FAMOUS QUOTES: WHAT ARE MY FAVORITE AND WHAT THEY MEAN TO ME

Abraham Lincolcn Statue

“We hold these truths to be self-evident.” “That all men are created equal.” 

-DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE


We all have some favorite quotes and what they mean to each of us. They might be quotes that we just love to hear, or even quotes that motivate us to keep persevering. Some of those quotes could be a bible versus, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Or it can be from a literary, “I would have rather been born blind, than to have been given sight and lack vision” (Helen Keller). And with that said, I would like to present my own quotes that I love, which resonate with me. One comes from Thomas Edison, the other Marianne Williamson, and the third is Martin Luther King Jr.

Now, the first is Thomas Edison, who had many many quotes. But the quote that I recently found that Thomas Edison made was, “Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” This statement is Image result for edisonalways coming into my mind every time I think about giving up in life on my writing. Writing is such a daunting task of working to succeed. You are going to have success, and you’re going to have failure along the way. But to me, I have yet to see those successes. And then I think about how long I have been writing. 2013 is the year I officially decided to become a writer. I gave myself on a ten year window to break into the industry as a screenwriter and playwright. Meanwhile I am writing my blog everyday and my books as well.

So, what does any of this have to do with Thomas Edison? Well, giving up, and not realizing how close you might have been when you gave up. I have written five full length screenplays, self-published two books, written 400 blog posts in the past two and a half years, and two short film scripts; one script turned into a short film. And still, I have been working to create other projects to keep myself in that creative mode. So if I give in now, it will have been for nothing. Not just my past four to five years, but the time put into my work. Don’t give up when you are so close. So close, if you knew how close, you might even put more time into your work. And that is why Edison’s quote screams so loud to me.

Image result for marianne williamson a return to love

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, 1992

But my second quote is from Marianne Williamson from her book, “A Return to Love.” The famous quote from the book is, “Our Deepest Fears.” “Not that we inadequate; our deepest fear is that we powerful beyond measure.” “It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.” “We look in the mirror and ask ourselves, who am I to be talented, gorgeous, fabulous; who are you not to be.” “There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others won’t feel insecure when they’re around you.” “We were all meant to shine as children do.” “You were made to manifest the glory of God that is within you.” “It’s not in some of us, it’s in everyone.” “And as you let your own light shine, you will unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” “When you are liberated from your own fears.” “Your presence will automatically liberate others.”

I could not pick just one aspect of that quote, but I had to choose the entire passage. Because the first part speaks of being inadequate yet you really are afraid of your own powers. We have this fear because once you succeed, people are going to expect more, and what happens if you can’t give them more. So we fear the attempt because of the expectations that come with it. Then the passage details us questioning why us. But why not us? We as the passage says don’t want people to feel insecure around us. But you should never dumb yourself down for the sake of fitting in, or this notion your brilliance makes others uncomfortable.  You might just have a golden nugget of advice that the people need. And the quote further goes on to let people know we all have the powers to succeed. But once you let that inner you shine, it gives courage to others to step up. Why, because your willingness to not give up and fight makes them exuberate a little less fear as well. Because if you can do it, it makes them feel the same way.

Great quote, giving me an even greater sense of purpose. But there is still one more quote I love. And it was from civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. He didn’t make this a public speech, yet stated this quote among a small group of friends. He said, “I feel as if I am integrating my people into a burning building.” AsImage result for mlk a child I couldn’t understand what that meant. But as an adult, I see old footage of the time period. People wanted him dead, why. Just because he wanted people to vote, have a fair chance at jobs, eliminate Jim Crow laws (which were an extension of slavery), and send children to schools of their choice. But the backlash was often so brutal you think to yourself. “Is this worth it?” “Do I really want my family to integrate.” “Maybe segregation is best.”

Because if you want to vote and someone is willing to kill. Or willing to kill for you drinking from the same water fountain or eating in the same restaurant, should I assimilate. Because when you assimilate, you’re introducing that element into your life, to your children, and your community. It’s not everyone, yet it’s enough to make you think twice. Meaning, you might think you’re shutting me out, but you might actually be doing me a favor. Coming from a man who knew he could die for going against the grain, it was intriguing to hear a statement where even he questioned the movement. In the end, we all live by quotes, or have a love for some type of quote. But whatever the case, famous quotes have and will always be an aspect of our lives.


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MONOGAMOUSLY LONELY: WHAT’S KEEPING YOU OUT OF A RELATIONSHIP

Midsection of Couple Holding Hands at Beach Against Sky

“We all have relationship fears.”


How many of you reading this post are single? Now how many of you are reading this post who are single and afraid of commitment? And that question is the question that so many people have to ask themselves. Not only so many people, me as well. I think that we are afraid of commitment because we don’t want to be cheated on, let others down, and our fears that someone is depending on us. Having to look outside of yourself to care for another human being is tough. And I don’t mean just being parent. Because you have some great parents who are bad boyfriend/girlfriends and spouses. So why is it so tough to commit?

Like I said above, one reason has to do with not wanting to have to deal with infidelity. No one wants to be cheated on because it’s such a deflating feeling. The feeling of not amounting up to the other person’s potential. Or the feeling that you are not as great as you thought you were. It’s those insecure feelings that make people possessive in relationships. And that Image result for infidelitypossessive nature might actually push a person away just as fast as the neglect. When in relationships, you have those self-conscious feelings and doubts about the other person. You’re so insecure at times, that you’ll create cheating scenarios in your head. Scenarios of what the other person might be doing, which prompts you to go snooping for answers. And trust and believe, you’ll find something, no matter how small.

Another reason people have a hard time committing is that you don’t want to be in a position to let others down. We have to meet certain expectations that when single you don’t have to meet. When single, you can be a little more lazy; kick up your feet and relax. When in relationships, you always have to have your A game on. So in the relationship, you have to work, Image result for commitmentalmost like being the popular kid in school. Work to get in, and work to stay in. And it’s a gig that does not monetarily pay. Can you image how successful relationships might be, if there was some type of monetary gain for remaining together? But then again, if you need money as a motivator, you probably don’t like the other person anyways.

But what about the last fear on my list; having someone depend on you to get something accomplished. When you’re single, you depend on you, now you have another person to work your schedule around. You now have to make sacrifices to your life, that you otherwise don’t have to make. It’s a Image result for dependenttough adjustment, especially for a guy like me whose used to being single. Now, let’s add another addition in the mix; a child. What happens if a child is produced in the relationship? Now the responsibility of another life is fully dependent upon you. There is no out once a kid comes into the household. So you are now forced to deal, not just for a few years, or even 18 years, but for life.

In the end, operating in a relationship is tough because it requires you to give up, take on, and accept so many things out of your control. You’re no longer belonging to you, but obligated to someone else. You have to now ask before you make a decision rather just making it. And if the other person is not comfortable, you may have to forgo the decision. That’s right, you compromise. One of the hardest decisions to make is to compromise. Giving up what you want, for the “potential” of success in this new situation.


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POLITICAL ETHNIC CHOICES: DOES ETHNIC CHOICE MATTER IN MARRIAGE CHOICES

Image result for INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE

“Is love really color blind?”


Recently on the morning radio talk show The Breakfast Club, social activist and psychologist Umar Johnson was on talking to the hosts. He made a statement regarding interracial marriage that I thought was quite interesting. He stated that marriage is a political decision. And who you marry says a lot about your priorities when pertaining to ethnicity. Which is why he said that if you are an African American marrying a White man or woman you are not only taking them on as a partner, but also this group’s culture. And you are accepting the group’s community as well. Umar was making a distinct connection between what outside ethnic group you marry and your loyalty to your own ethnic group.

And what I thought about right off the back was, is this so? Does marrying outside your ethnicity as an African American renders you devout of self-love and respect because of your choice? And is this really a choice that is stemmed deeply in politics? Because I see Jews, Asians, Indians, and Hispanics stress marrying another member of their group. This is not just Umar who feels this way. Are those other groups wrong for preserving their culture? Because this is what the fight is about, preserving culture. When you marry a group that is different than your own, the cultures can be vastly different. What do you say regarding this, such as Jew marrying a Muslim?

See, in my household, my mother stressed marrying someone you love. And I felt this way, but when I became an adult, and took on my own experiences I started to look at things differently. I don’t think you are less than for marrying outside your ethnicity, but I also am not against people who are against interracial relationships either. Now some may say, how can you feel that way? I myself, as an African American man, couldn’t marry a woman of any other ethnic group if not accepted by her side. Meaning, if I meet a Chinese woman, and her parents/family didn’t approve, I wouldn’t see myself staying. As against them as I might be, I don’t think you should be forced to allow people into your family if you don’t want me there.

Now, that leaves the woman hurt, but that’s a problem she must come to terms with, with her family. You know your family, and you know what they accept and reject. I don’t want to be a member, nor do I want them forced to accept me. My best bet, is to remove myself from the equation. It’s not in my best interest to stay. Because if I were abusive, that’s a reason to not like me. I can’t stay in a situation where you dislike an aspect about me I can’t change, nor would I want to change. So as much as it would hurt the woman, I have to make a decision to remove myself.

Now others might disagree with my decision. They would say, if you love that person, who cares what others think. But to me, as awful as you might think they are, losing family is easier said than done. Are you willing to lose everything that have ever existed in your life for this one person? And if you and this person don’t last in the relationship, you’re completely alone in the world. Sadly enough, people are put into those decisions. And I don’t want to be the catalyst for that decision.

In the end, there are people who think love is color blind. And to me you like what you like. Human attraction is not always a socio-political decision because we are not that type of species. People are mammals that gain attractions to other mammals like us. Ethnic conflict is a social construct placed by man for means of control. There are men who are members of the KKK that are attracted to Black women and Nation of Islam men who have liked White women. It’s not ok socially, no one would admit that, but as humans you like who you like. Yet the social aspect of our society is far more greater than the emotional attachments.


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MARITAL WOES: WHY IT’S TOUGH TO KEEP IT WORKING

Printer Paper Cut With Orange Scissor

“It should be easy, why not?”


I’ve heard throughout my entire life that marriage is a hard union to maintain. And that it will take a lifetime of work for you to really appreciate the person that you are with. But then I started to think about the union for a while. With the vows you take, shouldn’t marriage be an easy task to fulfill. It says to love, honor, and obey. Yet people still say that the union is hard. Is it really hard, or could it be that monogamy is not natural. Could it be that we really have other feelings and push them down in the name of societal norms. Well, let’s observe this for a minute.

To love, honor, and obey is difficult when you are not with a person you thought you would be with. We all have this person in mind that we want to be married to; this idealistic view. Then we meet someone and all of that changes. So here we are with this person, yet part of us resent. Why is it so hard to have this conversation? It’s hard because no one wants to admit that they resent something about the person they are with. You love this person, and can’t figure out why there is this internal feeling of disdain. It lies there deep inside of us because on one hand we have the societal way in which we are supposed to live. Then on the other hand, we have the nature us that is different from the societal us.

And that nature us creates other conflicts that make marriage hard as well. Because another natural reaction is that we don’t want to be around the same person for the rest of our lives. That is something which can take years to get used to. Some people can do it with ease, others struggle. Why do some struggle, it has to do with more nature. It’s normal to want your own life and space, but what about marriage and children. You sacrifice so much of yourself, especially when the kids come into play. So you feel a part of you is lost and now you want out to some extent. And that brings us to the next reason marriage is hard, the kids.

Once those kids enter the equation you have less time for you and him and more dedicated to the kids. Not to mention you are now neglecting yourself. For the most part, women have a different reaction when kids come into the equation because women carry children. But men start to feel like we are losing something as well. It can take some people time to realize they might not be losing something, but gaining something more. Then you have the parents that can’t wait to their kids are old enough to have their own lives. This way, they can be themselves again.

In the end, that’s what it boils down to; nature versus societal norms. Society wants and expects us to have a certain type of marriage. But there is no real way to maintain and make it work. You should be making up your own rules. Why are people living by this societal norm instead of what you like as a couple. And as long as people are not able to address the reasons for their marital hardships, we’ll always have issues concerning marriage leading to divorce.


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OH, HE’S BLACK: THE OBJECTION TO DATING BLACK MEN

Image result for interracial dating

“Why they object.”


I read a recent post on Instagram where a statement was made regarding model Ashley Graham. She is currently married to a Black male and stated that at first members of her family were apprehensive. See, if you haven’t already guessed she is White and he is Black. But why, why is it still an issue of whom you bring home of another ethnic group? But most of all, why is it persona non grata, in dating Black men? As a Black male myself, you know all the stereotypes connected. But all men and women have them in some shape or another. Yet it is us who parents are the most against in dating their daughters.

All the reasons for not wanting a female to date Black men I have heard them over and over again. But these same responses exist in other men. People say their reasons as if it is perfection on the other side. Then what is the real reason for not wanting your daughter dating Black men. One reason is that even though we are told racism is not much of an issue today like in the past, there is a fear. You know that if your child does give birth, chances are, it will look more African American than anything else. And you know that people in society are prejudice. It’s easy to say I am lying, but when your grandchild comes home after being teased and discriminated against, it becomes a different story.

You become forced to face the inevitable. How do you tell your grandchild it is all in your head? Easy to say to me, not so easy to say to them when we live in the real world where these types of people exist. But another reason why parents are so apprehensive is because of fear of what might happen to their child. And I don’t mean from the man, but society. She is now in the line of fire just as much as me. Everything he is subjugated to, she is touched just as much for being with him. So it’s yet another smack dab in your face situation. No parent wants to deal with the idea of their daughter coming home crying because she was threatened because of who she dates. But this is a reality when in an interracial relationship.

Well, why won’t people confront their families. I mean, if you don’t agree with it should be easy right; wrong. If anything it’s harder because your family are not people you chose, but they are the only family you have. So if your interracial relationship don’t workout, they have to work. So the tolerance of dealing with family is higher than a relationship because family is more guaranteed. And that leads me to my third reason people are apprehensive. You can lose a lot when choosing to date outside your ethnicity. Because you might not get opportunities because you’re with who you’re with. You think it’s because someone else is better, it might be because who you are dating rubs people the wrong way.

In the end, I don’t think the views will change that much. I know me as a Black male, and as a overall human being. If people are not willing to accept me for me, I don’t believe I could deal with it. But I guess some people want the other person that much. And I guess that’s what it boils down to; how much you want that other person. Others are not willing to give up that much, but some are, and for the ones that give everything up, it’s worth it.


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