Franz and Faith
Franz Kafka was a 20th Century German writer. His pieces usually explored the absurd and how we as humans respond to its occurrence. The term “Kafkaesque” is used to describe happenings that are so preposterous that they are humorous.
Faith is funny as well but its definition is a bit trickier to for me to figure out. I suppose it boils down to trust; trust in your God, yourself, your family, your friends, ect. That somehow, someway, something or someone will come through for you. Faith is practical and completely irrational and yet with outs dobut it’s crucial to our lives.
I lose faith constantly. Some days I feel the Universe’s only aim is to discover and implement innovative ways to foible my plans or ruin my day. It doesn’t take much for my mind to dive into this paranoia; case in point yesterday, Monday, President’s Day began with my left headlight bulb blowing out. Nothing too terrible, just a warm up exercise as far as the Universe is concerned. I got home ready to sleep off that minor annoyance but as soon as my head touched the pillow I remember that I had forgotten to do my Chinese homework! I got up and looked for my textbook and it was nowhere to be found. I mean nowhere. It was not in my car, not in my room, not in the kitchen, not in the refrigerator, nowhere! By now it was 6:30am and my eyes were blood red. I thought up this quick plan: Class is at 1pm, the campus bookstore opens at 8. I’ll sleep until 9:30 and then get up early and buy the textbook, do my homework, copy the pages I need, and return it before class.
Good to go, right?
I woke up at 11.
I hauled ass to campus and made my way to the bookstore. They were out of copies of the text….It has to be pre-ordered it and since it’s being shipped from China, it will take three weeks to get here. Oh and before they’ll order it, I have to pay for it… Whoo! The Universe is up and snacking on some Wheaties, now.
So, second idea: I’ll head over to the library and see if they have a copy on reserve. Nope.
I head back to the bookstore and buy the text, the whole while spazzing about how I’m going to do this…
SN: After I left the bookstore a man stopped me and said hello. I was so frustrated at this point but he had such a sweet smile! We did the basic small talk thing and wished each other luck in our endeavors. I shook his hand and he gave me a hug. It made me feel awesome!
Third idea: Go to the Language Lab and see if they got a copy. Nope. Now I’m in full on panic mode. It’s a quarter to twelve. And I’m out of options.
Ok Universe you win, please give me a break, just one.
Fourth idea: The Confucius Institute! I know for a fact they have the book! I’m so excited I started to jog over to the building the office is in. Finally, things are looking up! The Universe doesn’t hate me! Today, I win! I get there and see students lined up outside the building. I asked a woman what was going on and she told me that the building was on fire….
The building, my last hope, was literally in flames. Thoroughly defeated, I walked away sulking.
The building was on fire….the building was on fire….the building was on fire…
My giggle turned into a chuckle, then escalated into roaring laughter. Double You Tee Eff!!! I couldn’t stop laughing! This entire day was so nonsensical that laughter was the only appropriate response. I instantly felt better. I made my way to class prepared to tell the truth and accept the consequences. I saw a classmate waiting by the door and he let me borrow his textbook. I made the copies I needed and returned to the room to find that class had been cancelled. I started laughing all over again.The Universe doesn’t hate me, it never hated me. God doesn’t want to see me sad or frustrated or hurt. He wants me to make it through His trials with faith. He wants me to take comfort in the fact that no matter what I feel or think, someone is looking out for me. I drove home feeling warm, happy, and safe.
“Slum tourism has its advocates, who say it promotes social awareness. And it’s good money, which helps the local economy.
But it’s not worth it. Slum tourism turns poverty into entertainment, something that can be momentarily experienced and then escaped from. People think they’ve really “seen” something — and then go back to their lives and leave me, my family and my community right where we were before.”
-Kennedy Odede, a Kenyan university student
A. Philip Randolph as Inspiration for Change
by Susan Leem, associate producer
March 6, 1963: A. Philip Randolph (third from left) meets with other organizers of the March on Washington at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stands to his right. (photo: OFF/AFP/Getty Images)
When we asked Grace Lee Boggs to speak about a leader who inspired her across her 96 years, the “elder stateswoman of the Black Power movement” credited labor leader A. Phillip Randolph as her inspiration:“In 1941, I was working for $10 a week in the philosophy library of the University of Chicago. I had got my PhD the year before. But $10 a week didn’t allow me to live very luxuriously, in fact, I was living rent-free in a basement. One of the disadvantages was that I had to face down a barricade of rats in order to get to the basement. And that put me in touch with the black community which was also facing rat-infested housing.It was July 1941 and A. Philip Randolph was calling upon blacks to march on Washington to demand jobs in defense industries. Because the depression that ended for white workers were not for black workers. When Franklin Roosevelt heard about the march, he begged Randolph to call it off. Randolph refused. Mrs. Roosevelt begged him to call off the march, Randolph refused. And eventually FDR issued executive order 8802 (Fair Employment Act) banning discrimination in defense plants for blacks.That changed the life of blacks and made me decide I was going to become a movement activist. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I’ve been so fortunate!”
The 1941 March on Washington never happened. FDR did issue an executive order, which was enacted into law as the Fair Employment Act. Randolph’s idea later came to fruition over 20 years later when he directed the 1963 March on Washington. With 250,000 people attending, it was the largest peaceful demonstration for human rights in U.S. history, and the setting for Martin Luther King Jr.’s legendary “I Have a Dream” speech.
The audio above features A. Philip Randolph speaking at the 1963 March on Washington. His voice is deeply sonorous and moving in its call for equality not only for the sake of African Americans, but for all people.
Getting over it!
Yesterday at my “fairly easy job,” my boss called me up for a powwow to discuss my yearly performance evaluation. It is comprised of 5 categories where you are graded on a scale of 1-4: 1 meaning “below expectations,” 2 - “meets expectations,” 3 - “exceeds expectations,” and 4 - “far exceeds expectations.” I scored a 2 in each category. Of course I disagree with the score and when pressed as to why I’m merely meeting expectations despite the book of training material I created, my ability to move between both job sites, and the fact that I earned two awards for outstanding performance in 2011, he replied that I had plateaued. Where once I was working really hard at streamlining SOP’s and producing training materials (in addition to my normal duties) now I was just coasting. He’s 100% correct of course. Once I realized I was doing 25% of his job for 0% of the credit and no extra pay, I put my energies into accomplishing what I came to San Antonio to do in the first place (www.npsbound.tumblr.com).
I know what you’re thinking—Oh another Gen-Xer with an entitlement attitude complaining about having to put in work to rise up in the ranks—right? Quick background: I get my five year coin next month— I trained my boss after he was hired a year and some change ago. When he goes on vacation or on assignment, I stand in for him. I’m sure there’s a very valid reason I’ve been passed up for promotion twice and I’d love to hear it.
Anywho, needless to say, that 15 minute meeting tainted the next 24 hours. My sour resentful mood followed me home, into my dinner, and then into work later on that night. I bitched to my co-worker (I know, I know. Pray for me) and was exhausted for the rest of the night. I was still seething during my drive home! There was no way I could bring this vibe back into my household.
I need to get over this.
People always tell you to don’t hold grudges, get over it, move on, ect. But I don’t hear any advice as to how. So here are three things that helped me to calm down:
1) Accepting the possibility that I was wrong.
Sometimes we balk at things because there’s a hurtful truth to be found in them. Embrace your character flaw and use that anger to strengthen your weakness.
2) Realizing I had spent entirely too much time on this.
Your time is too valuable to spend in anger. Designate a close friend to vent to. Warn them of the impending bitchfest first, though. Once you get it all off your chest, take a deep breath, and leave it off! Don’t re-hash the same points over and over again trying to demonstrate how right you were. If you were right, it will shine through. If you were wrong, hopefully you’ve chosen your friends wisely enough that they will check you on some nonsense.
3) At the end of the day Love wins.
I swear to you, if no one is dead then it’s not that serious. Nothing is beyond fixing once you learn to forgive.
Good luck and remember it’s okay if you stumble through things, life is practice.
5 Things I’ve Learned this Week from Sloppy People
I consider myself very lucky. I have a fairly easy job and work with fairly decent people. It’s that rare once in awhile treat of a shift with the office’s disgruntled-ball-of-nerves that makes it all truly rewarding though. I always come away with a new life lesson. Tell me what you think of these leave-it-to-beaver gems:
1.) Strangers aren’t your friends. They are strangers. Be wary.
At the beginning of any relationship is that critical getting-to-know-you phase. This is the time in friendship building where you learn about the other person; that sometimes awkward journey through their likes and dislikes, personality quirks, and overall demeanor. THIS IS NATURAL AND NEEDS TO HAPPEN! Random Toms, Dicks, and Harrys should not know that you do side-work for the mafia, enjoy auto-erotic asphyxiation on the weekends, or do eight-balls during your lunch break. This knowledge will develop over time. Lesson: Out-of-the-blue confessions to people who haven’t earned your trust/respect is only fodder for future gossip.
2.) Respect the separation of Work and Home.
If your spouse didn’t put his/her hands on you, then there’s really no need for anyone to know about anything going on at home. I’m single, the best I can do is tell you how awesome life is without a husband and kids. Lesson: If you are going through some things, tell your friends and if you aren’t sure who they are see No. 1 above.
3.) Stop bitchin’.
I’m so guilty of this! I will complain to anyone willing to listen just for the opportunity to open my big mouth. After eight hours of hearing someone bellyache over a molehill, I apologized to all my co-workers and started life anew on a fresh path! To all my fellow complainers there are two things you should know: a) No one gives a damn. Seriously, no one cares about how screwed up things are with the leadership or about the schedule or “how things should be done around here!” Just stop it. Just. Stop. It. 2) The complaint more than likely has nothing to do with you and you are just adding your outside-lookin-in two cents. I’m certain that the saying “adding my two cents in,” is a testament of how much an opinion is really worth… So Ms. Tiara, from this day forth you will not shoot off at the mouth about things you aren’t 100% on and you will not bitch about things that take a phone call to fix or things that can’t be fixed. Lesson: I got 99 problems and yours ain’t one.
4.) Negativity is draining
I can understand not being into different things, new places, and/or fresh faces…On second thought no, I really can’t understand that. At all. Lesson: If your first response is usually “no I don’t do that” followed by “what is that?” Just shhh. Shh. Trust me. Shh.
5.) Real badasses do alot of punching not talking.
People can’t create their own reputations, their actions speak for them. You can gab all day about what you would have done or how you don’t take any shit but #WeDon’tBelieveYou. The proof is in the pudding and until I hear from someone else that you were all up in so-and-so’s face I’m just going to smile and nod while reading the latest issue of VIBE. Lesson: Quiet dogs bite hard #mosdef
So, did you recognize yourself in any of these examples? If you did, what are you going to do to change? Are there any other sloppy people habits that annoy you? Tell me about them.