Monday, April 29, 2013

"He Did It."

I came across this little cartoon from a friend's Tumblr page and had a very good laugh. While laughing though, it also came to me how sad a statement this funny little cartoon is making.  It is also an example of the perceptiveness of the artist who has captured life in 2013. No one wants to be accountable for anything. Everyone wants to do whatever he or she wants, but no one wants to be accountable for the dirty deeds.  For those of us who work with children, we see this often, however, the really sad part is, we have adults who use this same tactic. "That's my story and I am sticking with it." Deny, Deny, Deny. We used to say, "You lying and you know you lying,"  and that is clearly the case with the blue crayon. He/she is lying and he/she knows he/she is lying.  

Now it does not take a critical thinker to see that there is no way the red crayon could have done it because all of the graffiti is blue. The only way the red crayon could have done it is if he/she had lifted the blue crayon up and scribbled him/her against his/her wishes, which would still be a stretch. Clearly the blue crayon, like many of us has not learned to connect his/her actions with his/her consequences and chooses to blame everyone else for his/her actions. Look at the expressions on each face. The blue crayon is boldly asserting that the red crayon did it, with the red crayon looking as if to say, "What are you talking about?"  What could get even crazier if we use our imaginations is the red crayon willing to be the fall guy or fall girl knowing full well that he/she did not do anything.

This seemingly cute cartoon says a lot about how far we are willing to go to shift responsibility to someone else and off of ourselves. It says a lot about how we react when we are caught. Have you ever considered how a murderer in most cases fight tooth and nail to save his/her own life even when he/she has taken the life of another?  How about the parent(s) who refuses to believe that their "baby" is ever wrong? Oh and of course who can forget, "She took my man" or "He took my woman," as if the other party had no say so whatsoever. They were just taken like a Barbie or a G.I. Joe doll and lastly the O.J. Simpson case.................  In the words of Bill Cosby, "Come On People,"  we must be more accountable for our actions even when we are wrong. Man or Woman up and admit when you are wrong, make the necessary corrections and move forward. But no, like the little blue crayon we will boldly assert with all the evidence pointing to us, that someone who could not have possibly done it, did it.  I welcome your response in the commentary section and I invite you to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I Need You - You Need Me

Welcome to another edition of  The Critical Thinker. I haven't had a lot to post about lately, but I felt like posting today. Yes, there was the Boston Bombings and a host of other things to write about, but I know whatever there is to be said about the bombing has been said.

I am posting on a somewhat lighter note today, yet an important topic that I believe I may have shared with this audience some years ago. The post came to my mind as I am currently being inconvenienced (notice I said inconvenienced and not suffering) by an ingrown hair bump on my right hand pointer or index finger. It sits right on the top of my finger, right before the finger joint. Believe it or not this tiny nodule, bump, wart or whatever you would like to call it, is throwing my entire finger off (even typing this entry has been interesting).

While it is not horridly painful, it can be felt every time my finger hits or rubs up against something and it has made the bending of my finger a task; a painful task. Have you had a paper cut or stubbed your toe?  Yes, it is that kind of annoyance. It made me think (this is The Critical Thinker) that every and I do mean every body part plays an important role in the success of the entire body. There is not one part of the body that is not vital. When everything is functioning well and as a team, the individual parts are not noticed; but let one part become infected, or injured and you know that body part is there. Even the tiniest part.  In fact, it seems that the infected or injured part becomes a magnet for constantly being touched or knocked up against, etc. etc. Constantly shouting "HELLO, I'M HERE."  You won't believe how many times this little bump has hit up against some of the craziest places sending a signal to my brain that it is there. This is a great metaphor for teamwork and for life.

Every job function and every human being is important. Don't believe me? Get a paper cut and see how important your fingers and your skin are. I close with this very familiar fable about the body parts who all wanted to be boss. I think you will get the message. As for me, right now this little bump on the top of my finger is sitting in the driver's seat.
THE BRAIN SAID : Since I control everything and do all the work I should be boss.
THE FEET SAID: Since I carry man where he wants to go and get him to do what the Brain wants, I should be boss.
THE HANDS SAID: Since I must do all the work and earn all the money to keep all the rest of you going, I should be boss.
THE EYES SAID: Since I must look out for all of you and tell you where danger lurks, I should be boss.
And so it went with the Heart, the Ears, and the Lungs.
Finally the Anus spoke up and demanded that he be boss. All the other parts laughed and laughed at the idea of an Anus being boss.
The Anus was so angered that he blocked himself off and refused to function. Soon the Brain was feverish, the Eyes crossed and ached, the Feet were too weak to walk, the Hands hung limply at his side, the Heart and Lungs struggled to keep going.
All pleaded with the Brain to relent and let the Anus be boss, and so Brain recognized the importance of the Anus and they all worked together.
MORAL: Every part of the body is equally important. 
I invite your commentary in the comment section of the blog and you are invited to follow me on Twitter @Thinkcritical01.

Friday, April 5, 2013

If We [African Americans] Knew Our History......

I often share with friends, family members and connections through the various social media sites, that I am always simultaneously reading anywhere between fifteen to twenty books at a time. I never share this information to brag, but to let others know that it can be done if being a life long learner is a priority. Many often ask, don't you get the books confused or how can you do that, and my response is always, the same way people watch hour upon hour of television,  I use my time to read multiple books. For example, let's say you watch twelve half hour sitcoms or six one hour reality shows; that's six hours of television. I do the same thing with books. I may read one book for half an hour and then change or read a chapter in one book and then switch to another. The point is, people do what they want to do and what they place as a priority.

I am sharing this post because included in my current readings are three books that have once again inspired me to be nothing but the best. The books are historical providing me with another glimpse of the plight of my ancestors. It is this history that drives me to always reach for the top in whatever endeavor I undertake. By now I am sure I have piqued your curiosity as to what books I am referring to. They are as follows: (1) LEADERSHIP LOVE & AGGRESSION: As The Twig Is Bent: The Psychological Factors In The Making of Four Black Leaders - Frederick Douglass - W.E.B. Dubois - Richard Wright - Martin Luther King, Jr. by Allison Davis  (2) DADDY KING An Autobiography by The Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. and (3) THE WEALTH CHOICE: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires by Dr. Dennis Kimbro.

Each time I learn more of the African American experience from an historical perspective, I can't help but want to be better and move higher. Our ancestors paid a heavy price for the sole reason of the color of their skin. The thought occurred to me while reading the accounts of Frederick Douglass and Daddy King that there is no way in the world that one could know his/her history and do the things that we see or say the things that we hear being said. If we truly knew our history, the term "nigger" would be abolished from our vocabulary. It would not be seen as something that is cute or cool.

If we knew our history, there is no way in the world we could not want to get as much education as we possibly could get all the way up to the doctorate degree. If we knew our history, there is no way we would be calling women "bitches" and "whores."  If we knew our history, our pants and caps and every other item of clothing would be worn properly. If we knew our history, we would not even be so eager to be tattooed or "tatted up." If we knew our history...............

Or is it that we know and we just don't care?  If it is the latter, than it is worse than I could ever imagine. If it is the former, than we must learn from our history and take on the same mantra as our Jewish brothers and sisters and teach the philosophy of "Never Again."

I became disturbed enough to write this post as I read Frederick Douglass' account of the whippings taken by his Aunt Hester.This is taken from the  book by Allison Davis, LEADERSHIP, LOVE & AGGRESSION. 
 The heart-stopping agony of her screams terrified him. He watched as the young woman was dragged into the kitchen and stripped....leaving her neck, shoulders, and back entirely naked. [Her master] then told her to cross her hands, calling her at the same time a black bitch. [After she had crossed her hands] he tied them with a strong rope, and led her to a stool under a large hook in the joist, put in for that purpose. He made her get upon the stool, and tied her hands to the hook. Her arms were stretched up at their full length, so that she stood upon the ends of her toes. He then said to her, "Now you damned bitch I'll learn you not to disobey my orders!"....and soon the warm, red blood (amid heart-rending shrieks from her, and more horrid oaths from him) came dripping to the floor. I was so terrified....I dared not venture out till long after the blood transaction was over. I expected it would be my turn next. 
Martin Luther King, Sr. gives a very similar story of watching as a child a man beaten and hung by a belt right in front of him while he was out playing in the woods on his way home for supper in his autobiography DADDY KING. The stories are chilling and ought to prompt anyone who knows what we have endured as a people to strive for nothing but excellence.

I close this post with the words, WE HAVE GOT TO DO BETTER. We have got to want more than the latest pair of sneakers or shoes, the latest fashion trend, the latest booty shake video, the latest hot TV show (i.e.Scandal), or the latest anything that really does not matter to advancing ourselves and the world. Sometimes it seems as if we are moving backward instead of forward.

Reading an account like the one above only propels me to make a positive difference in the world and I hope it will inspire and motivate you to do the same.  I invite you to follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritical01.  I welcome your commentary in the comment section of the blog.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Ease of Use

I've been keeping my posts short as of late. As a critical thinker, I ask you to question the ease of use of the term "wetback" by a U.S. Congressman. This is a congressman who has been in Congress since the Nixon days.

"My father had a ranch; we used to hire 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes."
Rep. Don Young (R) Alaska
I don't think I have to say anything more as the comment speaks for itself. It's not even about a Republican or Democrat thing. It is deeper than that. Think about it, if you do the age math, a majority of our congressmen and senators were children or teens during the civil rights era. I am sure you can connect the dots.

I welcome your commentary in the comment section of  The Critical Thinker. You are also invited to follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and tune into The Reading Circle on Saturday mornings at 6 a.m. ET at and WP88.7 FM.