“Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
And if the ”radiant stars of love and brotherhood” are shining over our great nation in dazzling beauty, my eyes have been lifted over this past weekend to realize, once again, that racism is alive and well.
On the July cover of Cosmopolitan, a popular women’s magazine, is R&B/Hip Hop star Rihanna. I have to admit that I am not a fan of her music, and I only really know of her from watching Good Morning America, when the Chris Brown scandal was happening. Needless to say, she is a very beautiful girl, and the Cosmopolitan cover is neither overly sexy, nor shocking, or is it in any way, erotic (See Above).
I spent this past weekend at my lake house in North East Georgia. The town close by has Ingles, a Fred’s, a few privately owned stores and restaurants, and well, that’s it. Thursday, at Fred’s (a store similar to Big Lots or an overpriced Dollar Store) I am browsing through the ten whole magazines on the rack. There’s the Inquirer, Sun, an out of date Maxim, among others, but it’s the Cosmopolitan that shocks me. Despite sitting on the top left, the store has it covered.
I was all gung-ho, thinking I was going to find a Playboy behind the beige plastic cover, but I only found disappointment and curiosity.
“Why would they cover that magazine,” I asked my wife.
“Because it says sex on the cover,” she answered.
And at first that made a lot of sense. I guess you wouldn’t want the kids seeing that word, or something.
The next day I hit up Ingles and their broader magazine selection. I’m looking and looking for a pass-the-boredom read and I’m about to give into this teen-zine with Justin Bieber on the cover when I see the Cosmopolitan and it hits me.
If they were going to cover the Cosmopolitan for having the word sex on the cover, so why was the Maxim, with words – have better sex – on the cover, not covered!
Well, I asked why when I returned to Fred’s Saturday. The cashier tells me that they had lot of complaints and threats from people who claimed that by Rihenna’s presence on the cover offended them because she is, well, black.
I became very appalled when the woman told me that the store even tried to drop the magazine until the next issue, but the vendor would not allow it, thankfully.
It is a shame to know that such sickness lives on in small communities such as the one call a second home. Like MLK, Jr., I too look forward to a day when the entirety of humanity will judge an individual’s character not by the color of their skin; nor by religious affiliation, ethnicity, and social status, but rather by deed and action.
But until that day, the dark cloud of hate and prejudice will shower us when we least expect it.
I’m always open to listen to your views, opinions, and stories.
Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes~ Benjamin Franklin(1706-1790); Publisher, Inventor, Scientist, Politician, and Writer.
Dreams. We all have them. Maybe no one better aspired to fill all of his, like old Ben. If you have not ever thought about this: Benjamin Franklin is the only person on American currency who never served as a president. And he is on the largest face dollar of laymen-trade currency to say the least. Why is that? Because he is an example of a person who was not afraid to explore, to fulfill his dreams by working for them. This is not an American History blog about my favorite founding father; however subjective I will afford to be about him.
I have learned a few abstract things today from association with the physical world that I wish to share and I shall digress my day in reverse.
In a conversation I had a few hours ago with a writer who brought up that she was tired of people feeling as though things should be given to them without putting the work into reaching their goal. This reminding of earlier today when I took my son to Water Knob Rock on the Blue Ridge Parkway. My little one is a scout, and working hard to finish up his Wolf Patch. He needed to go out on a trail to finish one of the requirements, so I took him to the closest place I could think of. The winding trail is only half mile, but its elevation starts at over 6,000 ft. and ascends 200 ft. over hot pavement and a very rocky, dried out river bed.
About five minutes into our little hike my little guy, Noah, wanted to give up. I told him, “If you want something you have to work hard for it and not give up. Nothing’s give to you. Walk it out.” I am prior service, Army (Hooah!), and can be a little pushy at times, but only when it’s for his own well-being. After I said this to him, I begun to think of my own dreams; my path as a writer has been an uphill struggle. I took the picture above as I had that very thought. I feel that the picture above says it all about any path in life. The path may be paved with beautiful imagery of the reward all around us, but it’s an uphill struggle with no end in sight. Only an abstract thought of what could lie around the bend. Around the bend could be the end, or success, or as my son learned a dried up, rocky river bed. You just never know what the climb involves, nor if you will succeed.
Even if one succeeds, is there a downhill? The stroll back to the truck a half mile away was just as slippery hard. With desire and hard work, my son saw through his dream today, finishing his last task to gain his patch. He only stopped that one time on the path to idle in his dream before he tried to quit.
Yet he has another year of new tasks on the horizon to become a WEBLOS. A lot of people only get a taste of what they wish to do before giving in, or claim to be posers, shooting lies at the mouth as the lay down in the paths of others like snakes.
I stepped on top of a black snake today before I realized what the hell it was. I knew I felt something wiggling under my feet. It even struck at me, should see my shoe. But, oh, how many times have I done this on a path. This black snake slowed me, as others have in past. To be successful, one has to align themself with other serious people. The writing process may be a lonely process, but the business side is full of competition. Not only are we competitors, we are friends, associates, colleagues, and critics who help one another out on the way. Beware of those snakes who will crawl beneath your feet and bite at your toes. They are neither friend, nor critic. God forbid they get their poisonous fangs in your flesh.
I am only a young, fledgling writer, but I work extremely hard everyday to better myself. I have the same feeling as everyone else: fear of being rejected, fear of being misjudged, afraid of bad criticism; however, I finally realized how much I sat around and looked at the scenery a few months back when I could be submitting my work. If you don’t put on your work clothes (and in our business that’s envelopes, stamps, ect) how do you expect to make it? Well, you can’t.
I really wished that after the Revision Chapter in those college text books was a chapter called Submission, Receiving criticism, and Dealing with Rejection. That’s only in a perfect world.
Bottom Line: If you give up to view the scenery, why bother? Other than writing, there should be a commitment everyday to brush up skills and learn new ones, grey areas you have problems with, time set aside for editing/revision, and to conduct business. Oh yeah, don’t forget to learn a brand new word.