Whether you like him or not, you know whose hand this is lol.
Days and nights went by so quickly. Michael continued to get more acclimated with his new home. It’s funny that after all of these years he is still having trouble adjusting. Everyday it seemed as though he was waking up to someone else’s life. He had begun to take part in an after school program for the children of Heaven to incorporate some of his old life with the new. It still pained him to see small children who had died, but it made it a little easier that he could help put a smile on their face. Seeing some of the innocent and young people walk through Heavens gate on a daily basis is enough to shake anyone’s faith, but Michael stayed strong. To see that all of the time one would have to be strong. Some of the children walked through with their parents and unfortunately some of them walked through alone. Those were always the hardest to witness when a child walks through the gates scared and shaking wondering where their parents were.
In recent weeks Michael had gained another helping hand in lifting up the people who had just entered Heaven since his old friend Nelson Mandela had arrived. He enjoyed spending his days with the purpose that he once had when he was alive and with a good friend, no less. Michael spent his days singing with the children and teaching them how to dance. He was happy to bring such joy to what could be seen as a dark situation. Madiba spent his time in the program reading to the children and telling them tales of his childhood. The two friends were happy to lend their time to taking the children’s mind off of not being with their families. When the children weren’t learning how to moonwalk or eagerly listening to what it was like to grow up in Africa, they sat in sessions with Dr. Miral to help them cope being away from their parents and adjusting to a life after death.
On this particular day Michael decided to sit in on one of their group sessions to better understand what the children in heaven were going through.
"So guys today we’re going to talk about what your happy thoughts are. What does each of you remember from you past life that puts a big smile on your face when you think about it?" Asked Dr. Miral.
A small girl raised her hand slowly into the air.
"Yes, Rebecca. Go ahead," Dr. Miral said gently.
"Umm… I remember once when my parents thought my cancer went away they took me and my sister to Disneyland. We never been to Disneyland before and it was really fun. My sister went on all the rides with me until we almost got sick and then we saw Cinderella! It was soooo fun." Rebecca’s smile started to drop. "Then I got sick again a month later."
Dr. Miral patted her on the back. “It’s okay to be sad, but it’s also important to remember all those good times, just like Disneyland.”
Michael observed all the cherubic faces change to excitement. Remembering all of the good times was a good piece of advice for anyone regardless of age. He listened as a few more children looked back on slumber parties, playing with their pets, and just having a fun movie night with their parents. All of their stories were playful and fun despite the fact that most of these children were without their families in heaven.
Later that evening Michael spoke with Madiba on how helpless he felt to see so many young people who had crossed over.
"I just don’t see how they’re able to be so upbeat most of the time. I’ve seen so many kids that aren’t even 10 years old and it’s like they don’t know what’s happened. It’s heartbreaking," Michael said.
"I think children are resilient," said Madiba. "They don’t see death the way you and I do. They haven’t seen everything we’ve seen or felt everything we’ve felt. Children are also more courageous. Sometimes we lose that as we get older. We see them here as tragedy and I feel they may see it as an adventure. They have so many people around them here that care. That’s what keeps their spirits high. We must continue to do that."
Michael nodded. “That’s true. I guess we could learn a lot from them.”
"Yes, we could," He said with a tired grin. Madiba patted Michael on his as he left for bed.
Michael retired to his room. He stayed up late writing down ways to bring a little more happiness to the kids of his afterschool program. He reflected, as he always did, on his three children. He hoped that in his short time with them he left them with lots of happy memories that they will keep with them forever. He looked back and knew for certain that the people he learned the most from were his own kids. What he learned from them is something that we will keep for always and will share with the people he will meet in his afterlife.
-Asia Aneka Anderson
When I sit back and look at movies like Fruitvale Station and Lee Daniels’ The Butler it makes me focus on the fact that it’s ridiculous in 2014 for prejudice stereotypes to exist. You have two different films based on the lives of real men that take place in two extremely different time periods, but face the same issue. It’s upsetting that clothing, color of your skin, hair, what you eat, how you talk, how you walk and everything else that can be taken at first glance is what people presume you to be. If you’re a black man that wears baggy clothing you’re automatically a thug. If you’re Hispanic people wonder if you’re here illegally. If you’re a woman people expect you to be fragile. If you’re a man and the slightest bit feminine you’re automatically gay. And so on and so on. Negative stereotypes don’t just follow people of color, they follow everyone. The only difference is that the list of stereotypes for people of color is a lot longer.
With the case of Michael Dunn and of course Trayvon Martin stereotypes play a major factor and because of that and fear young black men are losing their lives. It shouldn’t be common that because a you see a young black man that automatically you think they’re out to rob or kill you. Anyone can be a threat to another person. It doesn’t come down to race, gender or age. And self defense is not shooting into a car full of kids nine times as they’re driving away, or shooting someone because they threw popcorn in your face and definitely not because you see a kid in a hoodie with his hands in his pockets.
The one thing about stereotypes that I’ll never understand, is the people who have no problem with fitting into one. Stereotypes, at least in my eyes, come from a hint of truth. I hate to say that, but it does, and be that as it may it still doesn’t warrant harming another person because of it. I try to live my life not fitting in a box to avoid being attached to any sort of stereotype. It confuses me why someone would be fine being placed in this box of how a person is supposed to act because of where you come from, where/ how you were raised, etc. As a people we need to educate ourselves to break out of that box to know that we deserve better and should demand better treatment and the people in their box of fear need to peer out to see that everything that you think you should fear is a lie. Judge for yourself who may be a threat to you and don’t let prejudice media make that decision for you.
In this day and age I see a lot of acceptance in putting down women. The alarming part is it’s mostly women putting down other women. I want to blog about this because I’m guilty in this too. I don’t know where it comes from and why we all think it’s okay.
The other day I was watching one of the many reality shows on Bravo and one of the women of this show was complaining about her boyfriend. My initial reaction to her complaining (which she did a lot of) was “She’s not even pretty”. It wasn’t necessary for me to think that and was completely off topic of what was going on yet that was my very first thought. That’s what caused me to write this. It sort of puzzles me why if in disagreement with someone we go directly to personal attacks. For example I’ve seen posts of different social media sites where a girl may take a selfie and lets say she’s wearing a low cut top. Instead of people maybe saying positive things like “You look cute.”, “Nice outfit.”, or “Love the hair.” you’ll always have that one person that will call her a whore solely based on the fact that her top is low cut.
The fact that a lot of these negative comments come from other women is a little sad. As women we’ve had to struggle and even to this day we still have to fight to be seen equal to men. With that being said we shouldn’t get pleasure from tearing each other down. When men see us shaming each other it gives them free range to do the same. That’s a time when we should band together and have each others backs. With everyone living their lives online it’s become common place for us to shame each other in cowardice because most of the time we will never meet the people we put down. It makes it easier to attack someone when you don’t know who they are. I know it will never stop but maybe we all need to take a second and think about what you say before you say it. Stop all the slut shaming, fat shaming, and any all other shaming. Just have respect for other people.