Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
~ Romans 12:2
How was 2016 for you? Over the last few months, I’ve heard more and more people who have been eager to close out calendar year 2016 and begin with a fresh slate in 2017. In 2016, most of us were appalled at the ugliness of the campaign for the office of the President of the United States, we have been shocked by violence upon violence both within our country and around the world. Many of us have also experienced intimately the pain of job stresses, family discord, illnesses, and deaths. It can be overwhelming. And, while those around us celebrate and smile and seem unaffected by these things, we may feel that we are…
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Yesterday, I wanted to kill myself.
You see, I was diagnosed with severe depression in 2009. I’ve tried so many different medications, my wife and I lost count. It wasn’t until 2012, after five failed suicide attempts and a near-death car accident, when I finally told my wife about the reality of my brain.
Each suicidal thought that creeps into my brain makes me want to just end it all. “Anywhere else has got to be better than living in this hell,” my brain tells me. “My family doesn’t deserve this. They will be so much happier if I am just gone.”
Each time I tried to kill myself, at the very last minute before I would take my last breath on this earth, I would get a vision. I always saw my boys; I am father to two young sons. Most of the time…
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The thing about letting go is that it’s so much more necessary than most people give it credit for being.
The Apostle Paul said it this way:
13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[a] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Phil 3:13-14 NLT
Paul placed letting go of the past as the catalyst between moving from where he had been, to where he was presently, and to where he wanted to go. In my opinion, Paul captured…
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It’s a shame that no one teaches you this in college.
This is an awesome piece that describes the feelings of many self-described black progressives.
I once set out to write a book of southern aphorisms. It was going to be a serious treatment of (mostly) black (uniquely) southern “mother wit” as philosophy. Then, grad school and so on and so on.
If I were to undertake a project today I would start with a favorite handed down to me from my Aunt Jean who is fond of saying that someone is a “nasty piece of cornbread.”
Cornbread, if made properly, is delicious. Even when it is made poorly it is hard to argue with the beautiful form and function of ground meal, fat, dairy and heat alchemy that sustains, fuels, and serves up sustenance as well as culture and community. Cornbread is, in hip-hop parlance, that good-good.
So, when someone is being a nasty piece of cornbread they are combining the ingredients and process of a remarkable foodstuff in ways that poisons its inherent…
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Today, almost every woman in America is asking this question: How could Huma Abedin stand by her husband, New York City Mayoral Candidate Anthony Weiner, also now known as “Carlos Danger”, and defend her marriage after learning he lied about the timeline of his scandalous cybersex activity?
My guess is that two extremely strong feelings—love and pride—motivated her to speak on his behalf at yesterday’s press conference.
It’s probably safe to say Abedin’s level of embarrassment about her husband’s illicit activities is beyond measure. Her marriage to the one-time U.S. Congressman was supposed to be different. She and Weiner were supposed to be the next prominent Washington power couple. But that’s all gone now, and a curious public wonders why she stays.
I know how she feels.
Today is my 20th wedding anniversary, yet it’s not a day of celebration. A marriage expected to bring about exciting artistic creativity, enduring love and a positive, strong picture of the black family, has been breathing on life support for the past five years. The roller coaster ride of my husband’s mental illness and the emotional abuse associated with it almost made me pull the plug on more than one occasion, but I made the decision to stay. Why? Because of love and pride.
Family and friends thought I was out of my mind. Many witnessed my misery, very much like we watched Abedin face reporters yesterday, and wondered aloud why I was willing to sacrifice a budding career to stay in my marriage after years of horrible mistreatment.
I denied there was a problem for a while, thinking my husband just needed to mature a bit since we married in our early 20s. But reality set in after a few years. My creative, fun and talented husband had sunk into the abyss of a psychosis that he was unable to battle on his own. I was afraid for him, knowing that if I left he would fall into the kind of life he desperately wanted to avoid.
We spent years battling the mental illness in secret, because of embarrassment. I was unwilling to admit the marriage had failed. I almost drowned under the pressure. The pain of multiple miscarriages and an unexpected career transition made me break the vow of secrecy. These issues also made my husband step out from behind the shadows of his psychosis and begin working to rebuild our marriage.
After years of pain, I’m still working to forgive.
Abedin said she has already forgiven her husband for the betrayal. I hope so. But unless some larger political calculations are in play, it seems to me that Abedin may already be headed down the same dark, difficult path of denial and pain I’m still recovering from.
By Eugene Robinson, Washington Post
(Originally published July 15, 2013)
Justice failed Trayvon Martin the night he was killed. We should be appalled and outraged, but perhaps not surprised, that it failed him again Saturday night, with a verdict setting his killer free.
Our society considers young black men to be dangerous, interchangeable, expendable, guilty until proven innocent. This is the conversation about race that we desperately need to have — but probably, as in the past, will try our best to avoid. Read more