Monday, November 11, 2019

We Don't Know Who We Will Be Buried Next To

My father's headstone. He's buried next to a Ridley
When I created The Critical Thinker, the intent was for the reader to critically think and reflect upon each post.

It is not my intent for the reader to agree with me the writer; however, it is for him or her to think about an issue that he or she may or may not have thought about before. This post is written to do just that.

Often when we read, talk or think about death, we immediately think in terms of it being morbid or something we don't want to read, think, or talk about. But the truth of the matter is, death is the great equalizer. The two main equalizers are the fact that we were all born and the fact that we are all going to die. Many say death and "taxes," but as we have seen, folks know how to get around taxes. No one, however, will get around death.

As we all know racism, classism, and prejudice are very prevalent in life, yet in death, it will have no meaning whatsoever. In fact, all the toys, titles and material items will mean nothing either. In life we can obtain titles such as “Doctor,” “President,” “CEO,” etc. etc. that really won’t mean a thing once the hearse transports us to the cemetery.

I had been toying with writing this post for a little while and confirmation for me to write it came when I attended the funeral services of a close friend. While I was at the cemetery for the interment, I looked around at the various names on the headstones or grave markers surrounding my friend's burial plot and it came to me once again that we have no idea who we are going to be next to in our final resting place. It doesn't matter if the interment is in the ground or ashes being placed in a mausoleum, we really don't know who we are going to be lying next to. This is why the racism and prejudice thing in life doesn't make a lot of sense to me because the same prejudice or racist person, in the end, can be buried next to the very skin color or gender that he or she was prejudiced or was a racist against in life.

African Americans are buried next to Caucasians. Christians are buried next to Muslims. Jews are buried next to Gentiles. Men are buried next to women. The elderly are buried next to the young. Heterosexuals are buried next to the homosexuals, etc. etc.  My point is, in the end, we are all human beings and will come to that juncture in life where it [life] ends. Now I know, some of you are thinking that people purchase family plots and private plots and do know where and who they will be next to. That’s true to a degree, however, unless you are buried in the woods with no one else around you there are going to be others placed in your proximity.

If you'd like to test my theory, visit a cemetery and just walk around and read the various names on the headstones placed alongside each other. I believe you will find it interesting and probably something you've never thought about. Once you've tried this little experiment, I'm sure you'll agree that racism and prejudice seem extremely silly. So, one day when I had absolutely nothing else to do, I compiled a list from A-Z of who could possibly be buried next to each other. The list goes as follows:

the alcoholic can be buried next to the astronaut
the Bishop can be buried next to the barmaid
the crook can be buried next to the cop
the drug dealer can be buried next to the deacon
the engineer can be buried next to the embezzler
the financial analysts can't be buried next to the flimflammer
the gang banger can be buried next to the gardener
the hooker can be buried next to the hairstylist
the insurance broker can be buried next to the identity thief
the jailer can be buried next to the junkie
the keyboardists can be buried next to the kidnapper
the librarian can be buried next to the lion tamer
the makeup artists can be buried next to the murder
the nurse can be buried next to the nutritionist
the optometrists can be buried next to the obstetrician
the pastor can be buried next to the pimp
the Queen can be buried next to the quality control technician
the receptionists can be buried next to the robber
the sales rep can be buried next to the shoplifter
the teacher can be buried next to the terrorist
the usher can be buried next to the urologists
the veterinarian can be buried next to the violinist
the waiter can be buried next to the welder
the xylophone this can be buried next to the xenophobe
the yoga teacher can be buried next to the yard worker
the zookeeper can be buried next to the zipper machine operator

By now I think you get my point. While we are alive, we really need to abide by the Golden rule of doing unto others as you would have it done unto you. Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. Let us do away with this age-old nonsense of racism and hatred because at the end of the day you never know who you will be lying next to in your final resting place. Something to critically think about.

You can hear me live each Saturday from 6-9 a.m. EDST as I host The Reading Circle with Marc Medley on FM radio in northern NJ WP88.7 FM. The show is web streamed around the world on gobrave.org, the TuneIn Radio Network, and RadioFX. I invite you to visit my website marcamedley.com as it is the gateway to all my media projects and services.

Friday, November 8, 2019

It Hasn’t Been That Long



Guest Post by Ayo Sekai



It hasn’t been that long
But lately, you have been marinating in my thoughts
Salivating images that make me throb and my heart beats fasters
With every inclination of you

It hasn’t been that long
Yet you are perusing beneath my skin
Leaving me itching in a way I have forgotten could feel so good
Stirring mind with palpitating palate drenching excitement

It hasn’t been that long
Too short really
Too short to feel breathtaking sighs
And passion-filled wetness sending pheromones from my thighs
Too short to sit holding hands in the park
Basking in the sun
Too soon to want to wrap myself around the strength of your muscular body
Too quickly have I opened up to you
Sensationalized excitement for new possibilities

It hasn’t been that long
Yet I feel I have been laughing at your silly sense of humor forever
Lately
Escalated dreams filled with daily desires to romance you is captivating me
So easily you were able to convince me with your smile
Seduce me with your kiss
Serenade me with your passionate optimism

But I am left in a quagmire
Does anyone have a remedy?
A panacea for this dilemma
It hasn’t been that long
Yet it’s been forever
Haven’t been that long
Yet you are everlasting

It hasn’t been that long…

June 3, 2005

Ayo Sekai is the Chief Executive Officer at Universal Write Publications, LLC and a current Doctoral (Ph.D.) student at Howard University (Black Politics and International Affairs). Universal Write Publications (UWP) has a publishing purpose to produce social, anthological, and ethnographical scholarship that dignifies the rich histories of the culturally diverse peoples who make up our society. We want to strengthen the voices of the diaspora through pioneering works that blend the creativity through which Griots tell stories with the necessity of peer-reviewed publications. Be it pieces on cultural heritage, education, the environment, visual arts, or innovators, our books are well researched and richly illustrated, appealing to general readers as well as academic researchers. 

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Put Your Child First

Guest Post by Ayo Sekai


It doesn’t matter what your circumstances
Happenstances
Crisis or whatever you face
There is no more joy than seeing your child contribute to the race

No more Me! Me! Me!
For your life is no longer your own
Put your child first
That child depends on you and you alone

Don’t think of what you must sacrifice or give up
Or no longer try
Look at that beautiful baby
You are blessed with a child
They don’t ask much to love you
Demand that you change or do anything that you don’t want to do

Their love is unconditional
And they love you just for you

Loving a child is the hardest job you could ever do
Twenty-four-hour on duty
Three hours and sixty-five days of strives, worry, and confusion
Sleepless nights from birth to gripe
Unknown distress and teething
There are even circumstances unexpected
But the rewards are doubled from watching your investment grow
Is the beauty aide
Age secret
And joy some may never know

Put your child first
Do the best to make them smile
They are your bosses
And their happiness will make your job all worthwhile
Precious little people trying to find their way
Until the day they will thank you
And you will say
You did the best for your child

March 31, 2003


Ayo Sekai is the Chief Executive Officer at Universal Write Publications, LLC and a current Doctoral (Ph.D.) student at Howard University (Black Politics and International Affairs). Universal Write Publications (UWP) has a publishing purpose to produce social, anthological, and ethnographical scholarship that dignifies the rich histories of the culturally diverse peoples who make up our society. We want to strengthen the voices of the diaspora through pioneering works that blend the creativity through which Griots tell stories with the necessity of peer-reviewed publications. Be it pieces on cultural heritage, education, the environment, visual arts, or innovators, our books are well researched and richly illustrated, appealing to general readers as well as academic researchers. 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

It’s The Same Thing

Guest Post by Ayo Sekai

This war against Iraq
Under the false pretense of justice for the Iraqi people

This war
Where people are dying like worthless flies And their blood bring cries From mothers of every nation

It’s the same thing

Same as when they brought the Africans here on slave ships
The Amistad jammed packed like sardines
And our women disgraced, raped and no one hears their screams
Same as the stealing of our precious Ivory
And natural resources of Africa’s bosom
Using sword and knives and teaching us religion

It’s the same thing
And it goes way farther than that

Goes back to the Spaniards crossing the ocean
Goes back to the Cubans directing those murderers
Who committed mass genocide to the Caribbean
Same as them trying to tell us that Egypt and the river Nile
No longer belonged to Africans
That the people there are color of snow and not black like burnt coal in the sand.

It’s the same thing

Same as them telling us the black people couldn’t be smart enough to build the Pyramids
Because the very existence of it still baffles their mediocre minds
Same them stealing from us under the pretense of civilizing barbarians and industrializing third world lands
Same as them selling us in Shackles
And still they are riding on our back
Selling us crack
Killing us softly with biological warfare that they themselves implemented
And now they fear

It’s the same thing

Same as our children bellies being filled with worm
And our homeless shuffle in empty boxes on the cold concrete floor
Same as them giving us welfare cheese and rewarding us for sitting at home and having
Babies and punishing those of us, who work hard, follow their laws and believe in their democracy

This war
This lie
It’s the same thing

And we are not far removed
We are living in slavery and ignorance as this country only tells us what they think we should know
Still shackled by the media who want to keep our ears glued to blood and gore and not hear the truth

We are still slaves
And the sooner we realize that this war is not about terrorism
The better we will be
The sooner we realize that this war is not about saving the Iraqi people from lives of fear and hate
The better we will be

Because this war is about oil
It’s about power
And we are still buying into the crap they feed us that we are safe and we go about our everyday lives while they turn and enslave yet another nation
Another group of people just like they did to us
Just like they stole and infiltrated the native American Indians just for their land

This war
It’s the same thing
And we are still Slaves
Hands and bodied bounded by chains and lynched minds
Inside we are still adorned by the patches and leftover fabrics tailored to keep us ignorance

It’s the same thing
And we are not that far removed

It’s the same thing
And the Iraqi women are still women morning their loss and crying for peace

It’s the same thing
It’s the same thing
It’s the same thing

March 26, 2003

Ayo Sekai is the Chief Executive Officer at Universal Write Publications, LLC and a current Doctoral (Ph.D.) student at Howard University (Black Politics and International Affairs). Universal Write Publications (UWP) has a publishing purpose to produce social, anthological, and ethnographical scholarship that dignifies the rich histories of the culturally diverse peoples who make up our society. We want to strengthen the voices of the diaspora through pioneering works that blend the creativity through which Griots tell stories with the necessity of peer-reviewed publications. Be it pieces on cultural heritage, education, the environment, visual arts, or innovators, our books are well researched and richly illustrated, appealing to general readers as well as academic researchers. 

Saturday, October 19, 2019

No Ordinary Woman

Guest Post by Ayo Sekai



One look at the way her hair cascades over her petite shoulders
And you would think it was easy
One glance at her creamy smoothes caramel skin
One sound of her resounding laugh
And you are held captive
Waiting for her to release you
Or just allow you to breathe again

Just look at her!
Look at the way she holds her head high with pride
Look at the way her eyes gleam like the ocean on a warm sunny day
Check out that smile
Even with a cry in her heart
Her beauty still radiates

Just a woman you may say
Yes!
Just a woman
She wakes every morning with worries and concerns just like you and I do
She checks her hair and makeup for flaws
And tries to find just the right thing to wear
But this is no ordinary woman
This woman is a survivor
A testament of truth and beauty
She is a vision of strength
As only God and her determination to survive remains her refuge
Over and over and over again
She has found herself with her back against the wall
And still, she walks with her head held high
Shoulders back
And hair cascading across her skin
No! She is not an ordinary woman
Bearing more than one, two or even three children
And still, she sports the body fit for a God

She has risen above hate
Stand high above pain and deception
And looks back in amazement
Wondering what’s still to come

She has been faced with more loss than most of us can bear
And still, she strives
Her accomplishments are just a drop in the bucket
To what she will attain
And she will continue to rise
Look at the way humility have hovered over her
No eager pride ready to stomp out any one’s ego
She may seem to be just like you and I
But if you look closer
You will see
She’s No Ordinary Woman

January 23, 2003

Ayo Sekai is the Chief Executive Officer at Universal Write Publications, LLC and a current Doctoral (Ph.D.) student at Howard University (Black Politics and International Affairs). Universal Write Publications (UWP) has a publishing purpose to produce social, anthological, and ethnographical scholarship that dignifies the rich histories of the culturally diverse peoples who make up our society. We want to strengthen the voices of the diaspora through pioneering works that blend the creativity through which Griots tell stories with the necessity of peer-reviewed publications. Be it pieces on cultural heritage, education, the environment, visual arts, or innovators, our books are well researched and richly illustrated, appealing to general readers as well as academic researchers. 

Sunday, September 22, 2019

2-4-6-8 Who Do We Appreciate? The Bus Driver....The Bus Driver

How many of us are familiar with the cheer in the title of this post, 2-4-6-8 Who do we appreciate? When I was a child, this often familiar cheer was cheered at the end of a school field trip with the celebrant being the bus driver. All of the children on the bus would fill the bus with chorus after chorus of "2-4-6-8 who do we appreciate, the bus driver, the bus driver." This was to show our appreciation for the driver taking us to and fro safely.

Albert Rutherford in his book THE SYSTEMS THINKER says "Critical thinking is a metacognition otherwise known as thinking about thinking." Mr. Rutherford further states that critical thinkers don't worry about whether the issue is right or wrong and that critical thinking is more of an opinion-based type of thinking. Mr.Rutherford's definition is exactly why I created this blog, THE CRITICAL THINKER. When I post, I am not concerned about whether the issue I am writing about is right or wrong and the post is my opinion written to challenge you to think. You do not have to agree or disagree, I do challenge you however, to think about the issue in each post. 

With all of that said, many of you who follow THE CRITICAL THINKER probably have figured out that I am a champion of the underdog or for those who are perceived as having "menial" jobs. You also know that in my opinion, there is no such thing as a "menial" job. To me, all jobs are critical, hence my posting about custodians, secretaries, sanitation workers, maids, hospital housekeepers, etc. etc. I know you will find this hard to believe, but there are people out there who look their nose down upon people who perform jobs such as those I listed. In my podcast THE MARC MEDLEY SHOW, I released an episode titled TREAT THE SANITATION WORKER THE SAME AS YOU WOULD TREAT THE CEO. In this episode, I unpacked the popular meme that says "I was raised to treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO."  Which brings me back to the bus driver.  

Over the weekend I took a road trip by bus. I normally love driving, however, the trip was on short notice and I really did not feel like driving with such a short turn-around. I went down on Friday night and returned on Saturday night. It was a four-hour trip one way. I had not been on a Greyhound bus in literally forty years. I've been on buses during that time, but not an infamous Greyhound bus. My mother often tells the story of my being afraid of the greyhound dog painted on the side of the bus as an infant riding in the car. She says when we would be traveling on Route 95 heading south and I caught sight of the greyhound dog on the side of the bus, that I would just cry in fear. Ironically, when people would ask me when I was a child what I wanted to be when I grew up? I would answer "a bus driver."

When I ride a bus, I always sit in the front seat if the seat is available and that did not change for this trip as I was seated directly behind the driver both going and coming. What came to my mind and prompted this post was the fact that every passenger on that bus was traveling for a different reason. I no longer saw the driver as a bus driver but someone who was taking people/individuals to their stories. Some were going to bury loved ones. Some were visiting children or parents. Some were heading to college. Some were relocating. Some were just going to the "city" to hang out. It dawned on me that the driver was delivering an entire busload of people to their individual story. None of us on the bus knew each other's story. For the fifty plus individuals on that bus, that driver's job was extremely important and not menial at all.

We must not assume that because a job does not require a college degree that it is not worthy of respect. For the passengers on that bus, the driver was the CEO. Our lives and ability to arrive at our stories was in his hands. We cannot afford to take anyone or the job that he/she performs for granted as every job is important, regardless of whether it requires a college degree or not.

I had an enjoyable experience on the bus largely in part because of the professional skills and knowledge of the driver(s). As I shared in my podcast, if you are one who takes people for granted based on the job that he/she performs, in the long run, you will live to regret it. All people and the tasks they perform are important. Every job; bar none. Something to critically think about.

You can hear me live each Saturday from 6-9 a.m. ET on gobrave.org, FM radio WP88.7 FM, and on the TuneIn Radio App as I host The Reading Circle with Marc Medley. You can also follow my podcast THE MARC MEDLEY SHOW on all of the major podcast platforms.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Mistaken Mistake Of A Life

Guest post by Ayo Sekai




How horribly mistaken of a mistake can be
Trotting down death lane
Running to meet death as we are born to die
So many places yet to be seen yet explored
Life

This stumbling block of confusion
This horrible mistaken accident
This breath
This unknowing
Undesired
Unasked for life

This wonderful mistaken gift
Undeserved
Yet lived
Miscellaneous living
Unforeseen plans
This life
This life

This unloving
This living death
Undeserved mishaps
Wonderful circumstances
Hateful memories not experienced yet lived

Oh this horribly mistaken life
A life lived only to die
So many places yet to be seen but already explored
Life

September 4, 2001

Ayo Sekai is the Chief Executive Officer at Universal Write Publications, LLC and a current Doctoral (Ph.D.) student at Howard University (Black Politics and International Affairs). Universal Write Publications (UWP) has a publishing purpose to produce social, anthological, and ethnographical scholarship that dignifies the rich histories of the culturally diverse peoples who make up our society. We want to strengthen the voices of the diaspora through pioneering works that blend the creativity through which Griots tell stories with the necessity of peer-reviewed publications. Be it pieces on cultural heritage, education, the environment, visual arts, or innovators, our books are well researched and richly illustrated, appealing to general readers as well as academic researchers.