books as I did when I was younger.  I need to pick that back up
  • Budget better – This is a perpetual goal of mine
  • Floss more often – I already floss several times a week, but this is so important and should be done DAILY
  • Cry more – Crying is not a bad thing. Releasing tears can sometimes soothe to the soul
  • Sleep more – I am a night owl by nature, but the older I get the harder it is to justify staying up late. I have switched my work out schedule to the mornings instead of the evenings so I really need to get up earlier

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You Are Dismissed!

As my birthday month comes to an end I’ve been thinking about all of the people who have let me down by not being there for me and not just for my birthday but in general.  The last month has been rough on me and the people that I thought I could turn to haven’t been there like I thought they should be. A few of my “friends” forgot about my birthday and even some of my own relatives haven’t been there for me, so it’s becoming more & more apparent that everybody in my life wasn’t meant to be there forever.

I realize that I am quick to dismiss people. If someone doesn’t treat me the way I feel I deserve then I stop talking to them. If someone can’t pick up the phone for 60 seconds to wish me happy birthday but sends me a text message instead then I have no problem deleting them from my phone. I get so tired of reaching out and my friends & family don’t reach back.  I don’t know how many Valentine’s Day cards I’ve sent to my single girlfriends over the years just to let them know that someone is thinking about them or how many birthday cards I’ve mailed out and have never gotten anything back. I never give with the expectation of receiving but sometimes it’s nice to have the thought reciprocated.

I know that not everyone shows their affections in the same way. While I love sending out cards & small gifts to people that I care about I know that people can exhibit their friendship in other ways. Plainly put: not everyone is into greeting cards. But it goes beyond the cards; even just keeping in touch with me seems to be a lot to ask. I know that as we get older life gets hectic and it means nothing for six months to pass by without calling me. But I am tired of reaching out to people to see how they’re doing & they never initiate contact with me. One of my girlfriends NEVER reaches out to me unless I call her first. Once we get to talking it’s like old times all over again, but for some reason she just never initiates contact. I love her to death otherwise I would’ve “dismissed” her a long time ago. I just can’t understand – why are some people so casual about maintaining friendships?

I know that I can’t go around dismissing everyone that forgets my birthday or doesn’t call me as often as I would like because then I wouldn’t be left with very many friends. But how can I be fulfilled in a friendship where I am the only one initiating contact? Yes, we all have a lot going on but unless your name is Michelle or Barack Obama, you are NOT too busy to check on me. Do I just give up on my friends? Does this mean our friendship doesn’t mean as much to them as it does to me? Or should I let these people slowly slip out of my life because they are “too lazy” to reach out to me?

The old adage says: “Some people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”

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32Chainz

Another birthday is coming up and it’s time for me to think about my next year of living. I can honestly say that this wasn’t my greatest year, but there’s always next year. I don’t like to spend a lot of time reflecting on the past and prefer to think about what I can do in the future.

Because my birthday falls towards the middle of the year (the month of May), I like to think of it as a mid-year New Year’s eve celebration. A new year for me begins when I turn a year older. And since its midyear, I also reevaluate my New Year’s resolutions. What should I be doing differently in my life? How can I turn my year around? These are things that I think about every time it gets close to my birthday.

Whenever there’s another birthday people always ask “How does it feel to be another year older?” I never quite know how to answer that question. Do I feel older? Yes. Do I look older? I hope not. Do I feel any wiser? I’m certainly trying. (lol)

I know people say that you should celebrate life every day but I don’t normally do anything too special on my birthday (only the major ones). I am looking forward to celebrating this year with some of my friends by singing live karaoke. I already have my favorite Whitney Houston song picked out (no, it’s not I Will Always Love You)! I am also looking forward to possibly having a celebration again next year (although it’s a little too early to tell right now).

Oh well. At least I get to still check the same box on all those questionnaires (the 26-35 year-old box). J

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Will White People Ever Be Labeled As Terrorists?

In light of the bombings in Boston, an article was brought to my attention that talked about race & how that impacts the way Americans view terrorism. The article talks about how “White privilege is knowing that even if the Boston Marathon bomber turns out to be white, his or her identity will not result in white folks generally being singled out for suspicion by law enforcement, or the TSA, or the FBI.”

In other words, if you’re White you won’t be labeled as a terrorist. That title seems to only apply to people with Brown or Black skin. There have been many White men who have either blown up buildings or  responsible for mass murders – think Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City bomber responsible for over 160 murders), Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber who killed 3 people), James Holmes (mass shooting at the Colorado movie theater last year killing 12 people), the 2 White students who killed 15 people at Columbine, and who could forget Jeffrey Dahmer who killed 17 people back in the 1980’s. Society seems to deem these “incidents” as exceptions and proof that our government would never racially profile White people. Even Ted Kazczynski was only thought of as “militant” but not a terrorist.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Boston bombing situation plays out.

Read the article below –

Terrorism and Privilege: Understanding the Power of Whiteness by Tim Wise

As the nation weeps for the victims of the horrific bombing in Boston yesterday, one searches for lessons amid the carnage, and finds few. That violence is unacceptable stands out as one, sure. That hatred — for humanity, for life, or whatever else might have animated the bomber or bombers — is never the source of constructive human action seems like a reasonably close second.

But I dare say there is more; a much less obvious and far more uncomfortable lesson, which many are loathe to learn, but which an event such as this makes readily apparent, and which we must acknowledge, no matter how painful.

It is a lesson about race, about whiteness, and specifically, about white privilege.

I know you don’t want to hear it. But I don’t much care. So here goes.

White privilege is knowing that even if the Boston Marathon bomber turns out to be white, his or her identity will not result in white folks generally being singled out for suspicion by law enforcement, or the TSA, or the FBI.

White privilege is knowing that even if the bomber turns out to be white, no one will call for whites to be profiled as terrorists as a result, subjected to special screening, or threatened with deportation.

White privilege is knowing that if the bomber turns out to be white, he or she will be viewed as an exception to an otherwise non-white rule, an aberration, an anomaly, and that he or she will be able to join the ranks of Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols and Ted Kaczynski and Eric Rudolph and Joe Stack and George Metesky and Byron De La Beckwith and Bobby Frank Cherry and Thomas Blanton and Herman Frank Cash and Robert Chambliss and James von Brunn and Robert Mathews and David Lane and Michael F. Griffin and Paul Hill and John Salvi and James Kopp and Luke Helder and James David Adkisson and Scott Roeder and Shelley Shannon and Dennis Mahon and Wade Michael Page and Byron Williams and Kevin Harpham and William Krar and Judith Bruey and Edward Feltus and Raymond Kirk Dillard and Adam Lynn Cunningham and Bonnell Hughes and Randall Garrett Cole and James Ray McElroy and Michael Gorbey and Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman and Frederick Thomas and Paul Ross Evans and Matt Goldsby and Jimmy Simmons and Kathy Simmons and Kaye Wiggins and Patricia Hughes and Jeremy Dunahoe and David McMenemy and Bobby Joe Rogers and Francis Grady and Demetrius Van Crocker and Floyd Raymond Looker and Derek Mathew Shrout, among the pantheon of white people who engage in (or have plotted) politically motivated violence meant to terrorize and kill, but whose actions result in the assumption of absolutely nothing about white people generally, or white Christians in particular.

And white privilege is being able to know nothing about the crimes committed by most of the terrorists listed above — indeed, never to have so much as heard most of their names — let alone to make assumptions about the role that their racial or ethnic identity may have played in their crimes.

White privilege is knowing that if the Boston bomber turns out to be white, we  will not be asked to denounce him or her, so as to prove our own loyalties to the common national good. It is knowing that the next time a cop sees one of us standing on the sidewalk cheering on runners in a marathon, that cop will say exactly nothing to us as a result.

White privilege is knowing that if you are a white student from Nebraska — as opposed to, say, a student from Saudi Arabia — that no one, and I mean no one would think it important to detain and question you in the wake of a bombing such as the one at the Boston Marathon.

And white privilege is knowing that if this bomber turns out to be white, the United States government will not bomb whatever corn field or mountain town or stale suburb from which said bomber came, just to ensure that others like him or her don’t get any ideas. And if he turns out to be a member of the Irish Republican Army we won’t bomb Belfast. And if he’s an Italian American Catholic we won’t bomb the Vatican.

In short, white privilege is the thing that allows you (if you’re white) — and me — to view tragic events like this as merely horrific, and from the perspective of pure and innocent victims, rather than having to wonder, and to look over one’s shoulder, and to ask even if only in hushed tones, whether those we pass on the street might think that somehow we were involved.

It is the source of our unearned innocence and the cause of others’ unjustified oppression.

That is all. And it matters.

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The article can be found here: http://www.timwise.org

Why Major In A Field That Has No Jobs Available?

So I came across an article about how there were too many K-5 teachers & not enough teaching positions and the question arose in my mind: Why study something that you know will not pay off?

I remember when I was applying to college (many moons ago) my father always warned me to not major in underwater basket weaving. Yes, because it’s not a real major but also because it’s a profession that isn’t highly valued in this society. So in the same respect if you know that philosophy isn’t a highly valued field why major in it?

Yes, there are plenty of majors that were popular 20-30 years ago that may not be as relevant now (think archaeology, library science, etc.) but back then people knew that there would a job waiting for them. Right now the unemployment/under-employment rate for fresh college graduates is over 50%. I mean, let’s face it – the economy has been in the toilet since at least 2008. And everyone knows that bad economies don’t just turn around overnight. So those who are just now graduating (who entered college around 2008) must have known that when they graduate they might not have a job waiting for them in their field. And those who entered college after 2008 have had time to change majors to something more relevant. Of course no can tell the future or when the job market will pick up. But until it does, wouldn’t it be fair to say you should secure your future by majoring in something more mainstream instead?

Sure, it’s great to follow your passion but if your passion can’t pay the bills when you graduate, then maybe you should consider pursuing something that will instead.

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When Is It Time To Give Up On Love?

I know that you can fall in love at any time during your life, but what if that time never comes?

Can you really go your entire life without meeting “the one?” Some would argue that everyone gets at least one chance at love but may miss out for one reason or another (for instance, the timing just wasn’t right, etc.). Is it possible that we can have true love right in front of us and not realize? Or perhaps we just rationalize that it was never really love to begin with.

I’m not sold on the idea that you need to be in love to have a successful marriage (that’ll be another post, for another day). But I am starting to wonder whether or not it’s worth holding out for love to get married. I think that marriage is more about compatibility than anything else. So if I meet someone that I’m completely compatible with but don’t love why wouldn’t I consider marrying that person? I can’t tell the future (of course), but I’m willing to bet that it’ll be a lot easier to find someone that I’m compatible with versus someone that I truly love.

So with that line of thinking, I sometimes wonder if it’s best to just give up on finding love. Plus, everyone wasn’t meant to be married. There are more women on this earth than men and from what I hear it gets harder to meet someone the older you get. With all of these things working against women, maybe it is a waste of time to think that we’ll find true love.

Now, I’m not saying I’m ready to crawl into a cave just yet but in the back of my mind I wonder if I’m wasting my time hoping for something that will never come…..

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