Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Door Must Be Opened And We Must Be Prepared To Walk Through It



"I don't want nobody
To give me nothing
Open up the door
I'll get it myself"
James Brown - I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door I'll Get It Myself) Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

I awoke this morning to the news that long-time civil rights activist, Julian Bond, died Saturday night at the age of 75. According to CNN, Bond passed away after a brief illness in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. As I learned of this news, I thought to myself that we are losing our civil rights leaders and activists one by one and rightfully so as many of them were in their teens and early twenties, sixty years ago, placing most, if not all of them in their seventies, eighties, and nineties years of age.

It occurred to me that the torch never really was passed. In fact, not only was the torch never passed, our message or methodology was never updated to meet the challenges faced in the 21st century. Reverends Jessie Jackson who is 73 and Al Sharpton who is 60, both have contributed in their own ways at least in their minds to fight the many "isms" using and in some cases abusing the models and tactics set forth in the fifties and sixties; yet, there really has not been as a collective body anything close to the efforts made by the men and women of the civil rights movement who are now moving or have moved from labor to reward through death.

The question is always asked and has been asked since the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968, who will step up and lead us now that Dr. King is gone? In some respects it is forty seven years later and we are still asking that question. In the meantime, many of our foot soldiers from that day are passing away just as Mr. Bond did Saturday night.

In my mind and at this point, I believe the more important question than who will step up and lead us? is, are we preparing ourselves to get for ourselves when the door is opened? James Brown, The Godfather of Soul aptly wrote it when he said "Open up the door, I'll get it myself."  But are we preparing ourselves to get it for ourselves?

Some may ask, well, what do you mean by preparing ourselves? and that's a great question. I mean, taking our education seriously; putting forth a spirit and desire for excellence in everything that we do; acquiring the required skills to be employable and/or entrepreneurial in the 21st century and how about just reading, researching and thinking to make informed decisions. When do we realize that our leaders who did that mighty work are now aged and passing away? When do we individually step up to make not only our own lives better, but the lives of others better as well? When do we move the ball further as our civil rights leaders set us up to do?

The list of our civil rights leaders and activists who are dying is growing longer each year and their methods and tactics were for such a time as that. Our methods today must include our looking to ourselves to do for ourselves and that only happens when we prepare ourselves. If you want to honor the lives of, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Julian Bond, Edward Brooke, Thurgood Marshall, Shirley Chisolm, Dorothy Height, Marian Wright Edelman, Coretta Scott King, Marva Collins, and so many others........ take education seriously. Acquire skills that are needed in 2015 and beyond and then learn some more. Work hard and smart. Make excellence your standard and do not lower it for anyone. Stop being content with not knowing how to read or ever breaking the assistance cycle. Start voting, even if it is for dogcatcher, make your vote/voice count. Fathers support YOUR children whether you are with their mother or not as no judge ought to have to force you to support your children financially or emotionally. Young ladies, stop classifying yourself as a "Bad Bitch," and stop dealing with men who refer to you as a bitch, thot (that hoe over there) or hoe (whore).  Boys and men, pull those pants up! As we ought not to have to know that you have on blue and white striped boxers. Stop killing each other. Enough is enough.

We all must become our own abolitionists and activists. I close as I opened with the words of The Godfather of Soul, none other than James Brown when he penned and sang, "I don't want nobody to give me nothing. Open up the door, I'll get it myself." The only thing I will add to that is, once you get it, be willing to help someone else get it for themselves too. Something to critically think about.

Listen to me live each Saturday around the world on gobrave.org and in northern NJ on FM radio WP88.7 FM as the host of The Reading Circle with Marc Medley. You are also invited to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and @readingcircle01 and on Instagram @readingcircle01. Visit my website at www.thereadingcircle01.com and subscribe to my YouTube Channel Marc Medley.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Some Things Just Don't Make Sense - Customers Ought To Be Priority One

Bank Teller Stations
 I don't know about you,  but it never ceases to amaze me how in business, the very positions that are needed for great customer service are now always the least filled. I say this because it has been my experience in these past years to walk into a bank and find two tellers working with a line of customers standing outside of the door. What really makes this scenario all the more ridiculous is that you have one person standing at the door acting as a greeter and another just walking around aimlessly with a clipboard or tablet device. Then you see a flurry of people walking in and out of doors punching in secret codes/combinations with nothing being done at least to the knowledge of the customers patiently and impatiently waiting on the now longer line. I often question, wouldn't it make more customer service and business sense to have the greeter and others wandering around the building aimlessly to fill the unmanned teller slots? There will be four or five teller stations with only two tellers working and the other three stations closed; yet, there is a greeter and others just walking back and forth. I've noticed this same phenomenon in supermarkets and department stores. There will be two cashier check out lines open with fifteen with the lights off letting customers know that they are closed and don't let one of the two that is open have a break or is at the end of his/her shift.

I am well aware of the automated teller machine (ATM) technology at banks and the automated self-serve payment options at most if not all supermarkets and department stores now; however, in my opinion it is just not good customer service to have all of these people milling around when they could be assisting customers with checking out or taking care of their banking needs. I for one am not a fan of the self-service automated payment machines and would rather interact with a human being. Now mind you, I am very tech savvy and I am highly capable of scanning my item(s) through the machine and then inserting my money or credit/debit card into the slot. That's not the point. The point is customer service is being terribly sacrificed with the very limited amount of teller windows and check out lines open in these banks and stores. I am sure that I am not the only one who feels this way, so I don't quite understand why the CEO's, directors, supervisors, managers, etc. etc. are not more mindful of this. I find it hard to believe that the store or bank managers don't see the looks of aggravation on customers faces as they have to wait in these long lines to be served.

Perhaps one day, bank and store managers will wake up and realize that true customer service is not occurring with only two teller windows open when there are five or six available. That true customer service is not occurring in a supermarket or department store when there are nearly twenty check out lines with only two cashiers open ringing up the purchases of customers. I don't know about you, but I would rather have the greeter behind the window helping customers as a teller than just standing around saying "Welcome to.........." when I walk in the door. I would feel much more welcome if I could see an ample number of employees actually serving customers instead of walking around trying to look busy. The same holds true for the department stores and supermarkets. As I said, maybe it is just me, but I don't think so.

Something to critically think about. Listen to me live each Saturday at 6:00 a.m. ET around the world on gobrave.org and locally in northern N.J. on FM radio, WP88.7 FM. You are also invited to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and @readingcircle01. I am also on Instagram IG readingcircle01. I also invite you to subscribe to my YouTube Channel Marc Medley.












Thursday, August 13, 2015

In a Crazy World, the Sane Person Is the Idiot (From the book DESTINATION SUCCESS)

One of the books I am currently reading is DESTINATION SUCCESS by Dwight Bain, and as I was reading I came across this story Mr. Bain shares that speaks to our plight today. I am going to share the story verbatim with the hopes that it will give you something to critically think about. 

     There once was a king of a small country who seemed to have it all. He was greatly loved by his family and all the citizens in his kingdom. He was wealthy , powerful, and wise. Everyone respected and admired  this king. Because of the partnership he had built with his countrymen, there was a great deal of peace and prosperity in the land. It was as if things couldn't get better. 
     That is, things seemed perfect until one night when an enemy of the king poisoned the village water supply. Now this poison didn't kill a person instantly; rather, it slowly made one go insane. Over a period of days, the poison could cause a person to become either violent or totally apathetic-- and sometimes both. It caused a person not to remember much from his or her past.
     The saddest part of this was that the king was the only one who didn't drink from the village well, since he had his own private water supply in his castle.  So this king, drinking the pure, unpoisoned water, had no idea why things so radically changed between him and the villagers. Within days they weren't the same. They either sat all day and did nothing or went from place to place creating angry conflicts with everyone they met.
     No one figured out that the water was poisoned until one day when the conflict and inactivity levels were almost intolerable. That day the king  received a letter from his enemy mocking him. Then he instantly knew what had happened. He finally had all the puzzle pieces of the impossible situation, so he thought that he would just share this news with the villagers to get things back to normal. Perhaps they could work together to figure out a way to solve this crisis in the kingdom. He hurried to tell them about his conclusions, and then he read aloud the note from his enemies. But they didn't seem to care at all.  
     Not one villager believed him or even wanted to listen. They were actually having fun being irresponsible. They liked their lives of apathy and anger. They didn't want anyone to change things back to a way of life they couldn't remember or even imagine anymore, so nothing changed -- nothing except the villagers' total disregard for their king.  They didn't trust his authority or like his rules, and they didn't like the consequences he implied would happen if they didn't change. They were so distant and aggressive that the king feared for his very life.  
     The pressure grew, and it became apparent that the king was going to have to make a decision: leave the kingdom or drink the water. 
     Think about it. If you were facing the same situation, what would you do? Take a risk to leave everything you knew and move on as a vagabond to start over in some other place? Or take an even bigger risk and drink the poison to be just like everyone else and be named the king of the fools? 
Consider this for a moment. What if the standard society placed on "normal" thinking was wrong? What if "normal" behavior wasn't healthy at all? What if it was poison? What if everyone was doing something "normal" but it was crazy--would you go along with the crowd?


I encourage you to purchase or download a copy of DESTINATION SUCCESS as it is a motivational and inspirational read. Certainly the story about the poison water is something to critically think about. I invite you to listen to me live each Saturday at 6:00 a.m. ET around the world on www.gobrave.org and locally in the northern NJ area on WP88.7 FM when I interview authors such as Dwight Bain and follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and @readingcircle01. Likewise you are invited to subscribe to my YouTube channel Marc Medley and find me on Instagram IG readingcircle01.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Where I Stand on Whose Lives Matter

 For the past months we have been hearing about how “Black Lives Matter,” “Police Lives Matter,” Gay and Lesbian Lives Matter,” “Fetus’ Lives Matter,” “Women’s Lives Matter,” and so forth and so on. The truth of the matter is, ALL LIVES MATTER; however, I am not naive enough to believe that all lives have mattered in the past or for that matter ALL lives matter now. In fact, the reason each group began segmenting themselves and crying out that their particular group’s lives mattered is because each group is feeling ignored or as if their lives do not matter because they are a part of a certain group.

When you really critically think about it, why should any group have to cry out that their lives matter? Isn’t the fact that we are all human beings enough to make our lives matter? Apparently not. Let’s take a look at this from a Biblical perspective. Let’s connect a few Biblical dots to see how they tie in with us today. In Matthew Chapters 18 and 19 we get a very clear view of how all lives matter when Jesus explains to his disciples that we are to become like children and that whoever takes the lowly position of a child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven (that’s all lives). In another scenario people brought little children (remember, children represent us)  to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them but his disciples tried to turn the people with the children away (their lives didn’t matter in the disciples eyes). When Jesus saw and heard this he said to the disciples, “Let the little children (that’s all lives) come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Jesus further shares with the disciples “See that you do not despise one of these little ones (again that’s us… all lives). For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”  He then goes on to tell a story of a wandering sheep.

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? (In other words, all lives matter).  And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep (all lives matter) than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones (Black lives, White Lives, Hispanic Lives, Asian Lives, Police Lives, LGBT Lives, Women’s Lives, etc. etc. etc.) should perish (all lives matter).

By now I hope you see where I am going with this and you are not thrown by the use of biblical scenarios to illustrate my point. The message that Jesus was seeking to convey to his disciples then is why I side with the "All Lives Matter" crew now. Just think about how ridiculous it is that we have to carve out a slogan per group about whose lives matter. It’s ashamed that groups of human beings have been made to feel and are being made to feel that their lives do not matter. As a human race we ought to be ashamed of ourselves for consciously or subconsciously sending  messages that any life does not matter. We are all human beings who actually have more similarities than we do differences, and instead of celebrating our differences, we are always vilifying them. When does enough become enough? The differences that we have do not make any life more or less valuable. So at the end of the day, I stand with the "All Lives Matter" crowd and we as a people need to recognize that so that all of the individual groups will not feel the need to have a hash tag yelling at the world that their lives matter. Something to critically think about. I invite you to join me each Saturday at 6:00 a.m. as I web stream around the world on gobrave.org and locally in northern NJ/NY on WP88.7 FM as host of The Reading Circle with Marc Medley. I also invite you to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and @readingcircle01.

Super Bowl Champion Burgess Owens Appears on The Reading Circle with Mar...

Friday, July 31, 2015

Don't Be Fooled, God Does Indeed Get Angry - Are We The Stiff-Necked People of Our Time?

Are We The Stiff-Necked People of Our Time?

The Golden Calf 
Exodus 32
New International Version (NIV) 


When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods[a] who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”

2 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.”

3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron.

4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods,[b] Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.”

6 So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.

7 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt.

8 They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’

9 “I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people.

10 Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”


11 But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?

 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people.

13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’”

14 Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

15 Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back.

16 The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.

17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp.”

18 Moses replied:

“It is not the sound of victory,
    it is not the sound of defeat;
    it is the sound of singing that I hear.”

19 When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain.

20 And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.

21 He said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?”

22 “Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil.

23 They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’

24 So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”

25 Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies.

26 So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him.

27 Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’”

28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died.

29 Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.”

30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”

31 So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold.

32 But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”

33 The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.

34 Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.”

35 And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.

Critical Thinker question, with everything going on in the world today, have we become the stiff-necked people of our time?  Something to critically think about. You are invited to join me live each Saturday at 6:00 a.m. ET on gobrave.org as the host of  The Reading Circle and follow on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and @readingcircle01.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Apology


THE APOLOGY
 "They beat me and I called you to save me, but you couldn't.. so I secretly resented you.They took our babies and sold them, I begged you to save us.. but you couldn't .. so I secretly blamed you.. They raped me, and I cried out for you to protect me, but you couldn't.....So I stopped trusting you... You were supposed to be my man.. my provider.. my protector but when I needed you.. you couldn't be there... so I hated you...How could I let you tell me what to do.When massa could protect me more than you..How could I submit to you when you are forced to submit to massa? So to protect myself I submitted to the one who could protect me and our children. I stopped trusting you..I stopped loving you.. I stopped honoring you.. I stopped valuing you and in turn I became valueless to you. I didn't see the frustration in your eyes when our children were sold.. I didn't hear your silent cries when I was beaten. I didn't see your anger when I was being ravished. I didn't understand that you held your emotions to be strong for me. I thought you didn't care.. but you wanted to be there. You wanted to protect me, but massa made it so you couldn't so I would trust him more than you. I didn't see the hidden hands shaping our destiny.. all I saw was my pain.. and the feeling that you neglected me.. For all the times I blamed you, I'm sorry. For the resentment and distrust I've held against you for centuries, I'm sorry. For the times I've let you down. For all the times I've broken your spirit with my words and my actions. For the times I openly rejected you, and tried to control you, because I thought less of you.. I'm sorry.. Massa had a plan that he said would work for 400 years.. 400 years is over now. My eyes are wide open... I see the king in you... Please forgive my wrongs and see your queen in me."" via @PhotoRepost_app — with Caroline Arnold.

This was posted by Haley White on Facebook and I thought it was so powerful, that I would post it here in The Critical Thinker. Reading through this piece ought to definitely give us something to critically think about. Join me live each Saturday morning at 6 a.m. ET on gobrave.org and WP88.7 FM as host of The Reading Circle. You are also invited to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and @readingcircle01.