Compassion without Comparison

Our country does not have as much of stave problem as we think. What we have is a society that has a lack of compassion and a society that by in large is void of honest dialogue.

Far too often in this country when someone says I like cheeseburgers with ketchup the person sitting next to them has to say so you do not like chicken sandwiches. Black Lives Matters, while I do not care for their antics, is not an anti-police, anti-white group it is simply a pro-black life group. 

Blue lives matter has taken the angle that people who are black lives matter do not support police. There is nothing more false. 

The issue is that there is a notion that Black people do not like police. When black pepper typically are deathly afraid of the results of interactions that occur with police.

If we start to be compassionate about our neighbor one day we can work together to fix this. I saw a great analogy it went similar to this. If Joe and his family sit down for dinner. Then everyone gets to eat besides Joe. Joe then says Joe is hungry. Then his family who all have plates say we are hungry, but keep eating, they now have a standpoint, but Joe still does not have any food.
That is what the people of color. Be it black, Latino or otherwise feel about our interactions with police. We are not saying a white life or Asian life is not as important. We are simply saying we want our life to be valued and spared at the same rate as a white life in the same circumstances of police interaction. 

I feel extremely sorry for the slain officers, injured officers and the individuals subjected to gun fire at a peaceful rally, but my heart is heavy that yet another black man has had his life take and his family’s life forever altered. Altered by over aggressive police officers, who more than likely will never see the inside of a jail cell. A cell that if any of the black men murdered were found guilty of for the petty crimes they were accused of, may have seen should they have been over sentenced and convicted.

Sadly my soapbox falls on deaf ears. My life has a better chance of being reduced to a hashtag via a police interaction than it does at the hands of a gun by a black man. Our politicians are inactive and our police departments will not address the systematic training and disciplinary controls that are not working! What is even worse, when the President assembled a task force to address this, those suggestions have not been pushed by local leaders, activists or civilians.

Our issue is not racism as much as it is a lack of compassion. I pray for the safety of my black brothers and sisters as I do for the safety of everyone! 🙏🏾

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The Walk

I have been in LA exactly one week as of today. Many people may not know this, but I got rid of my car in 2015 in order to save for the move I knew I would make.

One of my goals was to get a bike and really live a less is more lifestyle (we will see how long that lasts). Well I decided to uber to the gym, about 1.5 miles, from where I am currently staying.
About 10:30pm on Wednesday I finished working out and playing basketball. I did what I have done for several days now, I proceeded to walk home from the gym for extra cardio and in that space I also talk to God and clear my head. 

While walking I see a young Hispanic woman who is homeless and settling in for the night, in her car on Santa Monica Boulevard. She is reading a book with, what looks like a comforter and she is no older than 25. This seemed like a routine to her. She was not crying and she did not look upset, she looked fairly well kept.

That image did something to me, it jared me and I really felt overwhelming compassion in seeing someone so young in that position. Surely I am not too much better than she is, nor do I currently have a place to call my own. Though I did not know her story I could only imagine what brought her to that place. 

It made me think about what my journey may look like in LA. Part of me would like to think I would never be homeless, but the other part of me the part that has survived and lived despite many obstacles says, “Keep living”.

The other thing that seeing this young lady sparked was a refocused energy and an initiative I would eventually like to start. One day my hope is create programs to help transition people who are homeless into financially stable working Americans. Homelessness is not all about the want or drive to find a job, but often times the circumstances that lead many there.

I know some of us pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and made our own way, but for someone like myself I’m cognizant of the opportunities I both worked for and the ones that were provided to me. 

I shared this story, because it is a reality for so many and secondly to encourage everyone to find a way to help someone. Whether that be forwarding job/career information or referring someone you know is a good fit for a job (even if they are better qualified than you). 

Be a light and be a blessing to someone else.