Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dear Sons Time Is More Precious Than Sex So Don't Give That Away Either

Dear Sons;

The one thing I can tell you about being in love is that you end up making mistakes. Sometimes over and over but that's not so bad if you learn from them. What I've learned from loving humanity, loving my community, loving my causes and loving the men and women that have crossed my path is this: give them your time and you've declared your love. People will WASTE YOUR TIME trying to distract you with things that don't matter on the LIVE YOUR LIFE scale. "Oh don't love this one, they're too self absorbed or don't commit to that cause it will sap you of your energy AND your money." TEll them this: "I am not here to live for you. Go live your own life."

Oh there are people and causes that I've "lived for", ones that I've devoted so much of my time, energy, emotions, my body and my money to and I've no regrets. I'd done it because I'd made the choice to and so like a mature human being I take full responsibility for all of my actions - even the crazy ones. At the end of the day I chased after that one because I wanted to, or I joined that association or campaign because I WANTED TO. Me, not the people who kept buzzing in my ear and my inbox with their pearls of wisdom being given ever so freely from their hiding place behind their laptops.

The one good thing about having me go before you in this journey called life is that I will not steer you into danger if I can help it. I am your litmus test to the best of my ability and I know that if I can prepare you to make choices that feel right to you, if I can show you that taking sole responsibility for those choices will make you great men of courage and wisdom then I have been the mother I should be.

"The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them."
Frank A. Clark


I know I spoil you all because you three are my treasures, my most precious love in this universe and any other.(Your mom is a sci-fi fan, so sue me) I over indulge you at times and show you some of the better things in life when I am able so that you can seek out your own passions and ignite your own curiosities. I introduce you to people that I feel will enrich your life not complicate it. But I am your mother and I do it willingly and with unconditional love. I also know I am razor sharp when I have to be, I pull no punches, I take no prisoners and I make sure that the punishment will always give you more than pause if you EVEN THINK of repeating something you knew you shouldn't have. I did this so that you would hopefully never have outsiders judge you, punish you, or alter your life. Or when you came before those who might wish to be judge and jury then you would know that those are the ones you must prepare yourselves for. This world is dangerous, people are unpredictable, circumstances are unpredictable but you'll have a fighting chance to survive it if I have anything to do with it. (Terminator 1 and 2 really did a job on me, thank you Linda Hamilton)

I've never kept anything too serious from you while you were growing up, after all I was parenting you on my own. You might have had both mom and dad but dad was always more comfortable being your playmate and your friend. The hard choices were made by me, the groundwork to surviving had to be figured out by me. Time has afforded me the ability to understand choices made by others including your father and so I no longer resent anyone. That's a load off my shoulders and it was the first hint I got as to how I would find happiness in life.

Hanging on for years to old concepts and old feelings of resentment, anger, fear and even love will sap you of your youth, your strength, your prospects and your life: PERIOD. Understanding time would be the key. Let the bad stuff go, let it all go and let those people go. There is only one path to follow and my loves, that's your own. So when you love something, a cause, a goal, a person, a community, give the one thing you can never get back but give it wisely - your time. You can be in a love affair and give of your body, your money, your emotions but when you give up your time you are giving more of yourself than any other gift. Your body will forget, your spirit will learn to soar again and your emotions will heal and wisen up and learn but time you can't get back.

Pining for people to love you back when they don't is a waste. Working for a community that doesn't appreciate all the back breaking and hard working things you contribute means that they don't deserve you, least of all your time. Working towards a goal based on the promise of others or on the promise of money or happiness is a road you don't want to take because you may not reach that goal but you'll have given up all that time. Your journey, each choice you make, each turn you take, that's yours, that's your life. If you make money or lose money while you're on that journey so be it, but making money isn't the reason to alter your choices. We have lived with little and we have lived comfortably and while we joke about being happy to live with great abundance we have seen what that does to people who get that as well.

My love, I might have had to split my time with many while you three were growing up but it was so that I can give you what you needed. Now that you three are on your own journeys, each of you in college seeking your own passions and your own purpose, you see dear ole mom loving our time together. I am blissfully happy on those days I can spend an hour or so with each of you and I am tickled pink when I am in all of your company at once that I can barely contain myself. My three princes, my three loves, my three reasons for being on this earth. For you I will always make time. So when you spend time with others, when you spend time on projects, when you spend time with friends, always make sure they are worthy of it. Don't take excuses and don't let your love for others ever outweigh your love for yourself. Time here on earth isn't promised; a kiss, a hug, that's nice. A conversation, a late night chat even more beautiful. A pat on the back is okay, a certificate, a statue, an article of acknowledgement is fine but days of longing, wishing, hoping to be noticed, no. Don't let it get to that.

There are so many out there looking for you to grace their lives, whether personally or in business. Go out, explore, follow your instincts, discover many things and let them find you and share the one thing that is truly precious, their time.


Now, who has got time to pick me up tonight?

Mom

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dear Sons Haters Are ALWAYS Gonna Hate So Don't Fall For The Hate And Switch

Dear Sons;

You know your mom works out in the community and that I'm in the public eye a bit. Not every mom gets interviewed by the New York Times or goes on television on 20/20. You also know that I surround myself with other people who are also out there doing their thing, sometimes also before an audience larger than our city block, our school, our house of worship or our borough/city/town.

You know why I do it, out of a sense of purpose, out of trying to make a decent living so that I can raise you to be civic minded concerned pro-active citizens of our society. The people I have brought into our lives I hope have also shown their altruistic sides for the best that I can do for you is provide you with live human being examples of how to be in this world. Sure, there have been some bad characters that have infiltrated our circles of trust but in time we saw through them and your mom stays away from those sorry miserable people.

But haters gonna hate. There will always be people who will find something negative to say about your mom or the people in our lives. You know what I always say though, "they've nothing better to do than to try and rip someone down instead of simply letting be". They're going to take that "hate" - or maybe let's call it ignorance, jealousy, malice and then try to flip the script. I've learned after all these years that the more people say bad things about your mom the more they give me free publicity. Hey, if they are going to spend energy in talking about me then I hope they add my website link afterward so others can go themselves to check out the one being talked about. (Why pay for website help when there are too many opinionated people looking to do nothing more with their time than just give their opinion).

Don't get me wrong, your mom has a blog based COMPLETELY ON MY OPINION! I write about conversations that I have with amazing people and write about THEIR OPINION. Yet this world has come to the TwitterTwit Age where people think their opinion means more than someone else's. Don't waste your time on that my dears. When you READ or SEE an article or an interview and you find things within the interview that you agree with then you take that with you. If you disagree then you take that with you too. But what do I always tell you my dears? THINK FOR YOURSELVES! When the conversations turn to the things that make people most uncomfortable then you see people at their worst. It is so sad that instead of adding value to the discussion they'd prefer to add noise and melodrama and spectacle. But if it's worth discussing, it's worth taking the hard knocks. No one ever said it would be easy.

Don't fall prey to wasteful distractions of hate mongering. "We ain't got time for that!" Also, don't worry about mommy and the role models I bring to you, we see how the world is. We speak to give people something to think about - FOR THEMSELVES, something to begin a dialogue with. Stay away from those people who swear their thoughts are Gospel, they are not. They will try to get into the conversation fighting everything and then demanding everyone's attention so as to make themselves feel important. Hate and Switch. "Sorry!" I tell them. I don't have time for that nonsense. If you've nothing of value to add but your negativity then you can leave that mess at the door.

There will be times when people gossip, spread rumors and you know what I always say. "If you're so obsessed with me and compelled and are going to say anything about me, make it big and make it interesting!" You add to my value by highlighting your weaknesses. I guess being out in public, trying to do all I can to be a contributing member of my community isn't always easy. Some people just enjoy trying to trip others and see them fall. Don't ever let those people get to you. You have seen me in projects all of your young lives and you have seen the haters come and go and when you and I reminisce and you ask where are they now you can all laugh because often it's nowhere special. Their hatred has held them back.

Face forward my dears, don't waste time and energy on gossip. Be too busy living your life and contributing to your world so you have no time to give any thought to those who want to sap you of your energy or your momentum. As for your mom, she's "old hat" at this and is thinking of giving a class called, "How Haters Can Make You Famous!"

Life can be a treacherous journey my dears. My favorite quote about it is, "Life is simple, just not easy." Keep your focus, keep it simple but know that for those things that matter you'll have to wade through the garbage and that always includes the opinions of others. See for yourselves, hear for yourselves, think for yourselves.

I'm off to my next literary adventure. I love you.

Mom

Carmen M. Colon is a mother, an engineer, an education and childrens advocate, an author and a workshop facilitator on the topics of leadership, womens empowerment, career advancement and parenting.
She is writing a series of "Dear Kids" letters to her three sons on a series of topics and issues.
Her website is http://carmenmcolon.info
Her books can be found online: http://amazon.com/author/carmencolon

Mother to three amazing self sufficient civic minded sons. Devin Christopher, 25, Fashion Designer, college student in NYC and youngest athletic director ever hired at a major sports complex in NYC. Antonio Fernandez, 20, choreographer, dancer, model, college student in NYC, has already performed with Cyndi Lauper at the Beacon Theatre and simply ready for his close-up. Taylor Aidan, almost 18 (at this release), HS Senior in NYC, amazing singer who is studying to be the next greatest sign language interpreter the world's ever known. (DISCLAIMER: Ok, mom wrote that.)

Dear Sons About That Trip To Grandpa in Florida - We Need To Talk About Race And Reason

Dear Sons;

I don't know if you know this but the rest of the world only sees you as black and latino. Nevermind that you are all regular American young men, with parents, okay divorced but nowadays whose aren't. Nevermind that you all went to public school, put your clothes on the same way, listen to music the same way, regardless of the type of music you like, that you have movie nights with friends, you hang out in front or around your school on some afternoons shooting the breeze with your close pals or that you all have had part time jobs just like any other teen or twenty something.

You are Black. You are Latino. That is all some people will ever see when they see you. Now the media has been highlighting some tragedies lately, more dangerous really than the bad negative news we are drowned in on a daily basis. There was the case of Trayvon Martin where he was visiting his dad in Florida, decided to go to the store and on his way home while minding his own business he was killed by a disturbed racist man named George Zimmerman. There was the case of Jonathan A. Ferrell who was a 24-year-old former football player for Florida A&M University who worked two jobs and moved to North Carolina to be closer to his girl who was shot even though all he wanted was help after a car crash. Oh wait, that's North Carolina where your aunt lives. Sorry, that's the next letter. Let me stick to Florida for now.

The latest case is of the murder of 17 year old Jordan Davis when a white man your mom's age got pissed off that an SUV of black teens had their radio on too loud so he went to confront them. For whatever reason that racist ignorant individual felt justified in unloading 10 gun shots into the SUV hitting and killing Jordan Davis. The case was all over the TV, Cable and the internet. The verdict has people pissed off but as long as the man is going to be behind bars I figure God and Karma are going to have their own day in "court" with the man.

I tell you all this because even I as a little girl was given talks by grandpa about how to act and behave when I leave the house. You see we are not white. We are not descendant from the people who put the laws of this land in place. now do we belong here? Oh most definitely. Are we equal in the eyes of the law? No, so I have to sit you all down and school you as my dad has schooled me. There is danger everywhere. You must be aware of your surroundings, of the kinds of places you pass by and the kinds of people come across. When you come across law enforcement, especially in Florida, you stay still, you keeps your hands visible and you be as respectful as you possibly can. If they are being unreasonable say nothing. You know the drill. You call the family lawyer Kenneth. He's in Florida and he knows the law there.

I was blessed in being able to interview Ken, my childhood friend of forty years on this issue. Mom wasn't sure she was going to let any of you visit grandma and grandpa after all this. But I figured who better to ask than someone who had the best view on what was happening in the state that our relatives and so many of my friends from NYC decided to migrate to. Who else to ask (and interview - mom's always gotta hustle for her boys, who else if going to put food on the table) about the law and what appears to be out of control danger for boys of color in Florida than a man who identifies with both sides.

So I interviewed him and I see that it's sadly the same as when he and I were growing up on Franklin Ave in Brooklyn thirty-five years ago. Our parents sat us down and gave us a map on how to navigate and behave in areas where the people might flip out and begin to act unreasonable. What is unreasonable? You sadly know what that's about. Possible name calling, looking for an altercation simply because you are different in look, clothing, language and perceptions. Perceptions are dangerous my darlings and ignorant people brought up to believe the worst of people like you and me will react in unreasonable ways. Even law enforcement even though our family have so many members in and around the country. That won't matter in the heat of the moment if you come face to face with someone looking to make trouble.

Do as best as you can my darlings to extricate yourselves from there. Call, text, IM me, your dad or Ken if you think you are in the middle of something that will become out of your control. DO NOT HESITATE. Whoever is closest will be there for you. Your lives are the most precious thing to us and I will not spend my nights for fear of becoming another mother who loses her child for the stupidest reasons and the ignorant fears of fools. Those mothers did not raise their children to have what transpired happen. None of us do. But this is the world we live in my dears. This is now as it was back when I was a child and maybe, one day it won't be. But until then, we will always have our talks. Because you and I are black. Because you and I are latino.

Now, about North Carolina....

Love Mom

Click on the link to see the interview of Kenneth L. Foote Pasco Criminal Defense Atty on Martin Dunn Case Good Men Project 1.

Carmen M. Colon is a mother, an engineer, an education and childrens advocate, an author and a workshop facilitator on the topics of leadership, womens empowerment, career advancement and parenting.
She is writing a series of "Dear Kids" letters to her three sons on a series of topics and issues.
Her website is http://carmenmcolon.info
Her books can be found online: http://amazon.com/author/carmencolon

Mother to three amazing self sufficient civic minded sons. Devin Christopher, 25, Fashion Designer, college student in NYC and youngest athletic director ever hired at a major sports complex in NYC. Antonio Fernandez, 21, choreographer, dancer, model, college student in NYC, has already performed with Cyndi Lauper at the Beacon Theatre and simply ready for his close-up. Taylor Aidan, 18, HS Senior in NYC, an amazing singer who is studying to be the next greatest sign language interpreter the world's ever known. (DISCLAIMER: Ok, mom wrote that.)