Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Cold Cup Of Coffee: Keeping It Real

This is a special edition of A Moment With Morris. This is part of an ongoing series I affectionately titled "A Cold Cup of Coffee". Bringing you real life without the sweeteners, a cold and sometimes bitter, but always necessary sip of reality. This time we're looking at, “keeping it real”.

Keeping it real…such a common, overused, hardly understood, and seldom practiced concept. For most, “keeping it real” is just a phrase used in rap songs, but it is so much more.

Keeping it real, isn’t about being tough in the streets, it’s about being honest with yourself and those around you. Many of us are afraid to be ourselves, fearful that we may alienate ourselves from the people we care about by saying what we truly feel and think. That’s not limited to our friends, or co-workers, but our siblings, parents, grandparents, even our children.

How can we have an honest relationship with anyone, if we can’t be open with who and what we are? And why hide it? We are who we are. Every time I turn on the television I see the same cookie-cutter profile of what men and women should look like and how we should act. Says who?

It just seems to me that everyone is so quick to allow someone else to dictate how they should be, because no one wants the responsibility or the backlash of being themselves. So I feel it’s time to pour an ice cold cup of reality…

Parents, some of you messed up. Your kids aren’t right, and by kids I mean offspring not just children. More than just a few of you have dropped the ball. Your children aren’t self-sufficient or independent…and that is your fault. I don’t care how close you are, or how many times a week they call you. If they can’t hold their own and at least maintain some degree of stability…you FAILED as a parent. Swish that one around for a moment first before you swallow.

Which brings us to my next point, some of us have questionable parents. Hey no one is perfect, so why did/do we expect our parents to be? Some of our parents didn’t properly prepare us for life and how to not only deal, but conquer. But regardless of not getting an adequate base, if you’re a grown man or woman and cannot take care of yourself it is YOUR responsibility to catch up.

Maybe you never got over your brother/sister picking on you as a child or always breaking your stuff. Maybe it bothers you still to this day, (a little petty), but if you don’t like them, be real. There’s no law that says siblings have to be friends. If you never got over them smashing your favorite Transformer or melting down Barbie, make it known. Keeping it in will only manifest itself into forms of passive/aggressive behavior. You’ll never like their mac & cheese or you’ll always have something to do when they call. Put it out there, be real and be done. You may even find, by expressing it, you get over it.

Some of our lack of truth is expressed in our behavior, be yourself. If you’re introverted and like to read silently that’s fine. Maybe you don’t want to go out clubbing or binge drinking at the bar, who says you have to? Maybe you want to put on some Depeche Mode, paint your nails black and get your “Twilight” on…go ahead. My point is…be yourself.

If you’re loud and goofy, stuck up and distant, brash and abrasive, wild and crazy, whatever, just be who you are. By being yourself you’ll weed out those who judge you or don’t click with who you truly are. You’ll find that everyone left, will be around for quite a while. You’ll develop better relationships and feel better about yourself.

This comes from some of the things I see on a rather consistent basis. People unhappy because they’re not themselves, they pretend and then wonder why they don’t have genuine relationships. Relationship can’t be real, if you’re not.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Unlucky Horseshoe

“If you find a penny pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck.” We’re all familiar with some sort of good luck charm. If not the old “lucky penny”, maybe it’s a rabbit’s foot or even a four leaf clover. Let us not forget the ever popular, horseshoe.

Most of my life I’ve associated the horseshoe with being lucky, however it’s been brought to my attention…I’ve been wrong. A shock I know, I’ve got such a great track record. It would seem that the horseshoe falls a little closer to the black cat, than the old rabbit’s paw.

First of all let me clear up what we’re talking about. I don’t mean horseshoe like Mr. Ed, or the Indianapolis Colts, I mean horse shoe like George Jefferson. Yes, we’re talking male pattern baldness. Not the sleek look of a freshly shaven Michael Jordan, this is about the hair hanger-on’ s of a George Costanza. You know, nothing on top but fur on the sides. Kind of like a scarf for your ears and neck.

It seems that bald “is” beautiful, but a comb over gets no love. In what started as an off based conversation, a deep discussion was formed. It seems that women give no pass for the horseshoe. Responses like “he needs to shave that off”, “oh hell no”, and “never”, were commonly used when asked about the probability of hooking up with a follically challenged man. This intrigued me so much that I had to dig deeper. So let’s get down to the scalp.

When presented with the option, nearly every woman asked, would choose a man 20lbs over weight before choosing a receding hairline. The same applied for 30lbs, 40lbs, even 50lbs. It seems that Fat Albert would beat Mr. Spacely any day of the week. I never realized that there was such importance on a man’s hair. Who would have thunk it? But then again, where would George Clooney be if he suddenly developed a 5-head? Would Will Smith still seem so Hitch-ish, rocking a Sherman Hemsley?

I went a step further and threw in, “what about just balding on top?” It seems that “could” be acceptable, given the man is tall enough.

It amazes me that women; the same creatures that will accept a man that is unemployed, cheats, drinks, is abusive, and neglectful, have zero tolerance for a man sporting a “Mr. Burns”. Glad to see where you all draw the line…

This isn’t a deep “moment”, just something I felt like sharing. Guess that horseshoe isn’t so lucky after all. Well guys, according to the ladies out there, if you find a penny…save it…and buy some Rogaine.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Say It Loud!

Now I don’t claim to be the smartest man on the planet, I’m constantly learning something new. Something I’ve recently picked up, well I guess never thought about before, has to do with racial identification. Now I don’t mean profiling, more like, racial grouping.

For instance, I have some Asian friends that don’t consider Filipino people to be Asian. They see them as Latino or Islanders. I even heard them referred to as “jungle”, I thought that was funny. Every Filipino person I know looks Asian to me. But then again, I never thought of people from India being Asian, and they’re on the same continent. I was finding how some Central and South Americans have negative feelings about Mexicans, though they’re all Latin. There is this new wave of “in house racism”, discrimination within the race. This conversation went on for a little while until one friend asked me about the Black vs African American argument.

They were interested in why some people are offended by either term. Personally, I don’t care. But the one major point I tried to make was that black is a color…not an ethnicity. African Americans are a specific group of people, but not one specific race. African Americans are not Africans.

African Americans are made up of African, European, Native American and sometimes Latino blood. There isn’t one set formula or make up. Not one definitive origin. Black people are however simply a complexion. That differs from most people’s point of view, except African Americans.

Most other races of people see “Blacks” as African Americans, while most African Americans see “Black” as…black. Not based on ethnicity, race or origin, but by color. To most African Americans; Dominicans, Haitians, South Americans, West Indians…are all black, even if THEY don’t think so.There isn’t a difference. Someone can have no direct African roots, but if their skin complexion is dark…they’re Black.

Now this isn’t a rule or law, but common thinking. The contradiction is, if you ARE a descendent of Africa, in any percentage, you too are Black regardless of complexion. Confusing I know, but stay with me… This is why Halle Berry, Tiger Woods, Lenny Kravitz, even Prince are all recognized as being Black people, even though they have an equal amount of genes from another race. From Alicia Keys to Barack Obama, it’s all about the 1% rule. (If you’re 1% Black…you’re Black).

There was a time when people tried to go against the rule. They created the term “mulatto”, meaning a bi-racial (black/white) person. This term was never truly accepted because white people didn’t accept them as white, but treated them as black. Racism and bigotry placed all people of color into one pile, the 1% rule once again prevailed. So African Americans claimed all dark skin as well as African descended people. Sometimes you can find unification from division. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Drake, Vin Diesel, shoot even Al B. Sure are all Black within the eyes of the African American community. Yes they’re Black.

This is not designed to be the end all anthropological classification of race, I just thought it was an interesting topic to share. We should be proud of our heritage, culture, and background, but it shouldn’t be the only thing that defines us. Most people never knew Vin Diesel is half Black or Drake is half Jewish, does that change anything about them or how you see them?

If it does, then maybe the question isn’t, “what are they made of?” But “what are you?” Black, white, red, brown, yellow are all “just colors”, nothing more than a crayon. But unlike the crayon, our thinking shouldn’t be kept in a box. All of these subdivisions and classifications aren’t necessary. I’ll be the first to say, that as a whole, African Americans have not always acted or made the best decisions in relation to how to treat one another, but that point of claiming everyone isn’t a bad one. Let’s just take it a step further, past our color but to our true race, the human one.

Division equals destruction…we’re all in this together.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

A Cold Cup Of Coffee: Breeders

This one is not for the faint of heart…

This is a special edition of A Moment With Morris. This is part of an ongoing series I affectionately titled "A Cold Cup of Coffee". Bringing you real life without the sweeteners, a cold and sometimes bitter, but always necessary sip of reality. This time we're looking at, Breeders.

If you are familiar with “A Moment With Morris” then you know I address parenting on a rather consistent basis. This isn’t about the usual, nonexistent or incompetent parent. This is about this new breed, this new breed of selfish, self serving, ignorant, useless parent. I’m taking a breather from my normal attempts at humor to bring you a truly cold cup of coffee.

Over the last couple of weeks, more than just a few horrific stories were brought to my attention, all involving young children. It seems as though the value of human life is at an all time low, and children are at the bottom of the clearance rack. These are all unspeakable tales, done either directly or indirectly by their parents. This is designed to bring light to this new generation of breeders. That's right, not parents, breeders. And they need their privilege revoked.

Like I said, this is not for the faint of heart. If you want to stop reading, I understand. For the rest of you, take a deep breath…don’t worry, I’ll wait…

Here we go. Recently in Fairfield, CA a woman stabbed her 3 yr old twin daughters to death before attempting to take her own life.

In Brooklyn, NY a 3 yr old was thrown out of a 7th floor window by his mother’s roommate, allegedly because the child was getting on her nerves.

In Virginia, a 2 1/2 yr old was thrown over a fifth floor mall balcony by their very own grandmother for no apparent reason.

The official “Breeder” award goes to a father in Jacksonville, FL. While temporarily out one afternoon, he left the care of his child to his girlfriend. She had been in the child’s life since he was 3 months old, so babysitting was common. Upon arriving home, the father found his child unresponsive on the floor. He then went to his girlfriend, who was unconscious in the bathroom. Failing to fully revive her, he grabbed his lifeless son and went to the hospital.

Apparently his girl friend is a recovering heroin user and is trying to kick the habit, with methadone, a synthetic opioid (watered down heroin). For some odd reason she decided to take her fix while watching this breeder’s child. On top of that, all of the dishes must have been dirty because she put the methadone, in a sippy cup. After taking her “medicine”, she passed out, leaving the 2 yr old with free reign of the home. He found the cup on top of a 4 foot dresser and drank. He ingested 80mg of methadone and died in the hospital. The woman was arrested and charged with aggravated manslaughter.

After reading this I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing I was…WTF? All of these parents cost their children their lives, and need their asses kicked. For the mother in Fairfield who stabbed her twin daughters to death, but suddenly lacked the conviction to finish the job on herself…there’s a special place in hell waiting for you.

The roommate that was so annoyed that she tossed a 3 yr old out of a 7th story window…my only question is, “why weren’t you tossed immediately afterwards?” I know that is a terrible lost for that mother, but what were you thinking moving someone that unstable into your home? This tragedy is your fault just as the roommate’s for putting that child in that situation. It’s your job and responsibility to screen who’s around your children.

Grandma flipping out at the mall was a “left fielder” I know, but as her child, one of those parents should have known their own mother. At least well enough to know her mental state and well being.

For the father in Jacksonville, you need to be beaten…slowly. How could you allow your child to be watched by a junkie? She got high and passed out leaving your child alone and defenseless. The part that kills me is, he later went on to give an interview stating that he was still standing by her. He said that she loved his son as if he were her own and would never have intentionally hurt him. Are you out of your f*cking mind! Your son is dead because of her dumbass and you want to play captain and save her?!? What is wrong with people? I just don’t understand.

If you’re a parent of anything; a blue jay, German Sheppard, or human being, your job is to raise a self sufficient, independent, offspring that can survive and thrive without you. But that all begins with nurturing and PROTECTING it! Whitney said that she believed, “that children are the future…”, what kind of future will it be if we place no value on those who are going to create it?

If you’re not ready to give 100 percent all day everyday to the job and duty of raising your children…DON”T HAVE ANY!!! This one isn’t about jokes, this is serious. We are made to take tests and get permits and licenses for everything from fishing to extensive dog house building, but anyone can have children. Some countries take away the right to have children based upon their nation’s resources.

If better decisions aren’t made, don’t be surprised if one day that right is taken from you…maybe it does take sacrifice to bring about appreciation…how many children need to be sacrificed for you?

No more Breeders! Let's bring back PARENTS!

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Monday, November 29, 2010

A Cold Cup Of Coffee: Family

This is a special edition of A Moment With Morris. This is part of an ongoing series I affectionately titled "A Cold Cup of Coffee". Bringing you real life without the sweeteners, a cold and sometimes bitter, but always necessary sip of reality. This time we're looking at, Family.

Yes, we’ve all got one. Now “family” is truly just a form of classification, it’s how we link species together and map gene pools. In our society, we take it a step further. We include not only our blood, but friends, neighbors, and community into that category. Well today, we’re talking about blood. Those people we share a name, room and sometimes womb with…Family.

As we are in the midst of the holiday season, this is really the time when family comes out of the wood work. That trip to grandma’s house, little brother coming home from college, or just an all out family gathering, can all set the table for an interesting affair.

I have recently been to several family functions, my own as well as others, and have had quite the experiences. It’s funny to see how we act and respond around the people who know us most intimately. How quickly the fronts, masks, and facades begin…oh yes, suddenly everyone has jumped up a tax bracket, are getting promoted, or have “big things” coming. For whatever reason, there is this need to put an imaginary "best" foot forward, for our kin. Why? Why lie? We all know the truth.

Yes, the TRUTH. The way it really went down, and the way it really is, because we know YOU, we know US, we're family. So let's break down these lies and keep it 100. We know you didn’t choose to move, you got evicted. You didn’t decide to focus on your career, he left you. You did love that car, you just didn’t love paying the note so they took it. Yes you’ve gained weight, no your girlfriend isn’t cute, your potato salad was suspect, and we think your child is “special”. Just keeping it real. In fact, I’ll do you one better, and keep it realer…we don’t care.

Family is not the gauge in which you judge success. What’s in my brother’s bank account has absolutely nothing to do with MY accomplishments. We want to look good in the eyes of our family, but let’s knock off the nonsense. You’re trying to impress the people that watched you take baths in the sink as a baby. The ones that had to scrub the walls after you decided to finger paint with what was in your diaper. The ones that know the real reason you don’t drink fluids after 7 pm…we KNOW you.

I’m just saying, can we have a truly open and honest moment? I understand not wanting everyone in your business, but do you think we didn’t hear you arguing all the way up the front steps before you got to the door and put on those fake smiles? We heard you, but we’ll still act surprised next year when you tell us you’re getting divorced. No your child doesn’t have ADD, ADHD, BPP…he doesn’t listen to you because you need to whup his A-S-S. Funny how he can’t sit still when you tell him to, but he can focus and play XBOX for 9 straight uninterrupted hours…hmmm. Some of you have lost your minds, look, don’t bring a different girl to each function and get mad when we call her the wrong name. Family functions are for significant others…leave the side chick at home (See “An Affair To Remember…But To Celebrate?”). And most importantly…No you do not make it “just like grandma”! She has the title, you’re not even a contender. You only embarass yourself with such talk.

I say these things because we're in this together. Good or bad, it doesn't change our relationship, we're still family, so let's have one based in honesty. That's fathers to sons, mothers to daughters, cousins to cousins, siblings, everybody.

Look, Thanksgiving is over, but we can still make things right before the New Year. I love my family, all of it. We are a great big ball of talent, resentment, love, co-dependency, creativity and dysfunctional passion…and I wouldn’t trade them in for the world. They are as much a part of me as the organs that give me life, but there is room to grow closer, and that begins with keeping it real.

Family is a gift, like a sweater you didn’t ask for, but can’t return. So smile and accept it. Don’t try to hide it in the back of the closet. Don’t complain about the size, the fit or lie about the label. Just put it on, wear it proudly, and like the song says remember..."We are family."

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks

It’s that time of year again, Thanksgiving. When the family gets together and shows their appreciation over a meal of turkey, gravy and all the trimmings. We’re familiar with the setting, the women in the kitchen cooking, as the men stare intensely at some sporting event on tv. All the while as the children periodically question, “is it ready yet?” Ah yes, Thanksgiving.

This seems to be one of the few times a year when people show some appreciation, when gift giving is not involved. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-Turkey Day, I appreciate this holiday for what it does for people and families. Anything that produces togetherness and at the same time, a free meal…I’m all about that.

This year I would just like for people to really get the meaning of Thanksgiving. Though it has many questionable origins, the basis for Thanksgiving is the story of a tribe of Native American Indians helping the Pilgrims avoid starvation by teaching them to fish and work the land. The result being a huge harvest that they enjoyed together. Touching. Now that in itself would be a great story and reason to show thanks…but let’s look a little deeper.

Those Indians saw a group in trouble, and based upon their feelings of love, duty and responsibility they helped where they could. Often we find ourselves trying to help those in need, we feel that it’s the right thing to do, even for strangers we don’t know. The Pilgrims were clueless as how to survive, without assistance, they were doomed. As a result of their goodwill, the Pilgrims were not only able to survive, but thrive. Now that’s a reason to celebrate.

Many times in life we are the architect of our own demise. Through a series of decisions and actions, we systematically create the machine that will in the end, bring us down. The Indians had no idea that the very people they saved, would be the ones to do them in.

Once the Pilgrims reached a level of stability, more came. Bringing with them never before seen diseases and ideas that were forced on the Indians. Many perished due to new illnesses, where others were forced to abandon their ways and convert to Christianity. The very same people that saved the Pilgrims were now seen as a "problem". The end result was, a powerful, productive, and loving community was worn away to a sparse amount and relocated to minimal resources. Being kind doesn't trump being responsible. Take a good look at those you break bread with.

This isn’t designed to be a “downer” this is simply to bring light to this day and it’s true meaning. BE THANKFUL! Thankful for the decisions you make, the things you learn, the life you have. Appreciate the REAL people in your life. Understand that it’s not about the people that come to party with you, it’s about the ones that stay after to help you clean up.

So I want everyone to take some time today to celebrate your harvest; watch some football, laugh with your loved ones, and save me a drumstick.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Feel Like A Man

If you ask my friends what I’m like, depending on which one you ask, you will get a wide range of responses. Some of my friends will tell you that I’m funny, some will say I’m quiet, others will say I never shut up, and of course the ever popular “asshole” will be thrown in from time to time…all true. The fact is, I have many different sides to my personality, like everyone else.

We are all complex creatures, capable of a rainbow of thoughts and emotions. But for some reason we like to condense and limit who we are down to a word or two. Why? Why are we not allowed to be more than 1 dimensional?

Often times as men, we’re quick to blame and mock women for being emotional. We act as if they should be faulted for having depth, for being multifaceted, for being more than 1 dimensional. Now I’m not claiming that I haven’t been guilty of this myself. I have, in typical male fashion, made my jokes and comments about how women are “all over the place”. Even to the point of calling them “crazy”, but deep down I know it’s because women excel in an area, we men do not…emotional expression.

Women are much more connected emotionally, and to our sometimes dismay, this can prove to be difficult for us men to handle. We can multi-task on the job, do countless equations in our head, even deal with grueling strenuous labor, but something about all that “emotion” just gets us. Not that we don’t have them, we just don’t deal with them in the same way.

As men, we’re given a pass on; anger, frustration, and disappointment, but aside from that we need to be all smiles. Women get to run the table on how they feel. Men do get thrown a few bones. We get; pride, ego, and all other self serving sins to play with, and that’s okay.

If we’re going to claim “dominance” and be these pillars of strength, responsibility and un-yielding structure, then we need to take the good with the bad. My note to you ladies; just because we don’t get the pass on emotions, don’t assume that we don’t have them. Men are capable of feeling everything you feel, we just choose not to express or recognize it. The sooner you grasp that one, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with us.

As women get older, the smart ones pick this up. That’s why the best advice a young man can get, is from an older woman. A lot of you younger ladies are still trying to figure that one out.

I’m simply saying that as a man, I’ve come to learn and “feel” the whole emotional spectrum from passion to pain. It is part of what has made me who I am. So gentlemen, being able to identify feelings will only make you a better man, for you, and for whatever woman you decide to be with. Once you can identify it, you then can understand, control, and deal with it.

So guys remember…you CAN feel…it’s alright…just none of that crying mess.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Opposites Attract

We’re all familiar with the cute and timeless phrase, “opposites attract”. You know, when the straight laced girl falls for the bad boy, or when the uptown corporate chick falls for the greasy mechanic, even when the country farm boy sweeps the city girl off her feet. All clich├ęs I know, but you get what I mean. Whenever we see two people that superficially should have nothing in common, we chalk it up to simply “opposites attract”.

Here’s the funny part…no they don’t. Not when it comes to people, not in relationships. I’m sure you’re thinking, “but after all of those examples, how is that true?” Well you know I’m not going to leave you hanging.

The fact is, it’s not our superficial circumstances that dictate who we are, or who we want. Think of relationships as a lock and key; two things that externally look nothing alike, but internally are identical. It’s why men fall for bitches, women fall for players and both fall for losers. She projects her insecurities and self esteem issues through a form of behavior that is rude, distant, antagonizing, and abusive. Meanwhile his insecurities and self esteem issues are exposed in the sense that he allows himself to be treated in such a manner. In the same way that an abused woman seeks out another abuser; It feeds the dysfunctional fire and allows both sides to “play their role”. We gravitate towards those that are familiar, not different. A little deep…

This subject came about from a discussion I had with this young woman. She couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t meet a “good man”. After asking a few questions, the answer was clear. She was a “Daddy’s girl”, even though growing up, he had a job that kept him from home. Her mold of a male relationship was based on one of a distant and unavailable man. (See “Daddy Dearest”) So she has always dated distant and unavailable men, now the funny part about it is…she is distant and unavailable. She finds men that behave like her father, but in turn are also, just like her. A little deeper...

Now some of you are like, “but I’m not distant but he/she is!” My response is, then that’s not the lock and key. Most of us only see the superficial, so here’s a few tips to let you know if you truly date “opposites” or you two might have more in common than you think:

If you have been in abusive relationships…you’re the same.
If you have been repeatedly cheated on…you’re the same.
If you date “dead beat” men/women…you’re the same.
If you have given ultimatums, but didn’t follow through…you’re the same.

And here’s why…the reason people abuse and allow themselves to be abused is the same reason, just like getting cheated on. Mutual low self-esteem, fear, and insecurity are the tools of the trade here. If you support a non-productive person, then something about that parent/child relationship is what you both need, it takes two to be co-dependent. And as for ultimatums…if you give them and don’t follow through, you didn’t truly want what you were demanding…just like them.

I know for a lot of folks out there this one is going to hurt, opposites don’t attract…at the core…you’re dating yourself. Once you realize and accept this, then you can start making better decisions in mates if need be, and honestly, some of you don’t. Some of you have had nothing but great dating experiences. Some of you met and married your true love straight out of the gates. But if you’re like the young lady and haven’t been so lucky, give it a little thought. So before you go heading out looking for the next contestants for a “Love Connection”…keep this in mind; I’ll leave you with what I left her:

Why try to put so much emphasis on what is different when you’re talking about building something together? Understand that who we date is a reflection of who we are, so you might need to learn yourself a little bit better, before you let the next one slip their key into your lock.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pimps Up, Love Down

Where to begin? Well let’s get straight to it. I heard something recently that shocked me in a way that hasn’t happened in quite some time. I actually heard this phrase uttered out of this grown woman’s mouth. “I’m a bottom bitch for life. She can run around and play games but I keep it real, and hold it down.”

For those of you that are unfamiliar with a “bottom bitch” here is a quick tutorial. A bottom bitch is a pimp’s number one hoe, the one that he retains for himself, and leaves in charge to regulate and maintain his other prostitutes. I’ll wait… Yes this woman was bragging about being the number one, in a sea of miscellaneous women in her man’s life. She felt proud to know that no matter how many other women her man was sleeping with (and impregnating) she was his numero uno.

Now my beef is not with this guy. The fact that he convinced this woman to not only accept, but be happy with this concubine situation isn’t a knock to him. It’s speaks volumes to his character, but he’s being honest, truly keeping it real. He simply presented the option and she chose to deal with the situations and circumstances to be with him. This one is on her.

This pimp/hoe relationship is the new/old template for today’s relationships. It’s one based in dependency, exploitation, and honesty. A pimp is out to get what’s best for him at the expense of his hoe, all the while being honest about the situation to keep her loyal. He works under the guise and premise of caring about her and protecting her. By maintaining an honest relationship, even the most horrific experiences can be tolerated because there is no deception.

As of late, this decline in true fathers, (see “Daddy Dearest”) has left the door open to these predators. With no one teaching these women about their own self worth and value, a bottom bitch can be a great situation. She gets that feeling of importance, knowing that she has a place, a position. Above all else, regardless of however down she might get, she knows there is someone beneath her. Heaven forbid something ever happen to her man…a bottom bitch has responsibilities. She’s left to hold down the fort, to hold her man down.

Now all that sounds like a logical explanation, right? If you can personally relate to this situation, take a long hard look in the mirror, then at your palm…then SLAP YOURSELF!

A bottom bitch is not to be admired, respected and surely not an aspiration. Number one on a list of 15 or 20 may be great in some aspects of life, but not this one. Ladies get some self esteem. Pick up the needle on this broken record. You perpetuate this behavior by enduring it. Get yourself together. I know this begins with a lack of proper parenting, but if you’re grown you need to take responsibility for this.

The woman that I heard saying this crap was almost 30. Proud to be his “number one”. For any of you women out there on this same page, I don’t mean to burst your bubble, well maybe I do. Being a bottom bitch to a man is like getting an A in summer school! It’s nothing to brag about! Low expectation having...

I love women. You are the center of civilization, but what kind of civilization can exist, or will be created if its center lacks stability? Don't settle with being a "bottom" anything.

It’s not about being his “number one”…it’s about being his ONLY ONE.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Can I Live?

I know so many people that have the same daily routine. It is so predictable that I can damn near set my watch to it. They wake up at the same time, go through the same morning regiment, then it’s off to work the same tedious job. This excitement is capped off with an hour or two of television watching, then it’s bed time…and repeat.

This to me isn’t living. It’s existing. I understand that we take jobs to handle our responsibilities. We have bills, families and obligations that we’re accountable for. I get that we don’t all have jobs we love, but at what point do we lose ourselves to the repetition? It’s like we fade away a little more each day, and with almost no resistance.

I visualize life, as being like our lungs. Most people are shallow breathers. They take in just enough oxygen to maintain and facilitate. Yes you can exist on a deflated balloon’s worth of air, but you can live on a blimp’s. Remember living? Remember how in our early 20’s we could go to college, work a job, study, and still squeeze in a kegger or two? Having body shots for breakfast? But once we get a little older, that drive to maximize our day…to live, diminishes. Instead of running on 4 hours of sleep, and going hard for the next 20, we’re in bed at 10 and our 8 hour job is kicking our behind.

A lot of us don’t live. We drive the same daily route, but couldn’t tell you about any of the stores, homes, or signs that we pass. We’re just going through the motions. When we only exist enough to maintain, and let go of our dreams and aspirations of life we shift into this state of just “being”. Without a passion, a reason, it’s easy to fall into a slump. Depression is at an all time high in this country, partially due to this “rat race” mentality we have. Suicide is also up, when you give your life no meaning, no value, it’s easier to walk away from.

It is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and I’ve heard so many stories as of late, about women that didn’t appreciate the lives they had until they almost lost them. Their views on work, family, love, all changed when faced with that reality. I’m not saying we all need to get a potentially life ending disease or situation to see the big picture, we just need a little perspective.

I know that everyday isn’t Mardi Gras, that because of the work we do, or the children we raise, a lot of the “fun” is gone. But that doesn’t mean we’re dead. Take a different route to work, speed for no reason, even just crank the radio up and belt out your best rendition of R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Just live.

I’m not saying that we should shrug off responsibility and party…I’m just saying, don’t be afraid to throw in a body shot or two…every now and then.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

It's A Bird...It's A Plane...

“Why the world needs a Superman?” A quote taken from the movie about a visitor from another planet, who fell from the skies to Earth, landing in a small town in Kansas where he was raised among us becoming a hero for everyone. His quest and goal was to lead by example and be someone that humanity could not only look to for help, but as an idea to strive for. He wanted to not only protect, but to uplift. To be more than a man…but a Superman.

It would seem that the world truly does need this, a hero. More and more each day I turn on the television or listen to the radio to find, that we as a people are all but lost. This is now a time where chants and protests are held to release prisoners serving time for drug and weapons charges, because their music is good. We live in an era where drug dealers are now prominent businessmen, where gang ties equal dependability, and money is the trump card to all behavior.

I understand that no man is perfect. We are all flawed and capable of the worst. I just wish I didn’t see our faults and foibles, so celebrated. It seems that we are so removed from the basic concepts of honesty and integrity, that the easy road has become the only road.

Let me also say that there are some great people doing wonderful things on this planet, people that do represent ideas; ideas of justice, peace, equality and love. They are everything from school teachers to firefighters, doctors to executives. People that try to live their lives as examples, I recognize and applaud you. My concern is not with you, I only hope you do not get discouraged and quit. My concern lies with this concept that we overlook someone’s wrongs, because their money’s right.

If you’re a retired drug dealer and now worth a billion dollars, you’re not a hero. You sold poison to children, destroyed lives and contributed to a dissolving state of human existence. If you left the gang life and are now selling millions of records, you are not a hero. You committed crimes against innocent people and also contributed to this sad state of affairs. If you’re in the church and doing “wrong”, you are not a hero. If you hide behind your bible to exploit the church and faiths of your congregation for financial, physical, or social gain, there is a special place for you waiting. Even if you’re CEO of a billion dollar company, but got there by lying, cheating, stealing etc, not a hero either. Let’s get away from idolizing those with the most green. If within our society was a Superman, then money would be his kryptonite.

I myself am not perfect. I don’t believe that I am exempt from wrong doing. I just try to be better each day and represent something positive.

This isn’t a movie, there are no trains being out run, buildings being leapt over, or moving faster than a speeding bullet, but there are heroes. I just want us to take a closer look at the people that we allow to viewed as examples, and really evaluate why? If your hero is in prison for assault, being drug addicted or hoarding weapons that were built specifically for human annihilation, what does that say to you about our society?

I only say this because I fear the outcome of the path we are on. If we allow ourselves to place the wrong persona on a pedestal for too long, we may not be able to go back. We just might want to nip this in the bud now, before we’re all praying for a bright light to fall in Kansas.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Cold Cup Of Coffee: Bitchassness

This is a special edition of A Moment With Morris. This is part of an ongoing series I affectionately titled "A Cold Cup of Coffee". Bringing you real life without the sweeteners, a cold and sometimes bitter, but always necessary sip of reality. This time we're looking at, Bitchassness.

Now you may be familiar with the term. It was made popular on MTV’s “Making The Band” by Sean Combs; aka Diddy, P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Puffy…whatever. He used it in reference to a practiced behavior that has become prevalent within our youth. Bitchassness…and it must be stopped.

For those of you that need it, here is a quick tutorial on Bitchassness.

Example 1# I was leaving the grocery store and walking towards my car. A man was leaving the store as well, walking in the same direction. He had a 12 pack of beer in one hand and nothing else, now there’s nothing wrong with that. Except, 3 steps behind him, was his VERY pregnant girlfriend, with 6 full bags of groceries in her arms…Bitchassness.

Example 2# While attending a sporting event I noticed a rather obnoxious fan. He was ribbing and taunting a fan of the opposing team. The taunting grew more and more heated, then personal. So much in fact, that it escalated to a near physical altercation. The first man instigated this situation to the point where the second man was ready to swing on him. Then the first man called for the ushers for protection…Bitchassness.

Example 3# Any man that does not provide for or be there for his children, and justifies it by saying it’s because, “he doesn’t want to deal with their mother"...Bitchassness.

Example 4# Being a platinum selling R&B recording artist, and getting arrested for beating up your mother...Bitchassness.

Now that we’re all up to speed, this has to stop. More and more each day I’m exposed to the cold hard reality that this epidemic is spreading. This blatant lack of personal responsibility and cowardice when faced with adversity is a growing trend. It seems as if the days of ambition, determination, and courage are gone. Leaving us and the future, to a generation of entitled-feeling, whining, complainers. We have to accept that a bunch of short cut taking, excuse having, irresponsible, morons will be the power and influence of tomorrow.

We as a people have to stand up and shut Bitchassness down! Just this morning I heard this guy say that he was willing to quit his job and live off of the state, just to avoid paying child support. But what really blew my mind was, he had supporters! Really? Has this planet truly fallen into the hands of these low expectation having individuals? I know I’m on a little tangent, but bare with me…

Bitchassness is a disease…a cancer, and the only way to remove a cancer is to eradicate it. We must remove these individuals before they spread any further. Bitchassness must be quarantined and destroyed.

Ladies, stop having babies with these people. Cut their water off! Bitchassness can only breed Bitchassness. They lack the proper tools to raise anything other than a child in their own image.

Fathers, if you realize your raising Bitchassness, step it up! It is up to you to nip it in the bud.

I feel like, if Bitchassness makes it into the world, the parents should suffer. That's right, you created this problem and should be held accountable for your actions! This is not a joke. Bitchassness is real and living among us.

We need to come together, make better decisions in our mates and situations. I understand this may seem funny, but we need to be real with ourselves. Our economy is crashing, the only thriving business is prison building. If you are a parent, really look at the time you spend with your child. If playstation is clocking in more quality time than you, step in. If you're a grown man or woman, and feel like your life situation is the result of anyone other than yourself, but it's up to someone else to fix too may be suffering from Bitchassness.

We have got to get this under control. We have telethons for diseases we're nowhere close to curing, but donate to every year. Why not give that kind of dedication to a fixable problem? We worry about forest fires, global warming, extinct animals...we're even still on a mission to cure athlete's foot, so let's team up on this one.

Forget Puffy...let's follow Smokey. Only you can prevent...Bitchassness.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why So Serious?

Life is funny, I mean really funny. If we take the time to step back and look at the things that stress or frustrate us, we can see the humor. You know, as if it was happening to someone else. Getting fired on your day off, running out of gas just as your trying to flirt with the person in the car beside you, to getting rear ended by an ice cream truck; all things that could make for a horrible situation, but still funny. It’s all about perception.

We’re all familiar with the Batman movie where the demented Joker laughs and utters the phrase, “why so serious?” Granted it was followed by some psychotic behavior and a homicide, it was still valid. “Why?” Why do we allow situations to have total control over our mind, body, spirit, and being? The reality is, regardless of how we feel about the situation, it is what it is. So instead of magnifying the problem with negative thinking, which usually leads to worse decision making, let’s change our mindset, our perspective.

I was given the best advice on how to see life situations; if you had to walk from Los Angeles to San Francisco, no one was coming to pick you up or save you, what would you do? You can yell, scream, curse at all the air conditioned cars driving by, you can even fall to the ground and cry, but in the end you have to start walking. How you feel about it has nothing to do with putting one foot in front of the other, so if you can’t change the situation, change the perception. You can talk to yourself, sing a loud, even count the steps. Really, you can whistle the theme to “Rocky” as you jog and air punch. It’s all about your mindset and attitude.

I can remember having to walk several miles home one night. It was late and cold. I could have easily filled myself with anger, frustration, and a host of other non-productive emotions. However, I decided to not let this consume me, because I knew I had to walk anyway. So I just started talking to myself. I must have performed 3 stand-up routines and the entire James Brown anthology on this adventure. By the time I got home, not only was I not tired, I was laughing as I walked in.

I’m not saying that every situation is as simple as walking home, but the same practice can be applied. When we approach the smaller things this way, it makes it easier to deal with the big stuff. Unemployment, illness, and injuries are all significant issues, but our attitude is what will dictate our ability to cope, bounce back and recover. I personally prefer to laugh at life, and it hasn’t always been easy. I’ve lost jobs, money, cars, and more relationships than I can count. But it’s been my ability to find a bright-side, the humor in the situation, that has kept me going and allowed me to laugh and learn.

It’s easy to lose focus and perspective. Sometimes we have to look at the whole situation, the big picture to find that reason to smile, it is there. Fired on our day off just means we didn’t have to waste the gas of driving down there to be laid off. Running out of gas might just be the ice breaker we needed while flirting, and I don’t know about you, but getting ice cream truck rear ended, sounds like a “push-up pop” opportunity to me. It’s all about attitude. “Why so serious?” Even when faced with impending doom at the hands of the demented Joker we have to remember…it’s a clown.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Cold Cup Of Coffee: Haters

This is a special edition of A Moment With Morris. This is part of an ongoing series I affectionately titled "A Cold Cup of Coffee". Bringing you real life without the sweeteners, a cold and sometimes bitter, but always necessary sip of reality. This time we're looking at, "Haters".

As children, we were all told that we could be whatever we wanted to be. We were encouraged to be police officers, fire fighters, astronauts or even president. As we get older we begin to see that life isn’t always as optimistic. Many of us try school (college/vocational) usually not with success, we work jobs we can’t stand, and end up with someone that isn’t our first choice…we settle.

We fall into this mediocre state of existence. How did we get here? Is this it? There is a reason why drugs and alcohol are at an all time high in this country, most people are unhappy. So many feel like they got a raw deal in this life, were born under a bad sign or just never had a chance. Those pictures of families running in the park, pushing kids in swings, couples in love or career power players…why them? Why not you?

If you’ve ever thought this, if you’ve ever looked in the mirror and dropped your head at the sight of the person you’ve become. If you stare at your significant other the same way you see the job you wish would blow up over the weekend, if you have ever found yourself getting angry at the sight of successful, happy people…you are a hater.

Yes, it’s true. I know it’s a shock, you didn’t see it coming, and why would you? No one plans on being a hater, it creeps up on you. A series of unsuccessful life decisions and outcomes slowly puts you on the pathway to hating.

Don’t get me wrong, being a hater isn’t about anger. It’s about perception, attitude, and outlook. It’s about the thoughts that cross your mind; when you and your significant other are out, that feeling you get, when you pass a couple looking and doing better than you. It’s when you pull up at the light and glance over your shoulder at the people in the nicer car passionately singing to their favorite song. Even as simple as that sensation you feel when you pass a group of well behaved children, meanwhile yours just knocked something off the shelf in the grocery store. All these things are stepping stones, building blocks.

You know you have hate in your heart, when seeing romantic public displays of affection piss you off. When you believe that all fit people just had to have “something done”. Even down to, if asked, you say that your current career status is the result of “politics”. Hater, thy name is, YOU!

Now that we’ve established that you are indeed a hater, it’s time to slowly sip this cold cup of truth. Darwinism is real. Much like in the animal kingdom, natural selection carries over into the human race. Everyone can’t be king of the jungle or queen of the colony. We need some role players. We need some drones. Sorry to break it to you…you’re a drone.

That’s a hard pill to swallow. Take a minute, I’ll wait…look I know parents don’t prepare us for that. How could they? Why would they? No parent looks down at their baby and thinks, 2nd string. It’s true. Some of us are born with will, drive, determination and talent. Some of us have all the tools we just lack motivation. Some of us have persistence and drive and overcome by sheer hustle. But for some, it’s a lose-lose. Like the wounded gazelle, fate has not dealt them a winning hand.

I am a firm believer in personal responsibility. In no way am I saying it’s alright to concede failure. I’m merely pointing out the possibility that your string of losses and misgivings may boil down to nothing more than you were already predisposed to meager results. That being said, that doesn’t mean you have to hate. Hating is a choice. Take control of your individual situation. How green your neighbor’s grass is, has nothing to do with your yard. Maximize your own potential and stay in your lane.

Life is about knowing your role and playing your position. In this movie, you are not the star, not even a supporting actor…really, you’re just an extra…but make the most out of being “man/woman in diner”. Don't worry about how many lines their getting, just remember yours. Like I said, it’s about perception, attitude, and outlook.

You may not be a corporate CEO, but a job at McDonald’s comes with all the fries you can eat. You may not have a new car, but riding the bus gives you the opportunity to meet new people every day. Your mate may not be Will Smith or Jennifer Lopez, but they love you. Hating is never acceptable. Be not only content, but proud of the life and blessings you have been given. So as you step on to the bus and find yourself cutting a hard look to the couple driving by in the convertible, remember…there’s someone walking, giving that same look to you.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Daddy Dearest

This one is dedicated to the fathers out there…

This installment is inspired by recent events, my last trip to the mall. Not a place I frequent often and each time I go I remember why. The crowded walkways, aromas of miscellaneous fast foods, and destitute teenagers have put me off a bit to the whole “mall” experience. However, I do get the enjoyment of one of my favorite past times…people watching…and the mall never disappoints.

The people, the outfits, the behavior, that’s entertainment. Gazing upon this sea of inconsistency one particular trend caught my eye. The young ladies…I don’t mean young like 21, I mean young like 14. These girls were dressed as if the Bishop Don Magic Juan himself selected their outfits. Now I understand allowing your teenagers a certain degree of freedom, exposing them to life and the social consequences for their decisions. I get that. But at what point do we not step in? We were in Macy’s not Magic City.

Ladies, I know it’s hard out there, and where I’m from there is a high single parent percentage. Keeping track of your son or daughter is a full time job, that’s why it takes two. The fact is, mother’s do so much by way of nurturing and supporting so the child can have a solid base. But then it's the father's turn to take the baton.

If it’s a boy, it is the father’s responsibility to teach him how to be a man. To not only teach, but show him how to be respectful, strong, and a provider. If it’s a girl, it’s once again dad’s job to teach her about men. It’s his place to instill the importance of self respect, and what to look for in a man when she’s older. Showing her by example how a man is supposed to treat a woman.

Now I’ve addressed parenting before (See “Real Parents”) but this one is about a specific issue. I saw a lot of young girls in “advertising outfits”. They were on the hunt and interviewing for “daddies”. We all know “daddy”. The man that will enter her life and say all the things that her father didn’t. Without proper guidance and self esteem, “daddy” will have this girl’s head spinning. Having her do all sorts of nonsense trying to please him and fill this void of male love.

These little girls; 13, 14, 15 years old shopping to fill their “whoredrobe”. Gentlemen, a lot of you have dropped the ball. I understand that it’s easy for me to say from the sidelines not having children, but c’mon! Get involved in these girls lives. Here’s a little something to help clarify for those that need it:

Is it your job to raise her from BIRTH to 18? YES
Is it your job to show her the proper way women are to be treated? YES
If you can’t stand her mother, do you still have to be there for her? YES
If you never wanted children but she somehow slipped into the world, is she your responsibility? YES
If she grows up and dates a string of losers, has no feeling of self worth and wants to do porn, is that your fault? YES

Gentlemen let’s get this one under control. This is an easy fix, just be there. Talk to her, and prepare her for what this world is going to challenge her with. Get in her life at birth; because if she grows up with a father, she won’t go out looking for a “daddy”.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Let's Do It...Again

The Godfather Part II, Return of the Jedi, even Bad Boys II, all showed us that sequels can be great. The idea of returning back to something that was or wasn’t good, can be successful. This happens in movies, what also happens in movies is this idea of revisiting and reviving past relationships.

That’s right…we’re all familiar with, “The second time around”. The practice of trying a relationship again, usually ending with the same results. We start thinking about a past love, often after a newly failed relationship, and start wondering…

Wondering about, what could have been? If we only knew then what we know now? Only we do. So we convince ourselves that we’ve figured out where we went wrong the first time. We’ve cracked the code. The other person’s mistakes and our own past issues fade into the background as we start this comeback campaign.

We become so enveloped with the idea of a relationship resurrection that we even manage to convince the other person to give it a try. Now let me first say; I completely understand, the comfort, security, and familiarity that comes with a previous relationship. This is someone we know. Their faults, tendencies, even what makes them smile…we know them. That’s a very safe place to be.

With all of our previous knowledge, we can maneuver through this new/old thing with confidence. Heading off potential arguments at the pass, avoiding the trouble zones, meanwhile keeping with newly inspired passion, we find ourselves wondering why we ever broke up in the first place. This is perfect. Break up? What were we thinking?

Oh, that’s right. Let me say that people can change with time. Some life altering events can happen giving them a new understanding and outlook on life. It is possible…that being said…

It’s really just a matter of time before WE come back. Yes WE. The real them, the real us, it was a matter of time. (See “The Frog and the Scorpion”) When we start hearing familiar phrases, having familiar arguments, having familiar feelings, we start remembering. As much as we would like to, we don’t forget. Therefore we never truly get or give a fresh start. All of the old feelings begin to resurface. You know; the anger, frustration, and the ever popular… lack of trust.

We also have eliminated the fear factor. In relationships, we to a degree, have a fear of them leaving us or it not working out. When you revisit a relationship you’ve proven that there can be another chance. It creates a kind of behavioral safety net. Which leads to a degree of “gray area” in decision making.

Let me say that in no way do I have issue with any two people that want to try again. Coming from divorced parents I truly can understand that wanting to make something work. In the same breath I also know that divorcing was the best thing my parents could have done for their own happiness. It’s real easy to forget why we break up, especially if our current situation isn’t the best. I even understand the whole “bad timing” thing, right person, wrong time. We just need to be honest about, why? Is this more about them or us? Are we out of fresh prospects and are just “recycling” or is it truly about a lost love?

It’s perfectly alright to see the same person again, as long as you don’t expect a different result. (The definition of insanity) Sequels can be good, but never better than the original. If it didn’t work the first time, it’s pretty safe to say that will be the outcome again. We are who we are, and do what we do…and an ex, is an ex for a reason.

So before we think about dialing that old number, sending that text or Facebook finding, all trying to re-create that magic…we should just sit back…close our eyes, and remember…”Crank 2”.

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Player Player

Often we men use sports analogies to explain things…here’s another one. If you follow my blogs, you’ll see that I usually refer to relationships as a team. I use names and terms like “coach”, “player”, and “position”. This one is a breakdown and clear understanding of “The Team”.

I’m old-fashioned in the sense that I still believe in gender roles. I believe that the man is the coach, the play-maker. It is his responsibility to formulate the playbook and secure the needs of the team. Just like in sports, if the team is failing, blame begins with the coach and his ability to lead, teach and facilitate. The coach also has the GM role when it comes to acquiring and developing talent.

When it comes to the acquisition of talent (players), there several different approaches. Most often it is simply a walk-on acquisition. No prior thought was put into it, simply a same place, same time opportunity. Nothing against this process, in fact it has proven to be very successful, but with no prior scouting, problems can, and often do arise. Pre-existing “injuries”, as well as bad reports from numerous teams, can lead to a short term signing or even release from the organization.

Another way to pick up talent is via,“Free Agency”. This is the pulling from a pool of “experienced veterans”. The upside to free agency is often the players come with a full scouting report. Everything from previous teams, to issues, tendencies or special skills that might set them apart from the herd, are all accessible. Issues with free agency often stem from too many previous playbooks or an inability to adapt to a new system. This is also used in the acquiring of "role" players. In most cases, free agency is used as a quick fix as opposed to a permanent solution, so contracts are usually on a short term basis.

Make no mistake, free agency can be the path to some truly exceptional talent. Unpolished gems, undeveloped players, often go un-noticed in a sea of potential. So with a keen eye and an attention to detail, some star players can be formed. Just because a player didn't work out on one team, doesn't mean their not a find. Sometimes it boils down to strictly conflicting styles. It's a partnership, there has to be chemistry. So one team's failure can be another team's future.

A current and often practiced route is, “Drafting”. It offers the most high risk/high reward scenario. Drafting of a rookie is acquiring a young, raw player with no real previous experience. “Rookies” need more attention, direction, and coaching, but if a coach is willing to put in the time, energy, and effort they can end up with a true “Franchise Player”. That’s the player you sign for the duration of their career and they become the face of the organization. Like I said, rookies require a lot more time and one-on-one sessions but the benefits are infinite.

Not all situations work, and not always at the fault of the coach. Some drafted rookies are a “bust”. They seemed better on paper (see “what’s your number?") and that never quite translated to performance. Some blame does fall to the coach, he did draft her. (personal responsibility)

Whichever way a coach goes in the realm of talent acquisition, it will ultimately comedown to the commitment of both he and the player. A relationship that can excel on all levels; with good communication, a clear understanding of the team’s philosophy, and a sheer willingness to succeed, for years to come. Ladies, please see past the sports lingo and really take in what I’m expressing. They may not use these terms, but many men have adapted these practices. So do your homework, scout out what potential franchises you want to be a part of, and apply to your relationship the philosophy of the great Vince Lombardi:

“Winning isn’t everything…it’s the only thing.”

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Sigh's The Limit

Recently i've had the great and wonderful opportunity to meet some exciting new people. Focused, goal-orientated, determined, "dreamers". It's been such a breath of fresh air to engage in conversation with optimism, hope and belief.

So the question is, why? Why has this become such unfamiliar territory? Where did our dreams go?

Granted, some of these new found friends are younger than myself, but so what? I find myself questioning, when was the last time someone was excited to tell me good news? Not to talk about problems, worries or drama, just some good news.

Is this what we've become? Just a group of self-loathing, depressed and bitter people? Remember having just that one negative friend? Now the positive ones are the minorities. Who told us not to dream, and when did we decide to listen?

Life can be hard, unyielding and disappointing...but that's what makes it interesting...exciting. The challenges, the obstacles, the not knowing... Has my generation already become the angry old men and women of tomorrow?

I like to think that my time on this planet is full of infinite opportunities for me to do and be whatever I want. I try anything and everything that seems like it could be interesting. Now i've had more failures than successes, but each setback better prepared me for my next ambition.

These young go-getters inspire me. I truly hope they are not alone in their quests for happiness and success. May they lead the charge of determination for those that wake up and sigh, or hang their heads in doubt of what "could be".

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

An Affair To Remember...But To Celebrate?

“I believe the children are our future…”, “I will always love you…”, even, “I wanna dance with somebody”, we all have our memories of Whitney Houston. For some of us it goes back to the early 90’s, others are only familiar with the infamous Whitney. (The cocaine, Bobby Brown era) Which ever Whitney you recall, she has touched, entertained and influenced so many.

Recently we celebrated a “holiday” here in America, national “side chick appreciation” day. I’ll wait…yes side chick appreciation day. A day to show some love to the woman potentially breaking up your family. There is actually a calendar day set aside with the sole purpose of acknowledging the number 2, or maybe 3 woman in a man’s life, and I don’t mean his daughters or mama. Have we really stumbled so low as a society that we recognize and celebrate “ol’ girl”?

Maybe I’m a little old fashioned, but the mistress doesn’t get kudos. She doesn’t get praise. This is another example of folks not playing their position. Let’s take this back to Whitney…she orchestrated and delivered a pin point blueprint for mistress behavior.

“Saving all my love for you”, was the hoe’s handbook. Learn your position:

“A few stolen moments is all that we share
You’ve got your family, and they need you there
Though I’ve tried to resist, being last on your list
But no other man’s gonna do
So I’m saving all my love for you”

Men you’re messing up out here in these streets! Stop with all this nonsense! Stop parading your side chick like she’s somebody. If you are fortunate enough to have a good woman at home, but too stupid not to cheat, at least have some respect…and not for the side chick! She chose her path. She is Rick Fox, she will never be Kobe Bryant. Now I know life for her isn’t easy, but Whitney addresses that as well:

“It’s not very easy, living all alone
My friends try to tell me, find a man of my own
But each time I try, I just break down and cry
Cause I’d rather be home feeling blue
So I’m saving all my love for you”

The life of a mistress... Seriously, this type of behavior is what crystallizes in my mind the fall of respect, self esteem and character in today's society. Ladies I fault you on this one. Sure the man lacks moral fiber, but he has to, if he was truly that great of a man he wouldn't be in that situation in the first place. In other words, you know what you’re getting yourself in to. You are worth so much more than the February 15th 70% off flowers and candy.

I'll even go as far as to say that some men are conflicted. They honestly have deep real feelings for more than just one woman, but that still doesn't mean anything. Best case scenario, he abandones his family for you???

Side chick appreciation day is nothing more than the parading of low class men and lower self esteemed women. Because at the end of the day, while you’re saving all your love for him, he’s already given all of his to her.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

What's Your Number?

This has become an age of information, information on you, me, every one. We have pin numbers to access our voicemails and atm accounts. We give our telephone numbers to make purchases in stores. Our last four digits of our social security number have become our new last name. But above all else, a series of numbers that truly dictates our lives, are our credit score. This series of numerals governs where we live, what we drive, where we shop…everything.

Now it would only make sense then for us to apply a similar logic to the most important decision we can make…our significant other. We should all come with a relationship credit score. Like credit, when we’re young, we have a low score. Not because of bad decisions, but because of lack of experience. The older we get, the more relationship experience we gain. With bad, selfish, or irresponsible dating decisions…down goes our score.

This would help weed through the dating process. If a man or woman was a repeated cheater or dishonest mate, their score would show up on their report and we could save ourselves the wasted time of that pursuit. There are a lot of really good men and women out there who have a stunning 800 score, just waiting on a qualified mate. Once pre-approved, those dating circles would be free to explore possible love connections without the looming possibility of a derogatory applicant.

Many men and women are walking around thinking that they have better scores than they do. Wondering why they can’t find that good man, or end up with that special woman. If you have 3 kids with 3 different people, have had more one night stands than dollars in your savings account, or have ever prided yourself on the creative ways you have cheated…welcome to the 400 club.

However, if you have been faithful, honest, and always managed to give your all but still find yourself with questionable mates…then your score also has derogatory reports due to your lack of running proper checks. That’s right, accepting bad checks or approving faulty loans brings your number down as well. Be responsible.

Some of you out there are good on paper. You may have a ding or two on your report, but roll with a strong 680. You all need to be patient. Don’t settle for a 400 with a consigner. Keep doing what you’re doing, screen applicants, and find a comparable score that you can build with.

For you 400’s out there…be happy with what you get. No you don’t deserve better. This isn’t, “A Cold Cup Of Coffee” installment, but let’s keep it 100. Your lack of good decision making has put you where you are. No bailouts or relationship section 8’s. Stay in your lane until you prove that you can handle a mature, responsible, adult relationship. Bad decisions in your 20’s can make for difficulties in your 30’s, so be careful. 7 years can be a long time when we’re talking about love.

I know this will never be implemented, but why not. You need to be approved for a cell phone, but anyone can get married. I’m just saying.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the next time you’re approached with “what’s your number?” You could simply smile and reply…

“Show me yours and I’ll show you mine.”

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Cold Cup Of Coffee: Playing Your Position

This is a special edition of A Moment With Morris. This is part of an ongoing series I affectionately titled "A Cold Cup of Coffee". Bringing you real life without the sweeteners, a cold and sometimes bitter, but always necessary sip of reality. This time we're looking at,"playing your position."

This post was inspired by my last trip to the infamous barber shop. Like any other barber shop in America, it was filled with men spouting off about their favorite sports team, how much they hate their job, and of course...women.

What seemed to be an overwhelming issue, (in their opinion) was the increasing problem of women not playing their position. Meaning, women are not fulfilling their roles within the relationship. Now before you jump to the whole; cooking, cleaning, sex argument, just read first.

There are a lot of men that subscribe to the idea that most of their relationship issues, arguments, and problems, stem from women not playing their position, or their role. Commonly said was "she wants to run everything", or "argue every point", or "she wants to restrict or parent him". All things that challenge his place and role. Leaving her to neglect her duties as a supporter, comforter, and partner.

Originally I wanted to slap them for having such a "feminine" argument, but I decided to continue to listen. I personally was unaware of this popular view. So being the instigator that I am, I began to pose questions.

One after another, my questions of "what is she doing wrong and how?" were returned with adamant responses.

"She doesn't listen", "she wants to be the boss", "she's never happy", all the way to, "she just won't shut up". These ladies' inability to follow his playbook makes them un-coachable.

Now it's time to sit at the counter and swallow this cold cup of truth; ladies...they are right.

A lot of you women don't know how to play your position. You don't know how to let a man be a man. You want to fight him on everything, have little power struggles, and dictate his behavior. You don't know how to listen, or when to shut up. Along with spending so much time telling him what he's not doing, or doing wrong, you're neglecting your own duties. As archaic as it may sound, there are gender roles.

Ladies, many of you need to learn to allow your man to lead. No man wants a woman that's always going to challenge him. We look for partners, teammates...not relationship rivals. Many of you need to learn to follow HIS playbook. Not your ex-boyfriend's, ex-husband's, or baby daddy's. Remember what team you play for NOW. Understand that you might have to adjust your behavior to him.

Before any of you go off on, "a real man can handle a strong woman", yes he can. But sometimes true strength comes in restraint. You don't always have to win. Sometimes you sacrifice a win the war.

Which brings me to you gentlemen...a lot of you believe your woman is un-coachable, when really, you don't know how to coach.

What player wants to follow the playbook of a winless coach? If you're stuff isn't together, how can you expect her to just concede to the idea that you know best? True, women will test us...usually to see how we respond, how much we'll tolerate. Since women seek out providers, they need to know we're capable. If she's always questioning you, then you're not supplying adequate answers.

We as men need to be grounded and secure within ourselves. Approaching a relationship should be viewed like building a boat. You don't invite another person on, until you've proven that it can support you.

Women are news flash. They are at times; emotional, sensitive, illogical, irrational human beings. If you want the title and role of being the leader, understand and adjust for that. Just as women need to not always be right, we need to worry about that even less. As crazy to us as it sounds, women equate arguing to concern. We have to care to argue. So most of the time the subject doesn't even matter, it's about the I said, crazy.

That need to keep talking, or pushing your buttons is all about attention. So sometimes we need to come out of the garage, come home early, or shut off the Playstation. Your role as leader, is knowing the needs of those you lead.

None of these issues are new, men just feel they have a license to whine more these days. Suck it up. Gender roles have never favored male sensitivity. You can't have it both ways. Whining and complaining are in HER playbook, not yours. So men, stay in your lane, play your position...and line me up.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

King's Declaration

First take a moment and view this clip on. Don't worry, I'll wait...

The question is, "Why doesn't anyone ever quote these words?" Really, why doesn't anyone? Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke on how no document, law, mandate or government allowance, will make you believe and know the value of yourself.

"If the Negro is to be free, he must move down into the inner resources of his own soul, and sign with the pen and ink of self-asserted manhood, his own emancipation proclamation."

There was a time when African Americans in this country were united. United in the idea and dream that through struggle and strife there would be salvation. That our pain would lead to promise, of a better life and a better way. Where did we stray?

Dr. King addressed the pride and beauty of being black, regardless of the label or thought, that was trying to be imposed upon us. He went on to point out that all things associated with black in America were; dirty, evil, or sinister. Yet all things white were to be seen as; pure, clean, and virtuous. That blacks in America were being taught and trained to look down on themselves.

Why isn't this quoted? Why isn't the lesson of personal responsibility, the value of manhood and self worth, recited over and over again?

African American males in this country are given nearly Vegas odds to be successful. 70% of all black males in America will have been in either jail or prison by the age of 30. 70% of all black children in America are born out of wedlock. African American males make up nearly 6% of the nation's population, yet make up over 30% of the prison population. Sounds like at least a few could benefit from those words. Seems like maybe one or two people need to hear about the signifigance of self respect and the importance of manhood.

Not just young, but all African Americans in the United States need to hear this. Know that as individuals, we have to stand up. Know that it's within ourselves to rise above our situations, to be stronger than our circumstances and determined to beat our detriment.

Remove the idea of being "saved". No state issued check or government bail out will bring us the freedom to stand up. No dollar amount is worth our manhood, our self worth, our pride. Like a puppet coming to life, by cutting the strings we may fall down. But if we our resilient, we will rise.

Dr. King may be best known for his "Dream", but if we are truly to be "free at last", we MUST accept responsibility for our own lives. Walking and carrying ourselves with the pride, strength, and dignity, necessary to be successful, to survive.

"Don't let anybody take your manhood."

-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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