Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Reinventing Ourselves: Don't Get Stuck with Your Old Self

When we were born we were what our parents expected: Precious Babies with a lot of promise. Even if we came into this world with a visible defect our mothers and fathers still wanted us to be more than a mediocre human being. The expectation for us unattractive - but cute to our parents - newborns was: to be the best we could/can be. This has always been someone’s wish. A wish that for so many turned into a nightmare or a beautiful story that will be told once we leave our physical selves, and become one with the spirit realm. So, as this year closes I have a question for you: Have you become the best you could/can become?

Usually around this time of the year we hear or read messages that prompt us to reevaluate our decisions and assess where we are in life. We spend countless minutes trying to tally up the good we have done, analyzing the pain we have caused, and we spend an enormous amount of mental energy regretting. I recall years ago saying to myself, “Brian, you shall not have any regrets in this life – so live!” At that very moment I decided to live a life worth singing and dancing about as I listened to someone besides myself sing that song that has the following words in it: “As I look back over my life…”. Now, that I have lived a pretty decent life (according to my evaluation) I still yearn for the day to come when I can say with confidence: I am the master of my world, controller of my destiny and ruler of my fate. Will I ever be in a position to say this? Will you? If we begin or continue to reinvent self, we will. But, if we stay in that same drastically unfulfilling, tediously monotonous, and unchallenging place we will travel the slow and boring road of mental/spiritual death instead of flourishing in every imaginable capacity.

I hear ya: ‘Another motivational speech from another person who has no clue what my life entails.’ This is how I sarcastically respond when a stranger starts to insinuate what I need to do to live a fulfilling life. Perhaps, it is my arrogance that somewhat shuts me down or maybe it is my passive approach of not facing the TRUTH? For me, honestly, it has been me evading the truth. Dodging the reality of my life. What is the personal truth that you have failed to address?

Are you doing what Frankie Beverly sings about: Running Away? If you are you are not alone. This is the reason we have New Year Resolutions. All year, we knowingly ignore what is RIGHT for us, and at the end of the year we somehow decide to face the music. This is our way of ‘starting over’ when in fact we never seriously began anew. No, we just go along with this end of the year commercialized process - some of us with good intentions – because everyone else is doing it, and believe it or not creating a resolution helps us feel better about our failures, short-comings and/or personal defects. Failures that occurred, and later helped me remember this: ‘God did not make no mistakes.” This often blurted-out statement from momma was enough for me to ‘get back up’.

On December 31st we will make another commitment to get it right – but how long are we going to spend ‘getting it right’? Shouldn’t there be a litmus test or a thorough analysis of where we are with the promises we made twelve months ago? Perhaps, we are taking the WRONG approach if the resolutions are a repeat of 2007’s.

Reinvention vs. Promises

What are we doing to reinvent Sherri, Patrick, Brian, and Sabrina? For the sake of a better you, me, and the world it is our responsibility to become a different and improved person each and every year that we live. A better parent, friend, sibling, business owner, employee, etc. If we take the same actions (promises) in 2008, we are truly a fabrication of what our parents expected. We are nothing more than a precious little baby in an adult body who fails to truly be the BEST he or she can be. We are nothing more than a ‘being’ that’s passing through life, and a human void who’s not having any impact on changing lives simply because you/me refuse to become a new and fresh individual (reinvention).

Don’t ya wanna get rid of that old self?

Examples of Reinventions:

Arthur Ashe – once a tennis player – died a committed civil rights activist
Queen Latifah – was a rapper – now an impressive vocalist
Sidney Poitier – once an actor – now a compassionate humanitarian
Iyanla Vanzant – was an abused spouse – now a dynamic speaker
Muhammad Ali – once a boxer – now an international peace icon
Maya Angelou – was a madam – now a phenomenal poet

…and all those men and women who are not notable celebrities. Those REGULAR FOLK! They are within our communities. Let’s become one or either search for them.

Take a look at the most popular New Year’s Resolutions. Should I be surprised that honoring the Golden Rule is not on the list?

How can a concept that’s woven into the moral fabric of all civilizations, most religions – but be obviously irrelevant to most of the world’s population not make the list? Are we really trying to LOVE one another?

The Ethic of Reciprocity is universal:

Written by Muata. Inspired by those souls who have been taking advantage of Self-Reinvention.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

10-month-old Pittsburgh baby dies after rape, assault

The Defenseless Continue to Suffer because of God’s In-action?

After reading the above article title (green font) in an online newspaper, and later summoning enough courage to read the article with the hope I would not become irate and/or puke-ish, I decided to engage a few people who are accustomed to me responding to both joyful and horrific newsworthy events. When I do this with detestable specifics I often times irritate those who are on the receiving end of my relentless frustration with the world – but in most cases I learn something from that welcoming friend and/or fellow blogger.

In this case, I must admit that my gloomy subconscious, and undependable and unstable conscious will not allow me to learn a thing from my readership. Old age revealed: Stubborn or either Jaded? You decide. Nevertheless (and typical), it was re-confirmed that most of us are more than likely religiously and theologically confused. Including me - after spending $50,000 on a divinity school education. We should just humbly confess together: we are utterly feeble-minded when it comes to making sense of human atrocities that leaves us asking the question, Why?


Please click on the link below before reading my pontification. (If you cannot access the web page please scroll down. The article is pasted below). After you read the elements of the tragedy please help me understand that lingering and unanswered question: Why?

Muata’s Search for Answers:

Where is God? Was the killing of Da'Niyah Marie Jackson in His plan?

The more and more that I become wiser with age I am beginning to believe that we, Believers and non-Believers, really need to re-consider saying and believing: "God Blessed me, God provides, God is good, God protects me, Without God there is no me" if we cannot provide justification for why BAD things happen to good and sinless people. Despite what that book of contradictions (The Holy Bible) tells us, Da-Niyan was sinless. White as snow. Unblemished! But, there are those who will tell us that she was created in sin, out of wedlock. Therefore, she is subject to the sinful acts that routinely occur in this world. This is one of the numerous views that ridiculously permeate within the Christian faith. Believable!

You can say, 'Brian, you appear to be so angry and/or distraught when it comes to religion and God' - but I contend that there is one question NONE of us can appropriately address or answer: WHERE IS GOD? Why does the evil criminal element flourish while the innocent suffer? There is no doubt that sanctified individuals will sincerely and self-righteously rationalize their beliefs and answers to these questions – but will they select to reason in a way that does not include a belief in this absent God we foolishly fear? No, MOST of these committed church-goers won’t do this because of the jitter that they have: Afraid to consider that there is not a God. However, when we take full stock and theological inventory of all the evil that occurs AROUND the WORLD, the following may not be a bad option: Not Believing. Some do say that Satan is winning and that he is the Ruler of the Kindom (John 18:36), so why believe in God, the apparent Loser?

But, for now I will continue to BELIEVE with the recreant thought that God will banish me to hell if I do not believe in Him. Who’s the wimp now? In normal circumstances (non-spiritual) my friends and associates would call me a PUNK AZZ BITCH for being scared. Why not now?

I am certain of one thing; I am tired of waking-up to another tragic episode! History and the disgusting present proves that there is some good in the world. I know that, but I am ‘lost’ when trying to think of what I would say to the parents of Da'Niyah Marie Jackson. I guess I would give the same ole 'justification' that I learned in pastoral counseling class: “God knows what's best. He has taken this baby to remove her from a sinful world. God is in charge. It was not in God's plan for the baby to live. Lean on the Lord for an answer, He will give it to you”. Would any of this Christian rhetorical babble help you with your lost/grief/pain/anger?

What say you?

Written by Muata. In honor of God’s forgotten: Da'Niyah Marie Jackson. She is one of millions neglected by Mr. Omnipresent.

November 24, 2007. PITTSBURGH (AP)

A 10-month-old baby died after being raped and beaten by her mother's boyfriend while the mother was at work, police said.

The infant died at Pittsburgh's Children Hospital on Saturday afternoon, two days after the alleged assault.

Clinton Smith, 30, of Pittsburgh, the mother's live-in boyfriend, remains in custody after being charged with rape and other offenses. Additional charges could follow an autopsy that was scheduled for Sunday, authorities said.

The mother told police she left the baby with Smith on Thursday morning when she went to her waitressing job. Smith was also caring for his 2-year-old son.

The mother found the baby unresponsive when she returned home at about 9:30 p.m. and called paramedics. The baby had severe bruises on her face, arms and legs, as well as a bite mark on her chest, police said. Doctors told police she had also been sexually assaulted.

A preliminary hearing for Smith was scheduled for Wednesday. He was awaiting trial on an unrelated June charge of simple assault, court records show.

In a separate September 2006 case, a woman who has two young children with Smith was granted a protection-from-abuse order against him after she said he attacked her and their daughter.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast