Tuesday, December 7


I am America. The embodiment of a vision articulated over 200 years ago. Change. The words were clear, but their application is yet to be fully understood. Change; from the oppression of a people deprived of the simplest freedoms. Change; from exiles to citizens. My development has been a long, at times arduous, evolution. Many shed blood for the sake of change, while others demonstrated, took abuse, and survived through discrimination; all because they believed they were entitled to making a contribution to this American canvas.

This canvas…my composition made up of the blood, sweat, and tears of those who had the audacity to believe their fight was worth fighting…their dreams worth dreaming. From the Native American, to the religious outcast; the slave, to the migrant worker hoping for a better opportunity-each has made a significant brush stroke to this American picture.

I am forever evolving. I am not the same as I was a century, decade, a year, or even a moment ago. As I have changed, I have influenced change within others. They have seen possibilities, opportunities, and realities they would never have witnessed coming to fruition within the frames of their own pictures.

Fuchs called me a “kaleidoscope.” Adams called the idea of me, a “dream.” King dreamed of me becoming something better than what I was. The beauty of my appeal is that I embody so many descriptions, but not one can fully ascribe to all aspects of what I am, of who I am.

So…who am I? Open? Malleable? Versatile? Resilient?

I am America.

Tuesday, September 14

Could You PLEASE Pardon The Interruption?

Kanye West has apologized time and time again to Taylor Swift for his antics at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Last year we saw what many considered to be an "epic fail" in entertainment history when West snatched the coveted moon man from Swift, and discredited her worthiness of the award.

Granted, Yeezy's actions were far more dramatic than anything most of us would dare to do ourselves...but how long is he going to have to keep apologizing until we validate his sincerity.

It often amazes me how our society can so easily regard celebrities as being insusceptible to error. We [the fans] take these normal people, elevate them above ourselves, and when they make mistakes...chew up and spit them out.

Who are we to expect more of others than we would of ourselves? To criticize individuals we don't even know, while holding grudges that were never really ours to bear?

If anyone were to look at your life, would you expect them to pardon the interruptions? And after how many apologies?

Monday, July 19

Will There Ever Be Another Mike?

The greatest basketball player of all time has spoken. "Kobe Bryant is better than LeBron James." If he'd had the opportunity to join Magic Johnson and Larry Bird on a team, he wouldn't have left the Chicago Bulls (unlike LeBron leaving the Cavaliers).

So, who wins from the loss of Cleveland's hometown boy? Some say Dwayne [Wade], others argue LeBron-having the new-found possibility of a championship ring, while still others might even say Kobe (with his Lakers possibly losing the moniker, "the team everybody loves to hate"). Well, we can all agree who the loser is...Cleveland.

The debate has continued since the closing seconds of the 1998 NBA Finals...who's going to fill the void in basketball that Michael Jordan left behind?

The frontrunners: Kobe and LeBron. With his continued loyalty to the LA Lakers unbroken, has Kobe edged out a lead in the battle to be "like Mike?"

Sunday, July 18

I believe in capitalism...so what?

Much like many Americans, I've sometimes taken the privilege of growing up in this country for granted.

While eating some Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough the other day, I reflected on how amazing it is that two men could build a multi-million dollar empire making something as simple as ice cream. As I proceeded to log on to my laptop, I recalled a Harvard student developing a software who made it simpler for me to use my computer. I hopped on facebook...well, I think you can see where I'm going.

So, is capitalism about everyone becoming millionaires?...of course not! The more important question to ask is what motivation is driving our pursuits. What would make any of us want to become a millionaires?

I believe the most beautiful thing about this country is that we, as Americans, have the opportunity to innovate, develop, and create our destiny. Although various factors may contribute to-or hinder-our success, our story is a blank page for us to write.

I've found the most successful people did not pursue wealth but happiness, and whether your working as a CEO of a Fortune 500 company or at the drive-thru window serving food at McDonald's, your happiness is all that matters.

Sunday, July 11

Are You Comfortable?

I know I haven't written for some time, and if you missed me...please forgive me. I haven't been myself for a while. See...I've been a little uncomfortable. Actually...I think that's an understatement.

I'm slowly adjusting to the fact that I am no longer a permanent resident of my comfort zone. Sometimes, much like now...change can feel terrible. I'm employed. I have a roof over my head. I have food in my fridge (well...juice, water, a couple loaves of bread). Basically, I have whatever I could need, except for my friends and associates. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful...for the most part.

I am uncomfortable.

A year ago I wrote Could You Please Check Yourself, challenging people who were discontented with their present location, and I must say that I have had to check myself. I chose to come into this circumstance, and I am a firm believer that I am here for a reason...but why?!!!

Actually, I have a pretty good idea why, and I think a big part is because of the dependence I have on the company of others. Not to imply, by any means, that I cannot function on my own...but I enjoy the perks of various connections within my network. The admiration of others when I can pull strings, or have access to things normally not accessible to an outsider. Unfortunately, I now stand as the outsider.

Maybe, as I have gotten slightly older, I've outgrown the need to develop the particular networks which once granted me access to exclusivity, but honestly as I look at the life I once led, it seems trivial in comparison to the greater things in store for me...or maybe I'm just too lazy to put forth the effort. Whatever the case, my scope has become narrowed. Focused. Sharpened.

As I look forward to what's in store, I look forward to the discomfort. I am confident that the uneasy situations will only hone me in to the target I'm really looking to achieve.

So, tell me...are you comfortable?

Thursday, April 29

Your latter will be greater...

I'm sitting at a Starbucks in downtown Chicago...thinking. For those of you who know me, you're well aware that Chicago is one of my most favorite cities in the whole entire world. Across the street-not even a stone's throw away-I can see the Loyola University School of Law.

I remember growing up and hearing the stories of Moses and the children of Israel. It took them years to cross a distance that shouldn't have taken more than a matter of days.

The separation between the children of Israel and their destiny was about the width of the Dead Sea...not ocean...the Dead Sea. I can imagine it was like looking at a bundle of hundred dollar bills locked up in a glass case, without having any way to open it.

How many times have you felt as though you were so far from your goal it seemed like you would NEVER reach it? We all go through it, but in spite of everything, we cannot lose sight of our purpose, our goal, or our objective.

As I toured the campus today, I did not enter the building as a foreigner, but as a candidate of the entering class of 2011. Much like Joshua and Caleb, I was merely investigating the land...and you know what...I felt one of the greatest feelings of peace. Not because of anything I did in and of myself, but because I knew that God was merely following through on His promise...and what is the promise, you ask? That he had a purpose for me from within my mother's womb, and the experiences he has brought me through have provided me with the skills and tools to necessary to achieve my destiny.

I don't know exactly what the future holds, but I do know that with God moving ahead of me...its going to be an unforgettable journey which will only continue to get better.