Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

BlackFriend(ly) Advice for Connecting with Others

Today you’ll learn the keys to getting along with Black people. Okay, actually ALL people.  

If you find that at some point in your life you have to interact with other human beings; this is for YOU.  If you know someone who struggles with connecting, networking, selling, dating or just being present; this is for THEM.

Be a friend and SHARE.

 

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

The great thing about a good post is the ability to repost – enjoy:

When I was a child I spoke, thought and reasoned like a child but when I grew up I put away childish things. 1 Cor. 13:11. When YourBlackfriend was a youth, in the years before the first celebration of Dr. King’s birthday, there was a lot of opposition to the creation of a national holiday. Part of the opposition argument was the potential cost to tax payers, singling him out above other persons and his controversial career (but we can celebrate Columbus Day?). Of course another great part of the opposition was singularly focused on his minority status as a Black man. And once the holiday was pushed through I, like many, was glad for the possibility of a day off– nothing more. But worse than that I had bought into the idea that this was somehow a holiday for Black people.

Today it’s hard to imagine people getting caught up on those things if you understand that Dr. King was a humanitarian. This means that while his primary work appeared to be centered on civil rights for Blacks, his overall goal was the improvement of conditions for ALL mankind. The only way this doesn’t apply to YOU is if you’re not human…and maybe not even then. [It seems to me Dr. King would hold the Navi lifestyle in high regard.] Nevertheless, I know that there are those who still have a problem with this Holiday.

To you I say that it’s true that as a youth I only understood Dr. King intellectually. But older, wiser and more educated, I now understand the connectedness of ALL mankind and appreciate the impact and meaning of his legacy. Simply put, we rise or fall together. This is clear in the age of globalization and poignantly highlighted by the current plight of Haitians. They and others are OUR problem. It is high time to put away childish thoughts, reasoning and petty squabbling; we pay tribute to a higher level of consciousness when we do.

Enjoy this day of remembrance but know that beyond this day, any hope for a better world depends on an ONGOING ingrained sense of duty and obligation to work towards fairness and equality for all peoples. You are your brother’s keeper and “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Who needs a Black friend?

The answers to most of the questions I receive on this website have the same general themes: (1) Have you thought about it from the others perspective? (2) Do unto others (i.e. how would you like if it were done to you) and (3) What do you think (because people usually stop thinking when they can defer to an “expert”). Additionally, the questions are mostly repetitive and/or can be found in my book. Among other reasons, this is why in all these years I’ve resisted writing a follow-up book. “All these years” is significant because the book still sells pretty well.

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,078 in Books  #15 in Books > Reference > Education > Questions & Answers  #22 in Books > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > Race Relations > America

And while that’s great for supplemental income, mine is the type of book you’d like to see fade into obscurity for lack of need/interest.

I mean it’s simple (and sometimes funny) to point out our differences. And I could easily cobble together enough new material from this very unchanged post-racial Obama era. But I won’t because as far as I can tell, drawing awareness to and documenting differences (in treatment or behavior) hasn’t caused any major positive shifts. Yes, I know change happens slowly and progress has been made; but we are way behind where we should be race relations wise. Just as knowing better does not mean doing better; neither does acknowledging our differences lead to wide range acceptance or appreciation. And in my opinion, racial tolerance is low sight to set. So, I am leaving it to the comedians, race baiters/mongers and the defenders/racial apologists. Until I can find a meaningful way to address what I see as a not so complex race relation problem, I am exiting ala Dave Chappelle (minus the fame, money and opportunity) and there will be no follow-up.

This is not a concession or acceptance of the status quo. I DON’T believe our problems have been solved or will work themselves out. I DO believe our current adversarial paradigm is due for a major overhaul. And we can do better starting with me. In the future look for something from me that strongly advocates a change in oneself as a first step. Sure, I’ll continue to answer your questions (I am your Black friend afterall) but please consider the themes in the first paragraph before you ask – then buy my book. Thank you.

 

Why Am I still Single?!

This is a frequent question I get from male prospects and well-intentioned people generally. I think it’s supposed to be a compliment. In other words, you’re so wonderful, how could you possibly still be single? Of course the other read is that I must have major issues or I wouldn’t still be on the market. Hmmm…I choose the first interpretation. But what is the market? Am I a unit for trade, hot today and less valuable tomorrow?

Well, I AM Black so apparently I’m supposed to be gnashing my teeth at the lack of available Black men. One reason that’s not going to happen is because I don’t buy it. Off the top of my head I can reel off the names of five single, seeking Black men of the type highly sought after by any woman. These five also just happen to want to partner with a Black woman. As unlikely as this sounds based on media portrayals, they ARE out there. And since I know them, why aren’t WE together? The answer is also the common sense reason why I’m still single: these men and me were/are NOT compatible.  Great guys  – not for me. So if I’m going to do any weeping and wailing it’s going to be at the difficulty in finding a compatible man –period.

It is far too easy to get into a bad relationship so these things should not be forced. And because of my “quirky” nature (and age), I can’t afford to rule out by race. Of course we are all multi-faceted but I’ve been told I’m a little harder to characterize. For example: I’ve never dreamt of the day I would marry, my biological clock has never ticked and I accept that monogamy and love are two entirely different concepts, not dependent on each other. These qualities are attractive to some but not the vast majority. I just think the odds are better for those whose values and ideas of happily ever after are aligned with mainstream thinking. And even as I acknowledge my unique challenges, I haven’t made “finding” him a priority. If I were really concerned (or desperate) I’d be out there; trolling the marketplace like a…well, like somebody on a mission. The men are out there to wade through, no sense in blaming statistics. I enjoy being single and that is the real reason why I still am.

And when being single is not fun, I console myself with the fact that it’s better for me to be alone and happy than off the market and miserable. This is not a band-aid fix. I know it’s not either/or and I look forward to the day when I meet the right person. But in the meantime, it’s not so bad being single…not bad at all. Besides, I know my happiness makes me much more attractive to whoever is interested in taking me off the market. All things in due time or not; life goes on.

The Book