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All in a Name

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????  A few weeks ago, D.L. Hughley posed a question to his radio audience about children’s names in relation to them being able to get a job. Back when I was growing up, we had the La, Na, and Ta names. Nowadays, that seems so amateur. Children’s names have some kind of apostrophe or dash somewhere, not to mention extra letters to make the name seem cute. Original? Unique? Guess what… it’s not. Having children not being able to spell their own name until they are seven years old is not attractive, neither is having names that don’t phonetically make sense. What’s next, the use of ! and *??

Are parents setting their children up for failure? Absolutely. Do I believe that they do it on purpose? Not really. But think about it. What boss wants to get handed a resume with a name like Quiwanna or Seantavious on it? How about a teacher calling on a new student with the name Ajoyishallbe or Apple (and no, celebrities aren’t off the hook on this one)? You think they won’t get picked on in school? You think they are destined to be the next CEO in a Fortune 500 company? Please welcome, President Chip Dip Jones! Not happening.

Is it possible to be unique without being ridiculous? Yes, so please give your child a chance. All kids are special. They just don’t need to stick out for the wrong reason.

What interesting names have you encountered?

PSA

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????  Ladies and gentlemen: This is a public service announcement. Please listen closely.

 

First, if you are going slow in fast lane and someone behind you wants to pass, just get over. Not now, but right now. It doesn’t make you a weak man or woman. It’s simply the rules of the road.

Second, if you are doing fifty and below (or sixty-five and below in Michigan) in the slow lane, exit stage left. You don’t need to be on the highway. Get off now.

Third, if you cut a person off, you are inviting the person you disrespected a Ride-My-Ass free card. You gave them permission to do that, so get over yourself.

Fourth, if you are riding someone for no reason except for boundaries issues, then you have given that person the right to slow down to twenty-five and free reign to stop whenever they choose to.

Fifth, blinkers are our friends. It would be best for all parties on the road if these are used as often as possible.

Sixth, if there is a turn lane…it should be used. Turning left from the right lane is an accident waiting to happen– all day every day.

Seventh, it’s best for everyone on the road that you look before you change lanes. A thought turning into an immediate action is not always welcome.

Eighth, switching lanes at the same time the person behind you is, is downright annoying. It’s not a race. Stay in your lane and take turns, kay?

 

That is all.

You Don’t Understand

half  In the wake of Robin Williams’ death, there have been some comments made about suicide that some people just don’t understand. What many don’t get is that depression is a serious illness. It’s not something that you can just turn off and on when it’s convenient for you. It’s not something that you can just snap out of because somebody tells you to be happy. It is a mental illness.

 

Not all people with depression are suicidal. Suicide is not a requirement of depression, it’s a symptom. A person could be depressed but not think about killing themselves. They have feelings of things not being worth it (for example, not getting out of the bed, eating or planning for the future), hopelessness, negative thoughts about themselves, no energy, and so forth. A person who is truly depressed can feel all thirteen or so odd symptoms, or as little as three. If you do experience these things, don’t wait to get help assuming that it’ll work itself out or get better.

 

There are different types of depression, such as situational, atypical, seasonal affective, bipolar, major/clinical, psychotic, and a few others. Not all have the same symptoms. Not all sufferers attempt suicide or have suicidal thoughts. The one thing that I will say about suicide, in relation to those who suffer from depression, is that those who attempt or succeed are not selfish. These people have their reasons for doing it, but I guarantee one of those reasons is that they believe that they are much better off dead. My question is this… would you consider yourself selfish if you knew that I was suffering but you wanted me to live anyways?

 

What you don’t understand is that you don’t truly know what a person is going through when they make an attempt on their life. The constant negative thoughts they deal with in their heads and how they interpret the world is something we could never understand. It’s obvious that the cons outweigh the pros. But accusing those who commit suicide with a mental illness is a low blow. There is always a reason; just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean that it’s not there.

Power of the People?

c2  Ever since elementary school, I had to explain to people (not of African descent) about my hair. As a child, other children always wanted to touch it and wondered why it could stick up or out on its own. As a teen, other teenagers wondered how I could keep curls in my head, get it styled differently every other week, or why I didn’t wash my hair every other day. As an adult, apparently, other adults want to know by my hair being braided, is it tight enough to smooth out wrinkles (even though I’m not old enough for wrinkles, but that’s beside the point).

 

Why is African American hair such a novelty to people? Those of you who are reading this who are not of African descent, please understand two things: a). the one person you are talking to does not speak for their whole culture; b). if you have questions, please carefully formulate them in your head before speaking, because sometimes the comments and/or questions sound very ignorant and immature. Case in point, I had a grown woman ask me the wrinkles question (the one I talked about above) and then her and her friend went on about how Black people’s skin was so beautiful and did eating better than Caucasian people combined with no stress keep our skin looking so good. I was embarrassed for them. Both women are older than me. Both women are educated. And both women are too old to be comfortable enough to voice such foolishness aloud.

 

My point is this. It is okay to not know something about another person’s culture. Nobody knows every single thing about another person’s culture. And it is okay to ask questions, but it goes back to my point a minute ago… a). the ONE person you are talking to does not and cannot speak for their whole culture; b). formulate those questions and comments in your head first.

 

Does anyone have a similar story?

The Tunnel

depression  Down in the dumps or just ‘sad’ cannot begin to describe a common mental health disease which effects one out of ten adults. Depression is a serious illness that is not taken as seriously as it should. Some believe that it’ll go away on its own. Or, “I’m not talking to no shrink.” Either way, problems don’t get solved and those individuals go undiagnosed, under the radar, or worse, wish for death. There are numerous types and symptoms of the disease.

Types

Major Depression: Clinical, long lasting, and debilitating.

Bipolar Depression: (This seems to be a fad. Not everyone who has mood swings has bipolar depression.). Here you have major ups (known as mania or manic episodes) and major lows (depression) which alternate.

Cyclothymia: Mild version of bipolar disorder.

Dysthymia: Chronic (more than two years), but less severe than Major Depression.

Seasonal Depression (SAD): This begins at the same time each year based on the season.

Postpartum: Depression kicks in usually one month after mothers give birth.

Atypical: Mild depression with bouts of happiness.

Psychotic: A mix of depression and psychotic features (i.e. hallucinations or delusions).

Situational: Basically, if you weren’t experiencing a particular situation, you wouldn’t have depression symptoms (ex. unemployment, health issues, mourning a death).

Symptoms

Overwhelming sadness, withdrawn, mood swings, crying episodes, appetite and sleep changes (too much or too little), suicidal thoughts, giving away possessions, feeling of worthlessness and feeling hopeless, void of feelings, loss of interest in activities, decreased energy. Children and teens may refuse to go to school, claim to have a lot of aches and pains, sulk a lot, or be clingy.

What’s Next

Some people hate taking pills. Some people don’t want to talk. There’s no cure all when it comes to depression. There are many things that you can do, but sitting back and waiting for the chips to fall as they may is not one of them (especially when children and teenagers are taking their own lives due to this disease).

– Talk with a mental health specialist (social worker, psychiatrist, counselor, therapist). That’s what they are trained to do. It is also part of their oath to be nonjudgmental. I know pride is why a lot of people don’t turn to professionals, but when you need help you need help.

– If you don’t talk to a professional, talk to someone who is close. It’s not healthy to keep everything bottled up. And believe it or not, communication is very therapeutic.

– Get prescription anti-depressants. You would have to see a psychiatrist for the prescription (and maybe even a therapist too).

– Don’t go at it alone, especially if you are suicidal. Spend time with family and friends who truly care about your well-being. Being alone at this time in particular is not safe.

-If you know someone who is depressed, don’t ignore the signs. Listen to them, be there, and encourage them to seek professional help (especially if they are suicidal or worse, homicidal). Depression is way deeper than just being sad or grumpy. It’s something to take seriously.

Things That Make You Say Hmm…

   Below are some quotes that I believe are worth sharing. Feel free to add some that you believe in or live by. Enjoy:)

Worry is a total waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. All it does is taint your mind and steal your joy.

Unknown

Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.
Chinese Proverb

When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
Helen Keller

Dreams are the touchstones of our character.
Henry David Thoreau

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don’t count the days, make the days count.

Muhammad Ali

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.

George Washington Carver

Everything in your world is created by what you think.

Oprah Winfrey

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Barack Obama

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.

Lena Horne

The Hunt

   As little girls, women are programmed a certain way (intentionally or not) in Cinderella-mode. As children, we watch movie classics such as Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, etc. and are conditioned at a young age to believe that your prince is going to come (your one and only true love), on a white horse, and you are going to live happily ever after. Does this happen in real life? Uh…no. But that’s not the question. It’s much deeper than that. It is ingrained in women early that marriage is going to produce the ultimate completeness and happiness. So I will pose two questions for tonight. One, do you believe that marriage is the key to personal happiness and being “whole”? And two, do you believe that women try to find husbands more often than men try to find wives?

These two questions may appear to be from two different atmospheres, but let me connect the dots for you. As I previously stated, fairytales portray young women as looking for their husband as their main quest. Oftentimes, it’s viewed as the female’s ultimate goal; ‘Okay, I found my husband’…roll credits. I feel sorry for girls who grow into adults who maintain this mentality. There are many women lurking around in the world who search near and far for a husband to complete them, but rarely do I ever hear of a man doing anything remotely close to this. Does this exist?

My personal answer to the first question is no. Even though research shows that married women are overall happier than single women, does not mean that a ring caused that happiness. In order to be an equal partner and to have a decent relationship, you have to be complete first. You shouldn’t go into a relationship and half-ass it. You shouldn’t go into a relationship if you can’t give it your all. And, more importantly, you shouldn’t be in a relationship if you solely depend on another human being to make you happy. That’s just not healthy or realistic (plus a lot of unnecessary pressure on your partner).

In regards to the second question, I whole-heartedly believe that women look for marriage more than men. I don’t see guys stressing about being married by thirty or when they are exactly going to find “The One”. It’s women who worry about their biological clocks ticking deafening them and desperately wanting the white horse and carriage in their late twenties or early thirties, like it’s last call.

What’s your take on this topic?