Youth Education, Sports Icons and Community Leadership

For as long as I can remember the need to focus on school and the cultivation of a positive attitude has been proclaimed from the hill tops but has sadly only been embraced by a few in the trenches.

Today, it’s all about being “cool” or “hip.” It’s about presenting the right “image”, about being able to impress the girls or one’s peers. It’s about making the team, about being the coolest looking player on the basketball court or football field, the dude with the snazzy haircut or braids, or gangster style tattoo, or Fubu outfit, or pricey Nike trainers, or gold chains, or rings, or saggy pants, or sports car.

Of course girls aren’t immune, they too are enticed with “bribes” of good times and pregnancy! But it is mostly our boys – the next generation of Black men – that are in real and in some cases mortal danger. It might be an overstatement to say that sports can be seen as a new form of mental and physical slavery. But is it? It’s probably true to say that because it is attractive and associated with stardom, that sports exerts a powerful influence on our youth and that in some respects its influence is insidious.

Okay you say, let’s keep things in proper perspective. No point scare mongering right? After all it’s only a game. And can we really offload this sports thing onto the media moguls, sports magnates or fashion houses? Accepted, they do have the power and the influence but aren’t we the ones who willingly purchase their products, their services and who allow ourselves to be used?

As powerful as the media is; as seductive as the lure of instant success through Nike trainers or an NBA or NFL contract might appear, the reality is that most parents and children are not caught up by the hype or fooled by the lies. In other words, the choice is ours. And many of us have taken a stand against the enticements of sport realizing that one Michael Jordan, or Venus or Serena Williams, or Tiger Woods does not an entire generation make.

The overwhelming majority of young black males who rally to the call of the sports and fashion media are drawn either to basketball or football. Almost undoubtedly these are the “coolest” sports and the black presence is obvious. The few players who, either because of their performance or earnings (the two usually go together), make it into the superstar leagues are the new emblems of success and have become the role models of every young black male who fancies his chances and sees sports as an easy ticket out of the ghetto, the classroom, or the boring life dictated by those of his parents’ generation.

What I find most worrying is the way in which the educational opportunities of many young black males are seemingly being hijacked. Of course, those who make it into the professional ranks realize the importance of a scholarship and a college education. But the stories of cooked grades and stars who can barely read or write are too real to dismiss as fantasy.

But, perhaps more important even than this, is the “easy believism” that may be paralyzing or otherwise infecting our community through our children. Hey, they say and think, you don’t have to work too hard. Just play a little basketball. Don’t worry about school. There’s nothing wrong with practicing that jump shot all day at the park. Homework? What’s that?

Forget it, who needs grades anyway? Just work on those Harlem Globetrotter skills, slam, dunk, dribble, don’t pass, drink your milk and Oreo cookies and think of Michael Jordan’s success. No problem. You’re gonna make it!

And my prayers are with you. But the reality is that you probably have a better chance of making it to the White House and appointing an all-black cabinet as you do of becoming the next Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, or any of the other currently top-rated basket ball stars.

Get real.

And that’s the problem; the cloud of unreality that has colored our thinking and blinded our vision. And, unless we wake up and soon, our collective blindness may consign our children to the career ghetto with no education, limited opportunities, on a train going nowhere fast. And you don’t have to think too hard about the usual passageway from here to drugs and the criminal justice system.

Most of us recognize and accept that these last two are tearing many communities apart and we regularly hear individuals speaking out against the cancer of crack cocaine or the unwarranted numbers of black men behind bars. We rightly recognize these “truths” as being evidence that perhaps all is not right with our society. But the possibility that slipping educational standards and the promotion of an easy path to success may be the real modern-day curse of our children has yet to be trumpeted from the hilltops by our politicians, community leaders or conscientious media personalities.

If they are speaking about it, then they must be whispering. Either that or I’m slowly becoming deaf! Of course, not all sports stars are jocks and it would be a terrible disservice to the able, gifted, and aspiring among them to say as some might that most athletes are nothing more than kids with too much money and too little sense for their own good. While the stereotype remains popular, again largely because of the media’s focus and misrepresentation, it is largely untrue.

There are many young, bright, articulate, educated, conscious young male and female athletes who are serving as positive role models for the next generation. However, it’s unfortunate that interviews with these individuals or real-time media representations of their lives off the court or field are few and far between. It’s so much easier to focus on their sporting talent and promote their star quality. After all that’s what sells tickets and increases the value of the individual to the promoter, owner, manager, coach, or television network.

For all the positive qualities that a Michael Jordan may exude, and for all the speed with which selected individuals are catapulted onto the world stage and transformed sometimes overnight into American icons, how many of your sons or daughters do you really believe will ever have an opportunity to achieve the same degree of success?

If your answer is one in a million, then you understand the stark reality. The reality is that the media allows relatively few players to rise to the top. As with Hollywood, it’s much easier to work with a single hero. The same formula is followed to some degree in the sports world.

The script is written; the actors assembled and only one athlete at a time can play a leading or superstar role.

Is it any wonder then that sports “stars” almost routinely look to Hollywood, product endorsements or the music industry for further development of their careers? But, let’s give credit where credit is due.

There are some real success stories out there. In most cases, the silent and the quiet who shun media attention, and who focus on their families, their careers and their futures in that order are not usually the stuff of which legends are made. You won’t find such individuals being touted in the media. And there are other stars who, having gained a certain notoriety by living up to the stereotype, have gone on to make a success of their lives and business accomplishments.

Magic Johnson is perhaps one example. It was back in November 7, 1991 that the sports world was rocked by the announcement that Magic had the HIV virus. The news was shocking. This was at a time when for many HIV was equivalent to certain death. Now, a decade later Magic is a significant force in business with a reported $500 million business portfolio.

Many communities are the richer for such efforts and no one can take away from these public successes or the significance of these acts of entrepreneurial magic. However, I always find myself asking, when confronted with such tales of success and material wealth, how much more could our stars and leaders be doing by way of sponsoring scholarship programs or linking their names, talents and wealth to charter schools, colleges and universities, after-school care programs, mentoring programs, summer camps, space camps, foreign language learning schemes, cultural exchange programs, computers in schools, science and technology initiatives, hospitals, clinics, fair rent housing development schemes, libraries, urban renewal initiatives. The list is almost endless and the benefits would extend far beyond the black community.

But how do I know that they aren’t investing in such things? Just because we don’t hear about it doesn’t mean they ain’t? Right? Pardon the grammar but the point is well made. Perhaps they are doing all this but no one is talking. After all isn’t this what the Bible encourages when it speaks of humility and the left hand not letting the right hand know what it’s doing? Well how come we hear so much about the supposed wealth of individual stars and so little about the acts of “good.”?

Surely, declaring these good works is a potent way to be an example.

I mean, let’s be realistic, if nobody knows what these individuals are doing, how can we be expected to say “Hey, that brother or that sister is focusing on something positive, or investing their time and money in building the community, in our future, in our schools, in learning? How can they serve as potent role models unless we SEE them playing the role?

How?

The way I see it, until we begin to see more visible examples of such investments in people and communities we’re all wasting our time. Unless we see these institutions and edifices being built, arising from the ashes of our decaying communities so to speak, until there are conscious, vocal and repeated statements of support for the building of lasting institutions that are geared to improving the minds of our children and keeping them healthy and in school then even the success of a Magic Johnson, or a Michael Jordan may be taken as no more than the largesse of a rich individual who may be simply throwing his surplus cash around in blind imitation of other wealthy folks.

While no athlete or media star is under an obligation to support public works and they could very well invest their hard-earned cash elsewhere or live lavishly we all know that many do support some of the initiatives that I’ve outlined above and that they do so through privately established trusts or channels of investment.

The likes of Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, Spike Lee, and Whoopi Goldberg among others have long been associated with positive if not always public acts of kindness. Well, now may be the time to come out of the closet.

The point I’m making is that the dangers are so great that what we need to do now is mount a public campaign, to wage a public war on the apathy of our kids and their acceptance of second-rate grades. As athletes and stars we need to start telling and showing them by the way we walk, talk and invest our money that education is important. We need to be telling them that there’s more to life than basketball, or football, or overpriced trainers, or MTV, or gangster rap, or Hollywood, or video games, or fully loaded convertible sports car, or the latest prison hand-me-down fashions, or ribbed condoms, or gold chains, or reefers, or smack, or crack cocaine, or alcohol, or cigarettes, or gang banging, or getting pregnant at age fifteen, or becoming a father before you’re old enough to drive, or hanging out, or jailhouse tattoos, or multiple body piercing, or even the “cool” walk.

Whoa!

Is there anything left that I don’t like and want to get rid of?

Or am I saying that there’s some natural association between this litany of supposed negatives and professional sports? The answer is of course no. The fact that some sectors of the media continue to make this association is tragic and dangerous.

The fact that many young people themselves make the connection is perilous. The only point I’m making is that in the balancing act of life it appears that education and lasting career development continue to be challenged by the litany of material and emotional goods some of which I’ve identified above.

But don’t get me wrong. This isn’t about going back to the way things were when George Washington was President (actually, they weren’t so good then). Or back to the fifties when men were men and women were women (yeah right), or a period before there were drugs on the street and television had yet to be invented. This isn’t about going back to an unreal time when every child got perfect grades, there was no fun, no sports, no soda and everyone wore gray uniforms.

Rather, this is about coming together and deciding what it is we want for our children. It’s about taking a long hard look at the reality of the world in which we live. It’s about recognizing that many of our children are being left behind. It’s about accepting that many of our young men and women – our children – are losing out on the American Dream. Their minds and their bodies are being sapped of all energy. Commitment and effort are being replaced by a desire for easy returns, usually with little output.

The dangers of a continued focus on life as a trip down easy street are obvious, although not so obvious as to have drawn the attention of every politician in the country. Every parent and citizen with even a passing concern for the future should be demanding that something be done. More importantly, each of us should be looking out for the kids in our care, for the kids on our block, in our school, in our churches, mosques and synagogues, in our boys and girls clubs, at the local Y’s, hanging out on the street corners.

We should also be looking out for all the others out there. Sport has its place in our society. Basketball, football, and baseball, along with many other sports, capture our collective attention. We’re a nation of sports lovers. And that’s all right. The combination of skills, artistry, rivalry, strategy, tactics, techniques, personalities and drama is interesting, sometimes even exciting.

Sports may even help get us through the week and give us something on which to pin our hopes (the fortunes of “our” team) or, increasingly, the hopes of our children. For many the fascination is innocent enough for what can be harmful about little league baseball or a friendly competition, or my son playing basketball a couple of hours several nights each week, or following the fortunes of his favorite team or players by television or fanzine?

The answer is nothing, so long as the fascination is measured and balanced against the need to invest time in other creative pursuits and, above all, in education. Learning must count for something today. Look at the efforts of other communities. Recent immigrants from India, from Korea, and other parts of Southeast Asia are linking their future success to the classroom. Other communities would do well to take note.

If education is important today, it will be even more important tomorrow.

We must therefore give our children every possible opportunity. Accompany them to the game, applaud their successes, tend to their occasionally broken spirits or bodies, and give them every support possible for sports can help round them out as individuals.

However, we should also encourage them to keep everything in perspective and resist the tendency that some of us may have to cast ourselves in the role of aspirant coach, referee or parent to a prospective superstar.

Digest the fact that, nine times out of ten neither you nor your child will make it. Did I say nine times out of ten? Add a few zeros to the nine and you’ll be closer to the real ratio between the dream and the reality.

But even for that very small minority who consider themselves specially gifted or blessed and who are determined, come hell or high water, to challenge the statistics and make it into the first tier ranks of professional sports, the point must still be made:

Maximum effort and educational success are non negotiable.

A Winning Combination For Sports Men and Women!

I’m feeling very philosophical because of the World Cup Soccer fever. There are so many teams involved from all the continents of earth and the whole focus is on a game that will result in one winner.

Actually, there will be more than one winner. We all win regardless of whether our team comes out at the top or not.

And the big win is that we are all focused on what I can only describe as a real and pleasurable game instead of the usual negative stuff (war, crime, drugs, economic disasters) we have shoved in our faces daily.

All our diverse cultures share a common reality: A love of sport and/or just plain support of one’s team.

It’s really the spirit of the game that makes us all win. Sport is such a great and appropriate field for us to pit our skills and wits. It’s also a great way of pulling a country (team) and the world (a bigger team) together.

I don’t think South Africans will ever forget how Nelson Mandela used the World Cup Rugby in 1995 (hosted and won by South Africa) to pull our country together. For me, the biggest win was the spirit of my people and the sparkle in their eyes.

In a typically white man’s sport, Mandela got the black people to rise above the past of our country – which was only just a year or two earlier – and focus on winning. When we put aside our differences and rise above them, we truly win because that is the only way we can find solutions.

You couldn’t have made anyone feel miserable if you tried! For several hours there was no crime or dissension as everyone’s attention was riveted on the game and the outcome. Jubilation rippled through the country as the most unlikely people watched the game together and hugged each other when we won.

The movie “Invictus”, produced by Clint Eastwood, starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon is based on what this great leader achieved for our country and the two actors did it full justice!

The word “invictus” means unconquerable and is a reflection of Nelson Mandela’s attitude and his ability to rise above his 27 years imprisonment and then pulling a very willing country together.

Calcium and Magnesium – A Winning Combination for Sports Men and Women!

With all the sporting fervor the Soccer World Cup is creating, I think it is quite fitting to give you information about the benefits of calcium and magnesium for sports men and women.

Not only is calcium needed to contract the muscles and magnesium to relax them but they also help reduce the painful effects of lactic acid break-down during and after physical exertion.

Overcoming Muscle Pain While Exercising

Anyone who exercises knows that muscles can “feel” the effects of having done so. Whether you’re fit or unfit, your muscles sure let you know that you’ve just exerted some energy.

There are various reasons for this happening. One of them is the burnt fuel – just like when you make a fire. There are residues from the burnt fuel. In your body, this burnt fuel can make it ache and cause you to feel tired.

Another reason is just plain depletion of minerals and dehydration. Minerals are the spark plugs of your body. If you’ve sweated them out during exercise or heat, you can feel tired – even exhausted – and achy. However, dehydration is not only the lack of water, but also the lack of minerals. If there’s an imbalance of minerals, water cannot be pulled into your cells so the toxins have no way of being flushed out.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you just drink and drink and drink and just can’t quench your thirst? Well, that’s because you’re mineral depleted. No other reason. It’s that simple. Give your body the minerals it needs and you will feel a whole lot better.

Minerals include, but are not limited to, calcium, magnesium, potassium, salt (not common refined table salt, please). I’m referring to salt in the fullest sense of the word. Table salt usually only consists of chloride. It’s dangerous. Sea salt is what I’m referring to here.

My regimen for exercise includes calcium, magnesium, potassium gluconate and sea salt tablets. The best form of calcium and magnesium is in a properly balanced ratio.

Do Men Need HELP Too? A Realistic View Into the Lives of Men Today

Can you believe it? Here we are today struggling unlike no other time in the history or mankind, and you are asking me if men need help too? From the viewpoint of a woman who has a man and we both are struggling to survive as well as the next man… this is what I have to say on the subject.

I know, I know, and I know more than most that this is not an easy topic for discussion. It may strike people in different ways as everybody should have an opinion about this subject matter. Some may have stronger opinions than others, while yet other people may simply have nothing to say about the subject at all… And with regards to those people who don’t have any opinion ‘one way or the other’ about what I am trying to say here is, YOU just can’t wonder aimlessly through life doing as you very well please. You had better wake up quickly because your ship may well have passed you by. You may actually wake up to a new dawn where you won’t be able to feed yourself, your family or kids (one day) in the immediate future! So, the short answer to the question I presented to you in the title of my article is “YES,” men need help too.

Once again, I am talking from experience. It is not by any means because I think I am smart or think I know more than anyone else… I am not quite that vain. It is because I see this with my own eyes every day as I live the reality of what is happening to our men in America. In this case, I have a front row seat as I can see what really goes on in the lives of people I know and love, first hand.

More and more people are becoming unemployed at historical alarming rates. Jobs are harder to find and more people are becoming homeless, helpless and frankly in ‘dire straits’ these days more than ever before, that I can recall. And if you take a moment to think about it, hopefully you will see that it has now come a time for us to ‘fill the need’ to help one-another (man, woman or child). So if after you read this article and your mindset is still on (or has been) “Every man for himself” attitude; I think you may want to do some deep-deep soul-searching. Or if you haven’t found GOD in your life yet, you may want to seek him out. You are gonna need someone because the very life you save may be your own or someone (man) in your family. Now, have you ever looked at it from that point of view? If so, that’s good… If not, look deeply into the mirror and see what you really find… You will find that you are not alone in this world and at some point in your life, I am sure someone was there to help you too.

Furthering my viewpoint on the subject, men may well be considered to be strong, independent and resourceful and that is all well and good. But the truth is that we all have our beginnings and a man’s beginnings was with a strong woman supporting him in the background. It may not look like it and you may not see it or even think about it, but there is a saying that goes “Behind every good man, is a good woman.” This my dear is a very true statement. I am making that affirmation because I believe that in every young child’s life (boy or girl) the strong woman behind their growth and encouragement was in fact their strong-willed mother. Am I right? We are talking about the woman who stayed up late at night mending or washing the young man’s clothes to prepare him for the next day’s duties (whatever they may be) and after getting maybe one or two hours sleep, the good strong-willed woman, got up bright and early to prepare the breakfast and lunch for the man, young boy or child before sending him out into the world to handle his affairs (whether it is school or work) for that day. And after the ‘mighty-woman’ in the man’s life sends him on his way, then her day starts before she can even catch her breath, she has to start on the tending of the house matters such as cleaning, managing the finances or shopping for food, if she is a homemaker. I know my mom had to start right away on dinner just after the breakfast was served and the dishes were cleaned. There really is no ‘down-time’ for a stay at home mom. The work never ends, it only begins day after day, after day! So for all those that have a stronger view on the other side of my question, thinking that men don’t need any help… You may want to reconsider your position on the matter. Men really do need help whether they think so or not. And even if they don’t want the help, if there is a good woman in the background somewhere (mother-sister-wife), they always get the support they need whether they acknowledge it or not…

Now here’s another viewpoint from the “Working Mom’s” perspective. You know, I just remembered as I am writing this article that everyone always loved the “Superman” cartoons and movies. But did anyone ever make a move or even a cartoon or even just give simple recognition to the other super man or the “Super Wo(man)”? If not, I don’t know why not, because she truly is the Superman of the century… A working mom is the backbone of the nations mighty men… However the reality is there is no one mightier than a “Superwoman” or a working mom as most people refer to her. She is the true brains behind the brawny of all men, big or small; mighty or powerful… Even all the presidents, received their mightiness from the strong women in their background lives. So please, try not to forget this… The mightiness of all men, comes from the strength of a woman offering support behind the men. You just don’t see it and it is often gone unrecognized… There is no need to boast it, you only need to know it.

In this current system of things as we know it, there has come a time that all men need the support of strong women… I am saying this to you in an unusually loud voice because the Mighty Women of the past are a somewhat dying breed and are now a days fewer and further between. For some reason un-be-known to me as to why, but the women of our time have become the “weakest-link.” The mightiness of past women has died off and gone to hog-heaven, I guess. It has truly left us and where it went or why, I simply can’t answer for you. Which is another reason I am writing this article… It is hopefully a wake-up call to Women all across America, and even the entire world to take a hard look at yourselves and ask yourselves (if in a relationship with a man), am I contributing something tangible to this relationship? If so, what? If not, why not? And can it be measured? This will help you to see yourself in a better light to see if you are in a healthy relationship with your man, what are you doing to show your support. Remember the mighty women of old… They stood behind their men… In other words, they help them to be real men or help them to be strong so they can go out and make all the contributions to society as we know of it today. Do your home work… Look at any historical man figure you want, and see who was behind him in the background showing support to put him in the spotlight.

Our men of today have more responsibilities heaped upon their heads than ever before… There is more sports, more politics, more economical decisions to make and so forth and on. However the reality of this is that with all the pressures that society has put on our good strong men, if you look carefully, it is penetrating their suit of armor. The pressures are breaking down their walls just as it did in the “Walls of Jericho” or “The Berlin Walls.” The pressures of life are eating away at the walls (heart, arteries and minds) of our good, good, strong men to the point they can no longer stand up under the pressure. I don’t know if you are hearing me and what I am saying to you here. But just take a moment to look into the faces of our men now… They can’t hide all the pressures that are taking them down… Although they try to wear it well, they truly are succumbing to the multitude of pressures in their respective lives. Tell me if I am on the right track here, because I think so, but then again, I am not GOD, so please tell me if I am wrong in what I am seeing with our men… I see the pressures on men becoming ever more prevalent, while at the same time their salaries and the job opportunities are declining all across America. Is this an accurate assessment here?

Further, I see men that are in need of some kind of general support system (mental, emotional or otherwise). Men may look like the “Rock of Gibrathar,” meaning they have unwavering strength that cannot be overcome or does not fail; but the truth of the case in the whole scheme of things. Think about what I am saying here… Look at the face of our nations president… Doesn’t he look strong, unmovable and unshaken by any event in history? But if you take a closer look at the lines around his eyes the aging or sagging and the graying of his hair. These are unmistakable signs of distress in the best of us… Now his hair may look young, vigorous and black today, but make no mistake about it… It was gray on yesterday and will be even grayer on tomorrow… There is nothing he can do about it “Just for Men” is a great cover-up, but it doesn’t dare touch on the real issues as to what may be making men go Gray! So let’s not play games here, this is serious business… Men are at their most trying times ever and there is absolutely no way out!!! But if you choose to look at this like a game of chance, let’s in fact look at it as a game of ‘poker‘ where you can bluff your way out or strategically work your way out. Now, since I don’t believe too much in ‘chance’, I believe you have to deal with the hand you have been dealt the very best you can. So the reality and the lesson learned for this scenario is that to win at the game you are playing in your life, you had better compile a winning team… Meaning you had better align yourself with strong alliances in your own camp (home, work or team). Remove the weak links in your camp (family, friend or foe) and align yourself with people who will support your cause and help you to reach your goals… I am afraid that this is critically important to any man’s success, as mentioned in most cases through history that the enemy or the destroyer usually comes from within ones on camp (family, companion, employment or team). So, with that being said, it would behoove you to look at all the people in your camp (environment) that have a direct affect on your success or demise. If these people are not your supporters or contributors, then it probably would be in your best interest to get them out of your way to the top… You don’t need a bunch of thorns or thickets; you need a path that you can navigate your way through. That is if you want to win at the game you are playing… Whether it is the game of life you are playing or the corporate game of making it to the top faster than the next man… You still need a winning hand from the very start and that my dear, is critical to your success.

Now that we have discussed what is really going on here and who is really in the support group to help the men win the game they are playing… Let’s look at what is – what can be – and what we are going to do about it… This starts by taking a good look in the mirror and thinking about some of what I have said that applies to your life or the men in your life. The support group really are the women, since I have been talking all along about helping men in need. You see, there is only two groups of people in this world that I know about “the women” and “the men.” So, if you are not the ‘man’ that I am talking about in my article, then you clearly are the other side of the coin or the ‘woman’ in this case scenario. Are we on the same page here? If so, what are you going to do to support the efforts of the man in your life that really needs a source of encouragement, strength and guidance? You don’t need to tell me what you are going to do, but my message is stimulate your mind in order to motivate you to think about it, first and foremost; then to act accordingly to issues of this nature in your life. Is this too much to ask of you?

Bet you are huffing and puffing right about now and possibly saying all sorts of unkind things about me like “who the “h*#!^” are you asking me to do… this, this and that?! Another one may say “You had better look at your own life and fix it if it needs to be fixed, but don’t tell me what to do in my life with my own man!! Huff, puff & buff, huh you got some nerve!” (while flinging your hair back and tooting your nose up) While someone else may say, ” I don’t think so, my man better keep taking care of me and I don’t care what that woman says… She is just stupid. I am a high maintenance girl and gotta keep my nails and hair done and drive the finest cars… So, I am not listening to you because I am going keep on doing what I been doing to get what I got… My man can fix things all by himself… He, nor me don’t need your stupid words of wisdom or whatever you are trying to say about me!!! Huff, puff & buff, huh you got some nerve! You better talk to the hand!!!

Ha, ha, ha… I get it, I get it and I have heard all this before, but truly, I think it is “too sad” that a woman who has a good man, doesn’t really understand how to support her man or to keep his spirits built up and/or keep him encouraged so he can continue the fight of his life, while he is trying to do all he can to do his very best to make you happy. Audience, I get it, really I do. But I don’t think you realize how hard men work to try to please you… Let me share a couple of life stories that I personally know about.

Case -1: I know of a man who was married for about 35-yrs or so. They had 3-children and the wife was a stay at home mom. Not even a soccer mom (as we commonly refer to today). This woman truly had her cake and ate the whole thing too… I think she took total advantage of this man because he worked all day while she did her nails, hair, checked out the latest soaps and ran up his credit cards… The man did all he could do for her and when that wasn’t enough or he didn’t make more money to support her addiction, she left him… Just kicked her husband to the curb like a bag of garbage. Not only did she do that, but she left him with the kids and ran off with ‘John Doe’, looking for green grass (more cash) on the other side… And so, and so, and so as the story goes, the grass truly wasn’t greener on the other side because the man she left her husband for, did not respect her, but beat her and eventually killed her and now she is gone and left her story to carry on. However, her husband did survive and went onto remarry into the support group of women who love and support their men as I am discussing in this article.

Case-2: This is a story about a young military couple in their early twenties. This young soldier was a bright young man with a promising future in the military. He had three young (beautiful) kids, all under the age of 5-yrs old. Life looked wonderful for them until the woman decided, she was bored with her home life while her husband was gone all the time working to support the family (like men often do). That did not seem to be good enough for her so she left him too with all the young kids… This poor guy did not have a clue as to what he could do or how he could manage all by him self with three young kids (one girl and two boys), so unfortunately the man could not find a way to handle his affairs and he committed suicide. All the children went off to live with other living relatives (other than the mother).

Case-3: The final story that I know of is a case where a young man was involved with a young woman who seemed to be promiscuous. I believe this was what attracted him to her. However, when they became involved for sometime, the poor man did not seem to get the woman to settle down as she continued to flirt about with others while he tried to work hard to provide anything she wanted and everything she asked for. But one day, I think the woman took him for granted far more than she should have and jumped into their bed with some other man… When the man happened to come home one day early from work to tell her he just got promoted to his team’s leader and ask her to marry him so he could show her how serious he was and how much he really loved her and wanted to live the rest of his life with her… he unfortunately walked into a very disappointing surprise that instantly broke his heart, shattered his dreams and shocked him senselessly. The man was so distraught from catching (who he thought was) the love of his life in their bed with another man, that he immediately acted in the ‘heat of passion’ and killed both the man and his girlfriend and turned the gun on himself… My question to that is “what is this for?” It was all for nothing…

So you see, what I am trying to say here is that men, your man, my man or anyone’s man tends to work hard to do whatever they think you need them to do to make you happy… So when “the bow breaks” what do they have to fall back on if there is no support system in place? And, don’t for one moment think that I am not smart enough to know that men also fool around and abuse women… But that is not what this article is all about… We can save that topic for another day… But for now, I am only referring to men who are considered to be of good character, trying every way they know how to take care of their families in a struggling economy. This is what I have stated throughout this article. With that being said, I would like to speak to women of good character that care about the men in their lives (husbands, brothers, fathers, sons, etc.). I am not saying that you need to take up the torture stake and run with it yourself; but what I am saying is for you to consider doing something good, something meaningful or something that makes a difference to someone you care about. Sometimes men lose their way… Show them the way if you in fact know how you can help them to turn a failing situation around. Show them a measure of good character, build up a good support system for the special man in your life. If and when you do what I am saying here, it will speak volumes and both of your lives will be the better for it.

I know that everyone can use an encouraging word of support and I would like to end by offering you words of support for today and every day… Below are ‘quotable quotes’ I think are good words to live by… I’d like to share them with you. Please read

“Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all the others” by Winston Churchill

“We must have courage to bet on our ideas, to take the calculated risk, and to act. Everyday living requires courage if life is to be effective and bring happiness” by Maxwell Maltz

Being the type of person that I am, I just want to say in closing “thank you for taking time from your busy day to read my article'” It is my hopes that I helped you to have a different prospective on a rapidly growing dilemma we have among our good men in America… So all I can ask in your behalf is, may Jehovah GOD bless you and yours and keep you safe and happy in these difficult times…