Friday, October 29, 2010

Start Where You Are

Last week, I was angry and ready to blog about my anger. I had decided to blog about the perception of Black women, especially in regards to dating and marriage today. But I am no longer angry. I am sad. So that blog will have to wait and I think the forum for that will be my blog (I have yet to really use that that should help).

As I was saying, today I am sad. I was leaving one of my sites (that houses homeless women and children) and a tenant approached me as I was walking to my car. Although there are two social workers on site and I am not one (my duties there are more toward paperwork than people), she approached me to talk about her struggles finding a job. She told me that she doesn’t have a high school diploma, a GED and she has felonies. She’s trying to get a job.

We discussed her getting her GED and she told me that she reads at a 5th grade level and would like to get better at it for her son. She tries to read to him and doesn’t want him to know that she can’t really read.

When I left the site, I was very sad. It made me think of poverty and its effects. Especially when it comes to the cycle of poverty. Higher crime, poor health/medical care, developmental delays, poorly funded schools and substandard education, poor nutrition and eating habits, etc. etc. It repeats itself and becomes generational.

I speak about love a lot. I had a blog about it (see previous posts). Today, I was moved to spread love. What could I do to make a positive change in her life and/or the lives of others?

I talk about spreading love alot and I believe that compassion for others is paramount to manifesting God in human beings. This incident made me feel that I need to be doing more.

There are quite a few things that I have identified as MUST DO's for me. I MUST read and learn. I MUST love my neighbor as myself. I MUST be the best mom that I can be, as I believe that I have been entrusted to guide two souls on their journey in this life. I MUST be a a good friend to those I encounter. I MUST acknowledge, love, nurture,respect & accept
the value of a woman and human being. I MUST also help others wherever possible to do the same.

This incident compelled me to action. The first thing I did was call the Literacy Center of West Michigan to begin volunteering. Its something that I should have done a long time ago and had always planned to do. I am a lover of the written word and I believe that it is a most useful means of knowledge and discovery. I am also trying to get our site to be a tutoring site for them in the future.

In addition, I thought of my old sunday school teacher, Mr. Duren. He used to have Straight Talk for teenagers. It allowed us to get together to discuss whatever was on our minds. I thought it was wonderful at the time and it made me think about these women at my site.

So I am starting something similiar. This group will meet every other Wednesday night from 6-8 pm. It would be a place for the ladies to talk about their concerns - life, hardships, children, dating, etc. Talking about concerns can be helpful in working through feelings and experiences, recognizing strengths and exploring alternative solutions to every day and real life problems. Additionally, I envision the group being one additional means for the ladies to grow in terms of personal development. I want the group to be a safe place for discussion without fear of judgment or reprisals.

There is more that I can do. And there is more for you, as well.

Please take a moment today to find at least one avenue to help someone in your community today.

You may already be involved with something and if so, I’d like to thank you for your compassion and ability to live love.

It’s never too late to start.

there are more sites, but these few can help you get started. or start your own.

Peace & blessings to you!
Spread love


  1. I think it's wonderful that you have been touched to teach, guide and counsel. I wish more would do it. With all of the intelligence and creativity we have, my goodness!!! We would be unstoppable. However it is important to give and share. Love. God is love. How powerful could we be I we all just reached back to encourage one person. Amazing. I too benefitted from Straight Talk and the love from Mr. Duren. During that time in my life, I was on the brink of suicide. I could have ended it all. but those talks and thy group kept me going. It helpede to see that there was hope. I lived for Yhirsdays. Just imagine, you could be saving a life! I am all for it. I will do the same. I will reach out to someone and give them what I know they need, someone to listen, someone who cares!

    Be Blessed,


  2. Martha, that is it in a nutshell - God is Love..and its important to give and share! I thought that Straight Talk was so wonderful, especially at that time in our life. I think that there are so many people walking around with no outlet for their feelings & has to get toxic if its not released. That's why so many of our ladies at the site have to go to anger management classes.
    Please reach out and share your experiences and how you over came them!!

  3. Great!
    This is a little of topic...I just was reading an article by Beth Richie in the book Words of Fire that discussed a women's group in NY called Battered Minority Women (BMW). She described it as a safe space for women to convene and discuss their issues...I was inspired by these womens courage to congregate but saddened by their acceptance of their situation.
    It takes special people like you to be able to just listen and realize that sometimes that the most help you can provide...
    By the way, I plan on my next tattoo being "love" on the arch of my shoulder...maybe "simplicity" on the other.
    Be encouraged and make it happen as I know you will.
    Love ya Sis!

  4. Love you too LaMoSt :)
    Now, let me read that book next time I come to Chicago.
    You said that you were saddened by their acceptance of their situation and that is exactly how I feel most Tuesdays at the staff meetings. I think that with these women their situation is their reality and they can't think outside of it - yet.
    I love the tattoo ideas


Thank you so much for your comment! Peace & Blessings ;)