Keeping The Peace . . . Or Not . . .

peace man

Happy Friday, ALL!

Right about now, I’ve got to tell youse … yes, I said “youse” … I believe in a power far greater than myself … or anyone else I know. Call it “universal harmony”, or God … or “positive energy” or “karma”. But please do know that there is an aura of energy out there that shapes things beyond our control. Even the Pope made a comment about his belief in “The Big Bang Theory” and the fact that it was fashioned by God!!

Just last night, I was working with a student that I tutor named Gabrielle. She really likes science, wants to be a doctor or a forensic scientist … and is in 11th grade at Nova High School. She is the young lady who attended the “Women’s Leadership Conference” which was held at my alma mater, Princeton University, this past summer. Her mother, Haitian American – Mildred, hired me as her tutor to give her a “love of English reading and writing” as well as enhance her conversation skills on a professional, at least collegiate, level. So, I had a couple of tough days with a company that has my bank account information and has been authorized to make recurring charges on my checking account for some Omega XL green lipped mussel oil tablets! So, you know, they took two monthly payments/charges … though the second one was not authorized. So, it threw my account off, as I pretty much live paycheck to paycheck and I couldn’t pay my cell phone bill until this morning! So, when I went to “Gabby’s” home in Miramar, trying to take a route with no tolls … and also without my cell phone which had her mother’s phone number, address and GPS … I got lost!!! I tried to take a route that her mother had told me about … it was full of traffic and I was due there at 6:30pm, my usual time. When I got off of I-75, I took a turn towards the West, though I should have gone East!! I was low on gas, a half hour late, and didn’t remember to write down their cell phone/home numbers nor address in my planner. So, I was really lost! When I went to get gas, I saw a woman who gave me the general direction of Flamingo Road, which I knew intersects with their “lake community” in Miramar, FL.

I started driving in that direction, looking for landmarks without my GPS nor any phone numbers. My mind was chattering … complaining to me about not having been fully prepared. My mind was telling me negative things, like … “Give up and go home and call them” and “That was a dumb move … leaving your service-less cell phone home!” though I did have my “Obama phone” from when I had gotten laid off from Platinum Marketing Group. So, I headed down Miramar Parkway which I hadn’t been on in years and wasn’t sure where I’d end up at. I didn’t want to let my student down and my natural desire to “do what I promise” and to “serve others” was pushing me to keep driving and to ignore those negative thoughts in my mind!! I wasn’t created to doubt myself … I kept going. Soon, I passed the entrance to this place that looked familiar … It was the entrance to the “lake community” where “Gabby” lives!! It was a long and winding road … around the lake I went noticing multiple gates with guards in their booths. I was lucky because I knew that the neighborhood where they lived did have an entrance booth but no gate!! Soon … with the utmost determination to figure this out, I saw the ONLY entrance off of the winding road without a guard and a gate! I had arrived. I was nearly a half hour late. I got to the door, leaving my windows down in the Compass and knocked. “Gabby” was there and we worked for fifty minutes on a project that she had to begin annotating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”! Peace be still . . .

Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemies. In those moments, we have to keep peace in our mind, in our heart and our behavior. If we don’t, we play directly into the enemy’s hands … Peace is something I cherish, something that I advocate and something that I try to keep!


John I. Cook

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