Is it rude or just truth?

Before I get started, please note that I grew up in the 70s. This is when we (people of color) were “black”, not “American of African decent”, “Afro-Americans”, “African-Americans” or any other title that was chosen at the moment for political correctness.

As a black person in America, my dealings with Africans in America have always been a little tense. They have always been really short-tempered people, extremely rude and sometimes downright nasty in their disposition. Because of these dealings, as a black person, I figured “they don’t like and I don’t like them” and have tended to shy away from Africans. But, not any more.

In order to cast judgment on any group of people, we must first understand the people. There is a reason that it seemed that all of my experiences with Africans were very similar which begs to ask the question, “Why?” But, as a we have certain experiences, we automatically judge and judge we will. Well, I have friend who is African. She is from Ghana. The weird part is that she is a co-worker of one of my friends and since we all came together, she has been the life of every party.

One day we were talking about Americans and Africans and the differences in how we raise our children. One thing that she said was that we Americans don’t teach our children to tell the truth. Of course, I was as shocked as you are. I said to myself, “How dare she? Above all things, I teach my children honesty. This is about to be a short conversation… it’s about time to get her coat!!!” But, as she continued, I realized that she was dead on.

You see, we all are in the health and wellness field. We help people to get fit, get in better shape, lose weight and build muscle. This is what we do. Most of the people that we talk to, including ourselves, are either overweight or obese. We are fat.

The problem that we, Americans, have is that we don’t tell the truth and it’s all wrapped in saving someone’s feelings, not wanted to be mean or simply being politically correct. In Africa, the children are taught to always be honest. The truth is that many times truth hurts but truth is the truth whether it hurts or not. What does it look like for me to say that the sky is pink knowing full well that the sky is blue? But, why did I say that in the first place? Because the person is color-blind and doesn’t know colors anyway… I just wanted them to feel good about the sky. No, that’s dumb!!!

The first step that happens in Alcoholics Anonymous is the declaration. Hi, I’m Jackie and I’m an alcoholic. In our business, it’s the same thing. Hi, I’m Jackie and I’m fat. You have to admit that there is a need before you can address it but what kind of life coach, best friend, partner, or whatever am I, if I don’t help you to make the declaration? It’s not RUDE!!! It’s the TRUTH!!!

Earlier in this letter, I stated what it is that we do, which is help people to get fit, get in better shape, lose weight and build muscle. Nine times out of ten, this is the response that I get… “So, you calling me fat?” Did you see fat in what I said? Did I say fat? Or are YOU calling YOURSELF fat? The truth of the matter is that people use indignation as a tool for continued failure. Let me repeat that… People use indignation as a tool for continued failure!!!

Can I be totally honest? Can I really?

I am over 40 years old and in my entire life… I have NEVER met the person who is truly satisfied with their body, NEVER!!! Skinny people want to be fat, fat people want to be skinny, athletic people want to be toned, can I lose weight but keep my booty, can I just lose weight in my stomach because the rest of me is fine… These are the things that we all deal with but as Americans we get ticked off when someone wants to HELP you meet YOUR goals.

The part that is crazy is this… Americans are the only ones that do it. I have friends who are Jamaican, Haitian, West Indian, Dominican, European (not white but actually from Europe), Asian, Jewish and more… And the level of truth that you receive from these folks will blow your mind!!!

So, what’s the wrap-up? How do we fix this?

We didn’t turn into this jelly back, weak kneed, can’t take anything society over night. We grew into that suit. We need to change our thoughts towards our children because they are the ones who will be the catalysts of change. We need to work on them. As babies, they “don’t know any better” and they will tell you the truth. We guide them away from that but no, that’s not right. Nurture truthfulness within them. Teach them HOW to tell the truth in LOVE.

I have a whole new respect for the Africans in American as with all of the other nations that are represented here. We can learn a lot from them if we’re willing to be open…

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,
Jackie

 

Who is this for?

Throughout our life, we face a myriad of situations and circumstances. Some good, some bad, some… I’m still trying to figure out. But, biblically we know that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. There’s that word again, purpose. I asked the previous question, “What’s the purpose?” But here’s the follow-up… “Who is this for?”

Everything that we deal with has purpose attached to it. But, we need to see things from the big picture. What I mean is, many times we are soo close to our situation that all we can see is ourselves or our inner circle. When was the last time that we stopped to say, “This isn’t about me…” When was the last time that we sought after the ‘reason’ behind what we’re going thru.

One of the things that I’ve been reminded of is that many people suffer in silence. They deal with their issues but due to the circumstance, pride, or fear they don’t feel that their voice will be heard. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, it’s true. People don’t really listen. They hear you talking but you voice is like the adults on Charlie Brown… Waa-waa-wahh. They may answer the question but don’t really answer the call. This is one reason why there are support groups.

I was on an internet radio show last night. The subject dealt with breast cancer and my recent scare with it. After the show, my wife and I were talking about how important it is that people know that they aren’t alone in their various fights and that we need people that understand what we’re talking about because they’ve been there too. Look at AA, Alcoholics Anonymous. The power behind what they do isn’t just the ‘steps’ but having the support of those that are in the fight with them. Wow… I just got a picture…

One reason why people don’t know how to respond to you is because they aren’t IN the fight. They’re WATCHING the fight. They are spectators. In a boxing match, who are the people IN the fight? The boxers (of course), the trainers, the managers, the ‘cut-man’… basically all the people that are connected to the ring… not everyone is inside of the ring but they all have a vested interest in the outcome. The spectators on the other hand, don’t have that vested interest. They have a desire to see you win but does the winner matter to them a year later, a month later or the next day? People that are connected have a different level of caring because they’re vested.

We also need a rallying cry. Another thing that was mentioned was that Breast Cancer Awareness month is October. But, here we are talking about this in January. Just because it’s not popular to wear the pink ribbon doesn’t mean that the issue has stopped. Our issues and concerns don’t flip on / off with the turn of the calendar. The problems aren’t checking their watch to make sure that they’re on schedule. Many times our problems come all at the SAME TIME!!! Here’s a quick example… I was dealing with job issues, health issues, children issues and depression when I was diagnosed with a lump on my breast. My dad goes into the hospital. Then last night, while waiting to go into the studio, my son sends me a text that his unborn child had just died. The problems don’t cease to come but, the Bible says that He won’t put any more on you that you can bear…

How can we bear our struggles? The Bibles answer is to “cast your cares on him because he cares for you”. I agree totally. The other part is while you’re casting… get help.

As believers, many times we miss things because we are expecting God to magically fix everything. The Bible says that faith without works is dead. Casting your cares is faith. Getting the assistance, the guidance, going to the doctor… that’s the works. Too many believers have died before time because they didn’t do the next step.

As men, we are the problem solvers. It’s our duty to fix everything. But, guess what, there’s nothing wrong with saying I need help. There are people that understand your struggle and are willing to fight with you. We just need to open up just enough to ask for that help.

Never forget that we are all in the fight together…

I love you ALL!!!
Stay blessed,
Jackie