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To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it; I believe it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Save Troy Davis"

“Save Troy Davis”

At 11:08 last night, a young man from our community was murdered for a murder. No weapon was found, no conclusive evidence of his guilt, and 7 out of 9 witnesses eventually recanted or changed their story. There was too much doubt. But the sentence was handed down, the death warrant was signed, his fate was sealed, and his family (like the family of the police officer he was convicted of killing) is feeling what I cannot imagine.

But if the words of the “I Am Troy Davis” campaign ring true, then we can save “Troy Davis”. On your way to work, drive by any random bus stop in our community; you are likely to see “Troy Davis”. He or she may have identification that bears a different name, but look closely and you will see “Troy Davis”. Because a death warrant has surely been signed for a frighteningly significant percentage of our youth, and our future. The kids who grow up in violent homes, who attend poorly managed schools, who live in economically depressed communities, and who consume spirit-stealing propaganda about the material worth of their lives. Their case has been tried, but there is too much doubt. Their sentence has been handed down, but there is too much doubt. Their death warrant has been signed, but there is too much doubt.

Please be advised: the date has not been set for them, and you and I – we can save “Troy Davis”. We can’t change everything but we damn sure can change some things. Let this not be the end of your righteous indignation, rather the beginning. Let this encourage you to CHANGE THE THINGS YOU CAN.

You be the mentor and change things. You be the court advocate for youth and change things. You attend school board meetings and change things. You be a shoulder or an ear for a single parent and change things. You hold your local politicians accountable and change things. You live a life of example and change things. Make a commitment to regularly sacrifice a little of your time, talent and treasure and you change things. “Save Troy Davis.”


Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Tourist - or Soul on Fire

My son and I watched the Tourist last night, and despite the lack-luster reviews it received, we both agreed the show was worth viewing (we are both biased Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie fans, so take our opinion with a grain of Salt - haha, pun intended!). This is not a movie review, but a line from the movie got me to thinking about power struggles and ‘class warfare’.

In the Tourist, one of the secondary characters is Reginald Shaw; a gangster that had $2.3 billion stolen from him by his ex-accountant (Depp). Shaw has done many 'bad bad things' including brutal murders, in order to obtain his wealth and power. During a scene in which he explains why it is so important that he get back the $2.3 billion, Shaw reveals the reason is because he paid for that money with his soul.

And therein lies the truth. There is a big difference between those who worked hard to get what they have, and those who sold their souls to get what they have. It is usually the latter group that fights the hardest and longest (and dirtiest) against any change in the status quo that would see their wealth and power diminish. And can you blame them really?

Hard work may cost a man in terms of time, sweat, tears, and years...but not his soul. A soul is the ultimate price, and once a man pays with that particular currency, losing the merchandise it purchased is not an option.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"One man's back-down is another MAN's graciousness"

...or more aptly put, a pissing contest is a waste of time and piss when you already know who the biggest dick is.