Tag Archives: courage

New Jersey in the Rearview Mirror

One week from today I will realize a long-delayed dream of moving away from New Jersey. When I moved here in 2000 from Iowa, it was with the intention of staying at

LifeIsHOTBlog, Brad W. Smith photographer, edge of the ocean along the Jersey shore, hand-printed words in sand Good-bye New Jersey

A fond farewell to a place that has provided more experiences than I ever could have imagined.

least three years, and no more than five. Here it is 13 years and six months later. Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.

I looked forward to the move to New Jersey for a job in New York that I enjoyed – and the cultural diversity and experiences that are only possible when you live in a true melting pot area. If you’ve ever lived in this part of the country, you know what I mean.

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The Choices We Make

Nearly 10 years ago, on May 17, 2004, Bill Cosby gave a speech that stirred up a lot of controversy about how Black people, particularly those in the lower economic community, need to take responsibility for themselves. You can read the speech, and additional commentary, here.

black and white photo, single man in wet suit, shoreline and hillside town in distance

We choose how we navigate through life, catching fair winds and keeping our balance when the going gets rough.

He called people out for their behavior and their choices by saying, if they didn’t apply themselves in school, or dropped out, they can’t blame others because they’re working a minimum wage job. While he was speaking to one portion of the Black community, his words ought to resonate with all of us.

Each of us is personally and unilaterally responsible for every choice we make.

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When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Start Talking

Are you getting ready to be together with friends and family later today? Does your menu look like this: the

bookcase, lamp, table in background

Today we give thanks for the courage to be who we really are and for all those who give us loving acceptance.

traditional fare, plus gluten-free versions, plus dairy-free alternatives, plus vegan options?

What about the family dynamics? Will there be hushed conversations or knowing looks that say: Don’t let this one have too much to drink. She isn’t speaking to her.  Wonder if he’s still out of work after all this time?

Juggling all the dietary and emotional needs of our families makes it hard to feel thankful and loving, doesn’t it?

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Filed under Respect