Random Thoughts of A Harlemite

Republicans are no better than Democrats (and vice versa, of course). We can argue tooth and nail about whose ideology is better, but we must never forget that we are no better than our opponent. The struggles of life reveal this.

Racism is just what it is, no matter the color of your skin. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines racism as:

– the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
– prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief

Whether we like it or not, this means that believing someone is more intelligent, naturally inclined to dance better, jump higher, or run faster, have better habits of hygiene habits, ad nauseum is racist. I’ve traveled the world enough to know racism is by no means an American thing. We Americans just seem to talk about it a bit more openly than other countries (thank God), despite what we may think. Maybe it’s because our country is only 232+ years-old, and we’ve only had one civil war (again, thank God!). Nevertheless, this has nothing to do with my point. Racism is what it is no matter your color. I remember in the early 1990s having a debate with a black-American associate who ignorantly claimed that it was impossible for him, a black-American, to be racist. Shockingly, or proof of where education has sunk, the person has an MBA (from Columbia I believe). I knew then and their what I was dealing with, and started immediately to save my breath. Racism is what it is.

Children are a reminder of how far we grown ups fall from innocence. Want to see how bad the world is? Watch children play? Want to see how to make the world a better place? Watch children play. The answers to both lie in their innocence.

Never expect the person you knew 20+ years ago to be the same person 20+ years later. Whether we like it or not, life goes on for most of us. Some of us choose to go on, and some choose to stay where we are. Thinking the best of people and giving them the respect you want to receive can help avoid awkward situations like discovering, in front of everyone, that you are the one who hasn’t moved on.

There are three words I know that contain a power that few value enough: “I don’t know”. Admitting you don’t know saves time, avoids embarrassment, and shows admirable humility. Folks like that, and tend to be more genuine when you demonstrate such behavior.

The truly humble person cannot be humiliated.

Asking “What did you say?” or “What do you mean?” goes a long way. Folks tend to appreciate people sincerely trying to  understand them.

Guard yourselves against modern-day, dime store philosophy. I’ve heard the famous Dr. Phil say, “There is no reality – only perception.” That has to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard him say. It falls to pieces with just a one-worded question: Really? (definition of really: in actual fact, as opposed to what is said or imagined to be true or possible).



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