A Note to My Mom …

Happy Friday, All!  I hope those of you who utilized Thanksgiving as a time to rekindle kind spirits, visit and be with family or friends, and enjoy the comfort of a good home with good foods and beverages enjoyed the time together.  So, I KNOW that you can politely say “Thank You!” for the many many blessings.  TGIF in a fine tone of voice.

I pretty much spend this time of year alone.  I don’t like going to “look” for people to hang out with during these spiritual holy days.  I used to go to a good childhood Friend – Peter Zachary RIP – and his Family for the “holy days” … even Hanukah.  For me, it’s better to be alone than take the chance of experiencing some unnecessary negativity … from ANYONE!  I know that it’s not easy to be “content” or “happy” when you are alone, but I can … I simply can!  I’ve HAD to do it a few times in my life.  There were a few times when I didn’t see people whom I actually knew for several months.  No … I didn’t “grin and bare it”, I went inside.  I also know that the “inside” of some people is a place that they don’t want to be.  Some don’t even know how to get there!  Many folks have been driven outside of themselves so often that they are not sure who they are anymore.  Not a journey that I’d even want to begin, let alone complete.

You know, as the youngest in my original family I got to see a lot.  And still, I had to star in my own family dramas from time to time … rebelling, testing boundaries, and just acting up.  On November 6th, 2005 at about 1 am, Marietta Dolores took her last breath.  I had just left the hospital’s hospice ward while she remained in a coma until expiring.  As soon as I had driven a half hour or so back home, my cell phone lit up in the darkness of the City due to power outages across South Florida caused by Hurricane Wilma.  I hurried back to the hospice to bid her a fond adieu and went back home before going to report to work.  I didn’t stay at work long … I couldn’t …

So this Thanksgiving note is for her.  My Dad was like the “hammer” once provoked by one of his children’s stupidity or selfishness.  My Mom did the “clean up” with lots of love in whatever condition she found us in.  I remember hiding under the bed once because I knew my Dad couldn’t fit!!  That did it!  He got a hold of one leg … and the rest was a blurry teary history.  “Big Ike” didn’t play once you had provoked him and he had gotten angry!  Discipline was of the utmost for him.  However, he was very lenient with his two daughters.  Once, my oldest sister actually cursed at him!!  I was like, she must have a death wish!  But this time he just walked away.  From what I can remember, he never spanked his girls …  My Mother loved him for that, too!

We were well-raised as a family.  We all HAD to sit down at the tiny dinner table in the kitchen of the three-bedroom apartment in the Winbrook Housing Project.  No, you could NOT eat in your room or in the living room!  We EACH had our seat at the dining table.  We said “Grace” before every meal that we ate together, Dad’s doing with Mom’s lead.  I liked it.  I felt an integral part of “The Cook Family”.  I felt the love, especially during the Holy Days which included Thanksgiving.  We had Saturday outings together as a family to places like Bear Mountain State Park in Upstate New York and often met up with other families from The Winbrook Apartment Complex with kids of similar ages as us four.  It would get so “good” sometimes, the adults would even let us go off on our own and enjoy the Park’s amenities which included boating and horseback riding!  But as we all know, some of the “kids” turn out different than what the parent(s) wanted.  It’s pretty much a crap shoot from the parent’s perspective though the responsibility for providing a safe and nurturing (free from bullying) environment for the young ones to have their best chance at life is definitely solely on the parent(s).  My parents did their best … with each of us.  It’s just that I have taken on the responsibility that they set out on … being the best that I can be.  And yeah, I had to fight back sometimes against bullies (still do from time to time!).  So, confidence and courage must be instilled in the “kids” so they learn and know how to protect themselves spiritually and emotionally. (I accompanied Mom and Dad to Bethel Baptist Church frequently!)

The Colorado Springs shooter had had his name changed due to his horrific experiences of being bullied … even online … and abandoned by his father at a tender young age … 2 or so …  His mother then put on her “convict coat” and received multiple charges including arson.  Now, these aren’t excuses but they are REASONS why parenting should be taken seriously.  A parent or parents can really mess their children up by letting them be bullied and not teaching them the proper defense mechanisms.  At some point, a victim of this pathological family behavior coupled with being bullied via an online account characterizing him as an “abused Asian transexual” or something extremely hurtful like that is going to snap.  While “Aldrich” (formerly Brink before a legal name change) says that he is “non-binary”, his father said, “…we don’t do gay!”  So, imagine where his various psychological states had been as he tried to navigate his way and “grow up”.  Still, it seems that the “red flag laws” weren’t exactly helpful after charges were dropped that had been filed by his mother after he threatened to blow up their home with a homemade bomb, perhaps dropped by his own mother.  You see, being a parent is more than saying it or taking credit for it … you actually have to BE one … responsible and accountable and all that other stuff.  Sometimes, people hold on to a child like a pawn in a chess game or a trophy of some sort without ever being a full-time parent.  This is an unfortunate quagmire of misdeeds, lies, frustration, and unaccountability.  What else could they expect from this burgeoning monster?

I’m simply trying to elucidate the importance of how good parenting can increase a child’s chances of becoming a stable citizen of the universe, perhaps worthy of procreating another decent human being.  A stable family unit is extremely important.  If you are not “ready” to become a parent, then DON’T!!  It’s all cute and fun until the “kid” acts out uncontrollably by hurting others … as “it” has been hurt, maligned even.  So, I thank my Mom for choosing my Dad, a true partner, to help me along my way!  I’m grateful for ALL they showed us … even their “mistakes” as they found and fought their way through a racist system and society so I could come out okay and thrive!  I’m grateful that I don’t need a lot to be happy now and can manage my way through my life with as little hurtful, hateful drama that often appears in families like this “kid” …

So, as we move through this “holy day season” be sure to SELF reflect that YOU are doing a good job at being the best that YOU can be!  It’s truly a blessing!!  You’ll see … trust me!


John I. Cook, Director

Thank you for reading … it means a lot to me … and hopefully, the world!

No! NOT This Malarkey … AGAIN!!

Yeah, yeah, Y’all!  Happy Friday and a TGIF to each of the readers of this blog!!  Thank youse very kindly!

I know the whole world has heard that #45 is going to play his hand at fooling still more “dumb” Americans … to vote for him as the republican (Retrumplican) party candidate for president of a democracy formerly called The United States of America … hmmpfff!  I mean, how can ANYONE fix their brain to think that this modern-age monster can lead anything, not to mention a country?  If any former president had publicly stated and defended saying, “Just grab ’em and kiss ’em!  Grab ’em by the *****!  You’re (I’m) like a rockstar!”  … they wouldn’t be considered for anything except an in-depth mental health evaluation!!  It’s hideous just to listen to this moron speak!  And then “people” clap!!  WTF!!!  

This guy was advocating not only the destruction of one of the last if not strongest democratic nations today but with leadership, help, and direction of white supremacists!  And “anyone” wants him to ruin this nation again?!?  No … PLEASE don’t do this!!  I didn’t say “run” … I said RUIN!!  You might ask, “What is it that Americans want?” When answering this question, we MUST take into account the fact that “the American Experiment” involves multiple ethnic, religious, and “culturally diverse” groups of people!  As I listened to former President Barack Obama warn us, it became clear that democracy is being threatened worldwide!  He concluded, “If we don’t learn to live together, we’re going to destroy each other …”  Do you think that some people actually want us to destroy each other?!?

PLEASE, not the same malarkey from a creature who is facing multiple legal challenges?!? LOCK IT UP!!

Please try to find ways to get the country to function as a democracy.  The world is watching!


John I. Cook, Director

Thank you for reading …

THIS Is YOUR LIFE! #Notamovie

Happy Friday, again, Y’all!  Does anybody know how many more Fridays we’ve got left?!?  Okay, no pessimism!  TGIF!!  BAM!

“It’s like we’re heading for climate crisis hell!  And our foot is STILL on the accelerator!” stated Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations.  Can WE hear him?!?  Can YOU hear him?  It’s like people are so caught up in their greed, competition, and horrifyingly toxic behavior (ie. Marjorie Taylor Green and company) that WE don’t even care about our own future, let alone our children, and grandchildren’s futures.  A few days ago, Mr. DeSantis, the governor of Florida stated after he had won a substantial victory, “There will be no room for “wokeness” in Florida.  Wokeness will die in Florida!” … or something to that effect.  Now, being an African American male born and raised in the USA, I don’t even want to visit a place where “being aware” aka “wokeness” is on the chopping block.  When I heard that, it became clear that this is the first of his political messages as he seeks the 2024 presidential nomination for the republican party.  In other words, civil rights are NOT something to be entertained too seriously in Florida.  And of course, if DeSantis has his way, the entire United States will be “sleeping” on his watch so that he can “do what he does”!  Many Americans walk around in a haze anyway because they don’t know the history of THEIR own country and are unable to determine if their rights are being taken away (ie., Roe vs Wade).

It is also clear that the entire world is in a state of upheaval!  As Mr. Guterres and his faith in the young people of the world with their desire to live in a habitable place are promising says, he will attempt to hold the “leaders” of the world accountable.  Now it seems that the less developed countries which are suffering the brunt of the effects of the climate crisis are asking for compensation!  That compensation is calculated in dollars and cents … MONEY!  So, we will be back where we started in this …. fighting over how much MONEY will heal the Planet when the clear solution is to STOP polluting it.  Yet, we ALL know that no amount of money can change people’s minds to save their own arses!  THAT’S the sad part!  Many of us have been spun dried so many times that we don’t even care if we get “wet” anymore!  And … THAT’S NOT FUNNY!  This is YOUR LIFE!

Sometimes in my deepest meditation(s), I almost wish that things would get so messed up on the Planet that we ALL take a fall into oblivion … with the leaders!!  I mean, if you were “God” or some other omnipresent being, wouldn’t YOU want to see an end to this “human drama” as we become so obsessed with something “manmade” like money rather something entirely different and superior to money … OUR PLANET!  I see people writing and speculating during elections to take “our country back” …  I’m like, these Mofos don’t even know that “our country” used to belong to some other people … Native Americans!  Yet, even though we KNOW this, our brains are too contaminated to UNDERSTAND this … hmmppff!  While I live out my retirement in a very humble yet satisfying manner, I do what I can to enlighten the “sleeping humans” who only hear and pay attention to political slogans that are hurled around like confetti by the so-called “world leaders”.  Have you thought about any of this yet?!?  I have a grandson, whom if he survives the world’s “malarkey”, might want to be able to live out HIS life, too!!  Do people even think about that anymore?  We are all caught up in our personal “dramas” that we don’t even have the time to “care” about our future … hmmppff!

In closing, see what YOU can do to pass on peace, love, harmony, and basic human decency and care for ourselves and our Planet …  It belongs to ALL of us!

Thanks for reading …


John I. Cook, Director

The Danger of GREED!

Happy Friday … at least from where I sit!!  And, I don’t think that this is an accident … so … TGIF with me!!  TGIF, DONE!

Well, as the States and its “experiment in democracy” faces a full-throttle challenge, I continue on my journey “to be the best that I can be”!  I am grateful to be alive and have the opportunity to contribute to this task.  I’m sure that you’ve noticed already, but there is so much controversy, destruction, and chaos prevalent that the average “Jane” and “Joe” can’t even think straight anymore!!  There in Russia, we have a person in power (not a leader) who seems to be living out his worst nightmares as he imposes his will on Ukraine!  Not to mention that “Pewtin” (lol) is affecting the entire Planet!!  As I sat Thursday afternoon watching specials of a program, “Call to Earth Day!”, I wondered what call would reach this monster.  His behavior like #45 has taken humanity to another all-time low.  I don’t know which was worse, though we can agree that neither is acceptable, 400 years of slave trade focusing on Africans … or … the attempted extermination of hundreds of millions of Jews!  The Planet is at another more comprehensive “watershed” where we humans can’t seem to use our intelligence to get our VALUES straight.  I mean, the country was really an experiment that took off nearly unharnessed.  Now we are faced with the repercussions of having a capitalist society and world with no “ceiling” or limitations to ensure that everyone is given a good opportunity to actually “live”.  In other words, we should be concerned that everyone gets “enough”.

In our capitalist world, there are NO LIMITS.  Ask Jeff Bezos who has agreed to contribute several billion dollars to help “save the planet” from human greed, consumption, and destruction.  In one segment, a woman named Sylvia Earle, a marine biologist, and her family have begun a very strong and effective program to refurbish, if you will, the natural ingredients of the Planet’s oceans.  I mean, I would love to see the ocean and its floor around Tahiti!! Do you think that some of the wealthiest inhabitants should “give something back” to the “world” if you will, that allowed them (along with their work and investment skills, perhaps) to get so much of what we capitalists have become accustomed to calling “wealth”?  Can you think of anyone??? Hmmm??? Is it YOU?!?  Anyway, as the youth have been saying at the end of these “Call to Earth” segments, “What’s yours?”

I know that it might be hard if you are accustomed to lying incessantly and being lied to, even more, you may not think that “TRUTH” matters. Trust me … it does!  So, as our flawed world continues to turn … thanks to the Creator maybe we can find some love for the Planet we live on as well as for the other creatures that we cohabit with the Planet.  Don’t just be “greedy” … find a way to GIVE BACK.  It creates a better planetary vibration!

Peace … and Blessings!

John I. Cook, Director

Thank you for reading!

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