Saturday, April 25, 2015

V = Violence Prevention

Warning: This topic is dear to my heart. A venting spree may ensue.

I've worked in the community for eleven  years. I've helped homeless youth, youth who've been abused or neglected, youth who've become drug addicts, youth who've suffered from a mental illness...on and on.

I live in Chicago.

These statistics are staggering.  I feel it in my bones. Two of my boys have witnessed first hand the cruelty of violence and guns and I've spoken with them about the feeling of powerlessness to do anything about it. I had to teach my children to duck when they hear a pop, even if they think it's a car backfiring. Most likely it isn't. I had to teach them how to react if a police officer stops them. I had to teach them that sometimes you just can't fight back. Running or avoiding confrontation is the best thing. A basketball is not worth dying for.
Can you imagine the trauma? The need to become numb to the violence around you in order to survive? And we wonder why kids aren't graduating, why they are turning to violence. When my son experienced his first confrontation he felt hopeless. He wanted to learn to fight. He wanted to feel empowered. I had to talk him down. Working in the community and with my educational background, I was able to make him "see" that revenge or joining an opposite gang to feel safe is not the answer. But other parents may not have that ability. Or the kids may just say fuck it. If I'm going to die it's going to be a gang if nothing else.
I wish I had a cure all. I wish I could delve deeper and make things better. Should we blame parents? The government? The youth themselves? The "system"?
I have no clue.
I just know that something needs to be done so that our children could live without fear.

Friday, April 24, 2015

U = Under Armour

Under Armour is a sports clothing business but they have this great "I Will What I Want" campaign. If you doubt yourself, need a bit of inspiration, you must watch this video.

Rejection should force us to become better, not give up.
Never Give Up.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

T = #TruthBomb

Truth Bombs!

Danielle LaPorte has some awesome ones here.
The truth hurts. #TruthBomb
Life is hard work. #TruthBomb
You control your destiny. #TruthBomb
Shit Happens. #TruthBomb
Live for now. #TruthBomb
Be your own hero. #TruthBomb
Read subtitles. #TruthBomb
Any others you'd like to add?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S = Self-Confidence

My biggest weakness is lack of self-confidence. I doubt everything, and that gets so frustrating I want to scream.

I found this self-confidence formula by Napoleon Hill. I actually made it into a bookmark and read it every morning as a reminder that I can do better, be better.

Go here for full formula.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R = Re

So...I lost my note cards with my thoughts on these posts. Yeah...not my week. I was debating whether to continue trudging on with the challenge and decided heck yes! Better late than never, right?


What "Re" words am I forgetting??

Anyways, this is a perfect time to start looking at your goals and objectives and make note of where you are, and make changes if needed.

 And the wheel goes round and round...

Saturday, April 18, 2015

P = Perseverance


Giving up is not an option.

I've been inspired by success stories, by hope, by failure. I've been inspired by the youth and families I've worked with over the years as they try to rise above poverty and violence.

To Persevere.

I often have to remind myself that the world is much more than writing, much more than the four corners bordering my block, my home. I have to remind myself that though I am not alone in this journey called life, the drive to keep going, to not give up or tap out on life, my dreams, and goals has to start with me.

I keep going for my kids, for my family, but most importantly I do it for ME.

Giving up is not an option.