Water is Water; Is it Not?

I tasted water from a well i once visited and fell deeply in love with it. The water was clear, it tasted very good, and it was just the right temperature. One day that well ran dry, and i was forced to wonder the desert in search of water. I finally stumbled upon a well. It was full of water, but the water didn’t seem as clear, it didn’t have the same taste as the last well, and it was a bit warm, but it did the job.water-1

One day, during my travels, I passed by the location of the first well I had camped at, and behold, the rains had helped refill the well, and a taste ensured that the water was the same. But there was something different this time; I couldn’t draw water as I initially had. Now, this well had a dispenser that would only allow for so much water to come out. I wound up staying at that well, hoping the water would flow as it once did, because I could see the clear crisp water as I gazed down into the well.

Do you believe me to be foolish for abandoning a full well with no regulation, for a well that was full, but would only allow me to access just enough water to stop me from dying of heat stroke? i-heart-waterHave a great day, and don’t forget today’s question to ponder; before you leave your well for one that appears to be better, ask yourself, “Am I leaving ample for only a sample?” Signing off, but never offline! ~ Geno Stanley

A Letter to Trump: Divestment vs. Investment

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Dear Mr. Trump,

Chicago is a global city, and if anyone knows that, it would most certainly be you; a man who owns prime real estate in one of the world’s most appealing locations for tourists, and business professionals. There is an elephant in the room though; there has been a stark contrast in the divestment versus investment when assessing the micro economies that clearly exist within this city. That could very well be a bit of the brush that was ignited when your campaign was disrupted in this very city. No apologies are in line for the actions of my brothers and sisters of this struggle that you can never understand; you can only learn to empathize with the plight of African descendants within this country. Though I don’t hold all the same values, and thought processes of my fellow activists, I do stand in solidarity with their dedication to fight injustice with proportionate force. With that said, I do believe in your claim to have an agenda to bring America into its full potential of being the greatest nation, not only on the planet, but the greatest nation that we can become. Enough small talk, as I’m sure you have a lot of work to do; Chicago’s Public School system is a bridge built on sand, and that sand is Rahm Emmanuel, City Counsel, Barbara Byrd-Bennet, our long-standing clergymen with political affiliation, and the perspective of the American people that this problem is isolated, or unable to be corrected.

In 2013, my elected officials closed a record breaking 48 schools at one time; the largest scale school closing ever in U.S. history. The decision to devastate 12,000 elementary school students was blamed on a $1 Billion deficit brought on by decades of misappropriated funds, and a scandal that placed an interesting criminal light on our prior mayor. We understand how a deficit could call for the need to bring expenses lower than income, but what we don’t comprehend is why every social and economic experiment in this country has to be conducted at the expense of the quality of life of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens; minorities specifically, and moderate-low to very-low income families. If you’re inquiring as to why I’m crying over spilled milk; well, because that now spoiled milk is being force fed to us as yogurt, and it smells bad.kids1

In May of this year, the city began a quest to acquire an old post office location, and they proposed plans to transform that location into a new middle school. The project in total will cost $55 Million, and $11 Million in Tax Increment Funding (TIF) has been allocated to this project, that will benefit families within close proximity to the southern outskirts of the downtown area; an area comprised of mostly middle income families, and high income families that were able to survive the gentrification efforts pushed following the demolition of Chicago’s public housing project buildings (i.e. Cabrini Green Housing Projects). This is a concern of the African American community, because we have continually been forced to watch the spoils of us being robbed, being redistributed to those who didn’t need the resources in the first place.kids4

Contrary to popular belief, the African American community has no desire to continue to exist as a welfare community; one dependent upon foreign businesses and investors. We have no desire to dwell on where blame for our economic enslavement should be placed; we are clear on how we got to this position, but more importantly aware and ready to take the steps to bring us out of our social and economic incarceration. We understand that you have no authority to intervene in locally approved plans for development, but we do have a request.

Please redirect 30% of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and ecenomic development dollars to grassroots organizations and small businesses within their respective communities, the very organizations and businesses that create the micro-economic changes that “We the People” desire to see.

We would like to see a national effort to redirect CRA and economic development monies into a community controlled mechanism. Our community is in dire need of small business investment plan that acknowledges the disparities in capital, credit, and collateral that has been created by a long-existing system of oppression (relative barriers of entry into business). What we are really requesting is a small business startup and stimulus package that will help create healthy and self-sustainable communities; a major and bold push towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

 

 

Works Cited

City of Chicago: Tax Increment Financing . (2016, September 14). Retrieved December 23, 2016, from City of Chicago: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dcd/provdrs/tif/news/2016/july/tif-proposed-for-new-south-loop-elementary-school.html

Jr., J. P. (2015, January 22). Study looks at aftermath of Chicago school closings in 2013. Chicago Tribune.

Marisa de la Torre, M. F. (2015). Schools Closings in Chicago: Understanding Familie’s Choices and Constraints for New School Enrollment . Chicago: University of Chicago.

Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, J. C. (2013, May 23). CPS approves largest school closure in Chicago’s history. Chicago Tribune.

 

 

Love Factor: The Balancing of Two Urges

wild african loveFor as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamt of an amazing love; the type of love that transcends spiritual, emotional, and physical boundaries. In order to achieve this love that I require, I must educate myself on the urges of love, then I must learn to manage their balance. There are two love urges that are innate to all humans. One is the ‘give urge’, which is the impulse to exert love; it can be defined as external love satisfaction. The second is the ‘receive urge’, and this urge is an impulse that consumes love, and can be called the internal love satisfaction. With awareness of these human urges, comes the responsibility of managing them; make no excuse; they are directly interrelated and interdependent upon each other. More importantly, is the responsibility of educating yourself on the consequences of imbalance. The prerequisite for any conclusion must be the accurate defining of the word love.

Love, according to Webster, is a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person. When an individual feels affection for a person, they associate feelings of warmth, fondness, devotion, endearment, and friendship with that individual. These are all positive, and invigorating feelings that act as stimulus in a process of positive reinforcement. As humans, we all possess instinctual urges targeted towards the love factor. One of those urges is the ‘give urge’. This is our innate desire to exert love to those around us; this desire can be summarized as an external love satisfaction, since love is indeed a desire. While the ‘give urge’ can be looked at as both noble and selfless, complications can arise when this urge heavily outweighs its counterpart, the ‘receive urge’.

Humans have many natural drives, desires, and urges. One important urge, that helps prevent insanity from loneliness, is our ‘receive urge’ for love. This urge is the source of our hunger for affection, passion, and acceptance. Individuals who share mutual desires for affection from each other are indeed participating in a mentally, spiritually, and physically healthy practice; a practice that assists in their individual internal love satisfaction, as well as their strides in the process of self-actualization. How does the ‘receive urge’ assist in self-actualization, which is the process by which individuals discipline their behaviors to align with the idea of self-identity. Humans tend to see their selves as the reactors to outside influence. They also receive conformation in their worthiness of love, through the actions of the one’s they love (even when an individual’s worth isn’t rooted in the acceptance of individuals, external reinforcement aids in validating the thought of one’s self). Though the ‘receive urge’ is critical to feelings of internal love satisfaction, and can be associated with quality of knowing one’s self-worth (that you are worthy of receiving the love you’ve always imagined), a disproportionate amount of this urge could have consequential effects.

black couple formalThere is an old saying that “too much of anything is bad for you”. This can be summarized by the Chinese concept of Ying and Yang, which emphasizes the importance between a healthy balance of good and bad (pleasure and pain). It can argued that neither virtue would have affect or effect without the other, because our reactions are derived from the shifts between the two imposing stimulus. This is also the case when speaking on the balance between the love factor ‘give’ and ‘receive’ urges. Focusing wholly on giving leaves the individual in an emotional despair due to love deficiency. Someone who chooses to take this route will find themselves having feelings of decreased worth, loneliness, and they may even begin to feel ostracized and unappreciated. Placing all of one’s focus on receiving will lead to selfishness, and self-centeredness. Someone who takes this route will over time drain the love from the people they contact (since they don’t give, that love in those individuals will never be replenished), and will eventually find themselves alone, with no one to feed their egos.

I have a goal to engage in a mutually incredible partnership with a Beautiful Black Queen (BBQ). In order to achieve this, I must know that love is the state of continued affection towards someone. I must also become aware of the two urges of love: the ‘give urge’, and the ‘receive urge’. Along with educating myself on the existence and functionality of these urges, I must also come to understand the importance of a healthy balance of the two. So, to my future wife (the Queen of my empire), I expect you to expect as much love as you give. I require you to require and demand that corresponding treatment. I will accept nothing but what meets the standards that I have for myself, and you meet those standards. I want you to know that, though I am the head of the house, you are still the right side of my brain; know that I will stand with you on any and every occasion, and I can’t wait to fall in love with you. Get ready to receive and give, because I have the urge to show you exactly what I’m talking about. Signing off, but never offline!

Written by: Eugene ‘Geno’ Stanley