Saturday, November 30, 2013

Money and Fame

I have heard people say many times that it is not about the money or fame, but instead that it is about love, compassion, peace, changing lives, etc. But is that really the case? We live in a superficial society where social acceptance seems to take the place of many things that we claim to be more important. Same also applies to money. If fame and money are not that important, then why do you make it that important? Many decisions that we make (or don’t make) are based on money. We spend our lives looking for acceptance and to be noticed. Is that not wanting fame itself, just on a smaller scale?


Money is not important…


…but we are always trying to get more

…but we let it deter us from fulfilling our lives

…but we allow it to break up our marriages

…but we allow it to damage our friendships

…but it is necessary to survive

…but we are taught to find someone who can provide

…but we don’t want to spend it on other people

…but we clamp on to it and hold it tightly


I’m going to tell you why money is important, and it is all laid out in this little excerpt I read “In the end, the time we spend on this planet equals life. Most people would agree that a human life is sacred and carries higher value than almost anything else on earth. Since we trade our time – our very lives – for money or capital, I conclude that capital equals life. If that is the case, then capital, like life, is sacred and should be treated as such.”


It is important because we trade all of our time for the almighty dollar.


Fame is not important…


…but we share our every moment on Facebook

…but we do the same on twitter, pinterest, instagram, youtube

…but we look for acceptance from others

…doctor ourselves up to get noticed


The list can go on and on.


I think it is safe to say that money and fame are important in our daily lives due to the amount of emphasis that we place on both of them. I like money (enjoy making it, spending it, etc.) and a little notoriety, but the important thing is to not let it control our lives.


I believe that we should accept the role that these things have in our lives while having the understanding not to let it be the driving force in our lives. Some people like the spotlight and some people love the “dough”, however, it is how you handle them that is really important.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Why are we ashamed of our greatness?

Last Friday, I had the privilege of speaking at an awards ceremony for a local charter school in the greater Atlanta area. After I had spoken, during which the students were receiving their awards, I noticed something that bothered me. The students didn’t want to come up on stage to get their awards, and when they did come up they either turned around and walked back down the stairs or they walked sluggishly across stage, embarrassed as if they had done something wrong. The other students teased and laughed at the other students who were recognized for their good deeds.

But were these students doing something wrong? By the standards of their environment, yes. It wasn’t cool. Acceptance came with being the brashest and the “hardest” student. My thought was, “what was even the point in them going to school.” I felt as if I was in a real-life Lean on Me movie.

A few facts: the school is an all boys school, in the heart of the Bankhead community. The school is 98% African-American and many of the students come from low-income families.

After this disturbing sight, I asked the principal if I could say but just a few more words, and I began to talk about showing pride when someone is recognizing their greatness instead of running from it. I talked about taking ownership of their stage and walking with head up. I spoke on competing with each other to be better, and not competing against each other to bring down. From the looks of the audience, I truly felt as if the message resonated until a few minutes later when I sat back down, I saw one of the recipients get up, take off his medal, and square up to fight another student.

I thought to myself that it is funny that we live in a society where we are ashamed of our greatness but are not ashamed to display our ignorance.

So, then I ask, “Why are we afraid of our greatness?” Is it because we are surrounded by a lot of destroyers in our lives and not builders? Is it because there is too much pressure on being great? Are we not just doing a good enough job as parents, teachers, and citizens of our communities to stop this way of thinking?

Regardless of the reason, it is a sad sight to see. I worry about our children, especially my African-American children, who are blinded from their greatness.
For all people who are hiding in the shadows of despair, inferiority and ignorance, let us appear out of the darkness and show our greatness. We all have it in us.

God Bless