Glucose is the form of sugar that travels in our bloodstream to fuel the mitochondrial furnaces responsible for our brainpower. Glucose is the only fuel normally used by brain cells. Because neurons cannot store glucose, they depend on the bloodstream to deliver a constant supply of this precious fuel.
This blood sugar is obtained from carbohydrates: the starches and sugars we eat in the form of grains and legumes, fruits and vegetables. (The only animal foods containing a significant amount of carbohydrates are dairy products.) Too much sugar or refined carbohydrates at one time, however, can actually deprive our brain of glucose, depleting its energy supply and compromising our brain’s power to concentrate, remember, and learn. Mental activity requires a lot of energy.
Our brain uses energy to think and to tell the body what to do. It uses more energy than any other organ of the body. The more you think the more energy you use. Do not be a lazy thinker. You must eat the right food if you want to think to your highest level. The brain will let you know when you are not being good to it. Not only will you not feel good, you will not act so great either. This need for energy, at times, will cause your mind to tell you things you do not need to hear, such as, I want some more even when you have had enough. And this not just with food, other pleasures can cause this as well.
The brain is the real pleasure organ. And it tells us when we are hurting and in pain, which we will do most anything to stop. But find it difficult to say no to what feels good. We were designed that way for a reason. Without pleasure, there would be no us. We would not do as much as we do to make more of us. As we know, though, too much of a good thing is not good. This is when pain shows up with its role to let us know that something is wrong.
It reminds me of a song from back in the day that goes like this: Do it Do it, Do it to you are satisfied, whatever it is go ahead and Do it. Back then, it was hard to know when you had enough, more always seemed just about right. It is not—should not— be so hard today; we know much more now than what we knew then. That is, when we use our mind wisely.
When our mind tells us what we are looking for is somewhere else, we will not see it where it is. Likewise, you will not know what a thing is if you are expecting it to look one way and it does not. And, yes, as I am sure most of you have come to know, it can be this way with people. There are things that exist that we do not see. We cannot see what we do not know. How would we know it when we saw it? An open mind wants to know. There is never so little time that we have no time to learn.
There are times when we may think wistfully of the past and entertain in our mind what is going to happen in the future. This is an urge to be where it is not possible for us to be. One time has passed and the other is yet to come. The mind is focused where it should not. We can only get there from here, not from where the mind is. There is not a thing the mind can do without you. We should focus on that part of our life we can do something about, today is the day. What we can do for the future is face it. For the past, we have what we have done. We learn from it.
The more we think of the past and future the less time we have to think of the present. Do not concern yourself with time you no longer have and a place you will not be. We should do what we can with the only time we have. Time for the past is no more. The future when we get there will be the present. We should not use the time we have where there is no measure. We travel with time not past it. Nor can we go back to it. Our mind can go there, but we cannot.
The best way to reach our goals is by a step, by step process. There are only three different steps you can take to get there. They are the first, next and last. Going backwards will not get you there, unless you then go forward. And going sideways will only keep you on the level that you are on. You take the three steps to make it to where you are going a step at a time until you get to where you want to go. This way you know how to do it and it will serve you well to reach your next goal. When you do not do all the things you should do, to do what you want to do, what you do will not be enough. Any step skipped leaves a void and you will not be certain how you got to where you are. And it is a place where you could easily fall. There is no you would know all that it takes to get the job done. You can only get there from here. It can be done no other way. The distance to our goals is not as important as the steps we take to get there. How we think our thoughts is what decides the path that we take in our life.
When you think you have done all you can and know to do to be all that you can be there is more thinking to do. I describe this as not knowing your full strength and worth. How can you ever know how much more you have to give? You cannot. It is simple; though, some of us will not see it because we are not willing to believe. We can learn if we listen. You have to listen to learn and learn to listen. Now, what do you believe? Are you listening to the words that you read. If you are not, you must learn how to listen and listen to learn to know what your world is telling you. You have to listen to what you read if you want to “think,” what you read. Listen to what is said to you and listen to your Self. When we are born, we do not know how to listen. It is an acquired skill. You first hear, and then you listen. When we listen, we feel the sound of our thoughts.
To hear is not to listen. It is not the same. It takes no effort to hear. This is if you want to or not. To hear is one of the senses. It is there by nature and has no on and off switch. To listen is not a sense it is a skill. If you want to listen, it must be what you want to do.
You will not hide your true feelings for long. Some try to do so by self-control. This is not the answer. It takes an effort that pits your mind against your own Self to do so. Life is all about being who you are, the real you. The Self will not be controlled, for long. Any effort to do so will last for a short time. At which point your control will lose its grip and your hold will give way. That is when we will act the way we really feel. This is what you are trying to hide when you use self-control. It happens when a thing you have worked for is at stake and it is close at hand. If it does or not, what is for sure, you will lose self-control at some time or place. You must strive to be self-aware, that you will not lose once you have it. To be self-aware, is to know who you are. It is your core. It is the Self.
The mind can be just like a misbehaving child.
It was as if I would be hearing silent words. What else could it be. A voice in my head telling me to do what I did not know I wanted to do. I would just do what ever came to mind. This it seems without any thought at all. The thing is, I was just not giving myself enough time to think. When I would do what I should not do, to say that I was sorry would be to say I was wrong. That was a thing I found hard to do. I would promise myself I would not do it again. I meant it, until the next time. And there was always a next time. I tried to take charge of what I would say and do. I did this by trying to control myself. It did not work.
My mind would not let me see myself in a good light. I was not aware of me. Who am I supposed to be? Who is this looking back at me when I look in the mirror? Is it a nephew or a son, or a smart child or just a mannish boy. Maybe, I was a surprise. A mistake no one knew what to do with. I could not control my thoughts. They were taunting me day and night. I was the aim of my discomfort, and I could not share it nor pass it on. We will not control that which we do not understand. If we understand, we do not need control.
We can control some things, but not our Self. We must learn to live with, not control, ourselves. Self-control should not be the goal. There are limits on how long we can keep ourselves in check. When you feel you must control what you might say or do, you have to be vigilant at all times. It will let you down when you need it most. When we know ourselves well we do not need Self, control. The Self does not need to be controlled. Nor can it be. Self, control will give way and one time it is too many.
There are reasons why we let things distract us. This is if we know it or not. When a thing distracts us, it can be good or it could be bad. It all depends on our thoughts. If a thing distracts you when you have good thoughts, it is not good. If a thing distracts you, when your thoughts are not good it is a good thing. What you do next makes the difference. When we find a thing to be attractive to us, a connection has been made. It is by way of a preference that we have. And it is a thing we like that has a strong pull. You must decide what it means to you. Our preferences are based on how we view the wants in our life. They are subject to change as our mind does.
What distracts some the most is when they think of what others might think of them. Then they try to change things about themselves. They try to change how they look, how they dress and how they do what they do. A Change in makeup will not change who you are. The Self is your makeup. It is the soul of a person, it is who you are and it does not change. New makeup is not what you need. An overhaul of how you think and how you feel is what you need. How we feel will change how we act and view the world around us.
Let how you act be the face that you show the world. Do not let how you look speak for you. It is only meant to be a compliment to who you are. Makeup and a getup will not keep you up. When how you act does not match your inner Self, it creates pressure. You have to try to act the way you look. The Self can only come out when the outside is in. How you feel, then, depends on how you look and it grows with time. It is how you think that does not allow you to be the real you. We have done too much when what we do cause us to act and look like who we are not.
There are things that disrupt the flow of our thoughts. We rather they did not. They do not distract from what we do, these things disrupts what we are doing. Disrupt and distract are not the same. They are not of equal magnitude. One is merely being interfered with. The other is to have your attention drawn away from what you are doing. Then there is a reminder, which can be useful and serve a good purpose when still needed. But when not can be a disruption. It depends on if it was turned on when it should have been turned off. This will happen when we let ourselves be reminded still, when we no longer need to be. Does not matter what you are doing; “turn it off” when there is no longer a need. An example would be if you left the alarm on when you have no reason to get up.
On a more serious note is when we allow ourselves to be reminded of things long past that serve no useful purpose in our life today. A memory from our childhood can be one of them. Though, I have found that a reminder is just what you need when you want to make sure to remember.
Many of us are confused by the thought of love and easily fall prey to its allure. When you are weak, the sound you hear may not be so clear. You hear what you want to hear and see what you want to see, not always what you should. You cannot love someone who does not love you. How could you. That is not how true love works—this is what I believe.
If hurt comes to you from what I do, what I have for you is not love. And what you have for me it is not what it is thought to be. There are many things that love is not, and only one that it is. There is no substitute for where love should be. You cannot buy it, you cannot sell it and you cannot create it on your own. The source has to be compatible with the need. You must feel love for you, to love me. You cannot be in love when you do not think it, feel it and act it. No matter if you say it again and again it does not make it so.
To love what hurts you cannot be love. You do not hurt the one you love, and you cannot love the one who hurts you. The things we lead ourselves to believe have no end. Love does not hurt. When love is not there, the place where it should be will not be left empty. Hurt will fill its place.
Who are we when we shed our garments and our “face?” It is we. I will not be true in what I do, if you are not true in what you do, to me. If I think I love you, and you have not told the truth, then my love is a lie.
Do You Know Your Place
We must know where we belong, if not we are lost. There are things a society must have in place for us to thrive and grow. Life would not be the same without them. The means and use of its own tools to function is one of them. One such tool for all groups is the use of symbols and labels. We must use labels that we know by shapes and words to make sense of our world. We will not have a thought of what a thing is if it does not have a label. Without one, you would not know. Nor will we know its purpose.
We use labels to know what we are doing. It all began with life and the world, as we know it. We were born with the instinct. This is so that we could survive in this new world. It is said by some, that they do not have a place. And they refuse to be labeled or “put in their place.” This is a wrong way to think. If you do not have a place, you do not have a place to be. Of course, we are all some place. Although, it may not be the place we want to be. We were born to belong, to fit in, not to be alone. We all have our own place that we only have to find. You will know it when you find it, because you will feel it.
If you think you have no place, that it is somehow an insult, it will only cause you harm. Just take a moment to think what you are saying when you say this. We all have a place starting in our mother’s womb. It comes with a label that tells who we are. It will tell where our place is in the order of our birth, as well. This does not change. There are labels that we have that will change as we change. This is over time as our roles in life change. When we feel that we do not have a place, we will get less from the place we are in now. And when we move on, we take less with us and have less to work with where we are going.
When you are not content with your place, change your label and your place will change. This is done by changing the way you think. Some go back to school. Others make sure to fill out the space they are in. Getting the most from what they have. You change the way you think by being aware of how you think. Everyone has a place and that place is where you want to be. No one can misplace you but you. Each of us defines who we are. The future is in our hands. Even with its ebb and flow of life. Know what it is you see when you look. I am who I have been looking for. Who are you?
Is it Real or is it Just an Illusion
Now here is the rest of the story. The middle-class, which is actually the credit class, is an invention to generate wealth for those on top and to serve as a buffer or a kind of protection against those on the bottom rung of the social and economic ladder. It is an artificial class supported by the credit industry. There can be no other logical reason for it to exist. And because there is no foundation in financial reality it is just a tool to be used when the job calls for it. If the lower class is getting restless call out the middle class, when more money is needed at the top, you do the same. The so-called middle class has been led to believe that they can, with hard work and determination, live the American dream. But what happens when the credit runs out? We are now finding out what that means.
You are on your way to the poor house. You have been deceived by the credit monster. It doesn’t whisper, it shouts that you can have it all just make sure you keep a good credit score and some kind of a job. With the strategy fully in place, the money handlers aim was to change the mindset from a save for what you can afford to a spend what you do not have way of thinking. To keep it all going the marketeers keeps the consumer goods* dangling in front of our eyes. With the same old slogan ringing in our ears; you must have, you cannot do without, new and improved. And when the economy falters, as it inevitably will, it all comes tumbling down for those who were really never up. It was all just an illusion, now you see me, now you don’t.
*Consumer goods are products that are purchased for consumption by the average consumer. Alternatively called final goods, they are the end result of production and manufacturing and are what a consumer will see on the store shelf. Clothing, food, automobiles and jewelry are all examples of consumer goods.
The Fire This Time
“The Negroes of this country may never be able to rise to power, but they are very well placed indeed to precipitate chaos and ring down the curtain on the American dream.” This is a quote taken from the James Baldwin’s book, The Fire Next Time.
And so it was.
Just a short four years later, in the nation’s Capital, I would be standing in the midst of what seem like hell on earth. Some were running stumbling and falling. Others held on to all that they could as they ran in and out of the shops and stores. More than a few made sure there would be nothing left to burn. Even the bricks were ablaze and crumbling. They were all ages, sizes and shapes, but the one thing they had in common, they were all Black. The area was off-limits to us in the military if not a part of the operation, but I figured out a way around the restriction. I would don my government issued fatigues—our green non-dress uniform—to blend in.
Armed soldiers and military personnel were shouting orders but no one seem to be listening. They took no steps to stop the protestors/rioters. Their orders were to stand by, with weapons pointed down. Even as the buildings continued to burn, in places a corridor of flames, they stood by. The heat was intense, only matched by the intensity of the expressions on the faces of the young, and old alike, who were carting off as much as they could carry. It was a free for all. Though there was no doubt in my mind that some of them were there because of their anger. Dr. Martin Luther King had just been assassinated by the system in the form of James Earl Ray. You could expect no less. Oh the irony, when all the smoke cleared and the flames had been doused the guided as well as the misguided were left living among the ashes. The rage had given in to despair. The Black low-income neighborhoods had been reduced to ruin.
Just a few months before his death, Dr. King and leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) held a meeting to plan and organize a Poor People’s Campaign for the coming spring in Washington, D.C. Organizers intended for the campaign to be a peaceful gathering of poor people from communities across the nation. They would march through the capital and visit various federal agencies in hopes of getting Congress to pass substantial anti-poverty legislation. They planned to stay until some action was taken.
The Poor People’s Campaign did not focus on just poor black people but addressed all poor people. As history records, before their plans could be realized, Dr. King was cut down by an assassin’s bullet. Although feeling the sorrow of his death, a decision was made to carry on with the campaign. On May 12, 1968, the first wave of demonstrators arrived in Washington. One week later, Resurrection City was built on the Washington Mall. This was a ramshackle settlement of tents and shacks to house the protesters. And as I learned firsthand, to call it housing is being generous, at best.
This time I decide I want to take a close look at the other side of the protest, though still up close, but more personal. I had to focus my mind to take in what my eyes were seeing. Some wandered about with a sort of dazed look as just waking up to a bad dream, while others seemed to seek solace and refuge in their primitive accommodations. It was clear, to me, that most were taking on the symptoms of defeat. It would not take much—under these conditions—to become demoralized. People were hungry; there was not much food or at least an orderly way of providing it to those who needed it most, the young and the old. And there was mud all over and if you did not have boots, and most did not, you had to secure your shoes some place and do your moving about in bare feet. It was a mess. The mud seemed knee-deep in places. This was the heart of the “Poor Peoples” encampment. I went as I go to many other places. I was just curious, not much more than that. But what I saw caused me to return.
It was, to put it simply, a hopeless situation no matter how well intended. The King has died. There was a leadership vacuum; it could not be overcome. The best that I could do was pick several out of the multitude to take to the base for a hot meal and a break from the drudgery of living in such inhospitable conditions. And in two short weeks, I would be discharged from the Air Force and out in the “real world” myself. How was I to know though, that Chicago would be my next destination where destiny would wave its unseen hand, again. I did not know if I was creating my own destiny or it was being laid out for me. Either way, I would be there to see it all. It was not a plan, it just happened.
This is Chicago the time and place that the SCLC would try to resurrect the Poor People Campaign. It was not to be. The eyes of the nation were focused on the Democratic National Convention, the “other” event. Fate had dealt its hand and the cards had been played. It was inescapable, the end of the civil rights era was drawing to a close. There would be a last gasp and a whimper from the Black Power movement to be replaced years later with the rap and hip-hop culture. The sign of greeting is no longer Soul Brother, it has been replaced by my nigger. As it is plain to see, it was a turn by degrees for the worst. If they could only see us now. Time stands still as life moves on. Now here we are.
August 26 to August 29, 1968
I came here to Chicago to find a job, and see my father for the first time. Both of the things I did do. Even so, my mind would not let me rest. I could not resist the draw of the action on the streets leading up the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The convention was held during a year that would be remembered as a wakeup call and a warning to our nation. How easily it seems for us to forget.
Headline 2012: The Pentagon Is Offering Free Military Hardware to Every Police Department in the US
It was a social revolution with no blueprint. The Viet Nam war was in full force, and American “politics” had become a dangerous game in my lifetime. First, there was Dr. Martin Luther King on April 4 and the civil unrest that followed. Two months after Dr. King’s death on June 5, as if timed by fate, came the murder of Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Was all of this some kind of test? Yes, it was, and the grades are still coming in. For me, it was as if I had been programmed—I did not think of this then—to be an up close witness to the contest of what is and what is not. I had to be there and did not know it, and had no choice. I quit my job not really knowing why.
My 21st birthday marked the beginning and what soon followed is best described as police brutality and all out “war” on the protestors. It was people control, a step to the future that could not be taken back. There were no hot burning flames of the riots in Washington. The soldiers in Washington had been ordered to stand at ease. It appeared that Mayor Daley had issued orders to “attack and destroy.” And they were followed to the letter. Even bystanders were not safe from the swinging batons if they could not run fast enough.
There were indiscriminate beatings it mattered not male or female, young or old they were routinely clubbed bloody. It was as close as you could get to gender equality. No one was exempt. One scene that was hard to put out of my mind was that of a young female protestor—with blood streaming down her ashen face—being dragged by her long blond hair; she was in shock. At this point, she had gone limp the “fight” had been beaten out of her. The only sign of life was a grimace and a moan when her head was allowed to hit the pavement. The cop only let go when he realized the cameras were trained on him. Up to then, it was “caveman.”
It was not the Chicago that I had come to love. I would soon be on my way home to Arkansas, I had seen enough. I now had the space to distance myself from the images in my mind.
To be self-aware, is to know who you are. The Self is our core, the essence of you. It is where we go to be ourselves. A place we would never leave on our own. Our power and strength comes from there. If your mind and the ways of life have kept you away, it is a choice to go back. It is not easy to do. That is, unless it is what you want. And you have to want to above all else.
How we think, feel and act comes after we are born. It is not born with us. It is not the Self. These are things that make up our personality. It is the way we show the world who we think we are. In other words, what we think of ourselves. Though not always true. It is how we act, and may change as we change the way that we think. The Self will not change. It is the you that was created for you. Your Self is your own, given to each one of us. None is the same. Life evolves, but the Self does not change, it does not shrink, it does not grow. It can be smothered. Then, of course, you will not be able to express yourself. The way we think is what smothers the Self. It will not let the real one surface. The self is there for all of us to be. It is not about how one behaves. That has more to do with our personality.
Personality, unlike the Self, is a group of character traits that help to define who we are. It is this grouping that is the most affected by the seeds of doubt. Doubt is the root cause of disordered thinking. Our thoughts, feelings and how we act change, but we do not. Of course, that is if there is no conflict, which would be with the Self. One of the ways that the things we believe in are shown is through our character. It is how we are viewed by others. As well, it is part of us that tells what we think about ourselves. It will vary at times. Though it will only be the real you when it match your Self.
We are born with a map of who we are. It makes up the person that is you. The person we were meant to be. It is the core of the human being and does not change. As with all things, the physical side of us does change with time. Our genes, of course, determine how we will look. We have no say in this. It is part of our creation. We do have a say in the life we create. As does who we create our offspring with. And this would be the other parent, the co-creator of this new life.
There are some who will say that a person has changed, that they do not act the same. They may have changed how they act, though they are not different. Not a thing has changed about who they are. They are still who they have always been. What has changed is how the person thinks, feels and act. The core of their being, which is the soul, has not changed. You cannot sell it and you do not lose it. It is the real you. You cannot be who you are not and will tire out trying. Yet, there are many who do try. Your disordered thinking is what keeps you from being real. It keeps your Self from shining through. This creates an image that is not who you are. I am the one who I have been looking for. Not the one you know.