Makes Me Wanna Holler … Throw Up BOTH My Hands!

Happy Friday … yeah … there I said it.  I’m trying to mean it but I need a little help … perhaps … from my “friends”.  Now, don’t take it wrong ’cause I’m not possessive.  Yet, if you are a friend of the “universe”, you’re a friend of mine!!  So, TGIF … Y’All!

When I came up with the title for this piece, I had been focused on the horrific situation in Ukraine and Putin’s sickness of his need to exact dearth and death on innocent women, children … and senior citizens.  Surely there is a place in hell for this demonic rogue!  Then … BAM!!!  Right out of Michigan … again … this time in Grand Rapids … an unarmed African man seeking asylum from his wartorn country is executed.  Patrick Lyoya, 26 a Congolese refugee living with his parents in Grand Rapids experienced a fatal traffic stop after being accosted, tackled face down, and shot in the back of the head …by a police officer!!  Why?!  Because he ran away from the officer and had the officer’s taser which had been fired twice by the officer and missed the mark!!  You might remember a situation in which an African American man was shot in the back of the head while shopping in a Krugers with a young boy …  Now we have a freakin’ cop losing control because a man would not drop a freakin’ taser (and he wasn’t strong enough to take it away!) as he lay face down on the ground … who then removed his weapon and shot this man in the BACK of the head “execution-style”!  Of course, the police department didn’t want to release his name … hmmm … (Can you say “de-escalate” officer “no-name”??!)

I’m sure many of us may remember Marvin Gaye and his famous hit “Make Me Wanna Holla … Throw Up Both My Hands …”.  Well, he was ahead of his time with the lyrics … and we can see all of the destruction and death, dishonesty and hatred, jealousy and envy traveling around the world!!  (Oh … yeah … I forgot to mention GREED!) It might be just that … we ALL need to holler … throw up our hands …. then get back to work saving our Planet!  Do you have something more important to do?!?  It definitely does look like a “ball of confusion” and some folks, unfortunately, like to contribute to mass hysteria and chaos.  Yet, from this, WE positive energy and vibration spirits must recover …  Yes, it’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it!  I’d rather go down “fighting” against evil than join those forces.  Be a positive influence in somebody’s life today!  Maybe even start with your own life!  “Free your mind … and your ass will follow!”  – Geo. Clinton

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

Thanks for reading!!

You Didn’t See That Coming?!?

Happy Friday, Y’all …

And … I say this with a lot of gratitude … that I’m here … The horror being spread in Ukraine should wake a lot of people up!! (Don’t you just love the “little leaders” who preach anti-wokeness to their sleeping flock!!) So, I’m ready to do a heart-felt TGIF for all breathing … Done!

Now, the United Nations has suspended Russia’s participation in the Human Rights Council.  Hmmm …  Is it because Russian soldiers have reduced themselves … again … to medieval monsters that use rape, pillage, and destruction of civilian homes as weapons of war?  Or, perhaps because as Ukraine’s government seeks to recover their soldiers’ bodies, the Russian military has made no effort to recover their soldiers’ bodies that remain strewn across the city streets and roads in multiple locations where bombing and fighting took place in Ukraine?  I don’t know about you but it shouldn’t even be any question about if rape, pillage, and other war crimes are being committed by Putin’s barbaric puppet soldiers!!  Horrifying!!  Methinks that he and several other autocrats have no interest in nor respect for democracy!!  They prefer to rule with an “iron fist”.

The concept of democratically formed government, which was an experiment in the USA in 1776, is being directly challenged BOTH in the States and abroad.  You see, democracy only works with populations of people with shared values, mutual goals, and basic human respect.  As I watched footage of the death and destruction, barbarism, and incivility employed by the so-called “Russian soldiers” who were often asking locals for food and toilet paper, there was one scene that stood out!  A news reporter was able to interview a small group of senior citizen Ukrainian women in a neighborhood that had just been shelled by the Russian military.  The journalist asked one woman what she thought.  She cut to the chase with: “F@ck his mother, Putin.  Has he gone mad?  Shooting children!”  The world watches as a “mad man” unleashes his wildest nightmares on humanity.  As the Ukrainian people, who are VERY human too, stand up and fight against all odds for “freedom and democracy”, there are little punks in Congress like Matt Gaetz who took his opportunity to address a distinguished general in the United States Military, Defense Secretary Austin.  He took time out from a House Armed Services Committee budget meeting to address “woke-ism” as he accused Pres. Biden of “starving the US military”.  You see, some “little men” take every opportunity to display their racism and contempt for “people of color” who have risen above ALL odds to acquire their professional positions which happen to be way more important than a big-mouthed, lying, fool who duped people (?) into voting for him.  More dog whistles!  So, let’s be clear, while little old ladies are fighting for the last remnants of democracy in Ukraine, rich little “white men” continue to sling racial hatred in the legislative branch in what was once considered “the home of democracy”, the shining city on the hill …” 

 Do you mean that we didn’t see any of this coming?!?  Of course, we did!  It’s just that the so-called “leaders” were too busy taking sides against accomplished African Americans … and this one happens to be a woman … than to pay attention to “the preservation of democracy”.  Are the US government AND people falling prey to the cataclysm of fascist, authoritarian, dictatorships while squabbling over “the spoils of capitalism” and this fictitious concept of “power”?  It’s like that in real life, too, not just in “politics” …  Be aware of the people around you who question your existence and your own hard-work ethic.  If you really want to be a “good person” and/or citizen of the universe (there I go again!), pay attention to the warning signs … like death and destruction!  “Positive Vibration”!

Thanks for reading!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

People Say The Darndest Things . . .

Happy  Friday, Y’all!

A quick shout out to the Ukrainian people … Blessings!  Fight On!!  Right On!!!

And if you want to join me for a TGIF, I’d appreciate it … for them, too!  “There but for the grace of God go I!”  You see … people are people wherever we go.  Deep down inside, we are part of the human race!!  Bones, flesh, and skin … filled with a holy spirit …

So, many people have stated their view on the “slap heard ’round the world”.  Yet, I wonder how many people have done ANY research on the constantly bubbling professional relationship between Mr. Rock and Mr. Smith.  It’s been more than tumultuous!  In fact, after complaining about how many movie roles that Will and his children MAY have taken away from Chris and his kids, it had become, in many ways, the “elephant in the room” whenever these two actors were in the same vicinity.  It ain’t easy being “Will Smith” from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” to “Gettin’ Jiggy With It!”  It’s also not easy being “Chris Rock” who has often been considered one of the funniest comedians going due to his “rough-edged” style.  Sometimes, it’s a fine line between “funny” and “offensive” language from ANYone.  Choose wisely!

As the world watches the utter display of mental illness by Vladimir Putin while he continues to try and wage war on a nation of people who are determined to be free of Russian rule, one can only shudder at the horrific displays of violence inflicted on these innocent people.  As the Ukrainian soldiers have stated multiple times, “The Russian Army is good a killing defenseless civilians … NOT Ukrainian soldiers!”  As was once speculated about #45’s mental state during the Capitol Insurrection, Mr. Putin’s mental state is also in question as the army of uninterested Russian soldiers continues to follow his insane orders …

Have you ever come out of your mouth with some hurtful messages for someone … perhaps someone already writhing in some form of pain from “life’s challenges”?  How does it make YOU feel when you do that to someone else?  How does it make you feel when the same thing is done to YOU?!?  Ahhhh, a little different I presume!  In my work as an author, a motivational speaker/writer, a social activist, a sociologist with “the world as my laboratory”, and a learning facilitator, I often step out into the line of fire, so to speak.  I try to be courteous in whatever I say about anybody, but I stick to the truth … my gut feeling coupled with what I can plainly see.  I work hard not to be against anyone who respects my right to exist.  And of course, if “you” have a problem with that, then YOU have a problem, not me!!  Get some help even though “self-help” is readily available.  In a small town like Puerto Viejo, some folks come out with “stories” about each other … and even ME!  Now, I try to be cool, calm, and calculated while some people display little to NO class in their behavior.  A few days ago, I was sitting at one of my favorite chill spots in Puerto snacking and watching the waves and the people during Sunset when a young lady whom I know but have kept a respectful distance walked past me.  She had a “new” friend with her who glanced up at me dressed in my usual French beret and a pink shirt with a pair of wide-legged multi-colored Caribbean-style blue jeans made in India, and my favorite black loafers that I bought in Barcelona.  I smiled and waved.  As they looked at me, I think I heard her whisper, “He’s gay …”  I wondered why she said that to her “new” friend. I am definitely not a desperate dog, so … I guess I’ll have to be gay for her!

In closing, I want to ask that we remember that kindness goes a long way.  It creates a good vibration between humans that if we employ this behavior often enough, can change our whole outlook on life, not to mention the wonderful opportunities created by such an environment.  Be aware of what we say to people.  Show respect for each other rather than trying to get a hostile laugh out of someone.  We all have our tipping points …  Yet, I never wanted to see two professional African American men pitted against each other on a worldwide international stage either.   Namaste

Peace,

John I. Cook. Director

Thanks for reading …

“Jerks Out o’ The Box!”

It’s Friday, Yay!

Y’all still reading and breathing with me?!?  “Hallelujah!”  (Any of y’all remember “Bootsy”!?)  TGIF!  Thank You …

Can you believe how far “back” down humanity is falling?  Don’t we have a choice anymore?!  Every time “we” turn around, here comes another “jerk out of the box”!!  The sad thing is that so many … way too many … including Russian soldiers were killed and left on the streets of Ukraine to rot!!  The mayor of one Ukrainian city said, “To leave these bodies on our streets like this is not normal!”  Imagine “normal” …

Can you imagine a teenage Ukrainian boy watching his mother burn alive in front of his face?  He had been hit by shrapnel and could not walk …  He was rescued alive.  This is how the Russian dictator runs HIS things.  Clearly, “it” has no regard for ANYONE else!!  Do you know people like this who try to use you and … then when done … try to discard you like a piece of trash!!?  These people are like “jerks out o’ the box”!  Unfortunately, those fake “tough guys” in Congress are afraid of having an African American woman in “the highest court in the land”!  But wait, did you understand that SC Justice’s wife – Mrs. Thomas – also tried to coerce Mark Meadows, #45’s right-hand man, NOT to allow Congress to confirm the 2020 election results!!?  Does any one of you have a wife (or husband!) like this?!?  How about a “friend” like this?!?  Trust me, it can be traumatizing!!

As one of the most dedicated “lawyers” continues to interview for the remaining seat in the Supreme Court, many of the ReTrumplicans are attacking Judge Jackson like she is “the boogie man”!  How dare she outshine those … those … call them what they are now … “jerks out o’ the box”!?!  Who does SHE think she is?!?  Understand these frightened “little men” who fear that their “race” … OMG … is losing ground in populating the States … maybe the Earth!  THAT’S what the problem is!!  How could Judge Jackson, or any woman, let alone an African American woman, hold a position in government that is higher than any of them.  Enter another jerk … Sen. Hawley … who tries to stoke fear in EVERYBODY’S heart when he insinuates that Judge Jackson would be lenient on “child pornography” defendants!!  Stupidity at its “best” (or worst, in this case) is being displayed, as if Judge Jackson ain’t a woman who has children, too!  But wait … says Ted Cruz … let me ask her about critical race theory!??  That didn’t work either as indicated by Judge Jackson’s response that “she hadn’t read those books he named and that CRT had NOTHING to do with her job”!!

Don’t look in the background as North and South Korea test intercontinental missiles while Putin attempts to bully Ukraine into submission!!  What kind of world is this where so-called “leaders” are threatening to … DESTROY the Planet?!?  I’ll say it again, I am a social activist, anti-racist, and a learning facilitator and I choose to define myself … not wait for “someone” to say that I matter and tell me what I should do to attempt to “Save the Planet”.  I can’t sit by idly and watch “us” destroy ourselves!! 

“Raise your words, not your voice.  It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder …”   – Rumi  (Thanks to a young man I met named “Riley” who said that these words remind him of me …)

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

Thanks for reading!

I Bet You Weren’t Expecting This!!

Happy Friday …  There but for the grace of God go I … er .. uh … us!  So, TGIF!  ‘Nuff said!  I want to thank you Heavenly Creature … for shining your light on me!

What a world we have today, heh?!?  I never thought there would be a World War III, and especially not in my lifetime!  How about you?  Well … Surprise!  Surprise!  Surprise!!  I am sure most of us remember when the Russian Regime with Lavrov serving as “liar in chief” for Putin and how they were invited to the White House by #45!?!!  That was when they made a complete mockery of the United States government.  The second time was when #45 stated to the WORLD from Helsinki that Putin said …  and it doesn’t matter what followed.  Now, I know that many of us don’t trust government PERIOD … but why would someone TRUST Putin?!?  On the world stage, that idiot #45 gave Putin’s Russia the green light.

So, now we can see what is in Putin’s mind … Death and Destruction! Each time that I check the news regarding Ukraine, I am riveted to my seat and cannot believe that we are witnessing this lack of humanitarianism in this day and age …  Peace be still …  Yes, this is how aggressive, egotistical, non-leaders prepare for extermination, self-destruction, and the like!  For sure, I am like most of us are though I care a lot about human beings, our Planet, and the outcome of this drama!

If you can’t find a good reason to “love thy neighbor as thyself” these days, then I think that we are beyond help …  Please prove me wrong …

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

Thank You for reading!

The Protean Self

Happy Friday, Yay!!

At least “Fridays” can still be comparatively peaceful for now over here …  So TGIF with me if you feel up to it!!  TGIF!

Welp, it looks like we may be seeing World War III in our lifetimes!!  How exciting?!!!  NOT!!  Is this what leadership looks like?!?  Freakin’ humanity is on the verge of collapse and “humans” are still fighting over land that belongs to the inhabitants thereof, and this imaginary thing we whipped up called “money”!!  Ask the Russian oligarchs … or the “American Family” that are wannabee oligarchs!!  How do we individual “nobodies” fare in a drama-filled existence on the planet Earth?!?  Adjust and adapt!  With the hunger for one’s control over another as “the game” goes, we have lost sight of the value of sincere yet basic human communications and relationships.  Enter, the “protean man” (sorry ladies!) or the “protean self”.  As time progressed and this concept became more widespread, it was later renamed “the protean self”.

One of the good friends I’ve made along the journey has a similar take on the situation as I do: “Survival of the Fittest”.  In looking at how “misinformation” and “disinformation” are being spun all over the place, like Russia saying that it did NOT attack Ukraine, one has to be sharp, logical, self-knowledgeable, etcetera, to NOT get drawn into one of these “rabbit holes”!  In the household that I grew up in, mis- and disinformation were the same – A LIE!  And let me tell you something, my Dad aka “Big Ike” didn’t like lies …  Imagine a world without lies!!  It sickens me how a “leader” can command soldiers to kill civilians, including women and children, and blow up hospitals, gun down families trying to escape this lunacy, and then have his “mouthpiece”, Serge Lavrov, tell the WORLD that what they see with their own eyes is NOT taking place.

It makes me chuckle sometimes as I see remarks about how corrupt government is.  Most “people” don’t even know why and how let alone where early forms of “government” were established in regards to western civilization.  Governments developed from the feudal system in Europe to protect “citizens” from thieves, murderers, and the like found on the outskirts of fiefs controlled by feudal lords.  The earliest forms of government collected taxes from the serfs and peasants in exchange for protection.  So, now we don’t want government in any form, right?!?  Do we WANT anarchy?  (I bet you’ll say “yes” if you have a few firearms at home.)  Can you say “real savage” with me, perhaps “uncivilized”?  I hope not …

The “protean self” cannot be discovered in books, lectures, classes, or webinars.  The “protean self” is developed by a person who realizes that change is omnipresent, deceit and lies have become manipulative tools for leaders, and one needs to learn and understand human nature.  The future of humanity depends on our ability to navigate through these troubling times!  What say you?  (Feel free to reply on the blog!)

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

Thanks for reading!

And Just Like That . . .

Happy Friday!  There … I said it!  And I got the “TGIF” for all of us today!  TGIF!!

Sometimes, it becomes tiring to deal with the nonsense and negativity of some humans.  I try not to judge, but to listen to a grown-up yell out disrespectfully while the President of her country is making the “State of the Union” address is so disheartening.  This seems ridiculous even for a high school student!  But here, we have a woman showing her last drop of decency go down the drain …  And some folks in Congress even dare to question the character and background of the President’s recent nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court while sitting next to this buffoon styled moron!  The hypocrisy is horrific, the disrespect is intolerable, yet this type of behavior continues in the People’s House!!

As I matured in life (aka got older!), I realized that just as someone can get caught up in a downward spiral in life, one can also get caught up in the natural uplifting spiral!  That not only raises our own vibrations but … I believe … that “upward spiral” is unlimited.  You see, that spiral is not one based on how much one has “acquired” (money, property, yachts …) in this “man-made world”, but is based on positive vibration!  Have you ever thought about that in making your choices in life?  I mean, it’s only logical or “natural law” that the higher more positive vibration would yield and attract MORE positive vibrations!!  One just has to get on that “frequency”, if you know what I mean.  And just like that …

Those of you who may be new to “EE” should know that the entity also strongly emphasizes the development of “spiritual health”, which is different from “church”.  THIS is an inside job that I usually achieve through meditation.  This is why I often choose NOT to be around the drama-oriented, toxic, and destructive types of humans.  As I often share with my readers, I seek to be the best, most positive, and contributory person that I can be!  Notice … I didn’t say “better than you”!  This is where people get “life” twisted and over-emphasize the competitive nature of the human acquisition of “things”.  This is when people do the unimaginable … like bomb churches, schools, civilian dwellings …  All of that negative energy can only take “you” and humanity DOWN!!

In closing, I would like to “thank” those of us who embraced the intentions of Black History Month.  Yes, and I’m “black” according to society’s color definition 24 hours of EVERY DAY!  THAT’S why I keep my vibration “lifted”!  Try it … you might like it!  A special thanks to friends and foes alike for helping me get here!  The journey continues …

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

Thanks for reading!

Is It Crazy Enough for You Yet?!?

Happy Friday, Y’all!

We each can find something to be grateful for so join me in a TGIF if you’d be so kind!!  Done!

How are you guys holding up nowadays?!  Is there a new group forming in the States called “American Politicians for Putin”?  The former president is enjoying this presumptive bloodbath and says “I know him very very well, and he’s very smart!”  Can you imagine this?!  Now there are GOP (Republican) members in Congress also criticizing Biden at any and on all points including praising Putin!!  America is about to implode and the authoritarian vultures worldwide are looking for their next bite of the Planet … or what’s left of it!!  Pay close attention if you haven’t already seen it but “the Russian bots” are out … on Facebook spreading fear!!  What a world we live in.  It’s a world in which it is extremely important to “know thyself” … the good and the bad.

At this time in American History, we see several cases involving murders of still more African Americans by vigilantes or law enforcement officials.  I am extremely happy that the three characters who lynched Ahmaud Arbery in broad daylight finally got their rightful punishments – life in prison.  Imagine that at the onset of the flow of information through the police department and the prosecutor’s office, these three bad guys were NOT even going to be charged!  This is from the playbook of “The Old South” in which Ku Klux Klan members are also officers, chiefs, and prosecutors simultaneously.  So, folks of color never had a chance.  These mofos tried again … in broad daylight … and even filmed it themselves … to lynch a human because of his color!!!  A heartfelt sigh of relief must be flowing through Ahmaud’s mother and father.  Ben Crump said referring to the former prosecutor Jackie Johnson, “We’re coming after you next!”  Notice the perseverance and patience REQUIRED of African Americans to get the wheels of justice to churn not to mention in “their” favor.  

Vladimir Putin has taken advantage of how “Americans” are so fragmented – racially, religiously, politically, in regards to the virus, in regards to climate change – that we now have “Americans” cheering for an authoritarian, totalitarian, monstrosity of a dictator.  And imagine after seeing #45 cozy up to Putin like his new whore, so many fools want to blame Biden!!  Prayers for those who stand on the doorstep of death so one creature can have his way …  Peace be still …  I know over half of amerika is not “woke” yet, so I wish you luck sleeping through this nightmare,  Blessings

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

ps. Thanks for reading!

It’s Hard to Say Anymore . . .

Happy Friday, All!

If you’re up for it, let’s share a moment with a kind thought … about anybody or anything … just make sure it’s kind!  I know it takes practice and discipline, so TGIF!

This month continues highlighting the contributions and accomplishments of African Americans.  Indeed, as a people and community, African Americans have internal issues caused by the use of the “evil institution” of slavery to build the then-new nation’s economy.  While I see perhaps a resurgence of ignorance based on fabricated fears proposed by “non-leaders” or avaricious puppets of greed, I am honored to have known two fine men in my life who passed away this month.  I mentioned my Coach and Athletic director from St. Paul’s School in a recent message.  He was an advocate for “rising above” … that’s what leaders do!  The other gentleman that I wanted to mention who also recently passed away was Manson A. Donaghey, former Principal at White Plains High School where I held my first full-time job teaching social studies for 10 years!  My mother was also a good friend and activist in White Plains who knew and worked with Mr. Donaghey.  She only had positive things to say about this man.  A special thanks to Mr. Tom Painchaud, a classmate from SPS who sent a copy of the obituary …  Peace be still …

Have humans lost the capacity to do or at least say kind things to and about each other and our world in our daily lives?!  It’s like no matter what is being contemplated, considered, or even discussed, many humans don’t seek a solution, but instead, seek a diametrically opposed view to any “give and take” nor attempt to understand the “other side” to arrive at a solution!  What generates that state of mind?  Like Ahmaud Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery said after listening to comments made by the three accomplices about African Americans and how there were none in his community …  “It’s a sickness to hate someone … and they haven’t even done anything to you!”  There are people who don’t see the mental illness in this type of behavior.  Of course, it’s easy to say, “Why don’t they stop complaining!”?? If your life was and is never threatened because of the color of your skin, you have NO idea of the pressure, ignorance, and downright stupidity that people of color who have successfully dealt with this illness MUST experience!

Just a few days ago in a Bridgewater, NJ mall, two teenagers were having a verbal disagreement until the bigger kid who was a light complexion Hispanic got his flailing hand pushed away from the face of the African American kid.  The bigger white-looking but Hispanic kid (watch the video!) was the aggressor and was controlling the fight until two police officers grabbed the Hispanic kid off of the African American teen to sit him down on the couch.  Then the 8th grade 15-year-old African American was thrown to the floor in the mall, the female officer put her knee on his back, and the male officer (both white) handcuffed the African American teenager while the taller teenager stood over them watching!  You see, this is a situation where the “residue of racism” was imposed upon the African American teenager by the white police officer.  Even the youth filming the viral video commented, ” … it’s because he’s black … racial motive …”.  Some so-called adults can’t even recognize what those teenagers clearly notice!

Obviously, we need more adults to recognize this attitude re-permeating the fabric of American society.  We can see this with former officer Kim Potter who “thought” she had her taser when she killed the young African American male Daunte Wright (RIP).  I am willing to hypothesize that her brain was wired one way while her mouth was making a conflicting statement!!  The Residue of Racist Thinking eventually comes out in one’s behavior … As the officers who aided in the murder of George Floyd get grilled in a civil suit, a juror is asking for “counseling” after hearing the repeated racist, hurtful, and hate-filled statements attributed to the murderous trio that clearly identify that this was a premeditated lynching, murder, and HATE CRIME … of Ahmaud Arbery!!!

In conclusion, it’s really hard to say anymore.  I just hope that the youth of ALL races can recognize the racial storm continually building up in … amerika …  

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

The Gift of Life

Happy Friday, All!

We here at EE continue honoring descendants and heroes of the African-American slave trade and their contributions … to the world!  So, TGIF with me if you will!  Thank you, kindly!

Our lives indeed are “ours” as the cry for freedom rings out all over the place, including some truckers in Canada.  As we all too often learn … sometimes too late … that we’re all connected on this Planet.  What one does, has an effect on others, often many others!  A long-time friend and former Coach at St. Paul’s School, Concord NH, passed away a few days ago.  He was one such person, though I was under his athletic tutelage for 3 years, who touched my life in ways that have had a lasting effect.  I reiterate that his life of nearly 100 years was a great gift for many of us, including “the brothers from The Red Tails aka Tuskeegee Airmen”, whom he actually fought with in World War II.  One afternoon, in Cocoa Beach, FL, he and Mrs. B. met me for lunch and he gifted me a booklet entitled: “Rising Above” (Lessons Learned from the Legendary TUSKEGEE AIRMEN).  I still have it … signed by him … Peace be still …

We could look at our lives as a “gift” for ourselves and perhaps someone else, rather than as something we actually earned whose “freedoms” we must fight for at every turn.  But here is where it gets tricky.  How far do we take these freedoms?  Now, it should be clear to any human being that no one has the right to “own” another human being, already equipped with a mind, body, and soul!  I can honestly say that at this time in my life, I feel “the present”.  I know it sounds cliche but I am learning to live in every moment and appreciate the gifts along my journey.  These gifts seem to be all “karma” related as I always try to put my best foot forward when I am clearly cognizant of the repercussions of my actions.  Do we need so much freedom that we grind the human civilization to a halt because we want more “fabricated freedom”, to just say “no” … because we can?!?  Read up on what former African American slavery was like … just to wet your whistle.

On the personal side, I have started a regular workout routine for 2 months now.  I’m consuming more fruits and vegetables …  I take time when I wake up in the mornings now that I don’t have any place to run to at 9 or 10 am.  I can roll over, sit up, lay back down, stretch out for REAL … taking all the time I want.  I still always wake up early for a Curcuma/ginger tea or fresh smoothie (batido as they are called here).  If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I get to the gym facility across town by nine.  If it’s Tuesday or Thursday, I make it a point to get to this enormous surf beach in Cocles in the morning, place my beach chair in the shade, and meditate on the natural sounds … or my smooth jazz music.  Now that I have transportation on my City Coco Electric bike, I no longer carry my cane as it can be a bit cumbersome during errands.  A lot of progress is being slowly made … with no surgery necessary …  So, I am good!  I am at peace with the universe in general.

As we go through our lives each day, make an effort NOT to be obstinate … just because you can!  (Keep in mind this Black History Month, everyone cannot be obstinate … just because!  #TrayvonMartin #ErikGarner … and the list has continued of unarmed African Americans being killed … no effin’ freedom … in the streets of the land of the free, home of the brave …)  While attempting to get rid of the hideous electoral college in the States, maybe we can change the wording of that motto … or … choose to live up to it!

Have a great weekend and thank you for reading!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

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