Is the issue about gun control or something deeper?

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Biden’s plea to the American political system is that we can no longer stand by and allow these mass shootings to threaten the lives of innocent people. My question is why are the American voters quiet on this issue leaving the decision in the hands of lawmakers who will not budge on the issue of stronger gun laws? Why is this country giving young people the right to bear arms? Why isn’t the entire human population in an uproar and force the political system to act on behalf of the people who they elected to serve? 

I began this post by asking a question: are these mass shootings about stronger gun laws or deeper social issues that no one wants to address? Granted that we do not live in a perfect society, however, ignoring social issues that influence these mass shootings is not going to make them go away. There are too many excuses given for the individuals who commit these crimes, they claim mental illness, abusive homes, bad parenting, and bullying. What about the rascal factors that fester in the minds of evil people who prey on marginalized groups who they deem to be a lost cause to society? 

It is not enough to take to social media and post prayers and voice outrage. We have become accustomed to living in a world where the taking of a human life is commonplace. It is not enough for the politicians to flap their lips and walk the floor of congress with meaningless chatter trying to convince the American people the answer is not in stronger gun laws. During his speech President Biden drew reference to the fact that we are the only Country where these mass shootings continue to happen. 

I fear that we are living in a country where ” for the people by the people” no longer holds true. It is the people who are bending government to their will because politicians are greedy for power, position, and money that they sell their meaningless souls to the highest bidders. We live in a country where we say, ” land of the free and home of the brave ” from where I stand there are groups missing from the “WE” in this equation. 

Our political leaders are mothers, fathers, grandparents, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, somebody’s nephew, cousin, and niece. In other words, they have family just like the average American, yet their hearts are like stone. This country is running red with the blood of the innocent and defenseless. It is shameful. 

In the words of Reverend AL Sharpton 

” No peace No justice “

Thank you for stooping by Dragthepen

When did We Lose Our Way?

Dear Readers

My heart is burdened when I look around and see people struggling with loneliness. I live in New York City” The Big Apple.” The city that never sleeps with eight million stories to tell. The loneliness I refer is not related to being without that special someone who makes your heart throb. This loneliness is deep, painful, and it robs people of the pleasures of life. Why should people be lonely when they a family connection, but these days the distance between is getting wider the reason they claim to be busy or holding onto foolish grudges. Lonely people say they have friends, who do not visit and rarely call, so what is the since in continuing to call them friends? 

Most people who experience loneliness belong to houses of worship, where the commission is to ” love your neighbor as thy self” However, I have observed this special spiritual love is given while attending service, outside of fellowship the bond of love does not seem authentic. It is the same with coworkers, people who are employed at the same company for years even decades, forming friendships, attending events outside of together, and supporting each other through tough times and celebrating the best of times. Only for these bonds to be broken when someone retires or moves away. What happened? Did the friendship or relationship 

People say they are lonely in their marriages and other relationships how can this be, what are husbands, wives and significant others longing for that they do not already have? What happened to the way we used to be? You know like back in the day when no one questioned the importance of family and staying connected. I watched my mother, father, aunts, and uncles form friendships that lasted a lifetime. People took pride in bragging about being in friendship for 20, 30, 40 years. The old folk’s bond of friendship was strong, loyal, and unshakable, sometimes people would forget when friendship ended, and lifelong friends became family. 

It is sad to see people eating alone, traveling alone or home alone because they just do not want to go out and be amongst people, just to be alone. What is it? Is it that people are wrapped up in their lives that taking time to make meaningful connection with family and friends is too much of a task? In my case I gave up. I stopped texting, calling, emailing, blocked people from social media, I called it quits. I remember how long my holiday card list used to be. I would send out no less than 40 cards or more last year 2021, I sent ten. I became weary of traveling to visit others, but they never considered coming to me. 

So, here I am, I have made peace with loneliness. I will not allow myself to be burden by dark clouds or get teary-eyed when I see families or couples enjoying time together. Being alone is difficult, but I have learned to enjoy the authentic people in my life, and I do not give any connection to people labels, like friend or girlfriend. I am grateful for my few good traveling friends. I have decided to do just what the motto says, “live in every moment” of joy that I create.

My hope for the people who are reading this reconsider slowing down and spend meaningful time reconnecting to family and friends, especially the elders they are precious to the foundation of our family. Do not wait for the special occasions there is no time like the present. 

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A Moment of Shame

Dear Readers,

Question, why is the Black community taking sides in support of Will Smith and Jada for that shameful moment during the Oscars? First, did anybody paid attention to the fact that African Americans made history on Sunday, March 27, during the 94th Oscars, how, the presence of Latin and African American population was dominant. Will Smith’s behavior is a slap in the face for the men and women who battled through slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, beatings, lynching’s, and having to go through back doors. Why, so Black people can stand, sit and walk where we are today, and to be acknowledged for our creativity in a society that views people of color as less than deserving because of the color of our skin or gender.

People are claiming that Will Smith behavior is justified because he was defending his Queen. No, because a true Queen would have held him back. A true Queen would have laughed it off and dealt with the situation in private. A true Queen does not allow her king to disgrace his name and reputation. Let’s role back the video tape of time, Jada P. Smith is a home wrecker who in recent years has began dismantling and attacking her husband’s manhood. A true Queen stay loyal to her king, she does not roll around in the gutter lowering herself to the standard of a side chick. The Smith family thrives on displaying how dysfunctional and grimy they live. People are saying that Chris Rock attached Jada because she is struggling with alopecia; were they listening he made no reference to her hair or health condition. I say and stand firm that Chris Rock should not have attached another man’s wife, that slap wasn’t about what Chris Rock said, it was about Will Smith’s emotional and mental state and that moment was supposed to belong to him, not to his wick Queen sitting on her throne of manipulation.The black community should be condemning Will Smith for his actions not taking sides.

Flashback….

During the Trump administration the world witnessed the attacks on the black community.The beatings and cold murdering of black men and women painful reminders of how little this world’s cares about the plight of black people. Will Smith publicly attacked another Black man. We need to address this situation for what is, it wasn’t a moment of rage or weakness, It was act of violence. The public cry is that ” black lives matter,” but do black lives matter to black people? I purposely watch the Ocsars to see Will Smith have his moment. He was chosen to play the role of Richard Dove Williams, a black man and father who put his childrens’ lives first. I wanted to see Will Smith, the actors and gentleman walk on that stage and take his rightful place again in Our History, Black History, like those before him. Sidney Poitier, Hattie Mc Daniel, James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Laurence Fishburne, Jamie Foxx, Terrence Howard, Forest Whitaker, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Chadwick Bostic.

In the movie industry black men in the past were casted as gang members, drug addicts and dealers, and sex feans. However, brave men like Denzel Washington, Dwayne Johnson, Tyler Perry, and the Wayne brothers just to name a few have demonstrated to young black men positive role models. Will Smith’s actions at the Oscars portrayed a real-life event that was once played out in the movies. He become the angry black man. Question, Will do you know how to draw the line between your role as an actor and real life?

Instead of grace and celebrate we were treated to a clown show. I am ashamed, heartbroken, and disappointed. And to add insult to injury the Smiths want to bring the topic to the Red Table. Hello, can somebody tell them the damage is done. The Black community should stand firm and demand excellence from the people who represent us. There is no amount of tears that can erase that moment. It was disgraceful. No apology can soothe this open wound. We forgive, let go and move on, but the world will never let us forget how one black man had one job and that was to maintain his cool and he failed.

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Who’s Talking To Who

Dear Readers, Hello, Hello, Welcome to another juicy topic with Dragthepen.

Today’s topics: COMMUNICATION. 

Call it what you like, talking, conversations, discussion chatting, gossiping, or having a dialogue. I say, PEOPLE ARE NOT HAVING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS ANYMORE. There seems to be more ways to communicate due to the improvements in technology, but is this really communicating in a meaningful manner?

Webster’s dictionary defines communication as:  a process by which information, thoughts, feelings  is exchanged between individuals. Okay fair enough, however what I am referring to is the lack of meaningful exchange of ideas, information, thoughts and feelings. 

Some people hide behind social media sending instant messages, texting, emails, recording messages, voice message and videos, replacing face to face in person connection. How much of the meaningful exchange of ideas can we when sending text or IM. How many times have you had to call someone because they took your text, email or IM out of context? 

Relationships and communication are getting more complicated than they need to be. Some relationship experts advise women that if a man is only texting her and not calling this means he is not into her or he is married or has a girlfriend. I have observed people out on dates, girls and guys night out checking their cell phones, or interrupting dinner because of that important call they have to take. Oh, let’s not forget the Emoji using symbols, pictures and characters to express emotions. And here is the big one no one is spelling words completely: smh, lol, thx, wud, lmao, bff, rofl, lqtm, haha, brb, btw, eod, such a meaningful way to communicate, when the person has to text back what does that mean? When children and teens use their short cuts what they are doing is undermining their ability to express themselves in full sentences. 

Communication in the workplace is being reduced to sending emails, text messages, and since the pandemic we’ve become accustomed to zoom meetings that reconnecting  in person meeting as a team is becoming a thing of the past. What’s meeting in the zoom meeting is the camaraderie and in interpersonal relationship building. People talk to each other in passing shouting call me and let’s meet up, phone conversations are brief because people claim  to have a million things to do and being on the phone is preventing them from accomplishing their goals. Remember that song by the Godfather of soul, Talking Loud and Sayin ‘Nothing: Take a look around and you will notice that there is a lot of talking going on, but what are people really saying?

In the homes conversations have become non-in void. 

between partners. 

“ how was your day”? 

Reply, “ it was ok” 

“ what did you do”

 Reply, “ nothing much”

Or something like this 

“ how was your day”?

Reply, “ over and I don’t want to talk about it. I am tired and want to be left along”

 Conversation between children and parents

“ how was your day”?

reply , “ it was ok”

“ what did you do”

Reply, “ nothing much” 

Wives are not allowed to talk to husbands while they are  watching Television and at night no talking in the bedroom because one spouse claims to be too exhausted to talk. In the morning everyone is in such a rush to get to work or school that they don’t make time to say something kind to each other. How many times have we heard people who have left home and met with an unfortunate incident and the other spouse says, “I didn’t even tell him or her that I love her or him this morning”. Or “the last word I had with them was harsh.”

I don’t mean to rant. My goal is to bring awareness to how people take talking or the lack of meaningful conversations for granted. Some of my most cherished memories are the stories that my grandmother, father, Aunts and uncles passed on. They had meaning and were worth listening to.  We all have that one person who is no longer with us that we wish we could talk to. 

When was the last time you had a meaningful conversation? 

Thank you for stopping by Dragthepen.

The Lost Foundation of the Family

Dear Readers, Hope all is well with you. It’s March Women’s herstory month, a time to honor women past, present and future for their sacrifice, voices, and contributions that has made it possible for women to be heard, achieve and to be seen.  

Today’s topic is about Family. People say that family is blood, but  sometimes this is not always the case. Some people argue that the original make up of  the family is a man and woman who come together ❤ and produce children allowing generations to live on. It’s ok to have your opinion about who makes a family. I am concerned about the lost foundation of  the family because  Families that have been divided, broken and destroyed causing us to live in an imbalanced society.  

My siblings and myself  have had the good fortune to be raised at a time when two parent homes were the norm with the support of extended family members. And I  like to add that the ” village we were raised by ” children of my generation had to respect the adults in that village without question. People say that ” family is every ” or ” without family a person has nothing.” If these sayings are true then why are Families struggling to stay together? 

Over the years I’ve often wondered what  happened to the foundation of family? And why are there others who are creating their version of family? Why is one parent households increasing, grandparents raising grandparents children, and children raising children without the support of family. Fathers walking away from family, mother’s pushing husbands out the door; and baby mamas fighting for child support. Broken marriage due to husbands and wives having  one foot inside the home and the foot outside. Families have been destroyed by lies, secrets, grudges, and competition between the haves and have nots.

Mother’s want to be their children’s best friends trying to relive their youth, instead of  nurturing, guiding, protecting their children. Fathers are fascinated with  new rides and spend weekends glued to their wide screen television watching sports, allowing the burden of raising the children to fall on a frustrated mother. This is a recipe for failure and chaos in the home.

Children of this generation are allowed to roam the streets with no curfew. I shake my head and reflect back to how I was raised. People from my generation understood what time it was when the street light came on. Children of this generation talk back to their elders, and engage in physical fights with family members calling the cops because society has given them the power over their guardians.

Shall I go on? 

Family gatherings are not what they used to be because of the rivalry between family members, so somebody isn’t going to receive an invitation. Here is the best one: families who unite at funerals making big speeches vowing to do better and mend the division in the family. We all know that this is just a big show and people are either depressed by the death of a loved one or had one too many drinks at the repass.

I think by now you understand where I am going with this. My intention is to bring awareness about the lost foundation of the family as a social issue because when a family becomes broken it leaves a wound in a society that is already bearing the scars of a population of emotionally wounded people lost and feeling hopeless and disconnected.  

 There you have it, my thoughts on the lost foundation of the family.

Thankyou for stopping by dragthepen

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Individual versus the Group

Dear Readers, just because you belong to a group doesn’t mean you stop being an individual.

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Recently, I had an experience that taught me a profound lesson. The experience wasn’t tragic, but it lasted long enough for me to understand that it was time to disconnect, step back, get still, turn inward and have a deep conversation with my inner self. The old me would have reacted differently and became angry, and ranted about the experience to anyone who would listen to me playing the role of the victim. The old me would have carried my anger around like a badge of honor for my wounds. But I am not that person anymore and I have learned to step back and critically think about an occurrence that my mind and heart want to immediately conclude as negative.

So, what did I do? I spent a week in silence, meaning, no TV, no soical media, no chatting on the phone, and I didn’t mention the incident to anyone. I journaled, prayed, and kept silent. On the 3rd day of my silence, I arrived at the conclusion that the incident brought attention to an area of my life that I wasn’t nurturing. What I’ve learned is that I need to pay attention to my behavior and thinking when I am in a group setting, more important pay attention how I attach myself to this group. Humans naturally have an instinct to want to belong, no one wants to feel left out. However, it is out of habit that when people join a group, team, organization, or tribe, whatever name you give to your people. It is good to connect to like minded people, but be careful that you don’t make a habit of changing your mindset or behavior to match that of the group because you want to belong.

The group is an amazing collection of ages, culturally mixed and like minded. Since being in the presence of this group I discovered that I am not as depressed as I use to I be. I am surrounded by loving people who verbally express and show love, and when we meet usually twice a week it is am amazing celebration. I often leave our meetings happy and looking forward to the next meeting. The incident that happened singled me out, but only a few people witnessed the interaction. It left me wondering why me? I have found my tribe, why me? I wasn’t going to play the pitty game, and I didn’t feel the need to confront the other person. I am glad that I simply took a step back and examined what really happened.

I know that your asking yourself, am I going back to the group? Yes, I am going back with new knowledge and better awareness. It was a teaching moment that lead me to examine who I am.

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen ❤️

Its Okay Not To Push Through

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What do you do on the days you don’t want to push through? I get it when people say “this too shall pass, and feelings don’t come to last”, but today I don’t want to push through.

There’s not a dark cloud in the sky making me feel blue because the sun is shining through.

Why is it on this day I can’t push through? I don’t want to drag this weight on my back, This burden of emotional sack, why have you come to attack?

Yesterday, I was on the right track, but today, things just don’t seem right.
I close my eyes and breathe hoping to reset, recharge, energize, only to realize today I just can’t push through.

Then a thought occured, why am I asking myself to do something I am unable to do? Maybe, I don’t need to push through. I said, ” self It’s okay to delay the deadlines or not to be all that I can be today.”

After all who am I hurting? What harm am I causing? No one will be disappointed if I can’t push through today. And even if there is a moment of disappointment, oh well, ” this to shall pass.”

To the people who arrive at a day that you can’t push through, it’s okay. It’s a burden to be strong and smile everyday. Sometimes the rain is too much to bear and when these days come it is okay not to be okay. It’s important to recognize what your feeling and why you can’t push through, most important be kind to yourself.

People will say to you push through and you will be okay, they mean well, but this is horrible advice. You don’t always have to be strong, brave, smiling, positive, superwoman or superman,or the life of the party. How you feel on the days you can’t push through is important. We live in a society that has adapted bad habits of ignoring the warning signs when our bodies and spirits signals us to slow down, and pay attention before hitting that brick wall.

On the day you can push through don’t. Take a break.The world will continue without you. It always has and will. Remember, Self Matters.

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen ❤️

The Trend of Handballing

Dear Readers,

As many times as it has been said and will be said, Happy New Year! Todays, conversation is not about keeping New Year’s resolutions or encouraging you to make a bucket list. I Think people are more focused on making sense of how to endure this on going pandemic.

Today’s topic is inspired by a sister friend who sent me an article from the New York Post, “What is Handballing”? The newest dating trend for singles, by Josie Griffiths. The term handballing is a dating method used when an individual meets a prospective partner, he or she is very clear, and in some cases aggressively forceful about expectations on how they are willing to pursue a relationship. Ladies I like to speak to concerning this subject because nowadays, women are changing their approach about relationships. The trend that I see is that women are taking steps to establish a foundation of friendship, leading to a relationship and then marriage. Today’s generation of women are clear about not want to be trapped in the cruel cycle of the dating game, messy situationships or entanglements. The article is clear that handballing is the new method that single people are using to avoid wasting time because these individuals are dating with a purpose.

The million-dollar question and concern for women is when is too soon after meeting a person of interest should they handball? After all isn’t the goal of dating with a purpose is to get him interest in you? The answer to that question is no because this is the old way of thinking and pursuing relationships. Handballing isn’t about getting the person to be interested in you,

“handballing” is about digging deep and investigating whether the person is thinking on the same level of emotional maturity, setting standards and boundaries, monogamy, children, no children, marriage, and knowing the importance of compromising fairly. In other words, ladies be up front about the qualities that will be the foundations for developing a lasting relationship. If after having engaged in a hardball question and answer session with your date and he doesn’t call again, oh well, you know what he was after.

I enjoyed the article it is refreshing to know that there is a population of single people who won’t settle and are willing to wait for a suitable partner. To my female readers don’t be afraid to speak up, stop being “ Handballed” by individuals who discourage you by using the myth of the biological clock, or encourage you to take who you can get rather than who is more suitable to your desires. And it is ok to disconnect from dating men who will only want you to “go with the flow and see where things go.” Don’t cheapen yourself by keeping deadbeat men around who will only sweet talk you into being passive and trapped in relationships that don’t fulfill your needs.  Its better to find out where you stand by using “handballing” method than to lower your standards and end up with less than you deserve.

Thank you for reading.

New Year. Newed hope.

Dear Readers, I can happily say that during 2021, I’ve had more highes than lowes. After many challenges my 3rd book was published, and I completed a cross country drive from New York City to California ( thank you Tate for being my road warrior). I became a member of the Central Brooklyn Lions Club and discovered two Ministries that helped me to revive my dying prayer life and Bible study. I joined a gym enjoying my workouts and renewed physical energy. I am deeply thankful that I was able to visit my mother in South Carolina for Thanksgiving. Finally, it took time, therapy, tears and prayer, but I battled through depression and regained my drive and focus to continue with my goals on my vision board.

Looking forward to the blessings of 2022, I am thrilled to leave behind the old negative narrative, people who gossip, and others who want to hold onto old pain. There is no room in my new negative for useless drama, distractions and holding onto yesterday’s pain. It’s been a long time since Ive walked in the light of hope and it feels amazing.

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Happy New Year from J. R. Floyd, creator of dragthepen & Conversations with J. R on YouTube and Amazon Music.