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.

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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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BRING ME YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR, YOUR HUDDLED MASSES, YEARNING TO BE FREE

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“People died for rights to be and stay protected.”


For the longest throughout American history we have always had people coming into this country from some place else. They arrive to escape war, famine, poverty, and religious persecution. America is just that place where they can be themselves without fear of persecution. America is that country where their hard work and determination will speak for how far they’ll go in life. But my question to you is have America, or are we starting to lose the allure about this country? Are we becoming what all these other nations have been which brought people here? If so, why have we changed or why are we changing?

In my opinion, we have not fully changed, but we are changing as a nation. The image of your children coming to this country pursuing their endeavors is diminishing because the people who have been here for so long feel slighted. Their feelings are that if these groups continue to flock over here then what is left for them. But if this new group just emerged, Image result for us immigrantshow is it possible that they have replaced you? They can’t replace you if you are already here working. But they do replace you, and part of that is not necessarily because jobs are leaving the country. One aspect has to do with politics. The political landscape in America plays in a role in their success.

You might ask how; how does politics play a role? Because they don’t look at America as Democrat or Republican. To them, it is a land of great opportunity despite whose in power. They understand that American Related imagepoliticians are policy makers not job creators. So they’ll only make it easier or harder for an organization’s ability to hire. Meanwhile American born citizens are looking for a party to make their lives better. Hilary was supposed to make life better. Then some say Trump is the winner, he’ll fix it. But in reality neither will. They just create the policy for you to make your own life better. So immigrants understand they must work and not sit back waiting for work to come to them. They go out and create opportunity.

Another aspect of why immigrants are more successful than Americans is because they also are willing to learn the new thing in our society that is where success lies. Meaning, if tech is the new America, then it’s tech they learn. We, being born here, say we prefer the same old method because we don’t want to learn something new. We get complacent where they don’t. Mainly because complacency where they come from is complete failure. And, they have fought so hard to get here, why. Why spend years getting here, just to be lazy when you get here. There is no expectation of being handed anything, just move out the way and let me create my own lane.

See, in the end, people yearning for freedom is what makes this country great. Because in return, they contribute on such a large scale. In the medical field today, so many Indian Americans dominate the field. Not because they are born that way. They are raised to pursue careers in areas Image result for american identitywhere people are needed and where there is job security. Meaning a great garbage truck driver can be replaced, but a great physician can’t. People need doctors, but you can remove the human element eventually from picking up trash. So in opinion, we should always remain open to those legally going through the process of being an American. Because once we lose that, we lose part of this nation’s identification.


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YOUR PLIGHT IS EVERYONE’S PLIGHT: HOW TO OVERCOME HARDSHIP IN A SOCIETY WITH ITS OWN ISSUES

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“I can’t make time for yours, when I have my own.”


Too often, we hear people say, that they have it hard in life because of some extenuating circumstance. They want people to be sensitive to their plight in life. But here is a short answer to how people feel regarding your plight in life, “No one cares.” And when I say that, it really isn’t in a way as to come off as condescending on someone else. It’s just that in life, everyone has something that they are trying to overcome. Your situation is not indicative of you, and the world doesn’t revolve around you. You might be going through something tragic in your life; but we all do.

So why do people feel it is society’s duty to correct something in their lives that happen to so many people everyday. One of the reasons is that it is harder to come out of the rut you’re in. You have been so down on yourself, that how do begin to get out of the rut. It’s like being trapped in a ten foot hole with no supplies to get out. Even if you try to jump as high as you possibly can the highest you can reach is eight of ten needed to get out the hole. So you tell people, be more sensitive to my situation. Fine, and you know what, if you were stuck in hole, people are more than willing to pull you out. But if all these people are around you stuck in holes, then you are lost in the struggle. So you have to find some type of way to get out.

Tough when you don’t have a discernible skill to dig yourself out. And here is another reason people cannot overcome their plight; no skills in life. If you are in the know or even willing to put yourself in the know of what you want, you can elevate yourself. It’s hard for people to see that who are suffering because they only see their current situation. And putting yourself in the know is difficult, but not impossible. Let’s say you want to be a doctor, but grew up in impoverished environments. What do you possibly know about becoming a physician, must less actually being a doctor. Well, you know that Google we use to look up all sorts of debauchery. It’s that same Google we can use to seek out information. Look up countless bits and pieces, and somewhere within the multitude of info is that truth. Me, I wanted to write screenplays, so I clicked how to write a screenplay. And for the past seven years I have wrote and researched how to get better at writing them.

So putting yourself in the know is another aspects of getting yourself out of situations you’re not happy with. Well what about ethnic, religious, or gender disparities that block you in life. And you know what, they exist and will always. But it’s like that old saying, “If someone made it that looks like you, it’s possible.” It’s not guaranteed, but possible. And in the end, that is the biggest issue in society. Everyone want a guarantee and nothing in life is guaranteed. You might work your whole life and never make it. So it’s really not the plight that’s the main concern. It’s putting your all into something and it going nowhere. That’s a reality, but those who are resilient reap rewards. Failure does not determine your outcome, but your willingness to persevere through adversity.  It’s like Denzel Washington stated in a speech, “Ease is a greater threat to progress in life than hardship.” “So keep striving keep pushing, and see you at work.”



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TRUMPED UP: IS DONALD TRUMP AS BAD AS WE THINK HE IS

“Do you think we should rally behind the president?”


He is no longer president elect; he is simply President Donald Trump.  Even with all the controversy surrounding him, is it now time to rally behind our president? Or, has he gone too far to go back? Should we live and let live? I mean then again, he did win the presidency. But, on the other hand, he has made some pretty disparaging comments. Some feel his actions have not warranted him forgiveness. Others have felt that Trump tells it like it is, so just let him run the country and stop protesting. Well, let’s observe why he might not need forgiveness from the public.

For starters, his comments he made toward women, Hispanics, and the Islamic community are seen as going too far. People felt that his lack of compassion and empathy does not grant him forgiveness. He also has this view of someone has to lose and someone has to win. Fine if you’re an athlete, but what about president. Having these views can only work against you in the end. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet, but Trump can’t. This is his downfall, and is something he must curb. In addition, Trump need to learn everything does not need a response. And if he does respond, then it shouldn’t be in this sophomoric manner. So with that said, I understand other people’s frustration.

But, on the other hand, why not listen to what he has to say? Didn’t he speak about cleaning the swamp. I agree, aren’t we all tired of career politicians? They make promises and never deliver. So a man who has already signed into an executive order what he promised is living by his word. He is doing what he said he would do. What about keeping our borders safe, isn’t that important? Shouldn’t we be keeping tabs on those who enter the country?

In the end, I think the majority of issues with Trump is not the compaign trail anymore, it’s his now behavior. The way he interacts with the press. He needs to learn to tone it down. He could easily flip around those that don’t like him into liking him. So until the feelings toward him change as well as he personality, then we will see nothing but protest from here on out.

AMERIREICH: HOW RESTRICTING OUR RIGHTS COULD LEAD TO A NAZI GERMANY

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“Do you feel overtaken?”


In the United States today, more than ever before the control over ones language and what is allowed to say and not say has become problematic. And coupled with the inability for those in power to be honest, America could find itself in a world like a Nazi Germany. Now do I think there will be concentration camps and extermination, no. But I do think that certain aspects of the power structure such as disregarding media can happen. Focusing blame on a centralized group of people or ideology can happen. As far as the extermination, the masses will do that to themselves. And with little trust in media, how would you believe anything is really going on.

The people who are elected to power could cause this to happen. When you have people making promises that are not delivered as well as restricting people’s ability to express themselves how they want, it opens the door for bad leadership. People feel like they gave lost their voice and they become desperate. They become  so desperate that they’ll elect someone to office no matter how bad the ideas. As long as the person follows through with their policies, they’ll follow them. While at the same time, you’re given freedoms restricted by previous people in power.

For instance, we have become sensitive to language. Now you have people in charge telling you what you can and cannot say. Then if you go against the grain, you lose everything you’ve worked for in life. This new person comes along and does not restrict language. No matter how bad the language, we stand behind them because they gives us this ability. And while we have this ability, he/she also delivers on his/her promises. They can do no wrong in the eyes of the masses. Yet, what they’re doing really might not be in the best interest of the people. This is how radicals rise to power in civilizations. The previous way creates desperation in people that they’ll vote anyone who aligns themselves with their agenda.

Well why, why would this awful person rise to power. It can’t be all about the language and not holding up their end of the bargain. See, in my opinion, it all boils down to transparency. If you live in a nation where transparency is lacking, then a bad leader can infiltrate. An awful leader infiltrating the system can lead to an even more detrimental society. It will seem like they are for the people, but in reality they have their own agenda that benefits them. Pushing their causes and discrediting media for going against it. And since the confidence in media has diminished, the leader will now have greater control with less checks and balances.

See, in the end, restricting ones’ abilities to live freely while also not holding up your end of the bargain politically, will cause chaos in society. The type of chaos which could lead to a dictator coming into a system. Creating policies that are more harmful than helpful. But transparency is key; key to society rising or falling.

BLACK AND PROUD: THE DIFFICULTY IN “BEING BLACK” WHILE BEING BLACK.

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“Do you ever feel like it’s hard being you?”

“Oh, it’s too Black!” “You don’t act Black!” These are a couple of the phrases I’ve heard in my life regarding to my ethnicity. Trying to stay true to yourself is difficult when you are an African American. Because to the White men and women, you’re too Black. And as it pertains to Black people you’re not Black enough. I have had to deal with this tug of war since childhood, and now adulthood. When you’re working in a place of employment, chances are it’s around mostly White, you walk this fine line. You’re usually putting on this face that is nowhere near who you really are outside of work. Then there are the Black people who don’t seem like they quite fit into their own group. Usually demonstrating unfamiliar understandings of certain cultural references because of interest that are different than the group.

For me, I am big on culture; not just African American culture, but any other culture as well. Growing up in my mother’s house, she not only encouraged us, but forced us into environments where people were different than yourself. She knew something we didn’t, and that is if you want to be able to succeed in this society, you need to be able to communicate with different groups of people. It didn’t matter if we were spending the day at the library, or the schools where we received our educations. Diversity was encouraged, which was something that I didn’t see in my immediate environment. A lot of the kids hung around those that look like them, talked like them, dressed like them, even ate the foods they ate. Unlike them, in our household you were encouraged to try new music, food, and clothes.

Now you ask, what does any of this have to do with being Black. Well, a lot because like I said before, there is this tug of war. You’re caught in between two worlds. The world of my immediate surroundings, such as my community which is Black. And then there is the daily workplace which consists of predominantly White. So, with me, I have a pride in Black culture, but that pride tends to come at a cost of making a White constituency uncomfortable. Yet on the other hand, I enjoy the pleasures of taking part in activities or subscribing to certain forms of thinking that do not align with the Black community or certain agendas within it. For instance, I love 90’s hip hop and 80’s rock and roll. What an interesting combination of Death Row Records, No Limit, and Bad Boy, with a touch of Aerosmith, Motle Crue, and ACDC.

But being me is more than just the food I eat and music I listen to through my iPod. It’s not something I am aspiring to be, nor is something that I’m trying to play a role within. Being Black is a shared experience. It’s a feeling, the way you think and breathe. It’s walking up the street, coming in contact with a troublesome situation and giving the head nod to one another. An action that has long been associated with hip and cool, yet is a sign that we understand the situation and I’m looking out like you looking out. Being Black is finishing quotes like, “God is good all the time and all the time God is good.” “It’s knowing what is really meant by wading in the water and lift every voice.” It’s knowing why Black women really love the utility of wearing their hair in braids or dreads and the first thought that crosses your mind as a Black man as you come in contact with the police.

You see, in the end, when someone ask me about acting Black, I shake my head. Why? Because you can’t act Black. Ever act Chinese or how about acting Russian. Ever been told stop acting Native American. Usually when told you’re acting Black there is a negative connotation which is more of a back-handed, under-handed, and over-handed smack to the face. I don’t aspire to be, I just am. It’s not an article of clothing nor is it a particular genre of music. It’s not eating certain food or conversing with a certain vernacular. It’s Educated, check; respectable, check; law abiding, check; driven, check; ambitious, check; and most imitated, double check. I never, nor have I ever felt I needed to rise to any level of Blackness because I am Black and Black is I.

RIGHT 2 CARRY

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“How relevant are they really?”

As we enter a race for a new president of the United States, one of the topics of interest pertains to the place in which guns have purpose in our lives. And I am not referring to law enforcement officers, but civilians. The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution clearly states we have the right to bare arms. What does that mean? Does that mean I have the right to bare any arms? Is it limited to certain guns? Or did that mean something different for the time period in which people were living during the time the document was written.

The lines starts to blur between what is an acceptable gun to have and the right to access such guns. Pistols are clearly alright by most, but a high powered gun like the AR-15, tends to rub people the wrong way. Me myself, it’s hard to say because you do have questions. Why does one need something such as an M16, AK47, or the AR-15. What are the provisions one should have placed on them when you want to own a fully automatic rifle. Even the language is subject for debate because gun owners and enthusiast alike disagree with the populace over what is an assault rifle or not.

Well let’s first observe the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The document was written at the end of the year 1791, and since then debates have gone back and forth for the past 225 plus years. When we talk about the 2nd Amendment there are two areas of interest: gun control and gun rights. When taking away the gun (control) you start to infringe on people’s sense of security (rights). But what is a right? Rights are established in a society to give people the freedom and alienable ability to live how they choose so long as it does not negatively effect the lives of others (social morality).

Now when you are lax on the gun, people feel their rights are not being infringed upon. Well what has people up in arms about the topic. In the recent years, there has been a stretch of shootings using high powered rifles like the AR-15. Victims of those lost reach out asking for stricter gun control. While the gun owners feel the laws are fine the way they have always been. But today it’s a fight; between the owners not wanting to give them up and the government trying to restrict usage of certain guns. The government simply says we are trying to lower the risk of higher victim count. Gun owners say the government are using mass shootings as a platform to put policy in place to harm them for others irresponsible behavior.

Being responsible is very important to take notice of. Why? Because the majority of gun owners are law abiding citizens. They realize the severity of owning a gun and work to keep themselves from getting into a legality situation. Their argument is that the majority of gun violence comes by way of illegal handguns. Illegal is key because if you’re willing to own a gun unregistered and brandish it in public, you’re not concerned with policy by the government. Another argument is that gun owners feel the government is using a crime statistic, which comes from urban gang violence, to push their agenda. While not addressing that issue (inner city crime), which to them (gun owners) seem like a much bigger problem.

But the government says otherwise in their claims. They feel by restricting the amount of rounds one is able to possess; even in the case of a mass shooting casualties are lessened. We also have politicians who want to go as far banning all guns that don’t fall under the equation of handgun or shotgun/rifle designated for hunting deer and other small to midsize game. The government would further say that when the 2nd Amendment was written, it was suppose to be intended for muskets, not M16 assault rifles. Now gun owners would disagree stating that the individuals then were merely using the technological weaponry of their day. But the rebuttal from the government would be the forefathers could not have foreseen assault rifles. These men were also slave owners, which gives the government an in to imply that the forefathers were not right about everything as well even if you think the forefathers would have agreed.

In the end, the fight will continue between the two sides: those for guns and those for gun control. America already has more guns per capita than any nation globally, quite odd considering we are not in war time. It will continue, so long as the people feel infringed upon and the government feels cause to interfere in ones’ life if they see ones’ life or lifestyle to be morally unfit and a threat to this nation.