Family First

11:58 PM

Role Model. The cliche that "the rich get richer, while the poor get poorer" does have some significance. For the absence of a role model in the lives of many children today affects their view of success. Much more opportunities are available to those that have the resources to make their respective situations better, while youths in underprivileged contexts are unable to grasp beyond their reach.

A major part of growing up is spent dreaming. During my childhood, I would dream of a place where I could be whatever I wanted to be as long as I set my mind to it. This statement in and of itself is vague because without a source of guidance or a real figure to create that sense of reality, your eyes never open up to the world. These elusive obstacles are what prevent people from taking action and cause them to otherwise settle.

I am the first in my family to attend law school. Listening and meeting Barack Obama about one year ago woke me up from my dream. I knew what I wanted my contribution to the world to be; however, I did not know how I was going to tangibly go about that. In the sense of the above analogy, I was poor. I would have settled for a position that would have prevented me from positively affecting the lives of others because I was doing only what I knew since I did not know better.

In order to levy this agenda, I must begin by being a leader within my family. I am a son, brother, nephew, cousin, and Godson. Before I can impact a much greater stage, I must begin with my family first.

Not To Be Confused With

2:52 PM

Heal South Africa is an initiative that I have taken part of in order to increase awareness of the injustices to women abroad. Simultaneously, the effort has restructured the goals and objectives of my career.

I have been labeled as a model, defined as one who represents or employed to display merchandise. Few are aware of the work-for-hire effects that this places on the individual. A meeting yesterday at the Chrysler Building allowed me to explore the interchangeable characteristics that models share. The reality is that looks are interchangeable and your look is at the discretion of another individual whom we surrender "power" to. Power is exemplified when attending a casting/audition and the "director" on the other side of the desk takes a look at your pictures while making gestures, often times not in your favor, only to say "thank you". Then, the effect of rejection takes over and the resiliant ones muster up energy and throw their efforts at the next casting, while others dwell with frustration and seek to improve some "flaw" that someone else identifies; yet the power vests with them.

The point conveyed was that branding, an element borrowed from the field of marketing, establishes either a person or an object as the lucrative entity that in turn attracts capital. Take Lady Gaga for example, the result of strategic planning to create a modern-day Madonna. Her talent is unquestionable but more are attracted to the figure that dresses distinctly different from the norm, a brand.

I am not a model, but a person equipped with a legal education who everyday strives to leave an impact on the world surrounding me for others to take example from.

On Another Note

2:59 PM

Below is an e-mail that I received a week ago that continues to add new meaning each time I read it. For those that feel misplaced and often times find themselves headed towards an unintended direction, the following offers a bit more clarity.

Derek Jeter is the famous shortstop of the New York Yankees.
Imagine if tomorrow they told him he had to become a pitcher, he most likely would be average or worse,

Stephen Spielberg is one of the world's greatest film directors. Imagine if tomorrow they told him he had to make his living as a chef, most likely he'd be average or worse,

Warren Buffett is the world's greatest investor.
Imagine if tomorrow they told him he'd have to make his living as a golfer, most likely he'd be average or worse,

Remember this:
We were all born for a certain ASSIGNMENT.
A 'position' in life that our unique talents and skills can serve the greatest amount of people and reap us incredible prosperity.

The closer we are to the POSITION, the place where success is practically guaranteed, the greater our likelihood of massive success.

But, no, no, no.
I say, 'Hold on Gem.'
Why do most people never aim to locate their ASSIGNMENT, the PLACE that their success can come naturally and in great abundance?

Here's my answer.
'Gem, what do you mean?"

Let me explain.
Most people don't INVEST the time necessary to locate their position they were born for.

Most people don't INVEST enough in themselves to cultivate their natural strengths.

Most people dont INVEST enough in discovering how to create an opportunity based on their talent, skill and ability.

Imagine this.
You're 91 years old. You're sitting on the front porch of your home.

You start thinking about so many of the great things in your life, but then a regret finds its way into your mind. You get sad because you never turned something you enjoyed into an empire of success. You rock back on your chair and you sigh. A tear could form, if you let it.

You never jumped on the bus called 'Next Level Express'.

You were born with a gift, wrapped and all. A unique gift.
Now it's your job to find it, build it, share it, or you can enjoy the regrets on your front porch.

That decision is yours, not mine. Will you sit on the bench or step up to the plate and hit one out of the park?
(Batter up)

Spike Lee told me the saddest thing in life is to have great talent and never use that talent, living a life that never allowed you to reach your dreams when everything you needed was inside you the whole journey.

Unlearning Stereotypes

1:46 AM

As part of moral obligation to give back to a community that I believe has raised me and further has the potential to affect the majority and their respective outlook, I volunteer under the guidance of the New York Civil Rights Coalition in an endeavor called 'Unlearning Stereotypes'. Weekly at the New York High School of Economics & Finance, I probe the minds of young adults and their varied perspectives on the role that stereotypes play in their numerous relationships.

Throughout this endeavor, I have chanced the recurrence of a common theme - "perception is reality". Our society is inclined to reinforce the cliche 'don't judge a book by its cover'; however, such a threat exists almost in every situation because it is this initial representation that holds the all end all for future applications. Examples that society offers us were presented before the students:
  • Chris Brown v. Rihanna (Despite prior acclaim, are we in a position to judge character?)
  • appearance v. intellect (Is presentation everything or a sub. factor ie: in an interview?)
  • interracial marriages (2010 relevant?)
  • affirmative action (Are AA still at a disadvantage v. do AA require 'imposed' advantages?)
  • President Obama (Is fact of "first black president" relevant?)

Issues of such are not at the forefront of our minds; however, they subconsciously affect decisions, actions and reactions. Highlighting and eliminating these unwarranted biases is a fundamental goal of the program; however, there is no right answer behind the discussion but to rather incite just that. Granted the days of civil unrest no longer exists; however, is there a subtle protest that ensues within one's mind?