You Have The Final Decision . . .


It’s Monday, ready or not here it comes!

Just remember, I am like most people. I look for things to motivate me to “do good”, think positive … even forgive! I also like to share those things, as is hopefully evident in these e-mails and blog posts. So, Sunday morning found me pensive, looking at some things that I need to keep in my radar, things/situations requiring constant monitoring and perhaps spontaneous action. I don’t particularly care for these circumstances as I am more of a planner who looks ahead and makes arrangements based on a forecast of sorts. I seem to have found it reiterated in a televangelist’s message. This is why I listen to all things that are purportedly good; who knows, I might find some enlightenment in those “things”. So, one guy who I like a bit (admiring the massive number of people in that church in Texas), Joel Osteen, was saying how important it is to remember that while we can not control others behavior, we can control our own!! In other words, don’t just react as if a button was pushed. But instead, respond like an adult would, especially knowing and understanding that everyone may not be so enlightened, nor even able to carry on a conversation about such topics.

I am fortunate enough to know some pretty fine folks. Sure, we are different expressing our own ideas based on our own experiences as well as perhaps others circumstances that we learned from. Yet, we are able to discuss these important issues stating our beliefs without being rude or offending one another. So, here, I want to give a shout out to a guy that I grew up with in the Winbrook Projects in White Plains, NY, David Stokes, who sent his response to the e-mail of last week. We went back and forth a bit and I enjoyed corresponding with him in this way. It’s been a long time since we “talked” back in the days growing up as young teens. Also, another gent that I happen to call “Counselor” or “G” depending on the subject, but a shout out to Gary Hodder from Toronto, Canada with whom I have the honor of having attended boarding school with though not in the same circles and just one year apart. Thanks for your insight, Barrister Hodder, that the situation surrounding the grand juries decisions in Ferguson and NYC is not only about race, but about re-defining the role of police and their training as well as more human relations training for diverse cultures that exist amongst the populations in communities that police work.

So, hopefully it is clear that it is something that needs to be addressed. These topics come from our everyday experiences and circumstances like selling loose cigarettes on the street or ripping off some cigars from the local “market”, neither are capitol crimes, not to mention graffiti writing on some Miami city walls. Deescalation tactics must be taught and implemented, and additional crisis training for law enforcement officers need to be made mandatory. Of course, I find this anecdote in many places, which also appears in yoga and spiritual disciplines, about making decisions, remarks and actions based on a careful analysis of options and repercussions rather than settling for that immediate gut reaction in potentially volatile and precarious circumstances. We indeed can’t make others like us, not even accept us and it is often hard to get basic respect. Some folks aren’t content unless “you follow them” and act as if your own self doesn’t exist as you have defined yourself!! It’s a lot, I know, again . . . I am done here. Choose wisely . . .


John I. Cook

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