When people hear "government assistance", they hear poor, welfare, Medicare, Social Security, and other "aide" programs. This is a stigma even I was the beneficiary of in some way when I was a child. My mother worked all of her life, but it took her a monumental amount of time to get to a place that she could release herself from the tides of such assistance. Sadly, when we did receive assistance it was only about $64 a month; a result of my mother making 20 cents over minimum wage. But, we were grateful.
Upon reflection, I recall the hindrance that these government programs have placed on progression. Although, for many families they are a necessary source of survival- I wonder why the government has not better positioned itself to actually assist people in programs that proactively help the struggling class of people invest in education, skills, and trades that would lead to a better quality of life. It's a never ending cycle of handouts and restrictions when you're under government assistance. Look at it this way: if you're on housing or receive welfare you can't make a certain amount of money; yet, this amount of money that excludes a person from assistance is not near a nominal amount to truly survive from month to month or week to week. So, what do many people on government assistance generally do? They stay below the level of acceptance into the program; thus, they never get ahead.
Problems are conditions in need of solving. Strategically, the programs that society have in place for growing yourself are either accompanied by more debt or inaccessible because of economic status. However, if you just throw your hands in the air and say, "That's my point", then you've essentially given-in to every aspect of accepting mediocre or less than in your life. There's more to giving-up. Imagine reversing your state-of-mind to one that precludes acceptance of failure; a mindset that is industrial enough to handle even thinking about the "what-ifs" of life. What if you decide to work two jobs for a short period of time while you pick up a trade, skill, or return to school. I get it. I know that this is easier said than done when you have children or limitations in health. But, how often do we realize we're perfectly capable of more but choose less? Many people believe it's safer not to try, because they've decided to believe in the impossible. But within the impossible is the possible; the possibility that you can surge beyond your doubt; beyond the acceptance of controlled assistance.
I stopped by the grocery store on my way home today, and the lady ahead of me went over her budget. Her bill was $32.57 and she only had $25.00. As she want through her purse in search of pennies, nickles, and dimes- I thought to myself no one would have ever known in this area and the way the lady was put together, that she would be in such a dire need. She went through her purse only to find there was nothing there. I took a look at her groceries; the bare essentials of eggs, bread, meat, and vegetables. I subtly signaled to the cashier to use my card, and as I walked in front of the lady to enter my pin-number I saw the gravest look of despair. She thanked me for my help, and I acknowledge with a smile. I used to be the child of that mother, so I understood. I understood her struggle, embarrassment, and pride. She didn't come in the store unkept or seeking a handout, she came inside thinking she had enough to fit-in; enough not to count on any assistance from anyone.
Sacrifice requires a slaughtering of self- doubt. Results are the effect of hard work. There are times when hard word is like exhaustion walking over your heart and brain; for a while there is a fog and a skeleton of pure beatings of the mind and body before you get to the "place" you want to be in life. That's just a part of life. If it were easy, we'd all be the acception to failure and mediocre. But, it's not. Life requires YOUR assistance; your commitment to investing in yourself enough to create opportunity.
If you realize government assistance will only make you die living subpar or less, remember that this world- this life- is all about your commitment, your sacrifice, your desire and passion to make it better.
There are days that are just harder than others. For various reasons, people associate hard days with bad days. However, hard days may be the most important days of growing; the days that you truly recognize the strength within you.
A beast is known as a dangerous creature; a savage. When I was young, I remember watching Michael Jordan play for the Chicago Bulls. It wasn't just his skill that mesmerized me, it was his will and determination to destroy his opponent. Oddly, I never thought his opponent was the other team- I thought it was himself. A beast is a ferocious animal that can only be challenged or contained by other beast. When Jordan went into "beast mode", I felt that the only person who could stop him was his equal part or better. We face opponents every day of our life. Sometimes they stand before us, but most of the time they lie within us.
I don't know if it is a result of watching my mother somehow make Christmas presents appear under the tree the night before, create a meal out of a sac of potatoes and loaf of bread, or make the last day of rent when she started the day out with $1.50 to her name- but pressure doesn't break my pipes. I didn't need to grow-up with a silverspoon to know it existed. What I needed growing-up was reassurance that adversary was a temporary state; I needed to know that challenges were made to be overcome.
Watching someone think is quite remarkable. One day many years ago, I watched my mom sit on the couch with a Virginia Slims in hand. The t.v. was on and her eyes were fixated on it, but I knew she wasn't watching it. She had a stone look on her face- a set focus. I remember counting how long it took her to blink. Fifty seven seconds later, her eyelids fluttered and then returned to isolated focus. I knew what was on her mind. I had a field trip the next day, and I needed to bring $10 and a case of water; she didn't have either of the above.
She sat on the couch for what seemed like an eternity. All of a sudden, she got up and instructed my sister and I to put our shoes on. We drove up to a place with a sign that read: "Car Title for Loan". She took a piece of paper out of the glove compartment and shoved it in her purse. She told my sister and I to lock the doors while she went inside. When she returned to the car there was nothing different about her face. No sign of pleasure or frustration. She didn't say a word while she was driving. When we pulled into the grocery store lot I knew that I would have what I needed for my field trip. The next day, I wasn't "left out" at school because I was "less fortunate". No one ever knew or even cared how I got my case of water and $10, but it mattered to me. It mattered to me that my mom believed that her hard day, her hardships, would not defeat her or her children. Like always, she found a will and a way.
When you are accustomed to performance, you believe that there's always a will and a way. My grandmother Erma once told me, "There's never a reason to be flat broke, because the world is full of money- you just have to go after it." For years that conversation was just about money to me, but as I got older I realized- whether she meant it to be or not- the quote was really about opportunity and mindset. You can either stand back and complain about a situation, or you can take charge of the situation. When you become the controller of your hardships or your hard days, you can stir them in any direction you want. I don't believe in falling without rising. Sometimes you just have to make something out of nothing; it's all about your approach to your opposition. You can plan to be defeated or you can plan to win- that's a totally different mindset.
"Beast mode" is about having the spirit of a champion; it's the last few seconds on a long run when you decide to run harder. If the most successful and influential people threw-in their cards when the tough got tougher, they wouldn't be in the conversation of greatness. What happens when perfection is never achieved? LIFE. Life is the perfect excuse for imperfection. The vast majority of people will ultimately remember one thing when it's all said and done: what you did; not how you did it. When you learn why you do something, what you have to do to achieve it won't really matter.
Commencement: the beginning of new things; the inception of a new stage of life. I think back to the three commencements that I've had the opportunity to achieve admission to; those three pivotal stages of my life stamped with black ink inside a program. From high school, to my Bachelors, to my Masters- they all meant something different. They all represented a new opportunity; a new chance to invest in my future. There's no dollar sign large enough to place on authentic experiences. Commencements represent the conquering of experiences. They are symbolic of achievements that outweigh the struggle to gain admission.
My high school commencement convinced me that education mattered. It gave me an opportunity to break the cycle of un-fulfillment and unfinished business in my family. I remember walking across the stage and hearing my late cousin Tottie, above the hundreds in the crowd, yell, "Handle it Big-T!". Hearing her voice, knowing my family was there, I knew I'd made it and there was no turning back.
College was the best years of my life. Coming from a small town to a big city, I had every opportunity to sink; but I swam. I swam as hard as I could to survive new experiences, most positive and some negative, but most of all these experiences were crucial in developing the woman that I am today. Even on the day of my college graduation, I couldn't believe I was there. I couldn't believe it was coming to an end, and that I achieved another milestone in my life. I didn't know exactly what it meant to be a college graduate, but I knew it meant that I was supposed to do something more with my life; that once again there was no turning back. Walking out of the University of Houston that very warm day in May, seeing the smiling faces of my family- especially my mom- meant more to me than the accomplishment itself. There's nothing like realizing you just achieved a parents dream; to know that those life lectures your parents continually drilled in your head about the things they wanted you to achieve- had come true. There I was giving my mom and my family, a priceless gift that could never be replaced. But, I wasn't done.
My Uncle EKT aka "Butch", pushed me further. He didn't do it directly, but he motivated me by achieving one of his lifelong goals. Attending his Masters commencement made me think about ambition. The greater your commitment to your ambitions, the greater opportunities you will invent in your life. You can invest in yourself in a multitude of ways, but the kind of investment you make ultimately determines its [the investment] contribution to your life. When I received my Masters, I forgot about all the money and time I put into getting to commencement, and I thought about the investment I put into my life. The calculation was priceless, and because I never looked back- it continues to open opportunities in my life.
And now, I sit in my best-friends commencement. Watching her with hoodie in hand, and I think to myself, "I'm still not done." There's one more commencement in the world of education for me, and there's many more commencements left in my LIFE. My ambitions are bigger than my fears and my doubts. There are few principles that others can convince me: to be humble, to be persistent in my goals, and to inspire others. Getting to commencements instilled these within me.
Think about your commencements in life. If you can't identify any, it's not too late. Life is full of opportunities to start again; to begin the re-investment of your life. Find it in faith, family, work- whatever motivates you. But whatever you do, find IT; that trigger that we all have inside to be successful. It's a need; a necessity- within us all. The key is making a commitment to find and focus on IT. Celebrate your commencements. Never look back other than to reflect; always look forward; know who and what is on your side.
I was about twelve years old fishing at the "Number 4" lake with my uncle, when I learned how to overcome fear. My uncle's nickname was "Buck Wild", because if he feared anything he never showed it. He was that crazy- type of CRAZY; the type of person you knew had a short circuit. Nevertheless, he was intimidating. I was more afraid to let him know what I was afraid of, more than just pretending not to be afraid of anything. I wanted him to know that I had "IT" in me; I had the ability to supersede all my fears just like him.
I was afraid of worms. The first time he dangled a live worm in front of me it made me gag. He took the worm and showed me how to put the bait on the hook. He made it seem so simple. After he demonstrated on his own pole, he told me to do the same with mine. I didn't understand why I couldn't just use the fake plastic bait, but I was too afraid of "Buck Wild" to ask. I sucked-up all my fear, took the slummy worm in my hand, and hooked it to my pole. I was mortified by the experience, at the time. But, I did it.
I cast my small pole into the water and waited. I waited for what seemed like an eternity, and finally I felt small tugs at the end of my pole. I had my first "bite". Surprisingly I became so anxious that I could barely callout my uncles' name. The tugging of the rope and the anticipation of what I'd pull from the water had me mesmerized. My uncle came over and told me to hold the pole steady and gently begin to roll the line towards me, so that I didn't break the line. Before I knew it there was a catfish about five inches long dangling from the bottom of my hook. The worm was devoured. My uncle looked at me and said, "Girl you're a natural! You the first one to catch a fish today!" I remember feeling bigger and better; feeling like I had accomplished something. Life is like that. You cast your bait and you hope to hook someone or something to it. However, if you live in distress, in fear that something or someone is out to cause you dismay, then you will never cast your bait with confidence and patience. You will forget the most profiting aspect of life: determination.
If you ever listen to someone with fear talk you'll hear a lot of doubt. They'll constantly refer to potential catastrophes and any and everything negative of living that they can. Most of the time, they don't even realize that they're suffocating themselves with dismay; exhausting any opportunity to be positive. In fact, when you leave the conversation you're either in total agreement because you're in fear too, or you are in complete dismay that you allowed yourself to listen.
Several years ago I was sitting on the porch of my Mammo's house, and I was listening to "grown folks conversation". It was about five members of my family and they were talking about how much money they made, why they didn't make more, who was to blame, and just every thing that fell under "excuses". As a teenager, I listened intently. It was intriguing. I didn't know much about the difference of what they were saying, but what I did know is that the conversation was significant for some reason.
I reflect on the various excuses, relevant or not, that we're said that day and one word comes to mind: FEAR. They were in fear of demanding more for their life. It doesn't matter that they don't have a college degree. There's a backdoor to every front door; the key is finding how to get in. But, that takes real craft and dedication to the "cause". Cycles are broken by the renaissance of demand; the art of crafting something new- something beyond the typical. I'd rather be a starving artist laboring for something that defines me than working for the aspirations or fulfillment of someone else. It takes guts to starve; I'm not talking about ignorant starving, I'm talking about starving because you're determined to cast that bait and hook something substantial. It takes patience, it takes the right bait, and it takes the right location to catch the big game; it's circumstantial.
Circumstances can be created only when you set aside fear of the unknown. There is always consequence to casting your bait. Maybe you catch nothing, maybe you catch the wrong type of something; but maybe when you have the right bait, at the right time, with the right mindset to pull it in- you just might surpass the fear of what's coming out of the water at the end of your pole.
Fear is a weakness to LIVING. Snatch what you want out of life by crafting the right circumstances to achieve it.
A fearless mind is a unique mind. Most people can't think beyond the surface of their own motives and values. A "set mind" is one that refuses to grow, but a mindset is one that accepts the opportunities to grow. Puppets work by the controls of their masters; their moves and mannerisms are robotic and pre-determined. There are a lot of people in the world that either want to control puppets or want you to think like a puppet. To think outside the box, you have to be ready to accept critism and questions, and you have to have the ability and confidence to see things from all points-of-views.
A mindset will face hostility because it's complicated. People with the ability to think in a multitude of ways about society and culture, i.e. LIFE, scare those that can't. For example, having a conversation with someone who has lived the same way most of their life, is completely different than talking to someone that has seen or experienced different ways of living. The ability of our mind to absorb information and understanding relies on the experiences we've exposed it to advertently or inadvertently, and allowed it to learn from.
My career in education has taught me a lot and continues to. Before I became an administrator, I was a teacher. I came into education with a cookie-cutter perception of how a teacher operates. My ideas about teaching were very surface level: you plan a lesson on the subject area you teach; you give the lesson to the kids; you give the kids a test; you make the kids behave; then you repeat the process- this was my initial outlook on teaching. I'm actually glad I came into the profession such an underexposed rookie, with such an oblivious mindset on teaching. The key is I was willing to grow as a learner, because no one had set my mind on what teaching SHOULD be; I simply had assumptions- which are easier to grow from.
My first year of teaching was all about getting to know my students; the realities about who they were transformed how I taught and what I thought about teaching. Through my students, I recalled the core values and motives I had as a student; I remembered the "why" I did what I did, and the "why" my peers who were different from me did what they did. Everything in my approach to teaching changed once I found purpose in why I taught what I taught, and passion in why I did what I did- this is a different mindset.
The more experience and tenure I gained in the profession, the more my mindset begin to question the things that were supposed to be a given. I stopped going to trainings, workshops, and even department meetings and just taking the material or information and using it or not using it with my students or for my personal development; I assess value in the information I'm given. I think about were it came from? Why it was given? Who it really targets? Why it would work and why it may not? I watch and listen to others talk about what they feel about what goes on in the culture of schools and society. I listened very intently for their beliefs, and then I watch what they say or do when others express theirs. I've learned that a "set mind" quickly reveals itself; it doesn't challenge any notions or assertions. It's controversial but not because it's trivial, simply because it's cultivated in resisting opportunities to gain new insight or opinions that doesn't fit in its box. It searches for answers first and not reflection.
Inventors think outside the box. They think of the possibilities of connecting the impossible connections. An innovative thinker will form an image and set their mind on the desire to achieve it, but open their mindset to the possibilities of how to reach it. Each contributing factor to achieving anything in life should be approached with ideas and attitudes that manifest inventive investments in successfully achieving opportunities.
Reflect on how your mindset or "set mind" is creating opportunities in your life or not. The non-negotiables in your thinking are only valuable when they are progressive. If something is not working, if you keep falling short, look outside the box and re-invent your mindset to achieving it.
Disclosure: this is not a post about blame or pointing the finger at anyone for any shortcomings in anyone's life. Before you assume this post is just about "the black peoples struggle", I assure you it's not.
Everyday I am faced with a potential racial, cultural, and sometimes sexist challenge. I'm not one to dwell on ignorance or envy; racism and prejudice views are an everyday part of life. Not that I outright experience either directly each day; no one has called me the "N" word or some other despicable term to my face lately, but I know it could happen any day of my life.
Most of my colleagues, some of my associates, and a couple of my friends are Caucasian. From time to time, we get caught-up in these heavy debates about "being black vs white". Let's be honest, if you are at least in your 20's and have a black or white friend, I would bet money that 98% of you have had a or many similar conversations in this area. Whether you're highly educated or not, this is a intellectually stimulating conversation for anyone. Nowadays, this conversation always comes up when Barack Obama is the headliner and you're sitting in a room with the other race. It's funny how race, not just viewpoints, quickly divides us when we talk about the president; at least in my "southern world" of living in Texas where you are grossly outnumbered if you bleed blue.
The vast majority of the Caucasions I know believe one thing: the black man has ruined our country. They may not say that outright, but it's implied in every accusation they can make. When I ask for one thing he's done right, they say nothing. Not even the capturing of Bin Laden, at the least, can roll off the tip of their tongue. I mean it is one of the few things his predecessor sought to do, but failed to achieve. So, before we even gage the conversation on why many blacks feel "blackballed" from the start in every position, especially professionals, that they hold- what a lot of Caucasians may never understand is that there exist for many people in society of all races a predetermined notion that black people will fail at what they do.
Even the very best and genuine of white people have a naive view about being black; for that matter, so do many black people. Even more striking, is that many white people also have a naive view about being white and they don't recognize it. The "good ole boy system" absolutely exist in every profession. A lot of promotions and deals happen on the golf course, during an occasion like a sports event, and/or over a drink. It's more about who you know than what you know; what you know might get you in the conversation but who you know will likely seal the deal.
The issue for blacks is often that we don't have that "inside track" heading in, because it's harder for us to get "in the circle". There's apprehension on both sides when it comes to building a relationship with a person of another race; our cultures and upbringings are often so obsolete that it takes time to break through those boundaries. However, it's easier and more acceptable for that matter, for a black person to allow a white person into their "circle" than it is a white person to do the same. The reason behind this is we, black people, know that white allegiances are often valuable. They sometimes give us an "in" where it would be more difficult to breakthrough. Even with the very best credentials and education, most black people have a harder time getting leadership positions over their counterparts who have equal or lesser qualifications. If you don't believe this, do the research on corporation or institutional leaders. Professional black people innately believe that we have to always dress, act, and work hard to stay afloat; there's less room for us to make too many mistakes. These are all ramifications of "blackballing".
On the other hand, this also happens to white people but in a different way. When a white person is ostracized from the "in-crowd" they are very confused by it. They don't understand how they could be on the "out" of their own "in". Take for example, a white colleague in the same position as you will have a much harder time dealing with slow promotion or exclusion. They will constantly say, "I don't understand why "they" don't value me. I don't understand why "they" treat me like I don't exist. I don't understand what "their" problem is with me." They will have a harder time recognizing any character flaws or voids in their work that may contribute to why "they" won't allow them in the "circle", or recognize they just don't fit the powers that be "in-crowd". They likely won't even realize that internally the issue is "they" don't understand why their own kind doesn't accept them. It's a reality I see everyday. This is also "blackballing" in a different form.
Recognize that we all live in a society of visible and invisible boundaries. If you feel stagnated because of who you are, no matter what race or sex, find another avenue to get to where you want to go. Remember that the grass is not always greener on the other side, but it may be better trimmed and have less weeds to sort through. Don't close off your opportunities because your too busy focusing on what's NOT going to change; sometimes you have to move along, to the left, or to the right to make things happen.
This is a "blackballing" life sometimes, but "blackballing" is just an experience- it's not the final say so. It's not worth the time to get caught-up in pointing the finger at the obvious. Press forward and build relationships with people because they bring a sense of purpose or value to your life.
You learn a lot about people just by observing. There's so much value in intently watching others. How does a person act in certain situations? How do they act around you versus others? What do they say when faced with unique questions? What do you consistently see, hear, and feel when you are around them? There's so much to pay attention to; so much to learn about life. The most powerful and abundant tool in the world is our relationships with others; how we build them and what value they bring to our life.
She could've been something special; she could've been an incredible SOMEBODY, but she let "IT" ruin her life. It wasn't a drug, it wasn't a man- there wasn't a single finger to point in her demise. She came from a good upbringing, not perfect, but good. Sure she wasn't perfect, but she was a decent person; no one who deserved bad karma. She had dreams of becoming a doctor, a wife, a mother- dreams of living in Maui and buying a house on the beach. She dreamed everyday of her life about the things she wanted, but she never made any of them come true.
The first opportunity she had at going to college, she flunked out after the first year. Too busy hanging out with "friends". She partied Thursday-Sunday, and slept Monday-Wednesday for an entire year of her life. When the words "Academic Probation" appeared on her first semester transcript, it never dawned on her that she was in trouble. It wasn't until she was denied financial aid that she realized she really messed-up. She went home after her first year of college with a total of 9 credit hours; she never made it past her freshman year.
When she found her "dream guy", she let the influences of some of her family and friends tear them apart. He was a successful banker, had his own car, good credit, ambition, committed, and didn't come with any baggage. He treated her like a queen, but he didn't allow her to settle for subpar. He wanted a partner, not just a house wife. He made it a point to remind her not to get caught-up in family and friend drama. He refused to accept the negative influences of others in her life. So, they [the others] played the "blood is thicker than everything" and "who was there for you when..." cards. They convinced her he was just "stuck-up" and thought he was better than everybody else. She begin to nod along with them; stopped coming home to him; stopped trying to better herself; refused to listen to anything he said. He got tired of fighting for her love and attention, so he let her go.
As she continued to fail at relationship after relationship, not just with people but in all aspects of life, she slowly begin to lose self-confidence. Every failure chipped away a piece of her spirit- her soul. She'd have conversations about doing this or that, but she never did anything to make positive impacts happen in her life. She sabotaged every opportunity that came her way. Because she lacked direction, she became a lap-dancer to every shiny quarter and new face that came into her life. She never focused on achieving one solitary thing in her life; except failure. She never recognized how the relationships she built with others affected the way she lived. She died drinking dreams; drunk on empty relationships and imaginary goals.
I've met this girl many times; I've seen "IT" take her down. Some people spend a lot of time "drinking dreams"; gulping everything around them that taste good- not paying attention to what's really in the glass. Life can be a sad parody: a commercial of propagandas to provoke inadequate emotions. If you can target a persons emotions, pin-point what drives them up or down- you can essentially control them. Control dominates in many ways. Envision what obsession would look like personified. It would be a fixation, a mania, that has the ability to capture anyone willing to allow it to rule their mind- this is control. How much control you allow people to have in your life does effect the way you live.
Watching someone fall from "IT", drinking dreams- these illusions that were never going to bring anything valuable to their life- is tragic. You think about the " if onlys"; "if only" they had payed more attention to the intentions of the people around them, "if only" they learned from their mistakes, "if only" they were in control of their life. Watch what you feel your "cup of life" with; everything that looks good, tastes good- is not always what's best for you.
Dreams are not meant to be drunk; they are only visions of what could be. What's real are the goals you actually set and pursue in your life. Stay in control of YOU.
A lot of criminals are masterminds full of ignorant choices and wasted brilliance. Imagine all that brain-power in one building; one institution of ambitious mindsets that gravitated to do wrong. After eight years in education, what I've learned is that the institution of education has not built enough capacity in understanding and reaching out to the identity of it's community. Granted, we simply "can't save them all", but what CAN we do to positively impact the "criminal minds" of today?
As an administrator, I am constantly encountering students that talk about one common theme: we [those in education] don't understand them. As I dig deeper into what they mean, it becomes crystal clear to me that many students don't feel as though their identity is recognized in education. This is a feeling that the identity of their family, their community, and their circumstances are not valued or understood by the people they spend almost two hundred days a year, five days a week, and seven to eight hours a day with. Think of it this way: What would it feel like going home to a stranger every day? How would it feel to go home and not believe that anyone in your household loved or cared about you? When I think about those potentially brilliant minds that fall through the cracks, it reminds me of why I do what I do and why I've formulated my ideology of what being a woman and a man means in society.
It's no secret in my family that we have individuals that have served time in prison for various reasons. A few of my family members, I won't name names, could be some of the most brilliant criminals I know. Everything from making and distributing drugs, to orchestrating thefts, to stealing identities- they've done it. It's a sad but true thing to admit. I've had many conversations with all of them, and the one aspect of their character that sticks out to me the most is that they have some of the most driven go-getter attitudes I've ever seen. It's disappointing they never learned enough to influence them to make the right choices; never found enough reasons to buy-in to the system of education to become something; never earned anything to show for in their scheming; never found enough purpose and inspiration to understand that if they put as much effort into living right- into finding something meaningful to focus on in life- they would never have been anyone else's captive.
You become your own recruiter of salvery when you manipulate the structure of your life by falling into a "sucker" mentality of living. Fools hussle for stagnant gain. The percentage of criminals that fail at schemes supersedes the few that die successful criminals. Why self-employ yourself to be a puppet to the "chase" of being "caught-up in that life" every day? Why look over your shoulder when you could be running harder towards authentic opportunities to control positions? Positions that give you real clout to impact your life and influence others? Talk money with a petty criminal and it sounds like pocket change and it looks like struggle; talk money with a successful person in any LEGAL profession and it sounds like power and it looks like control.
If you decide to make your living in "Crook-lands", there is one guarantee: you've already failed at freedom. This is something the crook on the "corner", in the "lab", and even those hiding behind the titles of CEO should know: dirty money doesn't give you freedom. It's dirty for a reason. Dirt leaves a trail; a sludge of events that can be connected with a rope or chain. Never bond yourself to this lifestyle.
Education has to be a real opportunity at escaping "Crook-land". It is the first opportunity that any of us have to succeed. How can we better our future without an educational system that seeks to build the capacity of the external and internal relationships of stakeholders? I'm not by any means pointing the finger at either side. I play for both teams, but my boss- the one that controls my decision making- is students. We cannot afford to continue to leave kids in "Crook- land".
Teach your child, your sister, your brother, your nephew, your niece, your student- how to find value in LIVING a purposeful life. Expose them to knowledge and experiences that take them out of the "gutter" mindset. Anyone can fall victim to "Crook-land" without a positive purpose to LIVE a better way.
Let's grow each other.