This brother brings a very beautiful perspective to the dialogue on race relations in America. Watch it, Like it, Share it, but most importantly, listen to him.
I call on owners of media houses across the world to ensure that acts that violates the morality of mankind, such as the brutal killings of innocent civilians in Nigeria by Boko Haram, receives similar coverage as the coverage the terrorist attacks in France is receiving.
Some have argued that the terrorist attack in France is receiving more media coverage and global outcry because of the symbolism. That the attack on Charlie Hebdo is an attack on freedom of speech, which is a Western core value. To those trumpeting this line of thought, I say: freedom of speech is not a Western core value. It is a universal right of every mankind, an inalienable right given by God.
Meanwhile, even if the terrorist that struck Paris did so to attack Western Values, it is then pertinent for me to point out, for analysis sake, that Boko Haram’s mission, as has been reported in the news, is to stop “Western Way Of Life,” such as girl-child education, as practiced in Nigeria. There you go. Not as if I am endorsing girl-child education as a Western value in itself. It is a universal human value.
We are all humans. We all bleed red. And we are interconnected in some ways.
Covering terrorist attacks in France which claimed 17 lives around the clock while treating similar terrorist attacks in Nigeria which claimed far more lives as afterthought on TV doesn’t augur well for the human race. So is the global outcry and optics by world leaders. It sends signals that some lives are more important than others. And that certain things happening in certain geographical locations is of more concern to the world community than when similar things happen elsewhere. I choose to sound naïve. It is unfair. And it is this perception of unfairness that many a times causes us more harm than intended. Let us be wise in our conducts. And if these barbaric acts of cowardice and hate and intolerance should happen anywhere else in the world, God forbid, let us show the kind of solidarity in acts and deeds towards such, irrespective of the geographical location of where it happened.
Let the debate continue. . .
Senior Editor, TIME Magazine
Originally published on TIME Magazine on Sunday, Nov. 06, 2005.
You don’t get as successful as Gregg and Drew Shipp by accident. Shake hands with the 36-year-old fraternal twins who co-own the sprawling HiFi Personal Fitness club in Chicago, and it’s clear you’re in the presence of people who thrive on their drive. But that wasn’t always the case. The twins’ father founded the Jovan perfume company, a glamorous business that spun off the kinds of glamorous profits that made it possible for the Shipps to amble through high school, coast into college and never much worry about getting the rent paid or keeping the fridge filled. But before they graduated, their sense of drift began to trouble them. At about the same time, their father sold off the company, and with it went the cozy billets in adult life that had always served as an emotional backstop for the boys.
That did it. By the time they got out of school, both Shipps had entirely transformed themselves, changing from boys who might have grown up to live off the family’s wealth to men consumed with going out and creating their own. “At this point,” says Gregg, “I consider myself to be almost maniacally ambitious.”
It shows. In 1998 the brothers went into the gym trade. They spotted a modest health club doing a modest business, bought out the owner and transformed the place into a luxury facility where private trainers could reserve space for top-dollar clients. In the years since, the company has outgrown one building, then another, and the brothers are about to move a third time. Gregg, a communications major at college, manages the club’s clients, while Drew, a business major, oversees the more hardheaded chore of finance and expansion. “We’re not sitting still,” Drew says. “Even now that we’re doing twice the business we did at our old place, there’s a thirst that needs to be quenched.”
Why is that? Why are some people born with a fire in the belly, while others — like the Shipps — need something to get their pilot light lit? And why do others never get the flame of ambition going? Is there a family anywhere that doesn’t have its overachievers and underachievers — its Jimmy Carters and Billy Carters, its Jeb Bushes and Neil Bushes — and find itself wondering how they all could have come splashing out of exactly the same gene pool?
Farmer Joe decided his injuries from the accident were serious enough to take the trucking company responsible for the accident to court.
In court the trucking company’s fancy lawyer was questioning farmer Joe. “Didn’t you say, at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine,’” asked the lawyer.
Farmer Joe responded, “Well I’ll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favorite mule Bessie into the…….“I didn’t ask for any details,” the lawyer interrupted, just answer the question. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine!?’
Farmer Joe said, “Well, I had just got Bessie into the trailer and I was driving down the road….”
The lawyer interrupted again and said, “Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question.”
By this time the judge was fairly interested in what Farmer Joe’s answer and said to the lawyer, “I’d like to hear what he has to say.”
Joe thanked the judge and proceeded. “Well, as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side. I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into another. I was hurting real bad and didn’t want to move. However, I could hear ole’ Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans.
Shortly after the accident a Highway Patrolman came on the scene. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he went over to her. After he looked at her he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes. Then the patrolman came across the road with his gun in his hand and looked at me. He said, “Your mule was in such a bad shape I had to shoot her. How are you feeling?”
I hope this story brings a smile to your face and may laughter never cease in your life. Be happy!
So the sun came out today and we all have seen it. And it’s one helluva of a reason to be happy.
You probably woke up this morning, rushed into your bathroom to prepare yourself for work, and obviously, you had a chance to see your reflection in the mirror and loved the person that stared back at you. You stopped, observed you for a while and smiled. The beautiful you. The macho you. The curvy you. The big-boned you. The thick you. The pot-bellied you. The slender-built you. The athletic built you. Whatever your body type, you probably are in love with it and carries yourself with confidence, projecting an image of self-assurance. You should. You have the Ezeocha element in you and I love you. Be happy.
Even though Picasso said there is nothing more beautiful than the line on a woman’s back. Yeah. But if your own line has disappeared, maybe because you are probably overweight, still be happy with yourself. You are alive and you saw the sun come out!
Unemployment is at 5.9% in the USA. Probably lower in some places around the world. Few places. But definitely higher in many places around the world, including Nigeria, my beloved fatherland. But I still implore my brothers and sisters in Nigeria, be happy. Worse come to worse, there will always be Garri for ‘soak and travel’ and with 10 bucks, which you can easily hustle off any kindhearted brother walking by, you can buy yourself better fried peanut to garnish the oto with. So be happy.
ISIS is messing things up for brothers in the Middle East. Whether you are a brother living in Iraq, Syria, or in the Kurdish world, please be happy. Even though you are on what seemed to be an indefinite unscheduled and unpaid time off from work, still be happy. Even though some of y’all now live in refugee camps and not in your luxury homes that is beautifully colored with the love of your wives and the innocence of your vivacious children, still be happy. The perseverance and resolve of the U.S. Armed Forces will wipe ISIS off the map in no distant time.
For folks protesting another abortion of justice in the broad-daylight murder of another African-American teenager. In spite of this sad situation, please find a way to be happy. At least we have our First Amendment right which we are expressing to the fullest. So be happy. At least Ferguson have not turned to Tiananmen Square. So be you happy while you protest.
President Barack Obama. Be happy. Despite how much America seem to not appreciate all you have done for her through your thoughtfulness and prudent policies and programs. Please be happy. At least you have control of your administration and fires and hires as you wishes. So be happy. John F. Kennedy couldn’t even fire General Curtis LeMay at the peak of his insubordination. So be happy, brother.
I am so happy today just because the sun came up and I witnessed it. Not because I won any lottery jackpot. Not because I became six feet tall overnight. Not because I checked my bank account balance and I saw seven figures. And definitely, not because I am taking Kim Kardashian out on a date. Which may happen soon. Am kidding. Lol.
Today is Wednesday, and it’s a beautiful day to be happy. So be you happy all ye people of the world. I love you. God bless you and may God continue to bless the United States of America….