Category Archives: Life

My respects to Dr. Maya Angelou

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I was looking down my news feed on Facebook when I stopped on this video on Dr. Maya Angelou. This video speaks volumes for both her and Dave Chappelle. I do not need to add any more than what this conversation is saying. Please take a look and enjoy. Thank you Mr. NKrumah Lucien for sharing, as I have shared onto my news feed as well.

 

The ending had me. Rest in peace Dr. Maya Angelou.

 

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Let the chips fall where they may

Drawing by Jay Roeder

Drawing by Jay Roeder

Let the chips fall where they may…

I wish I could do that.

 

I often wonder how many persons in my generation know how to play the game of chess. Of course this view is a biased one, as only those I surround myself with will taint me from the true picture. I don’t know anybody who does and if so, I have never played with him or her. Not a very popular activity by societal standards. I always felt grateful for that advantage from the day my father taught me. I was also thankful for the opportunity to practice with his friends when they came over.

Now, not so much…

I was so young that I have since then forgotten the standard strategic techniques along with their names. I do, however, remember that I once knew them. I remember going on the computer to play (the most entertaining thing at the time) chess. I remember losing so badly. I remember practicing so hard to predict opponent’s movements, perfecting my techniques and executing them. I remember never being able to beat neither my father and his friends nor the computer, but I survived a bit longer.

I remember…

This clearly isn’t the monotonous ‘I worked hard so I miraculously beat everybody else who apparently sat around eating chips all day’ jabber. No this is about the after effects of my dedication toward achievement.

Sounds like the complete opposite to me! 

At such an age, I may have related chess in an improper way and should have discussed this with my parents to correct this future problem.

Oh well!

I find myself predicting people’s reactions. Not in an ‘Uh-oh I know I’ll be sleeping on the couch if I answer this question’ manner. Rather, I sit and contemplate a number of paths that a certain activity may take and based on that visual picture, I make my next move. Potentially leaving nothing for anybody else to work with. As well as leaving half of my thoughts exactly where they are, in my head.

I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Emory’s World. An all access key to thoughts I should no longer keep to myself.

This has cost me a lot however I have learned that it allowed me to react logically, and with understanding, to numerous scenarios.

I think it’s time I cut my losses and skedaddle.

I gained the positive, now I should drop the negative half. Easier said than done right? There’s one thing my friend’s mom told me that was so simple yet it just stuck to me. Stunned me and made me smile for some reason, at a time when I wasn’t able to smile. I explained this habit of mine and her response was, “So can you not do that please?” I love simplicity; just do it.

 

Let the chips fall where they may.

You made a decision, stop trying to create another network.

Sit back, grab a beer and take a breath.

Let the chips fall where they may.

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Be a man

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 Be a man.

Growing up, this was a very over-used statement. Anybody could say those words or around that ballpark. It ranged from childhood peers, to the media, and even those relationships I held so dear. One of the deadliest statements to make me do something stupid is written in italic right above this paragraph.

Producers for kids’ cartoons nowadays have to conform to the rise in angry parents worried about what their kid is watching. In hopes of preventing the horrible morals, that gave them the success, which they enjoy today, from entering the mind of their child. Pretty late to be playing the “blame mommy and daddy” card isn’t it? Our terrible childhood that has made us punctual, respectful, courteous and understanding must be destroyed. Our parents exposed us too much, hit us, and clearly ruined our lives. So we must vow to let our children run free and hold off on the problems in society until they get to the age where they should have been prepared already, then we tell them how to prepare for it.

Or something like that.

Where does that leave us? The delinquent generation with a predicted, technologically crippling generation to follow?

Sounds like confusion. I, my dear friends, surely am confused.

 

Being a real man.

What does that mean? Did it use to mean something else and now it has changed? Chivalry, is that what being a real man is all about, being chivalrous? I have never came across a woman who agrees with me when I say chivalry isn’t dead. Am I holding on to the past, the past where I’d get one across my back for putting my elbow on the dinner table? Or rather, are my eyes closed to the present where men don’t see that they are degrading themselves by degrading other women?

There goes that term again, men. Here used to collectively call the male gender.

I remember it once being a hurtful phrase by those girlfriends that weren’t happy with how you were treating them. I want a real man. To any of those girls I now say thank you for showing me your level of maturity and good luck with that.

Harsh? Ok, maybe I just say good luck with that.

If you were to search for “be a man” on Google, you would find a wiki link on steps to becoming a man. Also a nice documentary that links bullying and suicide to the phrase be a man. Let’s examine why I don’t see the link between these two; bullying and suicide to the phrase. So let me get this straight. The pressure of being a man in sixth grade drove you to the point of suicide when you failed to act like one.

I remember playing pokémon on my Nintendo SP in the sixth grade.

Where did this pressure come from? Insecurities. What is the definition of insecurity? Lack of confidence in oneself. One smack on my backside sure made me confident that whatever I did was wrong and put me on the right track. Not exactly the definition of self-confidence but with a lot of options taken away, it made the path much clearer for me. How I should or shouldn’t act quickly formed itself in my mind not leaving much space for insecurities where I neither bullied nor let bullies affect my little path.

Thus bringing me to my last point. My parents have yet to ever utter the words to me, “Be a man Edsel”. Yet those very people carve the only resemblance of an idea of what it truly means to be a man, out. Those spare the rod and spoil the child, don’t need to monitor my children’s computer because we trust them to not deviate from their paths, don’t need to write letters to every media station out there because we know their minds aren’t easily molded like putty, kind of parents. You know, the obsolete kind of parents?

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Uninspired Inspiration

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Struggles hinder us, as we are emotional beings. Emotional struggles render us human beings useless. It doesn’t matter the nature of the struggle. We all go through it with anything that we decide to make important to us in our life. Friday my dear friends, somebody I made important to me left to return home. Just for the summer. I may even do the same in the next couple months. Yet here I am, plagued with writer’s block and “sit and home and do nothing” syndrome.

It makes no sense to me. So let me try to put this misfortune to paper (metaphorically) in hopes of understanding it.

Does it always make sense? The heart wants what the heart wants. Even when you ask it to stop wanting.

Clearly it’s Batman while the brain is Robin.

What I mean by this is, logically I can’t think of why I feel this way – believe me I have given myself all the time in the world to think. So in a sense, the brain just takes a back seat to the emotions of the heart. We are emotional beings.

Dammit! 

When we broke up I guess you can say that it was a logical decision. Ok maybe it was a bit more logical than what I’m letting on. Based on my previous circumstances, I made changes. This one by far the hardest but it was still made. When did those months put themselves there?  I truly feel like I just woke up from this coma. I knew I wasn’t connected emotionally (there’s that word again) to anything, I knew what I was trying to do and was formulating how to do it, but I didn’t see this happening. Any of it.

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans” – John Lennon

Indeed it truly is. This lesson along with those of his more recent posts, I read so eagerly from this blogger, Matt. Even in his claim of not knowing what he is doing, he still forms a guide for someone like me. His experience is being absorbed by this in-experienced mind. In this thing we call life it’s good to know that you are not alone sometimes.

I think it’s interesting how I felt like I was going through the motion of everything and now that I feel an emotion, I feel connected to that last time. That last moment when my brain tried to be Batman.

Love will be love. No matter your definition of it. I believe that each and every one of us has his or her own interpretation of it and trust me; you’re right, don’t worry about your friend’s relationship. Now don’t get me wrong, this weekend doesn’t make that r-word any less spine chilling. I am certain that this is a mutual thought. The step forward may just be a metaphorical one as opposed to a literal one.

I want to understand this weekend. There’s something to be learnt here. So this is my uninspired inspiration.

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. 

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Home is where the heart is.

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I was 18. I wasn’t ready. This came at a point where I was excited, happy, animated and I thought I was ready. In fact I thought I was more than ready. With all the family issues daunting me at the time I wanted to run to my salvation, to get away with a clean slate, as far as I could.

You see we are all wrong; we all talk about a dramatic entrance when it’s all about the dramatic exit.

I had my family, I had my friends and I had my girlfriend with me. I could have stayed in touch with them right? New age technology allows for that so easily. I wasn’t really losing them so why should I not be excited for what’s to come. I traveled a lot every summer but never stayed away from home for more than 3 weeks and only once had I ever gone to Canada. A new land to conquer!

Boy was I wrong. Boy was I scared.

Not only could I not escape anything that I was trying to run from but also now I no longer had my support system to help me through it. Skype wasn’t enough to save me from crying myself to sleep at nights. I couldn’t let my girlfriend bare through this as a by-stander helplessly. Making her feel inadequate. I was alone. Not because I chose to be but because I needed to be.

I lived an entire year, my first year in university on Skype. My mind was on how great it would be to be back home soaking up the sun and partying. Being with my girlfriend. An entire year of wishing I was somewhere else. Looking back I would never wish that on anybody else. Don’t torture yourself like I did. I needed to face my problems in the present and not be living in the past.

THANKFULLY I did/am!

Entering my second year I had no patience for this problem I had over my head for an entire year. I needed to stop running and deal with it. Only half way through the year had my persistence shown fruitful. I lost everything to build back a new something. I will explain in later posts what I mean by this but my point of all of this is; home is where the heart is. I spent a crucial year for me wishing I were somewhere I spent the year before wishing I wasn’t. Ottawa must be a great city and I will keep you updated on how much it is as soon as I start living here. I just left home.

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Blogger by day, Hero at night!

Anything can happen after midnight in these streets of Ottawa. A casual walk home from enjoying the night out with friends can turn into a story of a damsel in despair in need of help. That’s exactly what happened last night! Backing out of a cab was a gorgeous young brunette coaxing her equally as beautiful blonde friend to do the same task. It was a task indeed; it didn’t take me two steps passed them to realize that this girl needed help. As I offered my services, which was pleasantly denied, her blonde roommate decides to prove to her that my assistance was needed. She begins to gyrate and easily slips out of the hands of the brunette in her attempt to walk on her own. Convinced, she asks me my name as she allows me to hold up her friend and we begin to walk. With one arm around her roommate and one arm around this new stranger, the confused blonde swivels her head in my direction and back trying to assess the situation. Distressed by our attempts to make it seem like she couldn’t walk on her own, she bolts off down the street with her roommate at her heels. I wanted to run but I knew she wouldn’t get far and low and behold they barely made it halfway down the block when they collided into each other and fell over.

This was the only serious part of this anecdote because the blonde fell into the street. So I quickly picked her up and brought her to safety. The two girls were laughing and enjoying themselves the entire time, honestly so was I. It was so good to see loyalty between two roommates like that. Especially on the last fall where the blonde got hurt and her roommate vowed to stay there on the ground with her as long as she wanted. Not to mention how stunning they were doing everything with drunken grace, would love to see them work together under normal circumstances. Anyway to make a short story long, I helped her get her friend through the door and continued my casual walk home.

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Why do we dread the dreads?

Isn’t Jesus portrayed as a tall man with long hair and equally long beard? Don’t tell me that that was a long time ago and things have changed. I will say that it’s now 2013 and things are changing again! Long hair is beautiful. A popular saying parents teach their children to tell themselves when in a sticky situation is “What would Jesus do?” Well, I ask you, while staring down the doors of a barbershop, what would Jesus do?

 

A job, we all need one right? A means to making money to live comfortably in modern society. So would you agree with me when I say that a job is a necessity? A need rather than a want? Then why do employers have the power to deny anybody that necessity simply because their hair or beard is long? Well kept hair and a well marked, full beard shows dedication in my opinion. Clearly the bald old men sitting in their comfortable chairs casting away longhaired job hunters have never had the task of maintaining a luscious mane. That is based on a very stereotypical opinion of a fortune 500 CEO, I admit. However, if they have one about long hair why can’t I have one about them? Just as mine is ignorant so can theirs be. Long hair doesn’t mean we smoke weed and are delinquents in society. A regular old, good for nothing. That is not fair of a judgment for anybody to make, far less those with our future in their hands. I understand that every institution has rules and those rules helped them be where they are today. What I am against is discrimination of an employer based on their own perception of being well groomed. It is understandable to be asked to cover it based on the rules of the institution. However, to be forced to cut it would be asking me to go against my own “rules”.

 

I have an example which comes from a news article I read about my home country. My alma mater was under media scrutiny for having a child sit outside of all classes as he refused to comply with the hair standards of the school. My former principal stood firm and even pointed out and quoted the line from the book of school rules given to every first year. It basically said that a student must be well groomed with his hair well kept etc. He even accepted that times are different and he did not ask the student to cut his hair, he simply asked that he cover it. I fully supported my alma mater knowing that we were the best because of our structure. So I stand firm today, in my belief of my right to expression in hopes to enter a job market with employers with an open mind. What kind of man would I be without my virtues?

 

I hate to play the race card in this day and age but unfortunately I have to. Slavery was abolished some 320 years ago yet Black people still segregate themselves. In this case however, it hits home. I am from a little Caribbean island that is not called Jamaica. Long hair amongst the locals from where I came from is prominent in young men just starting off their adult life.  A life that can’t be started unless they cut their hair. No matter your credentials, your hair must be kept flat for a decent living. Without a job, tell me where else can a young mind find money? I am not implying that criminals are created only because of their long hair but the “ghetto boys” have such a bad reputation in society. Their hair has nothing to do with it! We are Black and proud. We say that but are we really? I surely am. If we were, won’t we be fighting the stigma and proving it wrong instead of fitting in to the constraints forced upon us? Gays have been fighting for so many years and look how that has paid off. So many couples have considered themselves married for years before they could finally be allowed to. That is Gay and proud! Or is it a pride thing, where we believe that we should not have to fight for anything? Where we are all Kings (remember this is about men with long hair) and everybody has to understand how you feel? Get off your ignorant high horse and realize that nobody is isolating you but yourself. Everybody has to fight for what they want in this world believe it or not, no matter your colour, age, height, build, hair colour, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs you have! It is time to realize that nobody is being more racist than Black people themselves. Ignorance isn’t racism, not everybody is aware of their surroundings therefore it is our job as a prideful race to teach them, not say “fire pon dem” and leave them in their ignorance. I digress!

 

I may be criticized for generalizing my topic to race but I was raised in a Black society so it is what I know. I am fully aware that this is not the case and everybody may be suffering the same fate. However I will leave you with this anecdote. As I said, I am a Caribbean born child. One day, my friends and I were chilling in my room when my mom walks in. She strikes up a conversation with one of my buddies and me about our growing hair. Having heard this lecture for the past year or more, I quickly left the conversation. He tried, to no avail, to persuade my mom that it is a form of expression and that he saw no reason to cut his hair; he was just having fun. He tried to add that even his own parents were ok with it. Nothing penetrated her, not even a little bit. Not only that but the gusto with which she said how she felt ruined the rest of the night for him and he questioned his return to my house ever again. That evening, one of my friends was not present. He is Caribbean born as well but lived abroad and has a mixed background. Needless to say he doesn’t have “nappy” hair like us. She has never once struck up that topic with him. The same summer of that incident, he too was growing his hair. I even poked the situation by asking her directly, what about him? She brushed it off and never gave me a straight answer. Am I not to believe that an Afro, plaits, twists and locks are regarded as unmannerly and unacceptable in society? I am sorry that my hair can’t lay flat when it is grown and the only style I can try, after spending my entire life cutting it and marking it, is either an Afro, plaits, twists and locks. No, I really am not sorry. Long hair is beautiful.

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