Wednesday, March 22, 2006


A few years ago there was a Seinfield episode that had one of the characters involved in a social experiment to test the idea that married men saw an increase in the number interested women while wearing a wedding band. True to form the character though normally unable to attract the opposite sex, found interest from a number of women, all whom made reference to his wedding band. In America the wedding band has long since been established as a symbol of fidelity and unity. Two morality issues that seem to become less common each year with the growing divorce rates, teenage pregnancies, and other child bearing out of wedlock.

In the spirit of the “social experiment” (along with the fact that I am impoverished enough to qualify), I spent a few hours at the Dayton Job Center interviewing and applying for public assistance. I hoped to develop a better understanding of how the system worked and why so many of my peers seemed content to live the lifestyle offered by the public assistance programs. What I was introduced to is a social system so inefficiently developed that it has ultimately evolved into nothing more than a trap. Public assistance has become a lifestyle in my community. Some people go to college, some work in factories, some get on welfare. (Some go to college and still get on welfare!)

I was assigned Food Stamps and instructed to report to a WEP (work experience program) in order to build skills and subsequent recommendations from the employer. Not once was I asked if I had any meaningful skill sets, the level of my education, nor what I held as a career goal. It was implied that I had decided to enter the system and allow the government to control my destiny as my income source and sole provider. In theory the idea of gaining skills at the WEP would be beneficial in a long term job search. Unfortunately skills like filing papers, data entry, and picking up lunch for the office are a long way from my expressed career aspiration of being an attorney. Not to mention the fact that I would be in essence volunteering for the minimum wage equivalent to food stamps. People often wonder why underprivileged communities never improve, why there is a trend of poverty within certain demographics that has carried on for generations, well here your answer! The system is set up to mentally degrade the people it is intended to serve. One feels incompetent, non deserving, and unenthusiastic to do anything. People in the system often accept their fate as determined by the benefits rationed off at the first of each month. Crime is a natural by product of life in this system. If you work in a job that pays more than minimum wage you become ineligible for benefits. Anyone that held a job in high school knows that $5.15 isn’t going to get you a pair of new gym shoes, let alone afford you the ability to care for your self. As a result many subject themselves to selling food stamps (fraud), selling themselves (prostitution), or even selling drugs (murder). A perpetual state of disorder results, young black boys and girls go to jail, and their children grow up without role models.

The experience left me humbled and motivated somehow to make a difference in this world. Where I’m from knowledge of seselfself motivation, self esteem and self perseverance are imperative characteristics to have for a chance at success. I make a habit out of leveraging my skills into opportunities and attaining my goals through success in those opportunities. I am goal oriented and willing to ask for what I want. I’m seeking a break from the seemingly predetermined life of a young black man in a crime ridden city. The chance of a lifetime lies with a seat in your program. I am an optimist that believes a shot for me is a step in the right direction for others from similar backgrounds.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Full Court Pressure

It's Saturday and I'm watching the Duke/GW game and I can't help to note the irony. My mind is weird but here it goes: So GW is renewed for there defense. They use an aggressive trap to make sure that their opponents are unable to score points (attain their goal). George Washington (GW) not like the GW Bush but I guess it can be the same thing, feel me? The government has us trapped in America, we are under pressure by GW to make sure that we don't attain our goals.

The newest frustration I have identified is with the public assistance program that many under privileged youth depend on for financial support. I spent about 2.5 hours last week signing up for public assistance in the form of food stamps. We decided that it would be at the very least be worth a try for me to get them. I admit that it may be wrong for me to use something that I really don't need, but I plan to pay a substantial amount of taxes in the near future and I want my money's worth! Plus, my parents are not exactly well off and any way that I can help, I want to do it.

So after a series of watching a video, waiting, and being interviews I was granted food stamps, the catch is that I have to work 17 hours this month and 29 hours there after. Now, I did the math and that amounts to about $5.15 (min wage) in exchange for the disbursement of food stamps. My issue is how will my situation ever improve? How is satisfying a work requirement for the cost of food going to help me secure financial freedom and rid myself on a dependence on the government to keep my refrigerator stocked? We live in a society where we are assigned a fate and forced to deal with it there after. The theory that the rich are getting richer and the poor have no hope. It frustrates me that this is the plight for so many that look like me. Why are we put in these positions in which there seems to be no way out? I can't imagine how my parents were able to live off the rations that were allocated by the government. I admire them and anyone else who is able to make it out of the trap. The unfortunate thing is that I don't see how it can be done while maintaining a virtuous existence. No wonder so many are selling food stamps, drugs, and even themselves!

The carrot is dangling out there... promises of happiness if we can just make that next buck, buy the newest of this. I'm glad that I am growing out of my officiating on the material as I improve my spiritual relationship. I fall but thank God for giving me another chance and not having me feel as if I am trapped. I pray that one day I will be able to empower the underprivileged in some fashion. I just want to break the trap!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I said it

I wanna say that I am all cried out, but I stay frustrated. Is this someting that I grow out of , is this ever 100%? I have in my mind that I want to be assured that I'm on her mind.

What's Next?

A depressed mood is generally situational and reactive, and associated with grief, loss, or a major social transition. A change of residence, marriage, divorce, the break-up of a significant relationship, graduation, or job loss are all examples of instances that might trigger a depressed mood.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

So That's It!

I realize that my insecurities are going to have to come a head at some point. Further evaluation brings about the realization that my obsession with sports is that it gave me an outlet in which I could shine. I often find myself frustrated because I'm not the tallest, most outgoing, articulate, or attractive guy most of the time and I crave to lash out. It's enough to be me and trust that those people that God has for me to interact with in my life will surface and I will have meaningful relationships with those people. I have to stop feeling lonely and secretly coveting the spotlight. Instead I need to focus on being the absolute best that I can be at whatever I'm working with.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Seuss Nah!

There are two characters: one named Sam-I-am, and a second who is never named. Sam is filled with energy and enthusiasm; his opposite number is morose and irritable. The plot revolves around Sam-I-Ames efforts to get his friend to try "green eggs and ham" (as described above). The friend refuses to eat the dish, and only wants to be left in peace. Sam-I-am goes through a variety of locations (house, car, tree) trying to persuade his friend to eat, but without success.

The triumphant conclusion of seas tale occurs when Sam-I-Ames friend, standing in shallow water after a train crash, surrounded by various people and beasts, finally agrees to try the dish and turns out to be a great enthusiast. The instant turnaround in the anonymous character's attitude is somewhat similar to that of the grins, whom Sam-I-Ames friend physically resembles except in having floppy ears.

I do not like them in a box.

I do not like them with a fox.

I do not like them in a house.

I do not like them with a mouse.

I do not like them here or there.

I do not like them anywhere.

I do not like green eggs and ham.

I do not like them, Sam-I-am

I have come to realize that I do not like what everyone else likes. That's ok because I was made to be different, to adhere to the standards set by a higher being than man. So I can take the criticisms, cold stares, and uncomfortable enviornments and stand up say I DO NOT LIKE IT! What a profound message from a text that was born out of a bet between an author and his publisher.


I lie motionless in a porcelain casing I had filled to the outer brim, I was crying.
Now that the reality of the day had set in I realized that my life would never be the same, I was hurt. All of my creativity and passion for life seemed to have passed, a glimmer of hope took form in the shape of memories. I had become an articulate assassin, accustomed to being healthy in the mind. Who are you and what did you do to me! Where is the youthful spirit that accompanied me through all of those long hard nights, the times when I didn't know that I knew? What has become of he that fought, figuratively and literally, for his beliefs? Did you rob yourself of you by trying to conform? Have you not had a good heart all along? Why then did you threaten so many, is it because you personified self esteem? I miss you, please come back, you were my motivation! He put you hear for me, because everyone knows that I'm too weak to go at this alone, I'd never get it done by myself.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


SO long but not goodbye
Just promise it's not forever and I won't cry.

SO long, not goodbye
Forever together means I can pass tonight.

SO.. so long but never goodbye
Let's just use this as a faith building exercise.

SO long as you go do what you need to do,
Look at it as if that you doing you, works out for me too.

SO.. As long as you need, as long as you enjoy it... It's cool.
In the meantime... I'm getting home together SO that it's ready for you.

To My Heart

The best I can do is write it out in hopes that he will work it out. I have come into this with a renewed mindset trusting that I will be where I am supposed to be as long as I do what's right and maintain a healthy relationship with God. So even when I wake up with bloody noses after having dreams of my teeth falling out, I can be ok to start a new day!

I know you have only been there for few days, but yesterday was truly the first day that I was uneasy about the situation. I have worked on my end to begin to move beyond my insecurities and grow into the man that I need to be. I have long since proven that I am not perfect nor without faults, and am ok with myself being myself.

Our situation is truly difficult because being lonely puts one in an altered emotional and mental state. One that may allow us to do things in which we would otherwise not think of. I pray that we move beyond those uncertain feelings, but I also realize that nothing happens over night.

Earlier this week I sent you some scripture about “seasons”. When I first read the information it brought peace to my soul as I was able to relate our current situation to just that, a season. When we look at our relationship as long term then four days can turn into four months and we will still be ok.

Markia I realize that I can’t do much for the situation beyond being faithful and supporting you the best I can. I can not “hope’ us into a healthy relationship, and as I have become more comfortable with that I believe it is making a better man as a result. I will continue to ask that you work to not assume that I am upset about everything. I know that sometimes when I make assumptions about how you will interpret my actions it is my conscience talking, and maybe that means I feel bad for what I’m doing and I try to put it off on you as a measuring stick to see if it is ok.

I want you to know me. I want you understand me. I want you to be my most intimate friend. I want you to have access to that most private space in my heart, my soul. I want you to go see that Tyler Perry movie. There is a scene in that movie in which Maya Angelou and Cicely Tyson are talking about the type of relationship they fear that too many young people will be unable to experience. I was so overjoyed because what they described is exactly what I have with you in our good times. I guess you can say that it was an “affirmation” . I have been looking for the poem “In and Out of Time” by Maya Angelou it is so prophetically written that I wish to share it with you.

We, on my end are going to be ok, as we work to adjust to this new life. I know that it is still a bit scary and exciting all at once for you out there. I got my first glimpse into that excitement that you feel yesterday as I finally started taking steps with something concrete for my next phase. I don’t know if it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life, but I need to accomplish something and do well with it for my ego. I am truly disheartened by how this football stuff turned out over the last year or so.

Who Am I?
I am an aspiring intellect, inspired by my surroundings to achieve. Because I am not there yet I am motivated everyday that I open my eyes, to challenge myself, to become a better man. While I may fall short some days, I am pursuit of those bad days to be less frequent then those that would be considered a success. I'm hard on me and refuse to become complacent because society says that I should be content with things that I have accomplished to date. I strive to be extraordinary, a change agent, stable, healthy, happy. I am my harshest critic and my biggest fan.

Who are you? What do you think of how I see myself?

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Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

What have you done today?

I have accomplished much on paper but to me I have not accomplished enough. I lack a challenge and am looking forward to how I will respond. I don't even remember how I grew into the person that I am, he who is expected to be good at everything in which I involve myself. I wish I could say it was tough, but I don't remember working for it. People led me along for too long, it was too my detriment. Now I'm scared, nervous that I will never live up to the person I am trying to impress aside from God, me.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Poppin' Tags

Went out today.. left the tags on my new shirt! I guess everyone knows that I am a XL now!

It's crazy the things that invoke the insecurities that shape our everyday actions. I hope to one day grow out of those things, but can we ever really?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I'll Take It!

It's ok if this doesn't work out.
It's ok that it's not really what I want.
It's ok that what I want, I have not yet found.
It's ok to be nervous, anxious, a little insecure.
You are sure to figure this thing out one day soon.

I can't help to be a bit apathetic as the March 7th pro day approaches. It's as if my mind had decided that that's not the lifestyle that I want for myself. I want to be 180 and pain free for a little while. I'd like the money, the fame, the experience but I'm sure that I will find my niche in this world one day soon. I'm tired of being scared. I love myself and we know that I can make this happen. I'lll bet on myself and God anyday!