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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

When they HAVE to let you in the game....I promise!

Parents often tell kids that education is the greater path to a better life. Although this is true, it is diminished by the "great equalizer". My Dad used to tell me to get an education. I was told that it would take me far. I was also told that my demeanor and my being respectful could also win over those in need of impressing. All of this is great advisement for not only children but everyone.

Later, as I began to enter into my teen years, my Dad didn’t deviate from his previous statements when he added the most important lesson about getting ahead in life. He told me that the door could still be slammed in your face if you had an education, money, or a great attitude. These were things that were paramount but they still required someone give you a chance. These chances are subject to individual discretion. My dad said, “The one thing that guarantees the door is open and can’t be closed son is your credit. If your credit is good they HAVE to let you in the game whether they like you or not.” My dad, rest his soul, had a little bit of militant in him. He would follow that by saying, “If your credit is good you can talk S**t to them and they have to kiss your a**. Education will take you far but credit will guarantee that the doors are open for you and your family!”

He explained to me that my credit was my word and that a person’s history of keeping the word that they gave is unmatched in the history of humanity. If you say you will do something and do it you will always be good. In addition to this the Federal government has passed laws to make sure that you will be taken care of equally as well as ANYONE else with good credit. We used to ride to Louisiana and Pops would tell me that if I wanted to stop by a bank in Vidor and get credit, they HAD to give it to me if my credit was as good as the other people they gave credit to, no matter what I looked like.

They could deny me in spite of my educational accomplishments. They can laugh in the face of my politeness and good manners. They can even find a way to shut me out because of the way I look…………………….BUT! IF my credit is good, YOU MUST let me in the game! Don't be fooled folks. Good Credit is the Great Equalizer.

Thanks for this jewel Eugene Gamble Jr. Love you Pop!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

She's Crazy, but I love her.....WHAT?!

Some of our greatest stories to share are about that crazy girl or guy we once dated. Often the fact that they are mentally ill escapes them, but we know. Many people don’t know how to protect themselves from the kind of relationship that this person loves to be in. After all, everyone loves everyone in the beginning.

The issue is this: These nuts usually start to let you know pretty quickly that they are lunatic and sometimes a detriment to your physical health (violent). When she wants to spend ALL of her time with you, she is probably crazy and that is unhealthy. Balanced people understand time apart and value a wide array of friendships. If he wants to drive you everywhere, he is probably crazy. Most men enjoy a moment away from her, it in many ways rekindles.

Pay close attention to the “other” relationships in that person’s life. Usually they will let you know how wacky this person is. Crazy people can’t just keep their insanity contained to just one of their relationships. They are usually crazy with relatives and exes too. Watch closely the way people treat those they claim to love the most and remember that you are beneath those people they love most, so your time is on the way. I don’t trust my kids with people who treat their children like crap. Aren’t they supposed to love their children more than they love mine? If this is the case, you cannot tell me that you won’t treat my kids worse as soon as I am out of shouting distance. Pay attention to these things before moving on.

I’ll offer one more note on the crazies in the interest of keeping this short. They are always, always, very, very insecure and they let you know this week one! They ask you crazy questions and they always tell you about previous relationships, even if you don’t want to hear it. BE very careful to guard your personal information because they will use IT ALL to try to either keep you or get you back. Once you find out that they are crazy, STAY AWAY and change all codes to EVERYTHING! even if you didn’t give it to them. Crazy people WILL GET YOUR CODES AND PASSWORDS ANYWAY, trust me they spend hours of crazy time devising plans to invade your privacy…TRUST ME! You don’t want them checking your voicemail or tapping into ANY accounts online because they WILL use this against you, insecurity won’t allow them not to. It is their last ditch effort to CONTROL you. Last, this insecurity is mostly driven by something they did wrong, not you. You have to know when to fold them and cut your losses. This way we won’t have their crazy ass children walking around and you living the rest of your life in regret of meeting the crazy bastard or regretting from jail what you had to do to them!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I aint change, but I know I aint the same

Evolution of humanity starts with one’s own growth. Be it spiritual, intellectual, physical, or emotional, we are creatures that are designed and destined to create, re-create, and proceed down the path of expansion ("Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain."). This is sometimes stunted by the desire to “keep it real”. We will in short, attempt to realize what keeping it real is to really mean.

A short time ago, because I was not growing in any manner consistent with progress, I assumed this to mean conserve the status quo, to be conservative if you will. To conserve what is the (un)natural order of my surroundings. With more prescribed focus, I learned that this was counterproductive to the evolution of my person as well as those around me. I became a more aggressive progressive.

You see I didn’t grow up in surroundings that suggest I needed to conserve it all! My foundation was solid, but that was a result of my path being directed by my family: parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and the church (thank you Sis. Gamble). There were tremendous pitfalls on my way to adulthood. I apologize for nothing. The things that I have experienced made me who I am and at the same time made me who I am not.

There is a point when we all must make the choice to be better than yesterday or to “keep it real” in a negative sense. I chose and am choosing to reform my spirit(I go to The Church Without Walls), my intellect(constantly learning and reading), my physical(in the gym 4 days a week), and my emotional(I face my demons and my fears….I think) person to become a better me. Notably, I am still Trent from the block.

Do I really keep it real by not bringing my brother or sister on the journey with me? Am I my brother’s keeper when I watch silently as he heeds the towing bell of failure? Do I help my sister drag herself to destruction in feeling, “That’s on her.” OR! Do I make a positive impact in MY community? If each one of us reaches one of us to bring about ANY success that can be payed forward what could we really resolve? I think the results would be tremendous.
If we can help to change the lives of a person with less than we have………………Well, I am still Trent from Fifth Ward and I aint change……I just know I am not the same! Nice to meet you.

Who are you again?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Why do I care if gays get married!!

A same-sex couple got married yesterday and I had to walk outside to make sure the end of the world hadn’t happened and I missed it. What do I care that a gay couple gets married? I really feel that it is none of my business. Marriage is a social union or legal contract between individuals that creates kinship.

Although my standards dictate it is wrong in the eyes of the Lord God, I have no inherent right to impose my standards on someone else’s life. God gives us freedom to make choices and to follow his dictates. Is there one among us who chooses to do so completely? Marriage is between God, you and the person you marry.

I do believe that in the end time same sex married couples will have to answer to God for their lifestyles, but so will they have to for all other choices or lifestyle practices, or lies, or dishonoring their parents, or any other discretion. Unless they affect society in a criminal manner, those discretions are none of my business as well. It will be between that person and God.

It is abominable to me the way that people assume that the way they do things is the right way, always. What would happen if we shined a light into all of their activities? Would God be equally displeased? Some of the most vehement nemesis of same-sex marriages are collectively themselves sliding into some of the darkest caverns of Hell. Thank you God for providing a cover for my discretions, you know these people would hang me if they knew what you know about me. I am no less a sinner that the gay people they throw stones at so again THANK YOU GOD for your veil of protection. I will leave you to deal with your children.

If gay people want to get married, I don’t agree with it, but IT IS NOT MY BUSINESS! They deserve to be as miserable as some of the heterosexual married couples I know. Until marriage is officially only recognized by the church, I have no problem with a man wanting to marry a man.

Ultimately, unless our society hands over the reigns of everyday life to the church(I hope to be dirt by then), let them enjoy life promised to them in our land of choices, even incorrect choices. Those that don't like the freedoms here, move to Iraq. Currently marriage is still defined as a social and legal union of this world and last I checked I am not to be of this world. God Bless!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Children are part of the breakup too

It is common knowledge, if not cultural knowledge, that children should be seen and not heard. Children need to stay in their places. Children need to know their roles. Indeed they do, but………

What are their roles when their parent’s relationship dissolves? Should they be made to observe and respect different sets of rules as they visit the perspective parents? People rarely give great consideration to a child or children that are going through as much or more than the adults during a breakup. While the adults have unceremoniously moved on to the next portion of their lives, the kids are left wandering in the netherworld that is between live's of adults.

How does that child really understand to respect the rules of both houses when they diametrically oppose one another? If bedtime was at 9 when Mom and Dad were an item and now bedtime is 7 at Dad’s because his new relationship requires it, what does that create in that child’s psyche? They are usually left feeling like something or someone was chosen over them and/or their sensibilities.

I trust that that any responsible parent would understand that the “new” rules that are brought upon the child are inconsistent with the child’s upbringing to that point. Many parents fall behind the less complicated thinking of, “The child must obey the rules of the house.” It is substantially MORE complicated than just that. Is this really fair to the child that did not contribute to the breakup? Is this fair to the child that has not moved on as the parents have and should that child be allowed ample time to process this before the parent enters into a new relationship? Is this fair to the child that is heavily leaning on the relationship that they share with both parents to get through the breakup?

Should the comfort that comes with consistency be a factor in ANY decision a parent makes? YES. By no means should that child not be made to follow the rules of the homeowner supplying a roof over the child's head. In saying that, I also acknowledge that the parent of that child should make sure that those rules are consistent with what the child has been reared to be accustomed to. This is the least a good parent can do for their most precious asset before moving on to their new life. Keep this in mind: the child is not OK with the breakup and usually has to suffer the portion of inconsideration. No one considered the child’s input in whatever caused the relationship to fail, nor should they. But they should consider what the breakup is doing to the child and how to best supply comfort in a trying time. Children know when this is not happening; they usually know this and feel it, trust me. It usually manifests itself in some form in the near future, again TRUST ME!

Such issues are a portion among others that grown-ups often fail to give attention to that cause many nights of separated parental drama (better known as baby-mama or baby-daddy drama). There are two sides to every story and usually both sides are proclaiming moral superiority. Often my friends are disgusted with me because I will not side with them when not knowing both sides of an issue. I tend to academically think things through instead of offering myself to their emotion. This pisses people off and I cannot figure out why(sarcastically). Because we are friends does not make the righteous side of an issue yours. I find that there are usually two wrong sides and the most righteous part of the equation lives somewhere between the two.

Our children didn’t ask to be a part of this world, but they are. Since they are, they deserve some love, consistency, support, and some manner of consideration when YOU decide to move on.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Generational Curses

Many children are born with a snowballs chance in Hades at becoming a productive citizen able to add to the world. It is sad that in almost all cases this is no fault of their own. Some parents don’t recognize that there is a purpose for their presence on Earth. This lack of realization is passed on to the child, in many cases as if it were hard coded into their DNA. Bad action begets bad action. Righteous action begets more righteous action.

In some households this was referred to as “generational curses”. My grandparents were very aware of this and there was never a shortage of learning about this in my youth. Grandpa talked about it in Eunice and Maw-Maw talked about it in 5th Ward. It is about being born into it. The bible addresses the iniquity of our forefathers:

1. Exodus 34:7, "Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting (punishing) the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation."

2. Lamentations 5:7, "Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne (been punished for) their iniquities."

Simple recognition of this is the first portion of correcting it. We are not locked into committing the same indiscretions or transgressions of our parents. The ignorance is the greater source of your bondage. At some point we must say ENOUGH! My child will not go through what I went through because I care! In my case the curse was the addiction to alcohol. I am not ashamed to admit this, because, in doing so I was able to confront this at an early age. I do indulge in drinking, but I am keenly aware of the historical hold it has had on my family. I intend to break this and have been successful thusfar.

Too many times we are too caught up in living our lives to take notice of what is happening in the lane next to our own. I do really believe in minding your own business, but will get into yours deeply when it affects mine. Stop raising your kids in a foul manner. Stop ignoring what you know is the road to perpetual Hell for your child, both living Hell and the Hell promised at death. Make their nurturing second only to your relationship to your Savior in your path to fulfill life’s mission. Stop depending on others to take care of them..…they belong to God and YOU!

I often tell my mother this about my siblings, “Mama, before you leave, make sure that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. When you leave, I cannot love them like their mother. I will not do the things that Mom will do. I can only love them like their brother!” I hope that they give me the same.

If your forefathers curse has a tight grip of you and yours, please, please recognize it and end it. Your children’s actions, inactions, or misdeeds don’t just affect you. You are not living in a bubble and that could be my family member a victim of whatever you and/or your children are into. Conquer your curse…….for your child’s sake and for the rest of us that are your village.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

When you get money, act like you already had it!!

Quite often, the quickest way to spot the most unintelligent among a crowd is by noticing how much attention the person or the group of people is drawing to themselves. I often comment on things my father told me while he was here on this planet. One of the best bits of advice was, “Son, when you get money, Act like you are used to it!” As a child reared in comfort but having limitations financially, I did not really understand this. As an ignorant child, I always thought that it was essential to have rims on a ride that cost less than the rims, a HUGE piece and chain, a nice pair of Nikes, you know look good. Boy was I wrong.

Now more than ever I understand what the “old man” was talking about. He wanted me to not embarrass myself by showing others that I was new to this and that I didn’t know how to handle it. I am still not rich, no not by a looooong shot. I am a bit better financially than I was during my childhood. Most of this is contributed to me making better decisions about my finances than my parents did. They did the best they could but also taught me that there was an inherent NEED for me to do better, so this was part of their plan.

Pops would tell me that our race cannot progress unless I did better than he did and my children did better than I did. I now understand what this means. Some don’t! Why is it that a grown man still needs “beat” in the trunk? Why is it that the poorest among us have to prove that they have money by spending ALL of their money on Coogi, rims that are more costly than the vehicle, purses they can’t afford, $300 jeans when your rent is $600, and so on? Why, because it matters to them.

When you get to a point that these things don’t matter to you, you have probably gained some respect of financial success. I have always noticed the people with quiet, sophisticated, modest appearances and thought that they must have some financial success. Why, because they are not trying to flash me to death to prove to me that they have arrived. Your modesty says more to me about where you are in life. Ever notice that people who have always had money don’t want everyone to know that they have money. I grew up around people without and they were obsessed with showing other people without that they were not without. In other words, broke people were always trying to prove to other broke people that they were not broke….didn’t work. The funniest part of that thought is that my friends that have some financial success are always trying to find ways to have more success. They really don’t care that you THINK that they are broke. How many people do you really know, with money wearing Coogi? Something to ponder… least I hope it is. I’ll close by saying this. I find nothing wrong with being broke. I do find something wrong with being content with it and even more wrong with spending the little that you do have trying to prove to me that you aren't.