Mask II



Monday, Monday … y’all!  “It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood!”, according to television character Mr. Rogers!  I don’t know who use to make me laugh more … him or Pee Wee Herman!!

As I often do on Sundays when I can, I hang home and rejuvenate a bit.  It was one of those kind of Sundays …  With the personal things that I am dealing with, I often have to recoil and figure things out again … and again … and again!  So, for me, the motto of Educational Excellence, “Know Thyself”, is so very important!  Some folks play this “role”, or try to be someone they are not, or even have like “multiple personalities” depending on to whom they are talking!  You know, some people become “different persons” when they are in front of “others”!  Imagine that!  One of the most important “talking points”, if you will, of Pope Francis when he spoke in the various Masses he conducted, involved the lack of tolerance of sexual abuse of children as there have been many scandals uncovered regarding Catholic Church officials here in this country.  He removed the “mask” of perfection that many people have associated with the Catholic Archdiocese.  He clearly stated that the abuse of children, especially sexual, will not be tolerated and will be investigated and those involved dealt with accordingly.
Of course, the topic of today’s message, “Mask II”, is borrowed from Joel Osteen.  His sermon Sunday was basically touching on the fact that he believes that one cannot recover … from ANYTHING … unless one is honest with ones SELF … when they do indeed have circumstances in their behavior that are causing problems in their lives!  In other words, take off the mask of “self righteousness” or “perfection” or the one that many of us wear daily, the mask of “denial”.  Joel stated that he believes that Our Creator doesn’t like us to “wear these masks” as it makes ITS work that much more difficult.  This is an integral part of any 12-Step Program, admitting that one is powerless over their “addictions”.  In simplicity, it can be said that unless one sees a certain behavior as problematic, they will NOT treat that behavior as destructive while it is indeed destroying one’s life!  Take off the mask and “heal yourself” because one is not deceiving others as much as one is deceiving … ones SELF!
So, I have entitled this one “Mask II” …  Here’s my spin on it.  Now, most of you who “know” me are aware that I have a pretty good education and can read and write, even work a computer and perhaps build a website and a blog.  Yet, I have been ostracized from the “profession that I studied for in college and graduate school”, teaching and educational related careers (admissions included), because I had been charged with “gun related” crimes in the past.  Yes, it was over 10 years ago and I didn’t kill anyone nor rob anyone … just defended myself, which is a highly uncommon defense in Florida courts unless you are Caucasian (or other non-black) and you are “standing your ground”.  Yet, I won the trial also held over 10 years ago.  I had a second gun-related charge when I fired a “warning round” into the ground where I lived on Fort Lauderdale beach to wake up a drunken racist and let him know that he could be stopped, even if he was wielding a crowbar!!!  This case I pretty much lost and was placed on probation, which was later violated when my “ex” had called the police after hurting herself when chasing me as I attempted to allude her and the argument!!  The judge violated my probation and I was sentenced to a year in Broward County Jail for “resist/obstruct arrest without violence” when the BSO officers came to arrest me.  This is why I write the blog and these e-mails, and, why I also have a website to market my motivational speaking business as well as offer “alternatives to typical thinking” on major subjects like “racial profiling” or police brutality … even misconduct of clergy members.  Besides, if anyone wants to find out anything about you, they can pay somebody to find those things out!  So, I would rather volunteer the information rather than have some “loose canon” giving inaccurate accounts of who THEY think I am!
Take off the mask.  Be yourself.  I don’t really have a choice at this point.  Thoughts about the third book keep swirling in my head … “Cooking With Life”!
Have a great week.
John I. Cook, Director

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