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?
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….
It is no secret that in Texas, businesses runs the government. Friendly laws and policy decisions are made to benefit businesses than we the people – the very consumers that businesses rely upon for their survival. This is because of the generally accepted belief that businesses create jobs and by so doing help grow the economy. We the people on the other hand are seen more often as unwelcome inconveniences especially when we demand from government certain social privileges or when we demand that our rights be protected against predator businesses that prey on the vulnerable. In a nutshell, if there is ever a contest match in Texas between businesses and we the people, and the state government is the umpire, businesses will always win no matter how hard we the people try.
In this essay, I am going to argue that the shylockian exploitation of ordinary Americans in Texas by businesses, actions that are encouraged by policies of the state government, has reached an alarming crescendo and need to be discussed and efforts made to reverse the ugly trend. I will make my case using the ‘loan shark’ businesses and the relationships that exists between apartment renters and apartment managements as my references.
In early 2012, I needed to buy my first car in America. I just got my work permit and all the good jobs (when I say good jobs I mean better than minimum wage) I was getting were at places where the METRO bus system do not go to. So in order to secure these good jobs and better take care of my family, I needed to buy a car. I needed extra $1000.00(one thousand dollars) to complete the money I already had to get the most affordable car available to me then. Family and friend could not lend me the money. So I went to Ace Cash Express (a loan shark company) to borrow the money. They agreed to lend me the money but for the $1000.00 that I needed to borrow from them, they wanted me to return it back to them in two weeks time and by the time I will be returning the money, they wanted me to return $1500.00(one thousand, five hundred dollars) to them. $500.00 (five hundred dollar) interest in two weeks for a loan of $1000.00 (one thousand dollars). And that is a 150% interest in just two weeks. Nobody makes that kind of extreme gains in business in such a short time. Else, everybody will be a businessperson and nobody will be working for anyone else. Out of curiosity, I asked them how much I would be required to pay back if I chose to repay the $1000.00 after one month. And they told me that I have to return $3000.00 (three thousand dollars) to them by the end of one month if I choose to rather than two weeks, pay them back in a month’s time. And that, my friends, is a 300% interest rate. Just for a month.
The Texas-big question now is: where else besides Texas does a business make this kind of outrageous gains on an investment in such a short period of time?
Just hold your thought.
GOD had a good thought towards man who was lonely after he was created. A very good thought for a wonderful family life. “And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” And He went ahead to create Eve out of Adam’s rib and charged them to be fruitful and multiply……. That was the first marriage. And that was the origin of marriage. A union between a man addressed as the husband and a woman addressed as the wife.
Hang in there with me. Am going somewhere.
The Merriam Webster dictionary defined the noun wife as ‘a married woman,’ ‘the woman someone is married to,’ ‘a female partner in a marriage.’ On husband, the dictionary defined it as ‘a married man,’ ‘the man someone is married to,’ ‘a male partner in a marriage.’
So marriage has its origin in the Scriptures as America have its founding principles rooted in freedom. And just as an Iranian religious extremist or a Saudi with their tradition of misogyny cannot come to America and rather than choose to fit into the system, resorts to changing the American way of life just to suit his foreign ways; so should no one subscribe to the institution of marriage and want to redefine its founding principles, which is an established union between a man and a woman.
Meanwhile when God created man and woman, he gave us all the freedom of choice. The freedom to choose who to love, where to live, and what career path to pursue. And so much more. Those are inalienable rights. No man has the right to make a choice for the next man. And no one also has the right to impose his or her choices on another person.