Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Sunday, January 6, 2013
For you all,
A new year to me is a time for joy, comfort, renewal, and forgiveness. I think of the people who are important to me in my life, I think of the less fortunate, and I think of how I might have been a better person in the last year, and what changes I can make in the New Year. I hope that I can give more to the causes I hold dear to my heart in this new year to come.
As your atheist friend, I promise to help you when you need help, love you when you need love, challenge you when you need to be challenged, forgive you when you ask for it, ask for forgiveness when I need to, and be there for you in any other way I possibly can.
I won’t worry about saving your soul, but will challenge you to be a better person here on earth, as I hope you will do for me. I will ask that you not wait for an afterlife to celebrate the life you have, but live your life to its fullest measure now. I will not assume that if I wrong you, we can meet in heaven and work things out; I will try and work things out now.
I will not mock or devalue your faith, whether I disagree with it or not, but if you subvert your faith because you are in my presence, then I will question how firmly you hold your faith.
I will be offended if you trust me so little that you think I wouldn’t respect your wishes to pray over supper, wear a cross around your neck, go to church or tattoo a picture of Jesus on your back if that’s what you want to do. It is your faith, not mine.
I will ask that you understand that I didn’t come to my belief that there is no god because of some whim. I will hope that you understand that it is my sincerely held belief that I see no good evidence of a benevolent, omnipotent, and all knowing god. Also, I don’t see any evidence of ghosts, angels, spirits or other super natural beings that either support or battle an almighty god or interfere in our lives. If you and I are having issues, it is because of you and I, no one else.
I will hope you understand that the phrase "I don’t believe in god" is different than "I don’t believe there is a god," which is a subtle, but important difference. The second statement is the one I prescribe to.
I hope that you can see one day that I do have faith, but that it is faith in you. You have been there for me; you’ve helped me when I needed a hand; nursed me when I was sick, listened when I needed an ear to bend, comforted me when I was sad or grieving, and celebrated with me when the opportunity presented itself.
I hope that instead of praying for me, that you will call me, come see me, email me, text me, or write me. To me, all those things are better than a prayer I will never hear.
All in all, what I value in you is your humanity. I see no need to prescribe your kindness, loyalty, and strength to a heavenly father, maybe just your earthly mother and father, brothers and sisters, and other friends and family who helped make you the imperfect, but lovable person you (and I) are.
In the end, I hope for you all the all the things I hoped for you when I was a Christian; Joy, health, longevity and most of all, love.
With all my Love, Gina Webb
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
There are many reasons why relationships don't work. A surefire way to spot an incompatible union is: Do you support your partner when they are down? Are you jealous of their shine/success? When I ask these questions it's not about what you show on the outside, but, what you feel on the inside. Plenty of people will say they support their mate, but, they are only putting on a show. If you feel some sort of way when your mate is getting a lot of attention for who they are or when they are down and out because of a setback of different sorts; you're just not the right person for them.
This doesn't mean you need to always agree with this person. It simply means, when you're mate is happy being them or sad, dealing with adversity - YOU are always there, because, YOU want to be. NOT because you think you HAVE to be. If you're elated by your partners success and sad by their obstacles, you just might be on to something....
Be a better partner because you want to be...otherwise you are wasting everyone's time...
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Monday, December 26, 2011
2012= Increased 'SELF-AWARENESS' - Owned 'Personal Growth' ~©KP
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
by Peggy McIntosh
I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.
Through work to bring materials from women's studies into the rest of the curriculum, I have often noticed men's unwillingness to grant that they are overprivileged, even though they may grant that women are disadvantaged. They may say they will work to improve women's status, in the society, the university, or the curriculum, but they can't or won't support the idea of lessening men's. Denials that amount to taboos surround the subject of advantages that men gain from women's disadvantages. These denials protect male privilege from being fully acknowledged, lessened, or ended.
Thinking through unacknowledged male privilege as a phenomenon, I realized that, since hierarchies in our society are interlocking, there was most likely a phenomenon of white privilege that was similarly denied and protected. As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.
I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was "meant" to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks.
Describing white privilege makes one newly accountable. As we in women's studies work to reveal male privilege and ask men to give up some of their power, so one who writes about having white privilege must ask, "Having described it, what will I do to lessen or end it?"
After I realized the extent to which men work from a base of unacknowledged privilege, I understood that much of their oppressiveness was unconscious. Then I remembered the frequent charges from women of color that white women whom they encounter are oppressive. I began to understand why we are justly seen as oppressive, even when we don't see ourselves that way. I began to count the ways in which I enjoy unearned skin privilege and have been conditioned into oblivion about its existence.
My schooling gave me no training in seeing myself as an oppressor, as an unfairly advantaged person, or as a participant in a damaged culture. I was taught to see myself as an individual whose moral state depended on her individual moral will. My schooling followed the pattern my colleague Elizabeth Minnich has pointed out: whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work that will allow "them" to be more like "us."
Daily effects of white privilege
I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some of the daily effects of white privilege in my life. I have chosen those conditions that I think in my case attach somewhat more to skin-color privilege than to class, religion, ethnic status, or geographic location, though of course all these other factors are intricately intertwined. As far as I can tell, my African American coworkers, friends, and acquaintances with whom I come into daily or frequent contact in this particular time, place, and line of work cannot count on most of these conditions.
I can, if I wish, arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area that I can afford and in which I would want to live.
I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.
I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.
If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.
I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods that fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone who can deal with my hair.
Whether I use checks, credit cards, or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.
I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.
I can swear, or dress in second-hand clothes, or not answer letters without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty, or the illiteracy of my race.
I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.
I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color, who constitute the world's majority, without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.
I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider. 18. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to "the person in charge" I will be facing a person of my race.
If a traffic cop pulls me over, or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.
I can easily buy posters, postcards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys, and children's magazines featuring people of my race.
I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in rather than isolated, out of place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, or feared.
I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having coworkers on the job suspect that I got it because of race.
I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.
I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help my race will not work against me.
If my day, week, or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it has racial overtones.
I can choose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color that more or less match my skin.
Elusive and fugitive
I repeatedly forgot each of the realizations on this list until I wrote it down. For me white privilege has turned out to be an elusive and fugitive subject. The pressure to avoid it is great, for in facing it I must give up the myth of meritocracy. If these things are true, this is not such a free country; one's life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own.
In unpacking this invisible knapsack of white privilege, I have listed conditions of daily experience that I once took for granted. Nor did I think of any of these perquisites as bad for the holder. I now think that we need a more finely differentiated taxonomy of privilege, for some of these varieties are only what one would want for everyone in a just society, and others give license to be ignorant, oblivious, arrogant, and destructive.
I see a pattern running through the matrix of white privilege, a pattern of assumptions that were passed on to me as a white person. There was one main piece of cultural turf; it was my own turf, and I was among those who could control the turf. My skin color was an asset for any more I was educated to want to make. I could think of myself as belonging in major ways and of making social systems work for me. I could freely disparage, fear, neglect, or be oblivious to anything outside of the dominant cultural forms. Being of the main culture, I could also criticize it fairly freely.
In proportion as my racial group was being made confident, comfortable, and oblivious, other groups were likely being made unconfident, uncomfortable, and alienated. Whiteness protected me from many kinds of hostility, distress, and violence, which I was being subtly trained to visit, in turn, upon people of color.
For this reason, the word "privilege" now seems to me misleading. We usually think of privilege as being a favored state, whether earned or conferred by birth or luck. Yet some of the conditions I have described here work systematically to overempower certain groups. Such privilege simply confers dominance because of one's race or sex.
Earned strength, unearned power
I want, then, to distinguish between earned strength and unearned power conferred systemically. Power from unearned privilege can look like strength when it is in fact permission to escape or to dominate. But not all of the privileges on my list are inevitably damaging. Some, like the expectation that neighbors will be decent to you, or that your race will not count against you in court, should be the norm in a just society. others, like the privilege to ignore less powerful people, distort the humanity of the holders as well as the ignored groups.
We might at least start by distinguishing between positive advantages, which we can work to spread, and negative types of advantage, which unless rejected will always reinforce our present hierarchies. For example, the feeling that one belongs within the human circle, as Native Americans say, should not be seen as privilege for a few. Ideally it is an unearned entitlement. At present, since only a few have it, it is an unearned advantage for them. This paper results from a process of coming to see that some of the power that I originally saw as attendant on being a human being in the United States consisted in unearned advantage and conferred dominance.
I have met very few men who are truly distressed about systemic, unearned male advantage and conferred dominance. And so one question for me and others like me is whether we will be like them, or whether we will get truly distressed, even outraged, about unearned race advantage and conferred dominance, and, if so, what we will do to lessen them. In any case, we need to do more work in identifying how they actually affect our daily lives. Many, perhaps most, of our white students in the United States think that racism doesn't affect them because they are not people of color; they do not see "whiteness" as a racial identity. In addition, since race and sex are not the only advantaging systems at work, we need similarly to examine the daily experience of having age advantage, or ethnic advantage, or physical ability, or advantage related to nationality, religion, or sexual orientation.
Difficulties and dangers surrounding the task of finding parallels are many. Since racism, sexism, and heterosexism are not the same, the advantages associated with them should not be seen as the same. In addition, it is hard to disentangle aspects of unearned advantage that rest more on social class, economic class, race, religion, sex, and ethnic identity than on other factors. Still, all of the oppressions are interlocking, as the members of the Combahee River Collective pointed out in their "Black Feminist Statement" of 1977.
One factor seems clear about all of the interlocking oppressions. They take both active forms, which we can see, and embedded forms, which as a member of the dominant group one is taught not to see. In my class and place, I did not see myself as a racist because I was taught to recognize racism only in individual acts of meanness by members of my group, never in invisible systems conferring unsought racial dominance on my group from birth.
Disapproving of the systems won't be enough to change them. I was taught to think that racism could end if white individuals changed their attitudes. But a "white" skin in the United States opens many doors for whites whether or not we approve of the way dominance has been conferred on us. Individual acts can palliate, but cannot end, these problems.
To redesign social systems we need first to acknowledge their colossal unseen dimensions. The silences and denials surrounding privilege are the key political tool here. They keep the thinking about equality or equity incomplete, protecting unearned advantage and conferred dominance by making these subjects taboo. Most talk by whites about equal opportunity seems to me now to be about equal opportunity to try to get into a position of dominance while denying that systems of dominance exist.
It seems to me that obliviousness about white advantage, like obliviousness about male advantage, is kept strongly inculturated in the United States so as to maintain the myth of meritocracy, the myth that democratic choice is equally available to all. Keeping most people unaware that freedom of confident action is there for just a small number of people props up those in power and serves to keep power in the hands of the same groups that have most of it already.
Although systemic change takes many decades, there are pressing questions for me and, I imagine, for some others like me if we raise our daily consciousness on the perquisites of being light-skinned. What will we do with such knowledge? As we know from watching men, it is an open question whether we will choose to use unearned advantage to weaken hidden systems of advantage, and whether we will use any of our arbitrarily awarded power to try to reconstruct power systems on a broader base.
(Peggy McIntosh is associate director of the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women.)
Monday, October 10, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
We all like to share our opinions on the things going on around us. When someone asks us for advice, we tend to use our experiences and thoughts to help them. The problem with this is we tend to project our beliefs onto the situation at hand. The most important tool we need to utilize when giving advice is; ACTIVE LISTENING. Active listening is a communication technique that requires the listener to understand, interpret, and evaluate what they hear.
When giving advice, attempt to stay away from, "This is what you are supposed to do". Telling someone what they need to do does not garner ownership on their part. The person you are helping needs to own the decisions they are making. If this person doesn't own the decision, they won't have long-term success. They also won’t grow through this experience and therefore, will not be capable of handling the same situation in the future, with ease.
The moral of the story is; refrain from giving advice if you aren't good at active listening. Also refrain from giving advice if you lack the ability to offer an objective, 'in their shoes' point of view. Remember it's, 'What they want to do', not 'What you want to do'.
This is a much simpler experience to understand. You also need to practice active listening. You 'know' exactly what you want to do; the question you are asking yourself is, should I do 'that' or is there a better way. This is important when receiving advice from someone. When listening to the advice someone is giving you, listen to all sides of it. You need to ascertain whether this person is projecting their personal thoughts onto your situation, or whether it's genuine and objective. This can be very difficult in an emotionally high charged situation.
If you are actively listening to the advice, you can pull out the pieces that resonate within you. This is where you begin to see what your true thoughts are. You begin to say internally and externally, "Yes you are right". The key here is whether the 'YES' is confirmation of a thought or understanding of where you need to go now. This can be tricky. What makes it easier to grasp is, knowing from the beginning if the advice you are getting is objective and from your point of view. If you are practicing active listening, you will know this almost immediately. You will know whether this person is 'saying what you want them to' or 'saying what you know to be the truth'.
The most important thing to remember when receiving advice is: Make sure it is about you and your situation at hand. Don't let people project their failures onto your situations....
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
U never know when u will inspire someone to be the best they can be....by being the best u can be...so do it all the time. Being the best u can be, doesn't always translate into success....we all fail @ something, everyday...if u failed while doing ur best...there's no stress...There's no such thing as u being an innocent bystander in ur life...Thirsty Thursday is here...Enjoy!
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Depending on other people as a first step to solving issues in your life, is a recipe for failure. If you have something happening in your life you don't like, the first step is to think about how you want to change it. Then, you start to plan your way out of the situation. During the planning phase it can be advantageous to seek support for this plan. Be sure you have some sort of idea or plan before reaching out to others. The importance of all this is simple; if you have some semblance of a plan or idea, any ideas you receive from someone else will accentuate your plan. If you have no plan before you express your issues to another person, you may adopt their ideas as your own - this reduces your chances for success. To have long term success you need to own your plan for change.
One major obstacle to answering the question 'How?', is being comfortable with the current situation. Let's use a couple being together for a length of time as an example. You have to ask yourself; "am I with them because I love them? or is it because I'm used to being with them?". This can be a very tough question to answer. A simple way to answer is, ask yourself "can I see myself without them?". This example can be used for any aspect of your life. Ask yourself "Do you really need 'IT' or are you just used to 'IT'?. You need to get that answered before moving forward. If not, you won't be able to answer "How do I?".
When something is bothering you in your life, always own the responsibility of resolution. Even if you ask for help, make sure it's objective advice you're getting. Also, don't get bogged down with trying to predict all the possible results of your actions. This can sometimes get you stuck in the quicksand of non movement on the issue. Remember, there's 'something' you want changed in your life; if you don't change it, you will stress about the 'something' continuously.
If you struggle with change, you must embrace planning as a way to get around your struggle with change... You will then be able to answer or start the answering process on your own...
until the next one...
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
We all have said or heard the phrase, "The truth hurts". Do you know why the 'truth' hurts? It hurts because most people are in denial about many facets of their life; they don't understand what self awareness is all about. When you are self aware, there's very little a person can say to you or about you, that will ever bother you. Why is this, you may ask? Being self aware, before the person says 'it' to you, you accept 'it' as being who you are. In other words if you are fat, you know you are fat, you are comfortable with it or are doing something about it. If someone calls you fat, it doesn't bother you nor should it.
Something someone says to you about you, should never be something you don't already know and embrace. Thus, removing the angst people have when someone says something to them which society deems 'rude'. We must dare to explore who we really are. We must stop hiding from ourselves and embrace the good and bad of our being.
Spend less time judging other people. Spend more time judging and attempting to understand yourself. Know, embrace, and be comfortable with who you are better than anyone else can......
Being self aware makes life tremendously less stressful when dealing with others' opinions of you....Self awareness is an integral component in high self esteem..."sticks and stones..."
Until the next one....