Is It Justice?

Many are excited because the verdict is in… GUILTY! I would like to believe justice has been served but my experience as a black woman in America has taught me different. When I saw the images of Derek Chauvin’s face during the reading of the verdict, I burst out laughing. Not because of his demise (albeit self-inflicted) but because of the pure shock on his face that he is being held accountable for his decision to murder a man in cold blood.

His expression is purely American Arrogance. Sounds like a cologne sold at Macy’s with the snobby perfume lady who scoffs at anyone who approaches her area with brown toned skin. That expression says, “What? How dare you correct ME?! I’m white! I DO the correcting, not the other way around.”

The memes will be in full swing by tomorrow morning but the scary truth is, even with the murder filmed on tape, had it not been for the major upheaval of protests, riots, and boycotts over the last year (and numerous other cops and civilians murdering black people) Derek Chauvin would have gotten off like soo many other cops. Rodney King anyone? I was in middle school when the gang of L.A. cops snatched him off of his motorcycle and beat him within an inch of his life. I’ll never forget following that story for social studies homework. Every one of those cops walked away scott free.

I find it funny how the police system (which was sown and harvested with the soil of hatred, violence, abuse, and murder) was started by a group of people who committed savagery across the planet from country to country.

But then, in that context, their fear makes sense. If I kidnapped, beat, raped, enslaved, and murdered massive amounts of people while teaching others to behave as hateful and violently as myself, I would be deathly afraid of retribution. Continuous oppression to stave off the idea of retribution would be my only recourse because to apologize and correct the issue would mean I would have to openly admit to being wrong AND I would have to make reparations for the long-term damages I caused.

So, instead of dismantaling the imbalanced and unjust justice system I’ve created and rigged to benefit those who only look like me, I’ll throw a little snippet of something that can pass for humanity… this time.

America, you have the potential to be soo much better. I am done dating potential. As my late grandmother used to say, “Shit or get off the pot.” America your time is up. Healing can only begin when you stop the damage being done and correct the cancerous mistakes from your past.

Compassion is Free, Retribution is Not…

Prayers for safety go out to everyone holding on in Texas, my heart is with you. It is appalling that government officials would allow citizens to freeze in an unexpected snow storm – that businesses are allowed to control public utilities and decide, DECIDE to shut power off in the midst of a nasty winter storm. There are too many instances where profit is put before people. Those businesses who jeopardized thousands of lives need to be shut down and the remaining power companies ought to be strictly regulated to prevent gross negligence like this from happening again. Compassion costs $0 but retribution is costly.

A sad day when humanity has become a line item on a balance sheet. An expense on a profit and loss statement. A topic to debate the worth of… Oh wait – this IS AMERICA. The country built on genocide, kidnap, rape, murder, enslavement and extortion. Humanity has been on the auction block for centuries but when the bodies are brown there’s silent acceptance. Again, compassion costs $0 but retribution is costly.

The Golden Rule is older than the King James version of the bible, but I can’t see it here in the “land of the free”. What are we “free” to do? The bulk of citizens are grossly overtaxed to make the uber-wealthy comfortable barely paying tax. Too many families working full-time jobs and still can’t afford to pay for living expenses AND food. Greed and self-service has been on the menu forever but those not at the table are told to work harder, pay their share… Those hard working Texans trying to figure out how to make it in the dark with no heat in the worst winter storm in God-knows how long, are they not working hard enough?

Compassion costs $0 while retribution is costly…

Another Solar Return

Today, I am grateful. Blessed to see another solar return and on the heels of a powerful full moon no less. A celebration of my birth, thank you mom for delivering me into the world ๐Ÿ’œ. For many years my birthday was a time of excitement, anxiety and depression all mixed together because I yearned for acknowledgement from my father that I would never receive. Friends, family and loved ones wished me well, but my attention (even when I desperately tried not to) was focused on my father’s lack of attention.

Acknowledging that feeling I harbored used to encourage anger, sadness and shame. It took many years of deep reflection (meaning I was still running from myself, lol) to recognize why I still held onto the pain. As much as I hated to admit it, it was easier to hold onto the hurt, anger and pain than it was to let it go.

That thought was my *aha!* moment. It was easier to hold on and stay stuck, than to let go and be free. I still love my father, and always will. But my father has chosen not to get to know me as a person. Not like I’d hoped. It is an opportunity lost to him – not me. I do not say this out of malice. I have finally moved beyond that. I no longer hold onto the entrapment of my perception that without his acknowledgement I cannot grow or be loved or be deemed valuable. I have already proven myself wrong on that – and gladly so!

My solar return is a celebration of my growth and my acceptance of me – as I am as well as a challenge for me to achieve who I strive to become. I am ready to conquer my next round of growth. Happy birthday to me! ๐Ÿ‘‘๐Ÿ’–

โ™’Aquarianโ™’

Self-Actualization in America

During my early college years I studied about educators and psychologists who had similar lines of thought – that each individual’s primary goal in life is to reach the pinnacle of self-actualization. You know, that moment of clarity where you understand the purpose of your life and your role as a part of the collective called humanity. Each person’s subconscious desire is to reach this nirvana of understanding within us.

I spent the last two weeks grappling with understanding what I was witnessing in real time. Murder, mayhem and lies broadcast far and wide. George Floyd was murdered. By law enforcement. Nothing can justify that. The collective of law enforcement had refused to even arrest the officers involved – that is – until massive amounts of people spoke out about it. Murder. And law enforcement shrugged like – eh, it happens.

So the first amendment allows for freedom of speech and the freedom to peacefully assemble. So the people did just that. Assembled peacefully. Law enforcement took to the protests as though it were a war cry and suited up in military-grade tactical gear (wait, where’d the money for the upgrades come from when there’s no money for education?) complete with tear gas, shields, batons, rubber bullets and fireworks. Yes, they were shooting fireworks at people!

Agitators were sent in to disrupt the protests (which spilled across the nation from coast to coast), pallets of loose bricks were left in plain view (and not near any construction or demolition sites), and police used their bikes, batons, horses and cars to assault protestors. Even the reporters felt the attacks. One reporter was shot in the face with a rubber bullet and lost her vision in one eye. Several protestors from across the nation decided to form a group for those who lost an eye from being shot with rubber bullets (as of 6/9/20 there were at least 8 who had found each other on Twitter).

The devastation caused by gross abuse of power is a major and deadly deterrent to achieving self-actualization. How can we become our best versions of ourselves under the domestic terrorism of our law enforcement whose sole purpose is supposed to be to protect and serve the public?

Photo by Pexels

Changing Times

I haven’t written in a while. Since the last time I’ve written the world has seen a global outbreak of the corona virus that has shut down entire countries. Here in Pennsylvania we are under a loosely followed stay-at-home order. Stores and businesses had to close and millions of people were laid off.

During this time even the schools shut down for the remainder of the school year. The school district began the transition to distance learning for the remainder of the year. Chromebooks have been distributed to the students so they could finish the school year.

Meanwhile, many occupations were deemed essential along with the medical professionals and emergency professionals. As a staff member of a homecare agency, our staff was also considered essential meaning we were to remain open and operating.

During this time of quarantine I have had to re-design some of my goals. Some were accelerated. During this time I have had to utilize online ordering more than I used to… In light of that, I have had to re-order copies of both of my books, Entangled Hearts and Reflections: Past, Present, Future. I have since designing my website: http://www.markishabunn.com and now both of my books are available on my website.

Although many are affected by this pandemic there is some good that can come from this. I look forward to seeing the outcome of this pandemic. Squeeze the most out of each day while you have it.

The End of A Season

Hello. I have been quiet for quite sometime, and for good reason. I am approaching my 40th year and I promised myself that I would shed toxic people from my life before I reached that milestone. I finally left a toxic relationship I had been in for more than 10 years. Tomorrow will be 1 year since I left to make a new and peaceful life for my children and I. It hasn’t been easy because there is always the obstacle of standing firm in my belief when the other party tries to re-assert control over me. I am more acutely aware of the behavior patterns during this month because I left during this month and because it is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

I have to fight for my safety and that of my children because I don’t know who may be watching that need encouragement. Many people unfamiliar with the terror of being in an abusive relationship believe that you can just walk away – it’s not that simple. Especially when children are involved. The officers of the family court system are not trained properly to effectively handle domestic violence situations leaving many victims (men are abused also – but because of social stigmas they are less likely to report being abused) and children in serious danger. This has been my season and it is coming to an end.

I have a long healing road to travel but I am grateful that I am alive to travel that road as so many women did not have the fortune to. I have reconnected with friends and interest in activities I had stopped doing. I have begun writing, knitting and crocheting again. I have even knit a pencil skirt free hand! Although that last season was painful, it was necessary for me to grow and re-connect with myself. I accomplished several of my long-term goals I didn’t think were possible for me and that felt amazing!

This is the first time I have been single in 13 years and it feels good. When I go to sleep at night it is peaceful. I laugh more. I smile more. I hug my children more. I am slowly learning about who I am at this point in my life. The old me is introducing me to the new me that is emerging from these challenges and I love her. She is spunky and funny (I don’t tell jokes I just state the reality of some stuff) and excited to experience the goodness that life has to offer.

 

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Income Protection

I missed a Friday or two. Sometimes life shows up because she never stops. I am learning and growing as I am teaching. The best way to solidify what you are learning is to teach it to someone else. Have you ever heard of income protection? Did you know you can calculate your income protection number? Do you know what your income Protection number is?

Income protection is the amount of life insurance or assets an individual needs to cover any potential loss of income due to the unexpected death of the primary (or sole) income earner so the survivors can be financially sound until the youngest dependent is at least twenty years old.

You can have your income protection number (IPN) calculated by a financial coach or advisor. If you do not have one or do not know where to find one, comment below. Don’t forget September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. “Friends don’t let friends go without life insurance.” – unknown.

Financial Fridays – Life Insurance

Many people are suspicious when they hear life insurance. Images of sheisty salesmen similar to the car salesman that will sell you junk at a high price comes to mind more often than not. Before I dispel some of that information I want to share that it’s Life Insurance Awareness Month. I just found out it’s a thing yesterday.

I’m glad it is a thing because we need the facts on life insurance so we can make educated decisions when (not if) we purchase life insurance. Note to the hecklers, life insurance is least expensive when you’re young and healthy.

Many people mistakenly purchase life insurance believing they only need enough for burial. When the idea of life insurance came about there was no such thing as funeral expenses. Life insurance was created as an income replacement in the event the husband died unexpectedly. The widow left behind doesn’t have to work and can still manage the household and child(ren) without becoming destitute.

How many of you have insurance on your electronic devices? Why do you insure objects? For those of you with some life insurance: are you fully covered or covered enough to get buried? Would you underinsure your home? Would you underinsure your car? Why would you feel ok with underinsuring your life with too little or no life insurance?

To find out more or to schedule a free consultation comment with your email address.

Life’s Gifts

I am a volunteer tax preparer for a non profit organization during tax season. This is my second season doing this. I absolutely love it. I help people, I learn new things and I experience a part of Philadelphia that I would not have ever experienced otherwise. Suburban Station. Milkhouse Grilled Cheese & Milkshakes. A Lebron James look alike. A Mike Epps look alike. Despair, hope, grief, sadness, joy and excitement.

I recognize it’s the small things in life that give the greatest joy. Today a woman confided in me that she has stage 4 colon cancer. Her hair was up in an opened top head wrap and the style was beautiful. When she handed me her driver’s license as I began to prepare her income tax return she said with sadness in her voice, “That’s when I had beautiful, long hair.”

I looked at her and said, “You’re still beautiful and don’t you let anyone tell you different.” Her eyes watered as she told me how she no longer feels beautiful. I understood her feelings completely. A few months ago I had three wisdom teeth and two molars extracted. No big whoop except two of the molars were on the same side as one of the wisdom teeth leaving a gap in the back of my mouth. For two weeks I cried everytime I looked in the mirror. I felt ugly without all of my teeth. I didn’t want to smile. I didn’t want to look at myself. I saw the same feelings in this woman’s eyes. So I shared my experience with her and reminded her that she is still beautiful.

She was very grateful for the encouragement. Once her tax return was completed she gave my colleague and I the biggest hugs and it felt good to help her smile.

See, so many people are stuck on the island of ME that they don’t acknowledge others until they need something and that’s the real tragedy of life. Because they miss out on experiencing the joy of being genuine to someone else, of being genuine for themselves. I had nothing to gain by sharing my story. Empathy costs us nothing but gives much.

I hope I see her fully recovered this time next year so I can give her another hug because by encouraging her, I encouraged myself. Thank you.