Throwback Thoughts: Love Thy Neighbor

I originally wrote this as a Facebook status update in 2018 to express my frustration with America. It’s 2020, and we’re on the eve of a contentious election, our democracy on the brink of disaster. In the last 4 years, we’ve seen hate, the likes of the 1960s, rear its ugly head, once again. I figured I might share this post again, with a new audience in the hopes it might inspire someone to love.

Been working in Higher Education for 20 years this year (1998-2018, I know scary right). The thing about education (be it in the form of college, high school, or the school of life) is that you must embrace learning and be open minded. You must be willing to learn about yourself along the way, as well as learn about other people, other cultures, other perspectives, etc. Hate is home grown and comes out of the inability to not step out of our homogeneous communities to actually meet, live with, and get to know others who are different from us. No one said this was an easy task because we are all raised in different environments, with different parents, family members, friends, neighborhoods, etc., but it is still much easier to show compassion, kindness, and love to others than it is to have a closed mind and hate. You have to work real hard to do that. Now, we don’t have to be BFFs with everyone different from us, but a simple hello, good morning, a head nod, a something, is better than nothing. Then, you are telling people you know they exist and vice versa. And then, if you feel compelled to have further conversation or engage in a social activity (even something as simple as coffee, a drink, etc.) we are all the better for it, even the smallest gestures mean alot, they are building blocks. I have so many friends and acquaintances from all walks of life, from other countries, other states, speak other languages, have different life experiences, all ages, races, abilities, and identities. And no, I don’t always understand everything about who they are, but the one common bond we have is that we try, we talk, we ask questions, we laugh, we socialize, and we share time with each other. That is it. This is what it takes and that is what it will take for #America to get back on track. Hate cannot be our signature on the world. It cannot be what others see when they look at our history. Yes, it’s a part of our history but it cannot be what defines us. #LoveThyNeighbor #LoveIsKind

A Favorite Professor

I’m 47 now, but 23 years ago, 1997 to be exact, my senior year, a group of students from #KentStateUniversity , got on the bus headed to the first ever #MillionWomenMarch in Philly, PA, accompanied by Dr Adilene Barnes-Harden (pictured with us in the Kente cloth outfit, I’m next to her, holding the sign) . During my time at Kent State, I switched my major about 5 times, had some interesting experiences (we’ll just leave it at that, thankfully before the Facebook lol) , and I had some very awesome professors, especially in the Department of #PanAfricanStudies . If there was anything that was constant during my college years, in between all of the fun, it was the classes I had the privilege to take at Kent State. One of my favorite and one of the best professors EVER, was Dr. Barnes-Harden who taught The Black Woman, The Black Family, and other courses that changed my life! She was so raw and so real in the classroom and inspired us as black students on campus! She has transitioned, gone but definitely not forgotten. Ashe! RIP #KentStateForever #PAS #BlackStudies #PeaceAndLove

The Million Women March, circa 1997

What About Your Friends…

When the topic of friends comes up, I’m reminded of the song, “What About Your Friends”, by the group, TLC. In the 90s we also had TV shows like Martin, Living Single, Girlfriends, and Friends that focused on friendships. One thing these shows had in common was that they all had strong friendship groups. Over the years I’ve developed some great relationships with people, some becoming some of my BFFs from various walks of life. In college, I met some of the best girlfriends I’ll ever have and I can now say that I’ve known them the longest, about 20 + years at this point. I’ve also worked and lived in various places and I’ve made some great friends from work experiences? I’ve also acquired a diverse group of friends and acquaintances who live in different parts of the country as well as are native to different parts of the world who have¬†different backgrounds, life, and educational experiences. I’m proud of that. I’m also glad that, over the years, I have been able to be open minded and welcoming, which has allowed me to accept different people into my life, some of whom I may not have ever met, if I hadn’t been open to making new friends. I guess that’s why my friends call me the “social butterfly” with the ability to bring people together and I guess that’s how I ended up in the field of Event Planning and enjoy it so much. It’s the people.

How have strong friendships shaped your life? Have your friendships been long lasting? When we are young we experience breakups, etc. As we grow older, especially¬†in our 30s and 40s, we experience marriages, divorces, child births, graduations, housewarmings, deaths, caregiving, health scares, etc. Have your friends been there for you? If so, how? And vice versa, how have you been there for them? Do you consider yourself a good friend? And if you don’t think you currently have a good solid friend group, do you think you need one? If so, how do you plan to make that happen? And lastly, does being in your 40s,make it easier or harder to make friends or keep the ones you have in your life?

Please share comments below. I would love to hear from you. Also, Listen to my podcast episode on the topic at: https://anchor.fm/theclique/episodes/the-clique–episode-2–friendships-in-your-40s-eaktgo

National Girlfriends Day

So apparently, August 1st is #NationalGirlfriendsDay, who knew? But now that you know, make sure you give a shout out to your girls, your homies, your ride or die women in your life, without whom, life would not be the same! And while you’re doing that, check out the replay of my #podcast episode, all about friendship in your 40s! And share with others! Also, there’s a #Girlfriends show marathon on @tvonetv
https://anchor.fm/theclique/episodes/the-clique–episode-2–friendships-in-your-40s-eaktgo

theclique #40AndOver #the40andoverproject #GenerationX #friendships #blackpodcasters #blackpodcastnetwork