Don’t Shoot!!

Growing up in today’s generation is completely different from when I was in coming up. The students deal with things completely different than we did. In school (especially high school) kids just fought out their problems and were done with it. If you lost the fight, you fought again and again and again until you A- proved yourself, or B- won the fight (finally). I have never in my life seen so many cases of suicide, mass shootings, and social and emotional crippled children under the age of 18. What is going on?

From 2013 to 2016, there have been 84 school shooting in schools from grades k-12. There have been 84 school shootings! Between 2013 and 2015, an average of two school shootings took place at K-12 schools each month. Among shootings at K-12 schools in which the age of the shooter was known, 56 percent (39 of 70) were perpetrated by minors. Over the past six years, 5,051 young Philadelphians ages 14 to 24 have been shot or killed. According to the 2010 FBI Uniform Crime Report, Philadelphia has the 4th highest homicide rate among the 50 largest US cities – 21.6 homicides per 100,000 residents. In 2012, 331 people were murdered in Philadelphia, and nearly 40% of those victims were youth 24 and younger. Not only do I have a problem with this high number of shootings, but I have a major issue with how these kids are getting access to these guns. So the issue becomes: 1- do we regulate the access to guns, especially to minors? 2- do we lobby to get social workers and psychologists put back into the schools to help decrease these emotionally unstable children? or 3- do we put armed police officers into the school to help decrease the likelihood of another school shooting from happening? Why not a combination of all 3? If we are being honest, just in the city of Philadelphia alone, there have been 15, 556 violent crimes in this city in 2017; there have been 65 murders since January 1, 2018, and 315 overall murders for 2017. There have been 17,250 murders in the United States last year alone, and currently 3,425 murders to date. Does this increase of violent crimes have any correlation with the increase of school shootings?

Many people would probably tell me that I am stretching the line too far by tying to make a comparison between the 2 because statistically school shootings have been done mainly by white males while violent crimes have been committed by black or latino males. So, should I make the correlation that these males are the issue? Stop giving males guns!!! That would be too easy. So maybe I should keep it simple and just say that we should arm our teachers (although I don’t think that this is a bad idea). What is the solution to this problem? I certainly can’t give you an answer on this million dollar question. What I can direct you to look into is the link between the shortage of social workers in the school and the increase of emotionally unstable children walking the halls. Or the link between more violence and sex and drugs being portrayed on tv and the increase of our youth engaging in dangerous and risky behaviors. Did you know that out of school time (the hours between school being let out and around 7ish pm) has the highest rates of crimes for juveniles? Stealing, drinking, robbing people, just getting into stuff they have no business getting into. Fewer programs being offered in the schools, less likelihood of neighbors looking out for the kids, more exposure to violence and sex…. You see where I’m going with this? There are more kids under the age of 16 in the juvenile system now than in the last 5 years.

It’s easy to just say “put armed cops in the schools”, or “put metal detectors in schools”, or “hire more armed guards”, but will these things really make a difference in the problem? In my opinion-NOPE! In order to stop all of these shootings, rapes, and other crap these kids are doing, we need to talk about all the issue with the kids. There were less violent incidents in schools when the students had more access to people to talk to about their issues. School used to be a place where students could get conflict resolution “talks” with adults that were supposed to mentor and help them. Those assets were taken away. More violence was exposed to them, more sex, more drugs, and we just expect these students to know not to engage in these activities. Expect these students to know how to manage their anger and emotions and sort through their feelings and still be able to function. We as adults have a hard time handling this, so how can children do this? Do I believe that mentors and coaches and positive adult role models make a difference? YES! I’ve seen it work first hand. Should access to guns be removed? YUP! Should parents be more mindful of where they keep their weapons? YUP! Should guns be so easily accessible to civilians? NOPE! Should counselors be put back in schools? YUP! There is not just 1 answer to the problem- there are many little things that should be implemented to help correct this situation.

Let’s just be clear- white kids shoot up schools because they are emotionally unstable. Black and latino kids shoot people (outside of schools) over money to provide for themselves and their family. Am I saying that more white kids are not becoming “gansgters” and selling drugs and shooting people over money and drug beefs? Certaintly not. But I am saying that white kids are the only ones reported bringing guns to school with the intention of hurting large numbers of people.

I would like all of these shootings to stop. Black kids, white kids, latino kids, all kids. I don’t want anymore children to die, for any reason. Let’s figure out all of the different ways that we can rectify this situation.

Be legendary Kings, be extraordinary Queens!



Living In A Fairytale

Every little girl growing up hears and reads tons of fairytale stories where in the end, the prince gets the princess and they live happily ever after. Young ladies (untainted by the world) grow up believing that they’ll find their prince charming. I never had that belief. I don’t remember being read fairy tales, and I certainly didn’t grow up believing in finding my prince charming. As I grew up, I always thought that love, happy endings, and happy marriages were something that only white people had, and rich black people who were on tv. I wasn’t going to find it, so it wasn’t on my list of things to accomplish in life.

I grew up watching the people closest to me have failed marriages and relationships, so I wasn’t interested in going down that path. School, working, figuring out life- those were on my lists of things to accomplish. I graduated school, started college, and met the first person that I really fell for. And I was the “other woman”. His home life wasn’t good, and like I said- I wasn’t interested in being serious because I didn’t expect a marriage. So I kept it casual, but he fell for me. Then, I fell back (all while STILL being the other woman). The funny things is, as I think about it, that was probably the best relationship I’ve been in. Crazy, right? He wanted to be serious, left his home to be with me, moved to Philadelphia with me. Proposed. And all this time, I still didn’t think that it would amount to anything more than what it was, BUT I grew into the relationship and fell in love with him. He left, went back to his children’s mother, and left me alone. Not surprising. Then I met my children’s father. He- something about him- that’s the one I started to believe in the fairy tale with. The family, the kids, the house, the white picket fence. That became a possibility with him. Even more so when I became pregnant with our first child. But, I wasn’t happy. I kept trying to make it a happy home because I had the family I wanted, but I couldn’t make it work. That family broke apart, and it broke me. This made 2 relationships, serious relationships, that failed. I was starting to not believe in those fairy tales again.

Then, I met the cop. And he was totally different from the last 2. He just, stood out. This time, I wasn’t the other woman. This time, I was actually happy. This time, I didn’t see it coming and it felt amazing. But, life always throws curve balls at you. And this fairy tale that I had created in my mind since my ex and tried to hold on to still wasn’t becoming a reality for me. Then, one day I woke up and realized that fairy tales aren’t for me. They never were. That prince-charming-saves-the-princess-lives-forever-happy-ending doesn’t pertain to me. And it probably never will. And all of these unrealistic expectations that I had needed to be adjusted to fit me and my life. Realistically, love doesn’t pay the bills. Or help raise my kids. Or help build and grow my business. Even in the bible it says that marriage isn’t for everyone. So, I think that waking up from my fairytale dream would be beneficial for me. Be real with myself about my expectations, and focus on the kids, my businesses, and continuing my education. If God decides that one day, someday, down the line, he actually has a prince charming lined up for me, I hope that he has the patience to get past my walls.

My truths; my fears; my realities…

Be legendary Kings, be exceptional Queens!



What Is Marriage?

I was having a conversation with someone close to me (actually, we were arguing about this topic) and they were saying that they weren’t sure about the future so how could they be sure that they wanted to be married to someone? It sparked a very interesting conversation.

I believe that people tend to over think marriages, making them harder than they need to be. Marriage is all about choosing the person you married over and over again. Divorce happens when people don’t talk about the major issues BEFORE getting married; issues like finances (who pays what bills, and saving), raising children, marriage roles, what happens if someone cheats, in-laws, even date nights, AND how to keep the intimacy flowing before and after children are involved. When these situations arise, neither party is prepared for the drastic changes that they cause, and one person ends up feeling slighted. Once that initial slight is felt, and left unresolved, everything else falls downhill. This 2-person commitment, just became a 1-person pity party. Arguments start, both people become petty, and no one is talking about the problem or how to fix it. This is how a marriage ends in divorce.

But staying married means that even when those things happen, you make the choice to stay with your spouse. Finances get screwed, choose to stay. Baby takes away her sex drive, choose to stay. Your job takes you away from home, choose to stay. Being married is a choice- you are choosing to sacrifice for the greater good. It’s easy to be selfish- wanting the things that you want, despite how it may impact the other person. It’s human nature to look out for yourself first. But in a marriage, there is no I (I’m not talking about the spelling here people!). We walked down the aisle, we said vows before God and other witnesses, we signed the marriage certificate, we chose to spend the rest of our lives with each other. The beginning stages of the marriage was made together, so why are decisions down the line being made alone?

Communication is one of the most important parts of being married. Without talking to your spouse, about EVERYTHING, you’re allowing the opportunity for small issues like who’s paying the cable bill this month turn into the cable being cut off, to irresponsibly handling money, to opening up separate bank accounts, to hiding money, etc. One small move or mistake can lead to a huge consequence- all because the talking part of the relationship died down. Communication keeps intimacy high. Communication helps resolve issues. Communication helps the other person know when you’ve done something to make them feel slighted. Communication allows growth and togetherness. But- you have to choose to do this. It’s a choice that is made between both parties that helps to keep the marriage afloat.

I know that whoever gets to marry me is going to be in for the ride of their life! I am probably pretty annoying as a mate, but I am even more so appreciative, respectful, encouraging, loving, and catering to my significant other. If I make the initial choice to choose you to be my husband, then I promise to choose you every single day for the rest of my life. No matter how stinky your feet are. Lol!

Be mighty King, be purposeful Queen