A Prayer for My Mother

me and mommy old

Born to lose and built to win
All odds stacked against her is how it begins
God bless my mother, the places she’s been

The little girl who hadn’t a selfish thought
She stood her ground, the fights she fought
God bless the child who was the adult

She gave birth to three and last was me
She always provided us with way more than we needed
God bless this woman for the roots she sowed and she seeded

Enough love to feed every hungry child on this earth,
Enough love to soothe the entire world when it pains and when it hurts
God bless the healer and her invaluable worth

She glows with independence, it’s clear and it’s known
She walks with style and class, but she’s never afraid to walk alone
God bless the lady who has always had her own

Odds stacked against her like no other
Yet no one stronger, yet no one tougher
I pray she knows how much I love her

God bless the queen I call my mother

Weekly Wisdom: Low Places Ain’t So Low

black lady breaking through
You may have some kind of big dream. Something that wakes you up at night. Something you dream about during the day. You want to be or do something big, something fulfilling and something important.

But sometimes, the dreams in your head don’t exactly match up with your reality.

And you gripe about it. You feel you don’t measure up and you minimize yourself as a result. But what you don’t realize is the importance of the low places.

Here’s an example.

I recently read a little blurb on Esther Rolle (you probably know her best from playing Florida on Good Times). As an African-American actress heavily active during the 50s and 60s, she often played the role of a maid to wealthy white families before breaking through this typecast later in her career.

When asked if this bothered her (given the time period and the context behind these roles), she said no. Although she had made a name for herself in Hollywood and STILL had been typecast as a maid during a time where the racism surrounding black women in domestic work was virulent at best, she didn’t mind. She saw her typecasting as an opportunity instead of a road block. In so many words, she said she felt she was paying homage to all the black female domestics before her (and even in her own family) who struggled and caught hell and then some — all in the name of supporting their families, acknowledging that the blood, sweat and tears before her is what paved her way to Hollywood in the first place. It was her opportunity to give a face to a plight largely unknown to and overlooked by the status quo.

Don’t take this the wrong way. You should strive for better and never become too complacent. But it’s all a process — Rome wasn’t built in a day. Just because you may not be where you want to be today doesn’t discount the value of this minute or this hour. There’s value in everything, but it’s up to you to value the minute, the hour, the day that you have.

Use your time and your place (where you are in life) wisely. The baby steps lead to feet and the feet lead to leaps if you’re wise, if you’re patient and when you understand that the low places aren’t so low.

Peace, Love & Consciousness