Shouting out Pregnancy News on Valentine’s Day!!!

Valentine’s Day has a combination of people that want to take the day to spread the love to others and of course with anything else there are critics that want to put a damper on it by saying we should not only take one day to say I love you! Well folks for those that know me I am all about the romance and try to make my family and friends feel the love on a daily occurrence, however I am not ashamed to say that I enjoy trying to make Valentine’s Day special each and every year, because you only live once (YOLO)…LOL! This Valentine’s Day unlike others in the past holds a greater place in my old ticker, since Team Zebra is PREGNANT…well my wife is preggo so you get the gist. We just finished our first trimester a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to write this post dedicated to wifey on this joyous heart day to tell her thanks for carrying our baby and that I love her (start the rolling of eyes for those fellas that are reading this right now).

From the day that we found out that we were going to be 3 I have been thrilled! We have been going through every step of this pregnancy together, however it is hard to describe how much I appreciate everything that you have to endure during the entire pregnancy. The first day you told me at like 7 pm that you were going to bed I was shocked but smiled and knew that our little PEANUT was going to work in your body. Previously people have told me about this pregnancy glow that occurs and I was like okay sure, yet I might be seeing things but you always glowed but you are extra shiny to me now. You just walk in the room and the whole room feels like the whole room is surrounded by the sun…This girl is on fire!!!

Of course there has been the nausea that we knew was a part of this experience, but gentlemen who kept reading this did you know morning sickness is a sham? These poor women are really dealing with all day sickness in some cases! I must admit that I had some man guilt when you were dealing with the throwing up, but you were a champ and got through it with an eventual smile after taking a rest. Not going to lie, it was a bit funny when you would change your outfits like four times because you felt bigger. Hopefully my reassurances that you were just pregnant helped a little, if not, my bad for the chucking internally but I understood your concerns. From my sources I hear that there will be some moodiness down the road, but as I told you last night bring on the tears and the angriness, because I will make it my mission to make you smile eventually each and every time (crosses fingers)!

I know that I have not blogged in donkey years, however I thought on this day dedicated to love that I would write this post to you to let you know that I am thankful for you. I am thankful for everything you have to endure carrying our child. I want to let you know again that you are doing great and are going to be an amazing mommy! Happy Valentine’s Day and I love you!

In case your pregnancy brain kicks in I will print this off, so you can remember the steps we went through our first trimester! LOL.

With that said, Team Zebra is PREGNANT!!!!! Happy Valentine’s Day to ALL!!!

When Is The Last Time You Pushed The Pause Button On Life?

When is the last time that you just stopped to enjoy life with your person? I mean just literally hit the pause button on life and really appreciate some time with that special person you have been privileged to have in your life. When I look around my office or step outside, I am constantly inundated with images of people that are in a rush to get from point A to B and have forgot to smell the roses ( cheesy as  that may sound). Just the other day while the sounds of the new John Legend album were echoing off the walls of my home, I jumped off my seat and located my wife in the other room to just slow dance to the music. She must have thought that I went mad, but she could not hide her smile while we moved our feet to the beat grooving across our floor.

Of course I am an advocate on personal success and acknowledge the necessary grind to get there, yet at the same time I appreciate being funny, silly and just me around my wife. Unfortunately life can be snatched away from us at anytime, so we need to make a conscious effort to stop pushing the fast forward button on our life boom boxes and try to find time to party like it’s 1999! By this I mean doing things with each other that makes your people know that you really are excited to be around them and want to see the world with them, share a laugh, and conquer a fear or just sit on your stoop and enjoy a drink.

For my married readers, I know you all heard folks telling you that once you got hitched that life as you knew it was over. Well I know I heard a slew of people (usually single) that wanted to paint life after the nuptials like it was a real life episode of Married with Children. I tried to tell them that they were being foolish, and to be honest, man were they so wrong. My first year of marriage was a damn blast! Wifey and I have always been totally in sync; however I had no clue that our decision to dedicate our first year of marriage to fun would be so varied and exciting. We have travelled abroad and at home, been to countless concerts, tried new recipes and supported each other through fearful events. For those that know me I am not too keen on heights or the drops in roller coasters and with the support of my wife I managed to see NYC on the Top of the Rock and kept my lunch in while dropping out of God’s sky at Canada’s Wonderland. We actually turned our marriage back to when we first started dating and just found things that made both of us excited about life and did not allow our daily work life get in the way of our enjoyment.

My request to everyone is that when you get home tonight, find that someone special and take a second to just dance or make them smile. This is not only for my married folk readers, if you live at home dance with your mom, single parent find your kids to shake a leg or just do something simple like actually call a friend to catch up. When I was growing up I would witness my parents acting silly around each other and slow dance in the kitchen. Back then I thought they were weird, but nowadays I relish the opportunity to bust-a-move for no reason with my lady!

Smell those roses tonight when you get home or throw in a oldie but goody movie and share a laugh…I promise you it won’t hurt! (You can get back to being busy tomorrow…or not!)

Never Giving Up From A Runner’s Perspective

 

In 6 weeks I will be running my first half marathon, I am ecstatic about finishing the race and having another running accomplishment to look back it. By far this year has been the year of running for me as I have signed up and finished several races from 3 to 20 kilometers. After taking a year off of running last year for personal reasons, I would never have imagined that this year would be my most successful year when it comes to personal bests for times and distances completed. If someone would of told me two years ago that I would be preparing for a half marathon, I literally would have laughed out loud and told them that the best I can do is a 10K race. However, we are all in control of our own destiny and as I once heard dreams only end when you stop dreaming, so I made a pact with myself in January that I would make 2013 my running year, so I made my running play list, laced up the sneakers and just started running trying emulate Forest Gump and keep on running until I could not run anymore!

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I was so eager to sign up for my first race that I did a 3K tune up race in the middle of winter! I woke up all energized in January and drove across town, however Google maps took me the wrong way for a portion of the drive. I made it to the start line seconds before they started the race! Imagine me starting the run pinning my number on and getting my Ipod ready for this very short race, but even though the beginning was hectic I got my groove back and was flying through the course. Although I did not drink any water or stretch I was still do just fine, until I got a cramp in my leg with 1K left and I had to hobble to the finish line while trying to maintain a smile on my face at the finish. After that run I thought to myself that maybe I was not cut out for running and should be happy that at least I was able to finish one run for the season, then I had to internally slap myself and get my mind right again to keep motivated.

Well for me I needed something to put in my sights in order to dust myself off from what I felt was a failure and get my Nikes back on the road to improve. There was no way that I was going to sit back and let the season pass me without getting at least one 10K completed for the 2013 year. With that said I signed up for one in April and began finding free time to train both physically and mentally. Honestly it is more mental than physical, because if you start thinking of reasons to stop, then there is huge possibility that you will no longer think you are the little engine that could and stop! If I was to tell you all the Jedi mind tricks or lies that I have told myself to push further, I might need to write another blog entry. For example, for any runner reading this, have you ever told yourself that you were only going to go to the next hydrant or light post, but really knew that once you got there that you were just going to say just another one? I actually got to a point where I knew the exact amount of hydrants that were on my route! Sorry for the quick sidetrack, yet I just wanted to re-enforce how important getting your mind right is or running any race.

The day of my 10K in April, I knew what I did wrong for my initial race, so this time I fixed all the no nos by arriving to the race early and stretching. This was my first race at this distance in quite some time, but told myself to run my own race and everything will be fine. You know when you have trained correctly when you feel like you are on autopilot and just enjoying the sites until the race is over. I was in that grove that when finished the race I knew that I should of put on the after burners and finished the race by sprinting it out…okay maybe not sprint, but at least finish with a quicker pace! Once I saw my time I knew that I was right to think that I could do several runs this year, so I signed up for other races. I am not going to lie that I had doubts that I could ever sign up for the elusive half marathon, but when the competitive side of me comes out, the personal challenge had been triggered. Before I would decide to do a half I saw that there was a 20K tune up race and it was going to be the race that would determine if this year was the year for Danion (Yes I am talking in the third person) to conquer his goal. Funny thing is that the 20K is only like 1 and a bit kilometers off from the half! I drove my car and designed a route that was close and spent many weekends and nights training to accomplish it. There were many practice runs that I made it far in the route, but I was having difficulty completing the entire course. I got a bigger water bottle to help me beat this distance, since it felt like I was trying to run up Mt. Everest. One morning I kissed my wife and told myself that this was the day I did not let this distance beat me, so I went off on my journey and when I could see the finish line I was beaming! My legs were saying something different, but damn it I knew that I was capable of finishing that distance. With the 20K in my rearview mirror, I got home and signed up for the half!

Last year I became more of a cheerleader to my friends that racked up some major foot mileage and I vowed to get my running bucket list completed. The half has always been a dream of mine to conquer, so I have updated the play list, made sure the shoes feel comfy and keep practicing even when I feel like just planting myself in front of the TV!

On October 20, 2013 I will be able to say that I finished 21.1 kilometers and will feel mighty fine! Wish me luck and I hope you never start dreaming! Running was my thing, but I would like to hear of things that you have done to impress yourself.

The Acceptance of Ignorance

Should ignorance be accepted due to our surroundings and environment where we grew up? Have you ever decided not to react to someone’s blatant racist or stereotypical remarks? Unfortunately I have and to be honest I am going to make the assumption that most of us have been exposed to a similar situation. By the time we internalized the comment or behavior, we have felt like it was too late to go back and actually feel like we will be seen as the villain if we brought it to the attention of the person after the event had already passed. Well, we need to bring it to light and let those that have offended us in any way that their behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. I am not trying to say that by doing so we will change the world, but hopefully we can change a person’s actions when they realize and understand that certain jokes or stereotypes are not funny and actually disrespectful.

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I am not sure if any of you have tuned into Big Brother this season, however the behavior that was being exhibited at the beginning of the season was very cringe worthy. The fact that 3 people have lost their real jobs in the outside world tells you that the companies where they were employed felt so disgusted that they had to terminate their employment. One of the guilty parties would make fun of all races in the house and thought she was auditioning to get her own comedy sitcom. She was relentless and would call people all kind of names and even went as far to say that one of the housemates of Asian descent to stick to cooking rice (behind her back of course)…Coward! Many people would have private conversations and the entire house would agree that she was racist, but in order to save their game they felt that they had to pretend like they heard or saw no evil. Even those that were directly placed in her crossfire, made the decision to allow her to keep on keeping on without any making their feelings known to her as she was in the majority power group in the house. I am not a super fan like a lot of you out there so I do not watch the internet live feeds, however with all the murmurs that had to be travelling through the house she must have known her ignorant ways. Well that was my thoughts until the episode aired that showed her “friend” who was not targeted by her rants going to her room and letting her know nicely that her so-called jokes were viewed as racist. Now before I tell you her reaction, just think of how bad you would feel if someone told you that your actions were racist? I could not even fathom the idea of being informed I was acting in that kind of way. Well instead of her being disgusted with herself, she instead took the victim approach and compared her jokes to people saying she was blonde????? Really? No seriously that is your comparison? Those were the questions that I blurted out loud at the TV like I was actually a contestant on the show. 

Fast forward many weeks and even months she changed her ways for the name of her game, but every eviction week you could see the host Julie Chin salivating at the opportunity for her to be eliminated. I watched Julie’s other show where she  discussed how much she was deeply hurt by some of the comments that were be tossed around the house. When the ring leader of the negativity was finally evicted from the house I was so excited, because she had pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes and had a great chance to win the entire game. She walked out of the house and was greeted by Julie very professionally and was upset about her elimination, but homegirl never knew what was in store for her. After asking a few standard eviction questions, Julie started to read back a few of the comments that she had said and I could see homegirl’s heart drop out of her chest on live TV. Her response to defend herself was that where comes from this behavior is acceptable and no malice is meant by it. Well watching that interview might not have made anyone feel vindicated, but it might have just changed a few people’s perception of their own behavior if it resembled anything like what she presented in the months she was in the Big Brother house.

Looking at this example, we need to all make a better effort on trying to voice our opinions when we see that someone is using words or actions that is a serious offence to ourselves or others. We need to stop being the turn a blind eye society and instead find ways to help alter the mindset of others to refrain from hurtful behavior. If we each take a stand in showing people that we will not sit idle and watch them be stereotypical or racist, then maybe we will help change their stance. Each of us is in charge of our own environment, so we need to all get our inner Bob on and ‘Get Up, Stand Up, Stand Up for our rights!

Who Said I Am Too Old To Celebrate My Birthday?

This morning I woke up remembering the anticipation and excitement that built up every year as my birthday approached as a kid. The joy of having one day of the year that all my friends would come together to celebrate my special day had to be one of the coolest experiences every year growing up. My mom would bake a cake and frost it to perfection, my lungs would get exhausted from blowing up balloons for decorations (later for balloon wars) and picking out the best clothes I owned to stand out above the rest. We would play all sorts of games and just really enjoy each other’s company with the star for the day being myself.

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Although the day would be centered around myself I can still remember the shared excitement we all felt together when I opened my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game (B,A,B,A, Up, Down, Left, Right, B,A, Start), or when I got a pair of Larry Johnson’s Grandmama Converse shoes. In short birthday celebration for all my friends at that time was a blast to host and be an invitee.

As I have gotten older I have seen many people that no longer want to tell anyone it’s their big day, or rather take the time to harp on things they have not achieved in their lifetime.  Being miserable on your birthday? Looking at the day like you should be ashamed of yourself for feeling special? I have even been approached by another guy that tried to gain support from me with the notion that guys are guys and birthdays should just be swept under the rug as another day of getting older. He went on further to say that they should only be on a need to know basis and not made into a big deal. Unfortunately he did not know who he was speaking to as no matter how old I am I still love celebrating my birthday. Why not? It has nothing to do with presents or an extravagant party, but just a great excuse to take time out of our busy schedules with those who matter the most to us.

I know most of you remember the jingle, “I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid”. Well to me on my birthday I revert back to my childhood and try to avoid the stresses of being an adult. I am aware that none of us are Peter Pan living in Neverland where we do not get older; however we need to take a day out of our schedules to at least reflect on the positives we have accomplished over the year. In a future entry I will discuss the importance of finding time to appreciate one’s self, but for this entry I just want to reiterate that no matter how old I turn, it is my mission to continue celebrating my birthday even if it’s just a quick 30 second dance party by myself just to say I celebrated.

In my case one week from today will be my birthday and as you already can tell, I am ready to shake a leg and spend quality time with family and friends. I have never wavered in my excitement about the day of my birth. For those of you that know me…ask my mom! Ever year she will ask me the same question, “Aren’t you too old to celebrate your birthday?” Reading this entry I can imagine that you don’t need me to answer that question.

 To sum this all up, if you ever wondered if the text/facebook messages or funny voicemails sent on my birthday go unnoticed and unappreciated, you are completely wrong. I read and appreciate them all. Life is too short not to take a moment laugh, live and celebrate your birthday!

Black History Is History For Us All!

Ridiculous…You’re going to relegate my history to a month? ~ Morgan Freeman (June 14, 2006 interview on 60 Minutes).

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Recently I heard a clip from one of the greatest actors of our generation regarding his thoughts on Black History Month and I was intrigued on Morgan Freeman’s views on the annual monthly celebration to remember the triumphs and legacies of our current and past heroes. To summarize his position, my interpretation of his thoughts is that he feels that black history should be a topic discussed in various forums and not only be brought to light every February until the month is over to be stored away in a box collecting dust until the next year rolls around.

My initial reaction was somewhat of disbelief, as I never thought someone would reject the idea of highlighting our past, current and future leaders and accomplishments. Although the clip that was played for me was very brief, I could not stop it from playing in my mind, so I found the entire interview on the internet to try and dissect the words from one of my favourite actors. Within the interview he clarifies his message by stating that, “I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.” Of course it is more than just American history; it transcends the entire world, which makes it world history!

Thinking about Black History Month for myself I have looked at the pros and cons of his interview and have deduced that I fully agree and disagree with his sentiments. It is very unfortunate that we have to designate a month for when we are supposed to teach society at large of the sacrifices and achievements that were made to allow our generation to have the opportunities that we sometimes take for granted, or just do not understand the effort that was put forth to enjoy the basic luxuries that are afforded to us today. To know that in the not so distant past, black people were not able to vote, were treated as secondary citizens and schools were segregated by the colour of your skin seems like a horrible nightmare. But it’s true. During every February I am always astonished at the information that is communicated from various mediums about people that I never heard about to those who are well documented with their place in history. I love hearing about Martin Luther King, Barack Obama and Rosa Parks, but there are other great influential leaders or success stories like Lincoln Alexander, Marcus Garvey, Alvin Curling and Mary Ann Shadd. They all have done their part in some way to inspire people of all colours in a large forum or even just in their small local communities. Of course some of these names are recognizable, but even with this miniscule list there are names that no one has a clue who or what they have done to inspire others.

Going back to Morgan’s point as I see it, I agree that we need to make it a goal not as a black community but as society, to make important historical figures of every race taught in our school systems more frequently, discussions need to brought up in community outreach groups, books need to be more prevalent in our libraries, so that the need for a month is not necessary as it is a topic commonly discussed in any month of the year. We need to get to a point in the near future where when someone talks about black history, we do not look around the room trying to find a black person to explain, since “for sure” they know everything about it. Not true! Even the people I named above, I might only know a little about them. Being able to sit in a room and hear a person of another race tell me or someone else about a great black figure that I did not know about brings me great joy.

It was not until University that I truly understood how the power of being taught black history could be so influential and powerful to the mind and soul. I took a Caribbean Studies class and my tutorial class was filled with only black students, except for this one white guy. We had a research project and we had to pick topics from our course material and of obviously I wanted to get music as my topic, as I thought I would be able to kill that topic and skyrocket my GPA based on my findings. Fortunately I did not get it as the one white student received it and let me tell you that I am so glad that he won the battle to present on the topic of a well-known reggae artist, Buju Banton. He began his presentation advising the class that he had never heard of Buju and how he went out and bought his CD to listen to it just for the assignment. His eyes then lit up with excitement as he went into great detail to let us know the message that was being performed on every song and how it related to the class and how  influential it was to him . After hearing the presentation, it was truly an inspiration to have this white student have the entire room amazed at his description of the music and be able to teach many of us new things that we never understood previously with the songs. This example is to show that once we are all taught about our history and when I say “our”, I mean every race, then I will be able to truly agree with Morgan Freeman that Black History Month will not be needed. However until then I believe it is necessary to continue to shed light on the success stories from the amazing work done by black people in history.

 

Mental Toughness and the Cold

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Last night as I was briskly walking downtown trying to brave one of the coldest days of the year, my manager and I had a discussion about how we have lost our mental toughness towards winter now that we are “older”.

We both reminisced that in our younger days the weather only helped decide which activity we would spend countless hours outside playing. I remember playing ball hockey, football and whatever made up games we could conjure up to have a blast in the cold. In fact, I am sure as kids we had some form of super human powers, because by the middle of the games we would get so hot that portions of the mandatory gear our parents instructed us to wear had been removed. This was in minus 20 weather but my true weather enthusiasts know that with the wind chill it felt like minus 40.

Last night was blistering cold so in my mind this had to be a record low, however I got home and they said with the wind chill it was somewhere near minus 25. I was in disbelief that my conversation about losing my winter toughness might actually be true.

As I tried to understand how this could actually be true, it made me wonder if the argument can be posed that the older we get the more our lack of mental toughness deteriorates. Hey I can remember climbing trees and jumping out of them back as a kid and not stopping even when I saw someone a week later jump out and break their arm. I was invincible and nothing could happen to me! I will still climb that tree today if I had a chance to show myself that I still got it, but you are not catching me testing my so-called “super powers” by jumping out a tree; no matter the height. I believe that for the most part we are more calculating as adults, because we need to evaluate the consequences or probability from our actions. Stay out in the cold, might catch the flu and be stuck in bed for an extended period of time. Jump out of a tree and be waiting in the emergency room at the hospital and get a cast for a broken body part.

Of course I know some of the readers are shaking their heads at me, because fear is not a factor to them. Or feel that I am not embracing my true Canadian spirit. There are others that state that due to Global Warming, we have been spoiled and our bodies are not as prepared as they once were back in day (sounding like my parents with this back in the day talk). To be honest I like this “excuse” the best, because it breaks the entire argument of my lack of winter toughness!

All I know is that when it comes to the cold, I dislike it like I’m a character in the movie Cool Runnings when they experienced a northern winter for the first time.

“Cold? I’m freezing my royal Rastafarian nay-nays off!” ~ Sanka to Derice.

My toughness or tolerance for severe winter weather has been tested in these last couple of days even though I hear plenty of people say they are not surprised with this cold. All I know is that I brought out my heavy winter jacket, toque (winter hat for my non Canadians), scarf and gloves today For the rest of the population that feels that their winter toughness cannot be tested and desire not feeling their toes/fingers or like the feeling of becoming an ice sculpture, the only words I can tell you is those who can’t hear must feel!

Has Google Become Your Doctor?

I might be aging myself right now, but do you remember the days when a phone’s primary function was for talking, physical maps were used for directions and shopping meant leaving your home to go to the store? Well with the advancement in technology we have now been afforded with the “luxuries” of sitting at home and having full conversations without talking to anyone, finding the exact route anywhere in the world from our desktops and buying products that will be sent to our doorsteps with just a click of the mouse. Technology has become so prevalent in our society that we even are using it for research on life changing events where we should be actually seeking out the advice of a qualified professional.

Not sure of something? Google It! I don’t know about you, but when in doubt I am all about Google and the countless facts (both useful and useless) that I can find on any topic known to man. However, if not all of us, most of us need to push the brakes on using it to become doctors and diagnose ourselves with ailments that have similar symptoms to whatever we are experiencing at a certain time.

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With my internet research I have had almost every disease that is common, to the most bizarre ones that you only hear about contracting where you need to be placed in isolation to avoid a major outbreak. Please tell me I am not the only one that suffers from “Google-Self-Diagnosis”. Yes, it might be made up but I bet a few of you were nodding affirmative that you have fallen victim to this epidemic.

Last week I was fighting this flu where I was experiencing hot/cold flashes, body aches and just feeling run down. I knew it had to be the flu, I got my chicken noodle soup, buckleys and attempted to rest, because I will not let a sickness beat me. Everything was okay until the side of neck bulged out a little and left side of my throat hurt. Did I need my tonsils removed? Was it an allergic reaction? Instead of going to the doctor I sprung up off of the couch and planted myself in front of my computer screen to figure it out. Here is one of my “amazing” discoveries with the pain I felt on my tongue:
PAIN IN THE TONGUE
Pain may occur with glossitis and geographic tongue. Tongue pain may also occur with:
• Diabetic neuropathy
• Leukoplakia
• Mouth ulcers
• Oral cancer

After reading this information and other similar articles I went to work the next day worried of what I had developed. I had colleagues look at my neck to see if they could see the mammoth bump. Some said yes, some said no, but to me it felt like it was the size of Mount Rushmore (A little extra…I know). I made an appointment with my family doctor and she asked me a few questions and examined my throat and neck, then she simply said it was my body fighting the flu. I know I am a big dummy and should not have wasted all that time worrying about my internet diagnosis, instead of just going and getting checked out.

Listen,I will not promise that I will not seek my personal computer doctor again, but I will hold off on making an assumption on my health until a qualified doctor that went to medical school examines me or at least consult my wife or mom first.

With that said, Google is still myfriend and I will still tell people to Google It!When in doubt…Google It!

How Far Will The Gun Debate Go?

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Every morning I drive into work listening to my local radio station G97 FM where they have a segment called the ‘Hidiot Ting of the Day’ that on countless occasions has made me chuckle to myself during morning traffic. However, this morning I could not believe the foolishness and nonsense that the chairman of “Gun Appreciation Day” told CNN.

“I think Martin Luther King, Jr. would agree with me if he were alive today that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history,” The Chairman told CNN host Carol Costello.

This appreciation day is to be held in America on January 19, 2013 where supporters of guns will be coming out in droves to march “peacefully” in support of the second amendment for the right to carry a firearm. Guns and peace, pretty ironic to me! Based on my review, outside of the recent shootings that have happened in the US, a lot of people are outraged that this day is set to take place just a few days before the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. His fight for civil rights have been well documented on his approach of non violence, so for the above statement to be thought is utterly ridiculous.

With regards to the fact that this day is being mentioned in the same breath as slavery, makes me wonder if there will be no end to the gun supporter’s debate. Slavery ruined several lives where people were looked at as things that could be manhandled anyway possible and is viewed as one of one the most terrible times in our history as human beings. To diminish the pain and struggles that slaves endured to the feeling that it would not have happened had they possessed a firearm is so sad. Families were torn apart, physical and verbal abuse was had by many and this is used as an example on how guns could have prevented it. Words cannot truly state my disgust that someone would feel that the answer to our world’s problems is a gun and try to mask it with the issues that the slaves and civil rights leaders faced.

Many people continue to lobby that guns are the answer to their protection, so they feel we should have armed guards in our schools, every person should keep them in their homes and they should be available to any person if they need to purchase it. Come on people, we need to get out of this archaic mindset and look at the underlining issue. I don’t mean to be too preachy, but education is the key to our success; not violence! The leaders of our countries, communities, churches, coaches and parents need to make it a point to continue teaching our youth and adults alike that there is a better way to treat each other. Yes, I agree that no matter how hard we try to instill these values there will be some that will try to ignore these teachings. However, we cannot just give up and allow guns or any other tool to be used as a crutch to harm another.

I was impressed to hear the host of G97 this morning listen to a caller that was all for the comments made by the chairman, then politely clear up an assumption that was made by the caller. They tried to reduce it to a white/black issue with the statements about Martin Luther King Jr. with comments like the chairman is right and must be black with his thoughts on the prevention of slavery. Once the caller was done stating his views the host nicely advised that the chairman was not black and the CNN host was not white. PEOPLE, this is an issue that extends to all of humankind. Violence is not the answer!

“Violence begets violence that leads to the grave!” ~ Tommy Strong; from an episode of Martin

This is 2013 and I want us all to focus on not the fear of being hurt by someone else, but our own personal joy.
“We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.” – Martin Luther King Jr.; excerpt from the famous I Have a Dream Speech.

Show Your Love During Christmas and the Holidays!

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With Christmas only being a few days away, several people are packing the malls to stressfully finish their last minute shopping. However, regardless if you celebrate Christmas or not we all need to take some time this season to stop the hustle and bustle and spend it with our family and friends. Life is short and we all need to show the people around us that we need their love and support to nourish our souls and gain momentum for the upcoming New Year. There are several people today that are wishing they had the opportunity to talk, hug and laugh one last time with someone that has passed away. We need to make a conscious effort this Christmas season to make it known to those in our lives that no matter how busy life gets, we truly appreciate everything they do to make our lives complete.

As we all know, one week ago today many hearts around the world were broken by the events that transpired at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where several little children and staff were murdered. The painful events brought many around world together and parents of the survivors or those far away from the school hugged their children with a little more meaning that day, because the thought of losing your child is unthinkable. No matter if you are a parent, uncle, aunt, cousin or just a concerned human being, several of us felt a knot in our stomachs when the news hit of this tragedy.

Imagining the emotions that these parents must be going through since their little babies were viciously taken from them can only truly be understood by them. Most likely they have presents under their trees from Santa that they were excited to see unwrapped, however because of this horrendous crime their hopes and dreams of watching their children unwrap those presents and furthermore grow up was taken from them. Ever since the shootings, the public has shown their solidarity by making their way to the community, protesting at the NRA and countless sporting events, concerts and television shows have illustrated their support by having a moment of silence for the victims. We all know that this cannot take away the grief that those closely effected are feeling; however we want them to know that the world is here to provide a shoulder to lean on when they are ready.

When the news hit I was at my desk and heard the murmurs about it, but when I saw the official report myself I was completely hurt that these events can actually happen in our schools. Listen I am not naive about tragic events happening in places that we traditionally feel are safe. In my city this past summer, the Eaton Centre had a shooting in broad daylight and there was a local barbeque get together that ended in a shooting where young people died and several were injured. Not to mention Columbine where another school was gunned down several years ago or those who went to watch the opening of the latest Batman movie and instead where fleeing for their lives. This latest shooting has sparked several conversations with friends and family where we have discussed our displeasure, but unfortunately these discussions will never bring back the lives of those little kids and staff at the school or the grief that emptiness that their families will feel.

Life is very precious and we all need to ensure that each day we live our lives to its fullest and spread joy to everyone in our inner circles, immediate families and help anyone that might need a helping hand to rise out of depression, anger or any stressful situation.

Once again my plea today is to ask everyone that is reading my latest blog entry to give their loved ones an extra long squeeze when hugging them, listen to a story from your elders about the olden days, play with your kids outside or inside, be an ear for someone that needs to vent and just show those that are important to you that you love them.

Regardless if you do not believe in the religious aspect of Christmas, we need to at least reach out to our loved ones both near and far by any form of communication to let them know they are in our prayers and/or thoughts.

I want to finish this piece by saying Rest in Peace to those killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

 

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