BRINGING YOU TO THE EDGE: WHY AS MEN WE MUST CHECK OURSELVES

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“Don’t let her make you just as emotional.”


 When we get in arguments as men, we tend to get to the same level of anger as the woman in the argument and it boils over. You are being pulled into this person emotionally, and cannot let that get to you. And the reason is because as men once we get emotional, it becomes how can I hurt this person the most. What can I say to get this person to shut up. Why, well we’re in charge of physicality. And that is not to say that as a woman you are this lesser in society (we know that given you birth our children). But what I will say is that men tend to carry ourselves in a more physical way with our emotions, whereas women are more internal. And what do I mean by men not letting the woman’s anger get to you; this is what I mean.

In any argument, one person is always trying to gain the upper hand over the other person. And with that comes insults that are thrown for what appear to come from deep down inside. And with the person trying to gain the upper hand, you will always have someone say something that they regret. And usually, it is us as men. Why is it us as men? The reason why us as men get to that point because once we reach the boiling point we try to hit you with anything to tear you apart. It’s to crush anything and everything you thought you had inside to give. But it most often result in us stopping before hand. Because that realness in how we feel could cut you deep. Which might ultimately make you out to be worse than the woman you’re arguing with.

Now, men typically say things we feel out of rage when feeling rejected in some sort. So we stoop to a much lower level than the woman to try to make her feel less because we can’t have her. And it has to do with checking our egos. But the other reason is that we hate to lose arguments so we say the worse thing we feel to win. Because in life to men, this battle is a zero sum; there has to be a winner and there has to be a loser. And in the moment of fighting, I have to win and you have to lose. So we will try to bring you down emotionally, to bring ourselves up in the fight. So in the end, we try to win at all cost, or least end the conversation when we want to end it. And once we feel we have lost control, we go to extreme measures to end the conversation. But what we really end of doing is saying something that shows us in a much worse light than the woman.


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WHEN BLOOD AINT BLOOD NO MORE: WHEN IT’S TIME TO CUT OFF FAMILY

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“Sometimes they’re worse than enemies.”


We are connected by blood, grew up with each other, and as you age you may have to cut them off: family. I have not had to make this decision, but there are people who have had to do so. I was listening to the radio when I heard a hip hop artist talk about having to cut off his own brother for stealing money from him. His brother stole $300,000 and now that relationship has to be severed. Because it’s not really about the money as it is about the idea of him ripping off his own family. How do you steal from someone so close to you? But that is when you see people’s real motives, and how far they are willing to go when they want something. So what are other reasons that one must cut off family from their lives? Well, what about the entitlement aspect of being related to someone.

In family, you are supposed to pull your weight and aid those in need when they do from themselves. But what happens when the person has this give me because we’re blood mentality. You are not entitled to have just because you’re blood. You’re also not obligated to care for family like a child or children, especially if the person/s are able-bodied adults. My grandmother told me about life growing up in the state of Mississippi. She said that every family had a plot of land, no matter how big or small. And it was very important you tended to that land everyday. Because if you didn’t tend to your land everyday, then you and family didn’t eat when crop came through for everyone else. Hopefully, a neighbor and/or family nearby had some leftover crop, otherwise you were screwed. And it was that thought process which kept people together. Kept people strong as one. You had to get up when everyone else was getting up and sleep as well.

But today, there is this built in ideology that since we have the same blood flowing through our veins we are indebted to each other. And what’s crazy is that we are not part of the architectural design of each other. You have to not only be there in good, but in bad as well. You have to expect to give as well as asking for something. And as my mother raised my sisters and myself, “If you don’t call that person on a consistent basis, then don’t call them when you need something.” She was telling us that you are supposed to deal on the basis of sentiment, not cents. Call them to say hello, not just because you see some benefit in it for you. And once it becomes a relationship built on I need, and give me, then you have to disconnect. Because now, the person/people don’t respect you anymore. Because it’s easy to make a demand when you have not done anything to get what you are asking for form the person.

In the end, it’s all about respect and boundaries. They have to understand you have a life and they have a life. There is nothing wrong with under-girding those that are close to you. But once the relationship comes to the point of me, me, me, and you’re sacrificing your own piece of mind, then you have to disconnect. Because you never love anyone more than you love yourself. Even if the it comes at the cost of losing people. You only have one obligation to one person in this world, and that is you. Help those around you, but understand that help is purely voluntary and not owed.


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QUID PRO QUO: HOW BARTERING CAN AID IN GOOD BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS

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“I will gladly pay you tomorrow for your services today.”


The quid pro quo system goes back as far as we can remember as people. Another name for this is the barter system. And if applied the right way, quid pro quo can be a very productive measure of conducting business. But it involves a lot of cooperation and people must for the most part be on the same page. Because a great system of trading goods and services can easily get quite messy. This method of business can be very beneficial to a poor community where the community does not have many resources. You might have a loaf of bread and your neighbor might have a gallon of milk. You guys could trade slices of bread for this person to make a sandwich, for a certain amount of milk so this person can bake. Now, could that work in today’s society like in the past?

And my answer to that is absolutely it could. But like I said before, you need cooperation and like minded people. If you have these similar character traits then you’re going to have a pretty productive environment. Because now, money is not the only precious commodity in our communities. If you are trading goods and services for other goods and services, then the good and service is valuable. And for the most part, people are trading for things outside of housing expenses and not household. What do I mean by housing and not household. The housing expenses are priorities such as rent, mortgage, utilities; whereas the household expenses are bath soap, toothpaste, lotions, deodorants to food and beverages. This is how everyone in the community will be able to live and work together. Not only that, but if I can only pay rent, but I can provide a service to you in exchange for food, I don’t have to worry about monetary expense.

Meaning, let’s say after I pay my rent and utilities, I have a hard time feeding my children. But I can provide a service to a neighbor in exchange for food. You give me what a babysitter would get paid in food. So let’s say a babysitter charges $15 per hour, I will babysit your child for four hours. In exchange, you give me close to $60 worth of food. Because the babysitter may not have food, but could babysit for the person who has food, but need a babysitter. You will do each other such a service by operating in this fashion. Another action that will take place is a close nit community that is based around people helping each other. But inevitably, in our today’s society this does not work.

And in the end, the reason why quid pro quo has a tough time being implemented is because you’re going to have someone not repaying the favor. You’ll have someone not giving the equal value of product and service. You’ll have people who always want more than someone else. So the human conditioning is what keeps the barter system from working. And what’s said is that the poor communities in America could use this means of trading. If implemented well, no one starves or is forced to sleep in the street because they don’t have a roof over their heads.


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GIVE EM THE FACTS: WHY MORE PARENTS SHOULD BE TRANSPARENT

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“Tell them so they don’t figure out the hard way.”


Ever since I was a child, my mother made it her business to prepare my and sisters and I for the world ahead. And it was quite helpful, as I can tell you so far everything I was taught I have experienced. From dealing with people who try to get over, to dealing with jobs and the stress that comes with that as well. But my question which ties into the topic today is, why don’t more parents prepare their children for the real world? And I don’t mean raising them to be responsible and hard working. I’m talking about, with what you experience. Tell them in detail how society has impacted your life, and the real relationships you’ll encounter in adulthood. Most parents either tell children, “You’ll see,” or “work hard.” But these are very vague responses. They don’t provide much insight.

And what do I mean by providing a little more insight. Tell children how, especially when you get out of school, that your degree alone won’t help them get a job. Tell them how when you get out, chances are, you’re going to be working a job you hate initially. Landing a dream job takes more skills and more work. Explain to them how your supervisor may ask you to do something, and when you do that order in which you were given, the order fails. Then instead of the boss taking respectability for being wrong, they transfer blame onto you. Because their incompetence will cost them their job, they have to make you look stupid. And you can’t flip out on them because you will lose your job, and you need your job. So you learn to suck it up even when you’re right, and you grow to resent your job. Tell them the whole game.

Explain to them when they get in relationships that there is a control aspect to being in the relationship. Someone may want to have the upper hand in your life just because they are with you. And this may require detaching from them, and starting fresh with someone else. Tell your child how emotional people get once they start having sex, and how someone might try to use this as a means of controlling you as well. Know when to get out of a toxic situation and how. But while you’re teaching them this, make sure to tell them that you should never give anyone any bit of your time not willing to reciprocate. You don’t want to be your child’s friend, but make them realize they should come to you before their friend because you and only you are in their best interest. Also tell them how to manage their finances.

Teach your child that when you get a check, you don’t run to the store and spend, spend, spend. Living for today and not tomorrow is not smart. We might not wake up tomorrow is a reality, but plan for tomorrow, hell even next week even if it doesn’t happen. Money can be considered the root of all evil, but you need it to survive. So explain how you may or may not need wealth, but you don’t want poverty. And tell them how they can be somewhere in the middle. Teach them to know what they’re getting into before they get involved. Meaning, if you are comfortable with all the risk of making a decision, make it, but also live with it. And in the end, everything I have said was explained to me by my mother growing up. She spoke to her children like adults, not like her kids. We knew because she told us; so now I ask you, “Do you tell yours the truth?”


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LIFE ON HOLD: HAVE YOU HAD TO HOLD OFF ON YOUR DREAMS TO CARE FOR OTHERS

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“They had to come first.”


As a child to a single mother, I would always hear how she wanted to do so much in her life. But having children at such a young age, mixed with not having the support system she needed, she was unable to do so. Now in her 50’s, and no children to care for, she is embarking on more things she was never able to do when she was young. And that’s what brings me to the topic today. Have you ever had to put your dreams on hold for something or someone else. For my mother it was her three children, but for someone else it could be something different. We as people sacrifice so much of ourselves in the name of helping other people. A move which I do not plan on doing in my life because it derailed so much of what my own mother wanted to accomplish in life.

But it is really that easy to say? What if I became a parent, and now so much of what I wanted to do I couldn’t? Does that mean I have to completely give up everything? Well, yes and no at the same time. Because yes, you do have to give up a lot when you start having children. But I also think that is your obligation to make sure your children have someone that they can look up to as well. Meaning, your outlook on life will ultimately effect the way your children see the world. I have always been curious about the world that we live in because my mother has had such an open worldly viewpoint. We didn’t just watch a bunch of nonsense as children growing up in her household. We would go to the library, watch the History channel, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic. She would open us up to new things and people different than ourselves.

So for me, every time I start a new project I think about my mother. She was not able to do so much, I do things for that reason. Not that reason alone, but it always sits in the back of my mind. See, it’s easy for me to look at life in the scope of not having to care for anybody but me. I am single with no children, so the sky is the limit. But at one point in time, those people with others they have to look out for, such as their children, were in my current position. But, is it always about children? You have adults taking care of other adults as well. Which is something I am not doing as well. I receive aid from home because I am making strides in my life. But caring for an able-bodied adult who does not want anything out of life, not my problem.

See, in the end, at times we give up our lives to aid people who might be sick, to a child, or because we think it makes us admirable to do so. I understand the children aspect because they didn’t ask to be brought into the world. But you going to work caring for adults who are just as capable of working is not your problem. They have to go out into the world and earn as well. To many people are putting lives of others over themselves when they shouldn’t. You have your immediate obligations which are your children, and parents; everyone else is not an immediate obligation. And it is on them to figure their own life out.


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BABY BOY/GIRL: BENEFITS OF BEING THE YOUNGEST CHILD

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“The only time where last is first.”


Growing up, I was the youngest of three children. My two oldest are seven and three years older than myself. And there are benefits, as well as downsides to being the youngest kid in the family. And we all know the benefits of being the youngest. Punishments are doled out less to you than your older siblings, which means you get away with more. You might be the smartest sibling after the others that came before you also. The house is yours after everyone else leaves meaning you have more room to yourself. The bond between you and your parent/s are very strong because you are the last to leave the house. And spending is more geared toward you rather than your older siblings out of the house. But why is life like this for so many people?

Well, let’s take a look at the punishment aspect of growing up. My oldest sister for instance was punished a lot more than myself. Why, well, it is your job to set an example for the other siblings that are younger than you. Since there was no one younger than myself, I was not setting any example. So this way, I was more able to move about how I wanted with less restrictions. Even still today, my oldest sister is way more responsible than my other sister and myself. She babysat us when she was young, and even performed cooking and cleaning duties alongside my mother. But other aspects of being the youngest is the fact you get to learn so much because there are siblings older than yourself. Meaning, you get a chance to see all what they are learning and you can immerse yourself in what is to come for you.

Another aspect of being the baby of the family is to get a chance to spread your wings. You have a lot more leg room to move about the house when it’s just you. The living room is yours, kitchen, bedrooms, bathroom, the everything is yours. That once small space seems so big now that you are the only one left in the house. And that small space brings me to another aspect of being the youngest. You develop a bond with the parent/s that is not quite like the older siblings. You are the last of the pack, and here is where the parent/s can spend really good quality time with the kid. And considering the older ones are living their own lives, you can have a lot to discuss with the parent/s.

And in the end, you have all these benefits of growing up the youngest. But with those benefits come the downside. That once vibrant house is very silent and no one is there to really converse with. You used to talk to each other, now it’s homework and television. For me, I was only about four years out the house right behind my second sibling. So for me it was not as bad, but imagine being in the house longer. Though even with any downside of being the youngest, I still wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love being the baby.


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NOT WORTH THE TROUBLE: WHY I DON’T WANT KIDS

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“Saving myself from what could be a disaster.”


Since becoming an adult I have been pondering over the idea of whether I want to become a parent someday or not. And as time progress, I know I don’t want to get married. But what about a child. Right now, I know I don’t want children, though I think about it. Who knows how I will feel at the age of 40 or 50 years. Because next month, I will be 30 years old, and I still feel the same about having children now as I did as a 20 year old. But also, my ideas of marriage and relationships have not changed either. The only aspect of my life that has changed is success in a career. So why haven’t I changed my stance of children?

Well, my main reason I don’t want children is because I don’t want to deal with the idea of dealing with the other person. Once you have children, there is a dual input in raising a child that I don’t want to adhere to. I have my way that I want to do things and that is that. Now, I do believe that someone else may have a better way. But it’s not about a better way, it’s about my way I want things to go. So with that said, it wouldn’t be best to have children with someone. My best way to go about having children might be to adopt one day. This way I can raise my child how I want to raise them. But are there other reasons that are keeping me from parenthood?

The other reason I don’t want children is because of the aspect of who having to always make them your life. Once you have children, they are your life. You have no other choice because even on hard and depressed days, you have to suck it up and deal. There is no out, most often, parents wish there was somewhere other than here at the moment. Yes, if you’re famous, you can hire a nanny, but most Americans can’t afford a babysitter, must less a nanny. So they have to find a way to deal with their lives. And although this is not a human existence that you genuinely want to live all the time, it’s a must. Children have no choice in their existence, so it’s a thought before having them.

Now, the third reason, is because there are so many things I want out of life. And having children get in the way of those things. And for the most part, they’re not that big of a deal, except when you have kids. Like, living in New York City, I’ll get up and just go for a walk around the city. Just something so simple, is major when you’re a parent. You can’t just up and leave the house. Because you are no longer alone anymore because there is someone there to depend on you. See, in the end, children are a career outside your daily job. It doesn’t pay, and there is no guarantee that what you teach them will ultimately work. So for now, I live my life for myself and whatever benefits me. But children are still a 10% yes and 90% no, and marriage is still 100% no.


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