While on my way to work recently, I noticed two kids, a girl and a boy, at a school crossing on opposite sides of the street. The girl was waving frantically at the boy, who seemed to be either ignoring her or completely oblivious that she was saying hello. He crossed the street to where she stood, and I noticed he maintained the same aloofness he had exhibited toward her although he was now within inches of her.
I couldn’t help but think about how that mirrors so much of what I’ve experienced.
It’s debatable, but I think men and women can be just friends; it’s all good until someone catches feelings. I have a lot of friends who happen to be women, but I also had a few friends who happen to be women who also wanted to be more than friends, and things went downhill from there.
If I consider you a friend, there’s a good chance that’s all you’ll ever be because I value friendship more than risking it for a relationship, particularly because I don’t have the best track record with relationships. I would much rather have you remain a friend than become a potential ex-girlfriend.
Reading Danielle’s recent post made me think about each of my exes and whether I could see myself raising a family with either one of them if things had worked out between us. It turns out, for the most part, we were better as friends; I’m not sure whether love ever came into play.
But, unfortunately, there’s no friendship left. I never quite understood those people who insisted they would remain friends after a breakup. That idea is so foreign to me because my exes are no longer my friends. It’s not that I think I was such a lousy boyfriend to them that they wouldn’t want me as a friend. I certainly hope not! But, in retrospect, that’s definitely plausible. It’s also possible that the idea of what could have or should have been might have been too strong if we were still friends.
It’s interesting, though, because if my parents had embraced that way of thinking about breakups and no friendship afterward or reconciliation, you wouldn’t even be reading this because I wouldn’t be here and they wouldn’t be approaching 34 years of married bliss.
Over 17.5 million children worldwide have lost one or both parents to AIDS1 – equivalent to the number of people living in the six largest cities of the United States. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, nearly 15 million children have been orphaned by the pandemic.2
Today, May 7th, is World AIDS Orphans Day, a grassroots campaign established in 2002 by FXB International to draw attention to and advocate on behalf of the over 17.5 million children orphaned by AIDS.
In the last five years, the number of children around the world who have lost a parent to AIDS has increased by 2.5 million, and that number is expected to continue to grow. You can support the families and communities that comprise the safety net for these children, as well as the organizations that help children living with HIV/AIDS.
While at lunch with a group of coworkers, we chatted about our graduation dates and how long it took us to graduate. I remarked that it took me almost six years thanks to pancreatitis, but I added that I counted it as a blessing because it was during that time that I realized I didn’t want to become a lawyer.
At that moment, it hit me: everything we have to endure is not always bad.
I’ve often spoken of how I’m a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason”, but for something that has had such a profound impact on me to take on a new meaning is indescribable.
It came to me like an epiphany: wherever you are is wherever you’re meant to be.
It’s unreal how much I tried planning my life only to have it go absolutely in no way according to plan. For that, I am eternally grateful because I know that plans sometimes fail, but God always provides better options.
[Image: Flickr user jnb photos]
Black Twitter is quite fascinating, so much so that online mainstream (read: white) media has covered it with Slate detailing how black people use Twitter and Gawker explaining why so many black people are on Twitter.
In a Black Web 2.0 post titled “Missing the Point: The Real Story of Black People on Twitter”, technology consultant Anjuan Simmons mentioned:
Twitter is one of the most popular social networks, and according to the Pew Research Center, black people use it the most. Specifically, blacks comprise 26 percent of the site’s active users, compared to 14 percent of whites and 19 percent of Hispanics. In case you’re wondering, here’s why Asian-Americans weren’t mentioned.If other online sites continue to examine the use of Twitter by African Americans, they would do a far better service to their readers if they went beyond examining the sexiness of black Twitter users or simply exploring their entertainment value. There is a much richer story to report if they take the time to explore it.
Since blacks dominate Twitter, what if there were a way to track whatever is going on with Black Twitter? Enter The Root.com.
The Root’s The Chatterati is the first digital tool to track what’s trending in Twitter’s black audience in real-time, highlighting the stories, topics and tweets of importance to Black Twitter.
Sponsored by Toyota and designed by Cainkade, The Chatterati also includes a companion blog, The Grapevine, which is edited by
I’m quite intrigued by The Chatterati because this could definitely be a game changer in terms of really understanding what Black Twitter tweets about on the daily, particularly for those of us who aren’t on Twitter 24/7. Twitter is an invaluable source of information, but it can also be a breeding ground for rumors. I’m sure The Chatterati can cut through the garbage and stick to its mission of “[delivering] key conversations, concerns and interests of a group that is so active on social media.”
♫ Post Title Soundtrack: Goldfrapp - “Black Cherry” from Black Cherry
I remember the first time I saw the video for Kris Kross’s “Jump”. My cousin and I tried emulating the duo’s iconic backward style (like you, I’m sure), but we couldn’t carry it off with ease and ultimately decided it was best left to the professionals.
That was 1992, which included other music milestones — Michael Jackson kicked off his Dangerous World Tour; the soundtrack to Whitney Houston’s debut film, The Bodyguard, was released before becoming the best selling soundtrack of all time; and Vibe magazine launched. I mention this because Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Vibe* and Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly are unfortunately no longer with us.
Word spread like wildfire, as it usually does on Twitter, when Kelly’s death was reported Wednesday. His mother suspects it was a drug overdose, and while the autopsy is complete, it’ll be at least three weeks before the toxicology report is.
It’s a shame that drugs have claimed the lives of many.
It was reportedly during the Dangerous World Tour that Michael Jackson became addicted to painkillers following multiple cancellations due to health reasons, prematurely ending the tour before he entered rehab the following year. Kris Kross served as an opening act for the tour and also appeared in his video for “Jam”.
In 2009, when Whitney Houston sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an in-depth interview, she revealed that she had started using light drugs before The Bodyguard era but that her drug use escalated after meeting Bobby Brown, whom she married in 1992.
I’ll never forget the comments when we posted photos of Chris in 2009. While some viewed it as an opportunity to clown him, it was actually a mention of someone who had been out of the public eye for quite some time. That’s not to say other sites didn’t jump at the chance to do a bit more of the former rather than the latter.
It’s a shame that some choose to thrive on negativity.
We all are are of the media scrutiny celebrities face, but covering the deaths of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston really demonstrated to me that the scrutiny continues even in death. Drugs played a significant role in their lives and ultimately led to their demises, but everyone was utterly shocked to hear of their passings.
It’s a shame that we choose to celebrate life only in death.
Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly did their jobs of entertaining us, but when hard times hit them we hit them even harder, criticizing, judging and mocking them for our own entertainment. Yet, after they died, we spoke of the impact they had on us with their music. Why couldn’t we have focused on that while they were alive and fighting whatever battles they may have had?
It’s a shame we didn’t.
*Vibe was recently purchased by SpinMedia, and its print format will probably cease to exist.
How apropos that my senior class song, marking the end of one chapter in my life, would be used to mark the beginning of another!
Although writing has always played an important role in my life, I never considered writing as a career, and I’m still not quite sure I do now. I just can’t help but wonder, though, where I’d be and what I’d be doing if I had stopped writing.
Before I became a professional blogger, I considered blogging nothing more than a hobby. Over time, it’s transformed into so much more; it’s become a part of me.
While reading Jose’s latest entry, its last line truly resonated with me: “Don’t stop blogging. Just hope that the next time you do, it inspires someone to kick more ass.”
I’ve grown, not only as a writer, but more importantly as a man. Everything I’ve endured, both good and bad, has brought me to this point in my life. This site highlights where I’m headed and offers a glimpse into who I am, both as a man and as a writer. I never considered writing as a career, and I’m still not quite sure I do now; I’m just going with the flow and seeing where it takes me.
Care to come along?
♫ Post Title Soundtrack: Whitesnake - “Here I Go Again” from Saints & Sinners
[Image: Flickr user J L-S]
“ You are mysterious. You’re beautiful, intelligent, and virtuous, and that’s the rarest known combination.
“ Life begins at the end of your comfort zone, so get used to being uncomfortable. It won’t kill you. Do you need a sign? Here it is.
Watching video footage of the explosions during the Boston Marathon was absolutely chilling. Who would have imagined that something like that would happen as runners crossed the finish line?
I can’t help but think about my first tweet yesterday morning:
Today is a great day to be alive!— J. Dakar (@jdakar) April 15, 2013
My heart goes out to the families of the individuals who lost their lives and were injured. Who knew what the day would bring?
Events like this have the ability to bring out the worst in people. Although no one has claimed responsibility for the attack and he says he was being sarcastic Fox News contributor Erik Rush blamed Muslims for the attack even advocating, “Let’s kill them all.” In addition, a certain online media outlet and members of its staff used the Boston Marathon as an opportunity to garner clicks to its website. While some might say that they were doing their job of keeping the public informed, I’m fully aware of the tactics employed to distort media attention for profit.
After seeing one of their updates retweeted on my Twitter timeline this morning, I posted that I hate seeing someone profit from tragedy before I quickly deleted the update. I realized that whether I agree with their tactics they’ll continue to do whatever they want. Does what they’re doing directly impact me in any way? So why should I even concern myself with what they’re doing?
Events like this make us realize how truly fragile human life is and can force us to acknowledge our own mortality. In doing so, we see just how insignificant some things can be and are better able to determine what is of the utmost importance.
These last few months have been somewhat of a roller coaster, and I admit having lost sight of what’s important at times. I sincerely appreciate those of you who have supported me and continue to do so. I sincerely apologize to any and all of you I’ve wronged in some way (even including those of you who simply think I’ve wronged you). I sincerely forgive those of you who have wronged me because I know there was a lesson to be learned with the role in which you played, and I thank you for that.
Events like this force us to let go of the insignificant, and hold on to what truly matters.
What good does holding onto a grudge do? What benefit is there in hating someone? That’s not to say I hate anyone, but I will admit to holding a grudge against people in the past. I’ve begun to see that acting like that isn’t good for anyone, and that’s certainly not a characteristic I want to exhibit. One of the great things about life is that it’s never too late to change who you are or who you want to be.
I’m striving to be better so I’m letting go. Have you? Are you? Will you?
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
♫ Post Title Soundtrack: Janelle Monáe - “Lettin’ Go”
[Image: Flickr user .indigo.]
“ The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.
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J. Dakar on TwitterFollow @jdakar