Blind Faith

 

I was having an interesting conversation with a friend of mine about a nutritional company, that sells health and wellness products. He personally reached out to me, because I’d been involved with the multi-level-marketing company for over 5 years.  We sat and discussed it for quite some time, and then he told me a story, that quickly changed the entire premise of our conversation. How we went from an opportunity meeting about this company, to describing our relationship with Christ, I’ll never know. Below is a short version of the account:

 

Working feverishly,  I received a text from a long-time college buddy B.Samp. He and I had been friends since my days back at Prairie View and kept in touch especially along conversations involving fitness. He reached out because he said that he came home one day, and noticed a flyer on his door that read: “Want to make an extra $500 – $1000 a month? “ and “Would you like to be a health coach?”, me knowing the marketing approaches, immediately recognized this. Samp mentioned that since he was a certified and licensed personal trainer this sounded like an excellent opportunity.

He scheduled some time with the representative, and the gentleman, a very fit and in-shape ex-NFL player, sat with Samp and gave him some more information on the opportunity, although he never mentioned the company itself. He then followed up that short discussion, by inviting him to a meeting. It was once he showed up to the meeting that he realized that exactly what he walked into.

At the meeting various ‘leaders’ from the team gave testimonies, though not personal ones, and the meeting drug on and on. Though Samp tried to leave, positioning them at the front of the room made it very difficult for him to do so.  Now: It was not the events that led up to attending this meeting that struck me but it was two conversations he had shortly after the meeting.

Didn’t Work For Me:

Samp and the original representative that invited him to the meeting sat down to discuss Herbalife. In short, Samp told the rep that the products didn’t really work for him and that it would be difficult to sell something that he couldn’t personally provide a testimony for (noticing that’s what all of them had done was show other people’s results). The representative surprised, “They didn’t?”  Samp replied, no, I have a buddy that sold me some times before and it didn’t quite go with my goals and training style.

Try This Tea:

After following up in a conversation with the rep, he found himself speaking with another lady about one of the Tea concentrate products. The lady said: “Sir, you should try this tea! It helps to speed up your metabolism!”   Samp, very irritated at this point figured he’d press this issue a little further. He responded by reinforcing the lady and asking her how does it do that? What’s in it? (This is when things got interesting). She said it has… well… a bunch of… I’m actually not sure.  Giving her a very stern look, he asks: “So how are you going to tell me what a product does, and to try it if you don’t know anything about it, where it came from, what’s in it, or how it works. Expecting she’d be speechless, she actually had a response:  “Well I know the guy that created it, I don’t know all the details but He has a lot of accolades and I trust His work.”

 

 

When Samp told me this, I immediately was struck with an analogy to Christian living. I stopped him in his story and said, I think I know the reason you went to that meeting. He said what do you mean?

I began speaking (pretty much just what was fresh in my mind at the time). That lady has faith in a man she’s never met, and willing to try his products simply because of who he is.  I paused, Samp kind of gave a “so what are you getting at” type response.   Continuing on, I began discussing how this lines up with our relationship with Christ!

We come into the faith because we HEAR about a man named Jesus that was born a virgin, crucified, buried, and risen on the 3rd day; and by this act the sins of the world are forgiven.  Even as those that have been in the faith a long time, they find themselves continuing to comeback to Christ because of what His accolades and His past miracles have been. We’ve seen God do so much in our lives, and in the lives of our friends and loved ones that we believe in HIS product and works. And to align with her BLIND faith, we’ve not seen God but we believe. We definitely don’t understand all the details of His ways, but we TRUST Him anyhow.

In a sermon I attended yesterday, the pastor provided a motif of “The Lord works in mysterious ways, when He performs His works.” It’s the mystery of God that we are continually awestruck by, but it’s the perpetual reaffirmation that all things are coming together for OUR good, that keep us pushing.

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

 

With Passion, Purpose, and Pride,

 

Trent J ACEO

 

 

Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement for Herbalife, Inc. products or use.

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Incremental Wealth I

Incremental Wealth  Part I

This past week, my memory verse was one that reassured me that one does not have to be ‘poor’ or go without in order to live a righteous life. The verse is: But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. – Deuteronomy 8:18

 

As I reflected over the scripture itself, I found myself being encouraged to use the talents in which God has gifted me to better myself, my family, and my community.  In the ACEO Success Acquisition model there are 4 pillars that serve as the principles for this aforementioned acquisition: Worship, Wisdom, Wellness, and Wealth respectively.  I’ve noticed I haven’t offered you all enough tips on how to avoid debt, become financially literate, and becoming financially independent. So I want to start off by providing some tips that have worked for me to get us started on this journey.

 

 

 

  • Save 10% of What You Earn.

As a Christian, I’ve always been taught to tithe. Though I can’t convince all of my readers to give their first 10% of their paycheck to a church, I do encourage this recommendation. By committing to putting away 10% each month, you begin to build a reserve. I started this around the time I was 13, and it’s amazing how creating this habit of ‘paying it forward’ first has improved not only my financial situation, but spiritual as well.

  • Don’t Charge an Amount NOT in your Bank Account.

I must admit, this is a principle that I’ve applied to my personal finances, and it’s served me quite well. I figure as long as you’re not purchasing a car, or a home, there’s really no reason to charge up a credit card to a balance that you can’t pay off immediately. By dragging payments out over months and months, you end up spending more money that you would paying with cash, or paying it off in the first month. Thus, when you are trying to decide whether to go out, or how much to spend, check your bank account first. If you don’t have it, don’t charge it.

  • Avoid Get Rich Schemes

If it’s too good to be true, it is. Simple!  There are hundreds, and thousands of “opportunities” if you will promising you great wealth, with minimal effort, and minimal initial investment. Learn how to discern between reasonable opportunities to increase your income, and those just meant to promise you quick wealth. Wealth is the knowledge by which to acquire abundant goods and services, not the amount of said goods and services that one possesses. That knowledge can only be obtained over time, and the wealth that comes with it can only be maintained with that knowledge.

  • If You Need to Borrow for a WANT, Go without It.

It gets under my skin when people borrow money for things they absolutely do not need. If it’s not relative to a roof over your head, bills being paid, or food then chances are you don’t need it. Learn how to control your variable expenses by kicking useless habits, and by spending money on wants when your needs are lacking. If you’re going to impose this debt on yourself, also impose a deadline between you are the borrower on when you will pay it back. Stick to it.

  • Don’t Spend a Check You Haven’t Received.

Bonuses, tax-returns, inheritances, expected lotteries. All examples of “boost income” scenarios in which people come-up quickly on an amount of income outside of their regular expected pay. These end up being those that can make or break the level of incremental wealth that you obtain in life. For these ‘unexpected’ or ‘boost incomes’ DO NOT spend every dime of it, before you even receive it. Use these as opportunities to quickly upgrade your financial situation. Invest 75% – 100% of these boosts. If the truth be told, you weren’t expecting what you’re receiving so by investing it, your day to day won’t change, however your long-term financial goal will be one step closer.

  • Decrease Variable Expenses.

This can be a tricky one. On my budget sheet that I use I have a section called variable expenses. This group of expenses includes but is not limited to: gas, groceries, and utilities. From month to month these will slightly vary based off of time at home, visiting friends, traveling, and the seasons. Train yourself to be able to live off less. You can’t do much about your rent month to month, but you can control how much of your utilities you use, the amount of grocery store trips you make, and being aware of how much gas you’re burning. Try to find ways to cut $5 – $10 off per bill cycle. It definitely adds up!

  • Take Advantage of Rewards Programs, & Coupons

My name is Trent J, and I am a couponer. I use apps, clipped coupons, Groupon, living social, Google offers, and have an Amazon Credit card that I receive great reward points on for my every day purchases. One thing that has shifted my perspective on my financial situation is learning how to invest in everything and spend on nothing. Every time money exchanges hands, I expect to be receiving something in return whether its reward points, money off another item, or buy in to other saving opportunities. Yes it is somewhat time consuming but a few minutes here and there, add up to incremental savings over time.

 

 

I hope these tips are helpful to you and your financial situation. As you know the principles of ACEO Global are Worship, Wisdom, Wellness, and Wealth.  Wealth is an essential part of balancing our your success and happiness balance. Enjoy and share with others!

 

 

With Passion, Purpose, & Pride

 

Trent J ACEO

@TrentJACEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rules – Minority Success in Corporate America

The Rules – Minority Success in Corporate America (Part 1 & 2 Combined)

The Rules Pt. 1 – April 2012

THE RULES: PART 1

 

If you didn’t know by now the corporate world can be juxtaposed to a strategic or skilled game. I personally like to compare it to a game like chess.  Every piece has limitations, every piece has a role, and in order to be successful you must stay steps ahead of the competition. Just like Accenture, we all have limitations based on skills sets, in addition to aligning yourself to win the ‘game.’

 

I hope you enjoy!:

 

RULE 1:  ‘This is a game…and there are rules”

–          Know the language of the game, and be willing to take some risks to win.

You should most definitely learn how to speak the corporate jargon. Understanding the ACN business, in addition to learning the business jargon of the individual projects that you have been staffed on. For example you may hear someone mention “bottom line” or their margin between expenses and profit; business need and vision. In addition do not be afraid to take on the challenges on projects.  Those are normally the tasks that get you noticed whether you do well on them or not.   Here’s a quote: “If you do something you know you can do, it’s not a challenge” – Trent J

RULE 2:  Understand How the Company Makes Money

–          Become well versed in the company business model (ADM) and know what constitutes success.

Honestly, other than the networking, I think the time we spent on the ADM was the most interesting part of the Saint Charles training. We were able to really look over how the board oversees this extremely large firm, and how they estimate deliverables in addition to making their money. As an employee you must understand this, and make sure your actions and ambitions line up with the vision of the leadership. No one will rank you highly or recommend you for higher promotions if you are costing them money. Moreover if you do not understand how to apply the business model as is.

 

RULE 3: Deliver Results

–          “People will be sympathetic with your excuses, but impressed only by your results.”  Don’t be followed by ‘Don’t worry we’ll figure out a way to deal with it. The ‘we’ may not include you.  Outcomes are what ultimately matter to the company. So that’s what better matter to you. What can you do? Have you done it? How well did you do it? How long did it take? How much money did it cost? If I had to explain this rule in my own words, I would probably add: “It’s just business.” Learn how to do your job, and do it well.  In engineering courses you learn about the definition of efficiency:  = Input/Output.    Ideally you want the least amount of input to produce the maximum amount of output. Do the most you can using us the least amount of resources.

 

RULE 4:  Aspire to greatness… in whatever you do.

–          Don’t settle for ‘middle of the road’; mediocrity doesn’t get much attention until it’s ‘unwanted’; We’ll always keep good soldiers around as long as the work is there. Most people aren’t very good at sending touch messages, so the fact that you aren’t hearing them doesn’t mean that things are going great. In short: Be great and nothing less.

 

RULE 5:  Don’t get outworked.

–          ‘If you job seems easy, you’re not working hard enough.”; If you don’t know as much as the most knowledgeable people… then there’s obviously more work to be done. As I mentioned earlier, you must challenge yourself. Although from time to time an easier project or task may fit better for your current life situation, when it comes to advancement and building a skillset: YOU MUST CHALLENGE YOURSELF.

 

THE RULES: PART 2

RULE 6 – There are no “worthless assignments”

 

By far one of the toughest rules to try and absorb. We all know there are some tasks that have come across our desk that seem pretty worthless. The value may not come from the deliverable, but it comes from the person that assigned it to you. This is an opportunity to build a relationship with a cons, manager, senior mang, etc and identify a work ethic with your ‘brand’.  Regardless of the task if you perform it well and deliver on time and of high quality you will be remembered for that.  These types of instances allow ‘higher-ups’ to gain a sense of accountability for your success. Thus they trust you, and will vouch for you when it comes time for promotions, raises, and being staffed.

 

RULE 7 – “Master the context, not just the content”

 

Personally, this was probably one of my greatest challenges in college. Taking a course that you cared nothing about, but you needed to graduate. There may come some tasks like this across your desk. Although you may not be fond of them, it is your responsibility to take the task and master it’s content. It’s tough to know ‘how’ if you don’t know the ‘what and why.’

 

RULE 8 –  “Sweat the Details”

 

Think about this one in the example of studying for an exam.  You try and pick out the topics that the professor will more than likely test you over. The things they covered heavily in class; because of the lack of time you decide to skip the foot notes and optional readings they suggested at the beginning of the course. Then when you arrive to the test, you find out 80% of the test came from the optional text. To prevent a mishap like this, pay attention to details. Put yourself in the shoes of the client or even your supervisor to see how they might question your deliverable so you can  make good judgment to whether it is sufficient.

 

RULE 9 – “Never forget that a certain level of professionalism is expected at all times”

 

It is not ok to have a blue jean Friday attitude Monday morning. Remember this is your job/career you are here to make sure the company’s bottom line is met, and maximum value is created for our clients. Moreoever, you are expected to do so with an expected level of professionalism. Checking voicemails, e-mails, taking copious notes during meetings/discussions, and keeping your appearance neat and clean. You do not want to ruin the quality of your work, with a bad impression of your professionalism.

 

RULE 10 –  “Understanding the difference between Leadership, Management, and Execution”

 

Everyone wants to be a leader, even more want to manage (or micro-manage for that matter), but only few can effectively execute.

  1. a)      Executionis exactly that getting the work done. How much can you output, with minimal input at a high level in a short amount of time.
  2. b)      Management being able to understand planning, variables, cost, TIME, quality and resources.
  3. c)      Leadership This does not necessarily need to be a title or position. Ask yourself would anyone want to follow me? Can you motivate people with a clear vision of what needs to be done, why it needs to be done, and most importantly how you plan to do it.

 

With Passion, Purpose, and Pride,

Trent J ACEO

Nightmare – A Response to King’s Dream

Nightmare – A Response to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s  Dream

Well Martin. We’re here again. Here again celebrating your life… Not just the day that you were born, but celebrating each and every day of your life in which you dedicated yourself to the cause that was the betterment of man and the culture of the American society.  I have to say that I am very grateful Dr. King for the work that you and your followers dedicated so that I could have the opportunities that I have had in my own life thus far.

I’m reaching out to you because I too had a dream, well not so much a dream but it was more like a nightmare. A nightmare complete with all kinds of horrid and disgusting images that I’m almost ashamed to share with you.  I have to say that listener’s discretion is advised.  But before I even begin to reflect on those frightening images, I’d rather reflect on the Dream and the Vision that God revealed to you some 40 years ago.

Each year around your birthday I make sure to do a few different things: 1.) I list to your last sermon: “If I Had Sneezed and 2.) I listen to your ‘I have a Dream Speech’. Each one of them speaks volumes in their own special way, and each is a testament to the work and witness that God had put in you to shine on His people. I think about the marches, the sit-ins, the beatings, the arrests… I think about the violence, the bombings, the slander, the blood that was shed for simple equality. I think about the ideals in which the entire black community lifted as only 10% of the population, but made such a loud and resounding noise that it rattled the shackles of a nation; rattled those shackles free. Free, ah yes, that’s a good word isn’t it. I think if we were to think of the words that come to our mind when thinking of the Civil Rights Movement, freedom would be at the top of the list for most. Freedom… the word itself paints a clear picture in the mind of the speaker even as we repeat it. Moreover, I think about all the good that came out of fight that happened during the time. I think about the Inauguration that will be occurring Monday, Jan 21 of the first African American President of the United States of America. I think about how I’m a part of a generation that has never had to march, never had to walk in a back door, never had to use a different facility or room, never had to limit my options of where I would go to school. I’m grateful for that.   Dr. King, your dream has absolutely manifested itself in a partial reality. I thank God for the opportunities that I was afforded because you allowed Him to use you to lead a great movement.

However, Rev. King I prefaced my letter to you about a Nightmare that I had. And as promised, I wanted to deliver that to you. In my nightmare I was walking down the street, I’m unsure if I was invisible or not, but no one seem to recognize or acknowledge me.  I was walking through a local predominately African American middle school. A science teacher and a student were having a discussion about leadership. The young child exclaimed to the teacher that he didn’t want to be a leader, because being a leader was too much work. He said that being a leader, was too much responsibility. He said being a leader was too much trouble.  I don’t know why the cosmos began to flush my subconscious mind with a picture like this, but it happened. I had a nightmare and I hope it never comes true. I continue on in my nightmare to the a beautiful city in the Midwest called Chicago. What a fine city it is… I remember walking through the Southside of Chicago, still being unacknowledged, and witnessing 500 men, women, and innocent children being killed with each step I took down this street. With each step I took moving towards the end of the street another innocent life was taken. Blood laced the streets as though it was a flood into the drains and out on the sidewalks. When I finally got to the end of the street to talk to some people about why this was happening their explanation was, ‘it is what it is…’  I couldn’t believe it. ‘It is what it is’ what does that really mean? Does that mean that this is the only option? Does that mean that we are supposed to keep quiet? Does this mean that we’re so dedicated to honoring the code that we have lost our fear of God in the protection and maintenance of Human life? What does that mean. I must say Dr. King I had a nightmare, and I hope it never comes true.

As I continued my journey, I found myself in a college classroom: listening to a discussion between students and the professor. They were discussing how to get a good job. Some kind of way I ended up in another classroom, and another, and another, and all of the classrooms were discussing and preparing the students on how to get good jobs. Not one was in an engaging discussion on how to create jobs, how to accumulate and amass wealth, not one of them were talking about what it really means to acquire success and pour those seeds on some fertile young pots of soil and teaching them how to also bear fruit. As I continued flying from classroom to classroom I discovered that this was the norm. This was expected. This was reality. The world I was floating around in was a world of sameness, and middleclass mentality. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being middle class, quite frankly being poor is extremely difficult. But in the search to attain what is considered middle class, I noticed so many individuals were losing their identity in that quest. They were picking at their black faces to remove the pigment in which was gently and carefully stretched across their  bodies as a symbol of strength to be the same. There was no image of African American success. I had a nightmare and I hope it does not come true.

Black Success… what does that look like Dr. King. All of the fighting, the marching, the beatings, and death were symbols of a belief that African Americans should have the opportunity to attain the American Dream and enjoy the successes of life. But I must say Dr.King, the American Dream and the African American Dream have since been thwarted in their parallelism. I witnessed a teenager being questioned on what Success was, and how could one tell if they were successful: he said, “Success comes when you are rich, have at least 2 cars, a 2 story house, the latest gear, and a dope chain”… I laughed until I realized that he was serious, I soon understood that this example was a mitochosm to what exists in our community today. There is an entire generation that believes that success is measured quantitatively by the things that we have, the things that we wear, the things that can be bought, essentially success was measured by ‘stuff’.  This could not have been your dream. We have all the opportuntitesi in the world, and now we fail to take advantage of them. Dr. King, I had a nightmare, and I hope it does not come true.

Dr.King we have Professional sports teams and sports owners having month long discussions and arguments over how many millions and billions of dollars will be disbursed amongst them; when the real problem in our country is the amount of children that are in poverty, the amount of citizens that are illiterate, the number of able-bodied men depending on work to create an income and an inflated unemployment rate. The real problem is we are beginning to allow the Television to raise our kids instead of assisting in the development of their sense of identity and self-esteem. Dr. King, your generation fought that a people who knew their rights would be given those freedoms, and now we have a people who aren’t totally sure on who we are. Being black now is about sagging, being loud, calling each other niggas, bitches, and hoes and glorifying it saying that times have changed. Being black now, is all about how I can keep my next brother from growing or changing to become a better man. We have become a nation of crabs in a bucket wanting everyone to do the same, be the same, and no one to ever dream of crawling out of that bucket. For those that attempt to get out they are constantly pulled on, being reminded of how ‘good’ things were ‘back in the bucket’. Being reminded that there’s no reason to leave the bucket, because all they will ever be able to be is that crab… that crab that came from that bucket. Dr. King , I had a nightmare and I hope it doesn’t come true.

Well Rev King, I must admit, that this nightmare is actually what’s going on in 2013 today. We have ex-offenders that are walking around America with the same rights as a Slave from the 1860’s. We have children walking around with no idea of what a two-parent home looks like, or the desire to maintain one. We have teenagers walking around with more knowledge of how to play video games, than how to interpret words from a book or article. We have grown men measuring their manhood by their genitals unable to tie a tie, or even change their own oil.  We have women painting their faces, putting on fake hair, fake body parts, and strutting God’s green earth looking for something real. I had a nightmare, Dr. King, and it’s already came true.  Rev what are we to do?

Are we a perishing people? Has the African American race decided that our fight ends now? Does the election of Barack Obama mean anything … twice? How do we lead the fight now? Who is our leader? What are we fighting for? I know. The fight of the African American community is now internal. We have lost our own personal self-identity in a false sense of reality created by stereotypes that we put on ourselves. We are better than that Dr. King. Though I had a nightmare, I still have some nights where I dream.  Dr. King, I dream that Black men will not be afraid to take ownership and leadership in their lives, in their families, in their communities. Black women will have no problem in embracing their natural beauty… I dream that African Americans will achieve great levels of educational successes in waves unquantifiable by any statistic. I dream that we will push our best out of the bucket, and encourage them to come back to the bucket to pull the rest of us out. I dream Dr. King. I dream that a young child aspires to be a walking testament to their passion instilled in them by our Creator and not robbed of this passion for a falsehood belief of the need of a ‘job’ to survive. I dream that we are not perishing, but we are rebuilding, redesigning the black face and the black image of success. Dr. King if you were here I know you would simply ask… Who’s willing to be a part of this image? Who is proud of the pigmentation that is given us, and the power that we come from and represent? Who is ready to break out of the shell of stereotype and redefine what it means to be a successful Black Man or Woman? Who is ready to fulfill their purpose in life through the recognition of their passion? Is it you? Are you the one that King dreamed about? Why yes you are. You are the latest and greatest creation of the Black man and Black woman. You have no choice but to be great…. Not good… but great. You have no choice but to look in the mirror and not see yourself as who you are right now, but who you are destined to be.  Dare to Dream… Outlive the nightmare and create a memory; a memory that boasts of the greatness that flows within us.

That Dr. King is my response to your Dream. I had a nightmare, and I refuse for it to come true. I’m living proof of your dream, and a testament to your memory.

What’s your dream? Are you living it?

With Passion, Purpose, & Pride,

  • Trent J ACEO

Diversity: Getting Uncomfortable

Diversity: Getting Uncomfortable  

If I were standing in front of you, and asked you to describe me. Most people would say something about my build, maybe my hair, or my height. Funny thing, is the most obvious descriptive of me will rarely be mentioned, especially in the workplace: the fact that I’m an African American, or black. When preparing for “Corporate America” as we know it, there are a couple of topics that senior personnel will advise you to avoid talking about: Race, Religion, and Politics.   I must say, especially after the heat of this last Presidential election it began to truly bother me that the World’s “Best People” were avoiding the conversations that in many cases help defined who a person really is or was? Is it that very thing that keeps us from embracing true diversity? What’s the point of being different, if we’re all expected to “act the same”? When will we as groomed professionals be able to talk about the things that make us different, without fear of being judged, or looked down upon?

 

Race:  By far the most obvious entity when it comes to Diversity. However, we try and convince ourselves that ‘we don’t see color’ or we’re color blind.  Myself, personally I’d like you to recognize that I don’t look like you, or you like me rather. The simple fact that we are unique in appearance makes diversity great. NOT that we seemingly look alike, but that we appreciate, understand, and enjoy the fact that we build teams of people that look different. This should not be an uncomfortable discussion. I’d challenge you to even look past color, and even ask about a person’s background, or their ‘country of origin’; some of those questions who TRULY define who we are and how we got to where we are today. That’s how you enjoy the benefits of diversity…

 

Religion:  Definitely another one of those ‘sensitive topics’ when it comes to the workplace.  The practicing of religion, or the lack thereof gets very little of our attention in the workplace, in addition to our small talk and conversations. Though the subject of religion is probably one of those that should be discussed with a more long term colleague, I believe it’s never a bad thing to inquire to gain a full understand of why people do the things they do, and believe the things they believe. Remember the goal is not to judge them for it, but to better comprehend those things that define that person. When you truly understand the ‘why’ of a person, it makes everything else easy.

 

Politics:  Honestly, after this presidential election I thought I was going to pull my hair out behind the ridiculously large amount of coverage. The constant fighting, each side calling the other one wrong, ignorant, and stupid. Highly successful and educated people, attacking one another to try and justify why the person they were voting for was better. To me I believe this is a huge shame. If we as voters can’t peacefully discuss issues amongst each other without going at each other’s throats, how do we get mad when congress can’t? Politics should be a discussion of priorities of the person. There’s no reason for you to be angry at who I’m voting for, if you knew why…. When we understand it’s more about that and not the name on the office door, we can put a damper on the emotions in it.

 

In all, I challenge each and every one to dive into these types of discussions with some of your colleagues and coworkers. Not to pry or gain unnecessary information, but to learn the ‘why’ of these individuals. When you are a team member or especially a leader, understand what makes people tick working with them becomes that much easier. Get uncomfortable, have the tough decisions. Only when we recognize that we are all different, will we be better able to performer at higher standards as a collective Unit.  Let that be your challenge for the month, ask the tough questions. Develop the deeper relationships. Become a more impactful team member. Redefining Diversity.

 

“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care” – Unknown

 

Going Back to Africa

africa-ethiopia1

I know this entry may be a little out of the “Black History Month” season, but why should I only celebrate the contributions of African Americans for 28 days out of the 365 that exist. I was brainstorming and was inspired to put this story/speech together. Enjoy 🙂

TO ALL, I am compelled today to speak about a story that moves me not only as a man, but as an African American Man. I have entitled this story “Going Back to Africa.” I was on a road trip traveling afar off when I had to stop in a very small country town along the way. Although it was highly advised that I didn’t stop in towns such as these as some housed “racist people” that may or may not discriminate against us. Personally, I was under the impression, “HMPH its 2011 what do you mean “racist” or “discriminate” those things are illegal and by GOD could not still exist in AMERICA today. I was about to be in for a rude awakening….

I remember stopping at what looked like the only crossway in the small town to gas up, and grab a bite to eat. After pumping the gas, I decided to go inside to see if the station restaurant was possibly open to get something to eat on since we have a long journey ahead of us. I walked in and a mid-50’s gentleman behind the counter greeted me saying, “May I help you…” I replied by saying, yes sir my family and I are looking for a place we can eat… He said, ”NOPE, we’re closed, no restaurants around here within 50 miles.” I immediately knew that I was somewhere where I was not wanted… I decided to avoid the confrontation with the gentleman and proceed back outside to find somewhere else to eat… As I get ready to exit the store the man yells out… “Yea, you NIGGER and while you’re at it GO BACK TO AFRICA, you USELESS piece of….” I immediately stopped him saying….

Go back to Africa? Go back to Africa? GO BACK TO AFRICA? What do you mean go back to Africa! Sir, I have no ties to Africa nor do I belong there…I was born in America and therefore I am an AMERICAN. NOW good day. He proceeded to continue scrutinize and patronize Blacks and our uselessness to America and society… You know by now I am beyond enraged. Immediately I thought about what it meant to be BLACK and PROUD! I reached deep down inside of myself and pulled out a rant unparalleled by any orator America has ever seen:

You know what sir, I WILL go back to Africa. You are completely right; the uselessness of “my people” is apparent and alive today. I even remember speaking awhile back about how blacks were only good for sagging pants, drugs, and low academic performance. But sir I that was over 4 years ago and I have a whole new perspective and things to show to you.

Mister, if I am going to go back to Africa I want you to help me pack. Would you mind? A little perplexed at my response, he said, well sure, I guess. It is a long trip and I will need a few things if I am going to go back to “where I came from.”

I invited him to ride around with me if he didn’t mind: We got in the car and drove off.  Well sir, I exclaimed, One of the biggest problems of you telling me to go back to Africa is if I recall y’all were the ones that brought us here right? Yea it was you and your people that sailed up and down the west coast of the African continent from the 15th – 19th century raping our lands of men women and children that you could use as ‘free labor.’; Sticking us on leaky boats across the middle passage altering your books to make it look as if some of us didn’t even exist if we happened to die on the long journey across the Atlantic Ocean.

But that’s fine! If you want me to go back to Africa I will! But I am going to need some help… I pulled up to the Hospital and proudly said: Sir I need you to go into this hospital and all those around the world where anyone that has a pacemaker and take it from them, also any Siamese twins that have been separated put them all back together, and finally anyone that has had to have open-heart surgery go get them and let their fate be as it would have been. If it had not been for African Americans none of this would have been possible therefore, if I am going to go back to Africa I will, but I want you to help me pack.

We left the hospital and went to the man’s home. Sir, go inside and find some other way to heat and cool your home because that thermostat your A/C is connected to belongs to me, that refrigerator, fountain pens, ironing board, clothes dryer, curtain rod, door knobs, and door stoppers all belong to me just to name a few. Matter of fact is that your son? Go grab that Supersoaker water gun out of his hand too… I’m going to need that too. If it has not been for African Americans none of this would have been possible therefore, If I am going to go back to Africa I will, but I want you to help me pack.

We continued driving around this small town and surrounding areas I told him to bring me every pair of modern made shoes made by the African Ameican created shoemachine, every automatic gear shift car was to be transported back with me, every traffic signal, although this city only had two, had to come with me, every elevator, cell phone, fire extinguisher, spark plug, and even those typewriters that paved the way for the “QWERTY” keyboards you use today. If it had not been for African Americans none of this would have been possible therefore, if I am going to go back to Africa I will, but I want you to help me pack.

Hmmm, sir that bag is starting to get a little heavy isn’t it. Didn’t realize that you would have to collect all these things we’ve created since we’ve been here did you? In the meantime I’m going to take back our fried catfish, chitterlings, ham hocks, collard greens, sweet potato pie, and peach cobbler back with me… The very soul food that makes your mouth water and brings a family together, I’ll take back with me too…  I’ll take back with me the 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities back with me too. And ALL the men and women that impacted society that are products of them… from Prairie View A&M University to Howard University….from Bethune Cookman University to North Carolina A&T, from Texas Southern University to Tuskegee University…. Just to name a few all of these institutions must come back with me sir.  If it had not been for African Americans none of this would have been possible therefore, if I am going to go back to Africa I will, but I want you to help me pack.

We hopped on a plane and flew to Washington, D.C. sir lastly I want to take back two secretaries of state, numerous state representatives senators, governors, and mayors; not to mention a President(two president’s if you count Clinton) and over 2.3 million Veterans that served in the branches of our military. With a bent over back the man seemed to be straining with the accomplishments that I had put upon him to pack for me.

You see sir without those the keyword in African Americans is ‘Americans’ and much of what  yall have left of AmericA without AfriCANs is useless… So next time you EVER think about telling anyone of color to “go back to Africa” remember how much more of America we have afforded you because of our existence…Because of us exists the Amerca you have grown to know. NOW, If it had not been for African Americans none of America would have been possible therefore, do you REALLY think we should go back to African….DONT WORRY I’ll WAIT….

The Bank of JC

The Bank of JC, a tithing appeal.

I remember when I opened my account with Jesus Christ some many years ago. I didn’t have to fill out an application, get a credit or background check, nor did I have to have an initial deposit. The JC Bank is a gracious and merciful bank; it is totally covered and is the only bank that is I.B.T.B. certified! (Insured by the Blood).  They have the greatest slogan… “Each day with JC Bank is sweeter than the day before…” I must say, I love that slogan. The JC Bank gives out loans to the “least of them” (Matthew 25:40) as well as those with all the riches of the world. The bank assures that all men, women, and children of all races, creeds, and backgrounds are welcome; as a matter of fact, I remember seeing an inscription on the walls of the bank that said whosoever believeth in the JC Bank, their investments shall not perish, but have everlasting return. (John 3:16)

Let me tell you a little bit more about this bank. Within the bank there is a few choices of accounts you can sign up with and you can have multiple depending on your current situation.  There’s the Loaves & Fishes Account (Mark 6:41) that doesn’t yield long term returns, but you will indeed eat and be satisfied. There’s the Moses Account (Numbers 14:33) that will get you out of bondage, but do not expect to receive your reward until after about 40 years of wondering… Oh they also have the Just the Hem account if you just reach out to JC he’ll make sure to make your account WHOLE. (Matthew 9:20-21) In addition, there’s the No Room to Receive Account (Malachi 3:10), that all you have to do is bring the deposits into the physical bank (no ATM deposits allowed) and the bank will pour out its overflowing returns that you’ll have to make withdrawals just to keep your account from being too full.  Also the Abundant Cup Account(Psalm 23:5), all you have to do is give an enemy referral and JC will give you a free prepared table right in front of them….your returns will runneth over.

I mean with all of these choices and the flexibility of the JC Bank, why wouldn’t you open an account? The only thing the JC Bank requires of you is a simple 10% deposit of what they call your “harvest” or “increase” to get the ball rolling; all of these deposits must be made with Faith Checks signed with a Mustard Seed (Matthew 17:20) pen. All checks should be given in person and with a smile and cheerful spirit (2 Corinthians9:7). Once you’ve completed this simple transaction you never have to worry about your ends meeting again. Once you become a member of the JC Bank, you qualify for the Needs Supplied Guarantee (Philippians 4:19) that all of your concerns and worries will be addressed RIGHT ON TIME. As well as the Amazing Grace Protection plan, that it will be sufficient and keep  your account strong even in your weakness.(2 Corinthians 12:9)

So why haven’t you hopped on board with the rest of us? Tithing is a part of our worship and it should be done to the fullest extent of our hearts, bodies, and minds. When was the last time God almost paid your bills, when has He ever almost woke you up? Don’t give God a half-done worship…

With my mustard pen and faith check I give cheerfully today knowing that these dollars will be used to build up OUR church so that other souls can be saved by the Word of God and Joy of his Salvation. This is also a form of worship, celebrate and be glad that you do indeed have SOMETHING to give back to God and the keepers of His house.

–          By: Trent J ACEO