I’m presently wrapping up an outstanding book @The Warmth Of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson..Winner of The Pulitzer Prize & voted 10 Best Books in 2010 by The New York Times..If there is any book , I feel, Americans should read to learn more about the migration of Blacks in America; it is this one..Early kick-off on this end for Black History month simply because it is one of my favorite months of the year. And I make NO apology nor explanation as to why..So hang onto your hats, caps, wigs & weaves because I’m just getting started!
..There ARE too many distractions now-a-days; not enough reading. Biggest culprit? In my humblest of opinion; it’s the ‘digital age’. Now onto why I feel this is unprogressive & problematic..>>
*****WE live in a very, VERY literage age..Yet…Only only 18 to 21% of the population qualifies as being highly literate.(According to the 5 yr study by the NAAL )*****
Mayhaps I should’ve begun this post with the story-behind-the-post..Very recently while attending a meeting; an attendee announced that in his opinion “people” just aren’t READING as much as they used to..And that different approaches to “reach” them needed to be set into action. Example he gave was ask any group of people WHAT exactly was posted on a billboard sign they drove by; and they simply wouldn’t know what it said…Well to that I say WHOA & WOW..You mean if that big arse billboard said ” DO NOT DRIVE ANY FURTHER OR YOU’LL DRIVE OFF THE EDGE OF THE PLANET AND PLUMMET HORRIBLY TO YOUR DEATH” Majority of folks wouldn’t “READ” that message? After having my socks blown off in disbelief at that statement though? I decided to google up the real stats on literacy in America..Personally I feel reading is SO important that I began reading to 2 of my 3 sons from the womb..In retrospect, and with what I know now? I wish I’d begun reading to my 3rd son just as soon. There WILL be a test at the end of this post so hopefully y’all are reading THIS..<>
2 B CONTINUED SOON>>
>Taking a break 2night from my normal blog a day adventure 2 give thanks & appreciation to my fellow bloggers…Never in a cazillion years could I have anticipated the many likes/blogging love/warm reception I’ve been shown in my brief time here as a blogger & comments /comment responses when I’ve interacted on your blog sites. This blogger appreciation *award* and post is dedicated in your honor..>YOU ROCK/OMG ya’ll have been fabulous!/& sincere thank you’s for the love & support
>>>> FOOTNOTE= 4 anyone out there that thinks blogging IS easy, it is NOT. It takes a certain personality , concerted effort, time invested, somewhat steady focus, confidence! & in my case a sincere desire to want to reach out 2 others..Plus loving to write helps a great deal. I can’t resist the itch 2 write..Inofitself its a form of self-therapy for me. Many times when I’m blogging I’m writing to myself almost as much as to ya’ll..I think it, free flow it, and when I write it I’m feeling it..when I read it it sinks totally IN. Even with the colorful, confident, vibrant, in-your-face-I’m-here! type of personality I’ve got it still takes MUCH confidence 2 feeeeel what I’ve got to share is special enough to share with the entire WORLD. And what most don’t know? I learned of this website while helping a friend while she constructed a blog site here for our church. Yep! as I was learning this site@ WordPress while blogging 4 our church Faith site..I fell in love with the site and decided to do what I’d long wanted to do. Start my own blog site=which I had to 1st quickly learn how to navigate this site and build my own page. WOW. As I’ve traveled and browsed the blog sites here I’m WOWed so often by my fellow bloggers that in a quick minute? My list of fave blogs 2 read might as well just say ALL. Ya’ll continue to keep ME inspired, ya’ll teach me so much with your outstanding writing skills!, ya’ll continue to touch my HEART with your depth. In my heart of hearts I know I wasn’t led here by accident and thus wanted U all to know I appreciate each & every one of U ; you’ve made my experience here more than worthwhile. And? Until I write/read ya’ll later 2night stay UPlifted & blessed! 4ever sincere Berna(the 1 & only..)
*It would be seriously remiss of me to not write/blog regarding Black History Month. What a great opportunity to rap /teach/share on an array of topics relative to Black History. I’m going to attempt to do a topic a day; beginning tomorrow. However, some of the topics won’t be popular ones by far. Or at least not spoken about “in the open” often at all..From reputed homophobia in the Black community to ARE Black Fathers parenting their children to massive amount of Blacks behind bars to whether the black church is relevant or not these days to why some Black women have issues with Black brothers that date White women …a ton of things I’ve written about and long to share here. I do hope all that read bring an open mind and a willingness to accept that any/all of this is merely one person’s opinion. Mine. Please feel free to share any/all viewpoints . I’m ready if you are..
~To open the dialogue I’d like to say this: For all of those out there who say they’re “not” racist because they have a Black friend! or a White friend!!…That does NOT equate to anything more or less than you’ve got a Black or White friend! And?!? I always wait for the AND part…because I’ve met people who fall into the above category who still hold racist views. Yet they don’t realize it. For instance, I’ve been in situations where people(my friends..) will talk about Black people in a negative & racist manner; and say oh! but not YOU. Wth? Am I not BLACK? But my opinion on the matter is that with honesty anything can be discussed…There IS a discernable difference between racist views and prejudice. Likewise with stereotyping vs. racist views/feelings/beliefs vs. prejudice. I sincerely believe that until these matters are discussed openly , especially with the youth involved, there won’t be a chance for progression. And if we can’t discuss race matters/issues openly during Black History month; when can WE?
**No worries..IF the phrase@The way down is the way UP doesn’t make sense to U yet; it is because you’ve NOT entered the 2nd part of your spiritual life. Least according to the author, Richard Rohr, who penned the book ‘Falling UPward’. A recommended read by one of my spiritual advisors & also one of the BEST books I’m glad to have read. Ever…and ever is a very long time. Are ya’ll ready for the way I see IT? >
**I was simply going to do a review of the book,’Falling Upward’by Richard Rohr(also penned ‘The Naked Now‘which is also on my reading list) then I decided to write my thoughts on his book. Which is SO aligned with the phase of life I’m in right now..feels as if I could’ve written it! Ever read a poem/quote/book and said ‘Dangggg I could’ve/should’ve written that first?!?
The message conveyed with the phrase@The way DOWN is the way UP is simple and clear. >A person can NOT avoid sin or making mistakes in life! I tried waybackwhenIwasstrugglingtobeaperfectionist…IF one tries too hard to NOT sin/make mistakes ; it can (and usually does..) lead to worse problems. Trip on this for a minute…cause I had an AHA moment when I read this in the book . Remember the story about the prodigal son?!? Who had done everything in his life totally wrong? And the other son had done everything totally right in his life? Who ended UP being God‘s beloved?!!!
**ONE of the best-kept secrets of the soul is this concept…One more example before I truly dig into this..Sleeping Beauty! We’ve all heard that fairy tale story told , right? Hows that for an example of LOSS and RENEWAL? She has to sleep for a hundred years! before she can receive the prince’s kiss..WOW thats a longgggg time to wait for some loving! But the question that begs to be answered is WHY is it this concept a secret of the soul?!? Or is it that we make a deliberate choice not to see it? When we see we’re heading into a down spiral we kick and scream against the flow; who wants to go down or what is perceived as backwards? Or worse at a standstill? Why do we “fear” feeling bad for a minute? Especially when in actuality “during” and once pulling out of those awful times…the clarity achieved during the seemingly “stand still ” positions is mind blowing. Or least it was for me. I knew I’d grown in major leaps and bounds when I could finally! glance back(for a brief moment) and see clearly the lessons I was supposed to GET during the awful bad times. One such case in particular my divorce so long ago. I never thought I’d EVER want to love again after that..Divorce to me then meant failure. And failure wasn’t an option for me at that point of my life. Such a perfectionist I “used” 2 be
>In a nutshell its my belief now that NOT only are we to learn from our mistakes in this life journey; we are SUPPOSED to make mistakes. It is a part of the human experience..Isn’t victory sweeeeeter after having attempted , again, after first failing? Don’t we appreciate the things in life that we did NOT take for granted? And the “suffering” periods some of us have been through..often I’ve said I had to learn the hard way alot of times. Could mayhaps that have been the only way I’d finally get “it?” I once said, after divorce, I could NOT wait to get to the “other side” of the funky feeling I felt. And felt that funky feeling for years and years..A friend quoted me on that in one of his published books. But when I finally did get to the other side?! WOW I can’t stop smiling. And smiling. And laughing..for there were a few years I’d forgotten how to laugh. I can smile and laugh because I made it through and crawled my way through alot of shiiiiite tunnels. Would life have been this sweet to me now if I hadn’t had to wade through “ish” to get here?
What I know for sure is for the past couple years I don’t have many rainy days. Maybe a handful…not because crap hasn’t happened. But because I began to change MY entire way of thinking. Entirely. One must learn to find beauty in everything. Even the bittersweet things. The good times wouldn’t be as good; IF one hadn’t also experienced and survived bad times. And that is the way I see it every single day now. From the moment we “wake” up each day we’re blessed! And in my opinion if we look at the fresh start of each day with that positive thought..the entire day can’t be all negative. We only have all bad days if we want to. The choice is ours<
**In observance of this FABULOUS holiday@ Martin Luther King, Jr day..lays ripe the opportunity to speak on a couple topics I adore. Education. Youth. Love. Before I dig in …I hope any/all out there that have this day off from work give a bit of today to say, THANK YOU, Martin Luther King, Jr. for giving US all you had(including your life..) unselfishly so that we might have the freedoms we have today. I/WE appreciate YOU. …
**The above quote @”I have decided to stick with LOVE..Hate is too great a burden to bear”..is in my belief the BEST quote I’ve ever been blessed enough to read. And with all of my BEing I’m also trying to live that out loud as well. There is a beauty in those words and in that sentiment and IF only that message can truly spread like FIRE..what a different country, world even!, this would be. Can’t WE all muster UP the love within US and share it?!? I’ve got my hand held UP high. I think WE can. YES we can!
>>Last night I happened to be in attendance at a event hosted NationWide (in 400 locations…) by a predominantly Black sorority (*round of applause for the ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY) in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr..Called a day of service for MLK,Jr. The overall message was CLEAR..Service WE must & should all be doing to educate, enlighten, and EMPOWER the youth(our future!) There was a panel(which consisted of rising Black leaders & predominant business owners/young Black CEO of a major local bank!/even a newly appointed Assistant City Manager; highly impressive panel regardless of color. Progress! There was a moderator present asking each panelist what “their” advice/suggestions/expertise based on experience was for the YOUTH and for progression for US as a community. In the audience was a group of promising youth already marked as UP and rising..I personally felt, and wished, more youth had been present. But it was a great jump start, I hope!, for the adults in the audience to GO forth and spread the message to others to reach OUT and educate, enlighten, and empower! the youth. The fact that this exact premise was also being held concurrently(same day… ) in 400 other locations across our great Nation warmed MY heart and encouraged me to continue hoping, praying! , that WE shall overcome and continue to progress for I also(like MLK, Jr.) have a dream…
**I have a dream! I dream of a time and space when my 3 beautiful, intelligent, personable, loving , educated, artistic, athletic BLACK sons(my Black princes!) will one day be judged based NOT on the color of their skin…but judged based on who they ARE. Not asking for 2 much; just asking for what ANY other mother longs for her sons. I long for a day when folks don’t fear when walking past my 3 Black sons; for they’re armed with NO weapon other than their COLLEGE DEGREE‘s. Bred & raised with nonviolence and wishing for nothing more than to aspire to their dreams!/their aspirations/their GOALS. I have a dream! I dream of a time and space in which my future grandbabies won’t be LABELED as Black, as Negro, as African-American nor have to fill out that slot on ANY form. I would love for that day to come when people are just labeled as..PEOPLE. Yes, I have a dream! On this day that just happens to also be the day when for the 2nd time in HISTORY; a Black brother is being publically sworn in as President of the United States of America..I dream that ONE day that fact won’t BE so remarkable. I have a dream! I dream of a time and space when to describe people NONE of us label each other as ..The White woman that was there OR! The Black man that was there. WE are all just people…And WE all have alot more in common than different. How beautiful it IS when we just sit and chat/or vibe over the Net/or rap face 2 face and share of ourselves…I have a dream! I dream of a time and space when WOMEN of any color are compensated at the same level as MEN. (based on what they earn & rightfully deserve) I have a dream! When love brings people 2gether. And keeeeeps people 2gether. For LOVE can over-ride any division that lays between US. LOVE can conquer even what seems impossible. I believe. I believe! And I have a dream…As always folks stay UPlifted & blessed. Remember 2 count your blessings 2day and everyday. 4ever Sincere, Berna (the 1 n only)
>>Is the new NORM for society going to be to give IN to things that seem to be more convenient? Anything goes; as long as it is quick!, disposable and easily done in whatever location one might be? On the GO we all go and we have GOT to be able 2 do as much as possible while we’re on the move..Hmmmm lets see if I can present my viewpoint of this with logic and finesse. Topic? Print Books vs E-Books. Can print and ebooks coexist? Will print books survive the growing popularity of the ebook? WHY this an important topic or should BE. Here is the way I see IT…
Yep, I’m old skool in many ways, still! N I make no apologies for it…OLDer isn’t always OLD just simply; BETTER. And I’ll explain why..Ya’ll ready for this?
*I can’t cuddle UP with an Ebook curled UP and fall soundly to sleep. After a day full of peering into my monitor screen I do NOT want 2 have to do that anymore when finally! I can read whatever I “chose” 2 read(don’t ya’ll eyes get tired by the end of the day after monitor reading ALL day long???? If not, then just call me lazy..but I want to relax all parts of my body at days end..including my eyes!) There is a certain delicious pleasure I get when wandering around Barnes N Noble for hours.(just did this a couple weekends ago and loved IT) I am one of the many who LOVE the smell and feeeeeel of books; even flipping the pages. (can ya’ll do that with an Ereader?) I dig having a bookshelf or library of old classic books; I’ve even thought about getting an OLD set of encyclopedias before they’re extinct..I like the fact that my BOOKS can’t be instantly poof! gone in the event of a power outage or etc..(can stilll read them in the sunshine/daylight) I can have many different books open at one time and flip back N forth between them(and I’ve done this..) I can pen/pencil/or highlight areas I want to in a BOOK. I can easily jump between sections in a print book. The tranquility of reading a book on a sunny day laying in a hammock in a pair of shorts N tank can’t be replaced by reading on an Ereader(ya’ll ereader lovers ever try that?) If I drop one of my books it won’t break or crack; and I can still read it without having to fix/replace it. N last but not least I’ve got alot of CUTE personalized bookmarks I can’t use with an Ereader lol!
“Call me paranoid, but it strikes me quite forcibly that in “1984” George Orwell went to some lengths to describe frankly quite implausible futuristic technology which made it possible to alter history by altering the records of history. People and events that were seen as politically undesirable could be erased from the records. This was what underpinned the tyranny of Big Brother. With cloud technology, and all our written records increasingly in digital format how long before Orwell’s future dystopia becomes the present for us? I’m keeping my print books! Of course the other development that made tyranny possible was a radical simplification of language to the extent that it became impossible to give expression to ideas of political dissent – of course that will never happen in reality..”
*Since the 4th Millennium BC with the invention of writing printed word has been in existence..Can something that has survived that amount of time truly be a bad thing?!? Page sandwich/Poor man’s booster seat/bathroom t.v./newspapers’ father…call it by any name a BOOK is worth its weight in GOLD. I’m personally pleased to see the parking lot packed when I frequent the public library..IF we don’t use them they’ll become extinct. There is something to be said about a quiet environment built just to study and learn. READING is truly fundamental..I first learned to read at the age of 3. Or so my Daddy says and I believe him..consequently I passed that love of reading onto my sons. (read to them from the womb and on..) Can an Ereader be passed down to following generations like a good book? Nope! Are we willing to sacrifice ALL of the old traditions we’ve got just for the sake of convenience? How many times recently have we heard or said! that the new norm has no boundaries or limits. WE have a choice and decision in what is proclaimed the new norm..and we can start by keeping some of the old school practices in place. Newspapers are quickly becoming extinct due to online reading…Libraries hours have been reduced due to people buying ebooks..Book prices are soaring to try to make up for the lost profit..(buy a college textbook lately? SKY high) I’ve heard plenty of good arguements to support ebooks over books…But none good enough to break off my love affair with printed books. Since I was a very little girl my Mom told me I could GO anywhere I wanted to by reading a book..N I’ve so enjoyed the many beautiful places books have taken me. Stay UPlifted N blessed. 4ever sincere Berna(the 1 N only)