The past few weeks have been interesting. The turmoil in the Middle East is something that we as Americans are used to hearing about. It was kinda strange the way that while things where going on overseas, we had our own eye-opening events here on our own soil.Some of the events were eye-opening simply because we as a nation don’t look in the mirror as often as we should.We all know it would suck to live in Iraq or whatever other countries are over there. However, not much thought is given to how hard it is here in the land of the free! Ferguson, MO was like something out of a movie. Martial Law, curfews, press members being arrested for doing their job while there is little talk of discipline for those who should have made sure that things didn’t escalate as far as they did.Anyway, instead of focusing on the problems around me, I should first examine my own issues.I know things get better as long as an effort is being put forth. Life happens and life wont always wait for you to be ready for it to happen. Plus in the midst of that I am being tasked with what I would consider a ‘Higher Calling’ and my faith tells me my God won’t ever give me nothing I can’t handle. I was hoping for a quick fix, but if I have to begin with examining the issues within me first, i’m now looking at a daunting task.Perhaps a destroy & rebuild method is at hand here.
WHEN DID I SETTLE?
Much like the news stories that have captured our attention these past few weeks there is something wrong with the way we all are trying to fix what’s wrong. For instance, take the ‘Ray Rice Elevator Incident’ that just won’t go away. It was not a good look the way he dragged her out of the elevator. When this story broke we had not seen the video from inside the elevator, even though we all had a pretty good idea what happened. As bad as that was, the NFL commissioner (Rodger Goodell) gave even more life to the story when he gave what equates to a slap on the wrist in the form of a 2 game suspension. Two games for assault, meanwhile another player in the NFL was fighting a YEAR LONG suspension for a much lessor offence (in my opinion). Nobody is perfect (and nobody understands that more than me) so I applauded Rodger Goodell when he announced the new policy in regards to domestic violence as well as re-dedicating the league on preventing the need for the new harsher penalties. That is something that has been undervalued in this generation of instant everything, PREVENTION.
Prevention might not have stopped the incident from occurring (it’s hard to say what could have been) but since that was overlooked the next best thing becomes priority #1 which is making right of what went wrong. I hear people talk down about others all the time where I work. There is something that helps us cope/deal with ourselves when we start pointing out other people’s flaws instead of working on our own character defects. For instance all most everyone (including myself) felt as though the 2 game suspension was too light and Rodger Goodell seemed to not care what people thought about it. During the Hall of Fame game Goodell defended the punishment. It seemed as though Ray Rice was going to get away with just a slap on the wrist. Then Rodger Goodell made an attempt to right his wrong. Great case closed right, WRONG. Now the footage from inside the elevator has been obtained by TMZ and it resurrected this story AGAIN.
Now there are calls for Goodell to step down as NFL com. Ray Rice has been suspended indifferently, cut from the team that he help win a Super Bowl a few years ago and Nike dropped him as a endorser of their products as well. I mentioned earlier that 2 games was not a stiff enough punishment, but I wouldn’t have suggested that the suspension have been indefinite. It was an over correction for the previous lack of awareness from all the parties involved (other than Ray Rice and his now wife) everyone else seemed to have want to sweep this all under the rug and shrug their shoulders. So the question is why was it ok before the tape was released?
In another story that seemed to be in the headlines everyday for about a week and a half is the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, MO and I have the same question, why is this kind of stuff ok? Why is it that when the police shoot and unarmed man he ALWAYS seems to be black? As a black man this worries me! Fortunately for me I no longer live in a part of the country where racism is embedded into the fabric of the communities. The police are dangerous here too, but they have nothing on the ‘Good Ol Boys’ in the mid-west, south, and eastern part of the USA. Even with that in mind, just a few years ago in Vallejo, CA the local PD shot quite a few young black men some of whom were found to be unarmed. When did that become ok? When did we settle on this?
That is what I have to ask myself everyday. I find myself forgetting things that I shouldn’t be forgetting especially because I am still young. I find myself in a battle and the battlefield are own thoughts. I spoke to a professional and was told what I didn’t want to hear, and it made me think….. when did I let that become ok? When did I settle for less than I would have before? Who brokered this deal? Because they need to be fired and I am rending any settlement or deals for less than the best null & void.
BACK TO THE BARGAINING TABLE
Before any negotiations begin the first step is to appraise assets in order to determine a target range in which I would consider acceptable. That means performing an honest and fearless inventory of every aspect of what comes together to form me. My thoughts, my actions, my likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, how I act and react (I could go on and on but i think you get the point). Then the next thing to consider is the value of what you are negotiating for. If party #1 brings ‘A’ to the table and party #2 brings nothing then what is the point of negotiating, because you already have what is being offered. Likewise if party #2 brings ‘A’ to the table when party #1 already has ‘A’. You keep yours and I stick with mine. So if I can’t move forward as a result of a deal being finalized then I am waiting my time to maintain the ‘status quo’. This process might only take less than two min to read however if I am being honest and FEARLESS then I would be spending a lot of time going over weakness that others might see. When negotiating its always a GREAT idea to be aware of any counter-arguments that will be made against you.
During some reflection I come to the conclusion that things deteriorate over time. So the thoughts that have come to bother me didn’t just appear when they began to bother me. It happened over time, with little allowances here and there. it wasn’t until they began to bother me spirituality that I even noticed there was a problem. (Without getting too personal I must point out that the thoughts I would find myself struggling with were the kind that go against my spirituality nothing criminal or creepy, but the enemy is crafty before you know it you have been devoured). There are other issues that I have and some will always be exist, but I feel as though none of them are powerful enough to prevent me from what I am supposed to accomplish in this lifetime. I can honestly say that I do not fully understand why me our how it will help the masses. But, I do understand that what I do and don’t understand is irrelevant. It was also reveled to me that missions with a calling of this magnitude do not allow for settling or negotiating with anyone.
So I am grateful that I can go about things of greater importance than spending time getting lost in my own thoughts!