Thursday, June 24, 2010

Debunk the Junk...Then Chunk

I have a shameful addiction…

I – love – reality TV! Any kind, it doesn’t matter – from D-list celebrities attempting to find love, to hard core boot camps, even to Housewives in any region…I’ve got to watch each episode, including the reunion show where there’s bound to be an onstage ambush attacking the upcoming reality star everyone loved to hate (and who will probably have their own reality show in the fall!)

Check out one of my new faves.

Ok, now this is reality tv. But come on, JuneBug Family, is hoarding a little junk really ‘ruining your life,’ ‘embarrassing,’ and a ‘living hell??’ In their cases, it is much more than a stashing a little bit of junk, but I’m sure these monstrous heaps of useless clutter didn’t start out that way. These paralyzing cases of hoarding started out small, as any other problem does. Small stacks of mail on tables. Forgetting to load the dishwasher each night. A couple of shirts missing the dirty clothes hamper. Nothing major, eh? Now those small stacks, forgetful nights, and couple of shirts have turned into a physical blockade, a mental prison, and an emotional captivity.

You would never let it get that out of hand, would you?

Many people, including myself, struggle with clutter in our lives on a daily basis. Clutter, a "confused multitude of things" (WordNetWeb, 2010), can rear its debris-filled head and consume our time, leaving us zapped of our energy, and unable to be productive. Although, there still may be a clear path to our front door, that does not mean our lives are junk-free – it may just mean our junk is revealed in other ways…

  • working excessive hours at your job – more than you are able to or need to
  • running errands for others and neglecting your own responsibilities
  • physically or financially taking care of family members or friends who can take care of themselves
  • over-committing OF yourself – and under-committing TO yourself
  • living in the past – wondering what could have been?
  • feeling guilty about saying ‘no’
  • depression, anxiety, or feelings of inadequacy
…the list could go on!

Each of us knows what is cluttering our lives – draining our time and energy from being productive. In his book, The Ten Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management, Hyrum Smith gives several ‘natural laws’ for managing your life and time. Law 7 states, “we satisfy needs when our beliefs are in line with reality (Smith, 1994).” To reduce the clutter in our lives, we should focus on our needs, which will frame our beliefs and give us rules to live by, shape our behavior, and give us the results we desire.

Life is much more than a quick run-through, it is a one-time opportunity to take full advantage and make the most of your time and potential. What we do (or choose not to do) affects others in the world around you. Our actions will spawn us or those around us to potential greatness. Likewise, our inaction will lead to nothing more than mediocrity.

Let’s define what is cluttering our lives, release it, and begin to live freely!

Here at JBT, we continually strive to find ways to engage our readers by offering unique opportunities to interact. Is there something physically, mentally, or emotionally cluttering you life? Do you barely have enough energy to make it through the week? Are there never enough hours in your day? Are you interested in being more productive? Join us via conference call as Kandice Washington explores taking back your time and energy, as well as introducing you to affordable life coaching options. It will take place on Tuesday, June 29th at 8pm (CST). Please email to sign up and receive conference call access by Monday June 27th.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

So What’s Wrong With Voting for an Unemployed Black Military Veteran (Who's Facing Felony Charges)?

Apparently everything is wrong with it, according to many folks, including leaders in the Democratic Party, members of the media, and Youtubers and commentators throughout the blogosphere. After native South Carolinian Alvin Greene beat Vic Rawl, a well-known former legislator and judge in the state, the Democratic Party flew into an outrage. Immediately, accusations that the Republicans had planted Greene hit the media waves. Now, Vic Rawl and party leaders are suggesting voting machine irregularities may be to blame. See, what’s amazing is that Greene spent very little money and didn’t bother to put out campaign signs or create a website. According to Greene, with the help of his family and friends, he simply called folks and went door to door to average citizens in South Carolina and listened to their thoughts and complaints. What did he hear? That people were fed up with the unemployment situation, that they wanted better healthcare and better education. Rather than seeking to raise dollars, he sought out voters. Oldschool, grassroots campaigning.

Well, both South Carolina’s Democratic Representative Jim Clyburn and the party’s state leader Carol Fowler asked Alvin Greene to withdraw. What are their grounds? They suspect shady origins of the $10,440 Greene paid as a filing fee to the Democratic Party. Greene maintains that the money was two years of savings from his military earnings.

To make matters worse, the man has a felony charge from more than six months ago that has yet to go to court. Of course, the media is treating him as though he is already guilty or has been convicted. The felony charge stems from a case that is dodgy, at best. According to the alleged victim, 19-year old Camille McCoy, while at a campus library at the University of South Carolina, Greene pulled up some sexually obscene images on his computer screen, showed them to her, laughed, and then asked if she’d like to go back to her dorm room with him. Greene will not speak about the case.

So, now that you have all the facts, so to speak, here’s my opinion.

About the alleged crime: personally, I find the scenario creepy, but certainly not warranting a felony charge. I hardly even think a misdemeanor is appropriate in this case.

About his unemployment: so what? In some major U.S. cities, like Detroit, the unemployment rate is as high as 15% and 20% amongst African-Americans. I'd say that makes Greene a pretty typical victim of our recession.

I think that folks are most angry that an everyday, average Joe somehow managed to sneak into the election, which, like all elections, are unofficially reserved for rich and (let’s just be honest) white men with elite educations and no criminal backgrounds. Let’s face it: our Supreme court is dominated largely by Yale and Harvard graduates. Only two justices (one after Kagan is sworn in) are not from one of those universities. For the last twenty years, the White House has been dominated by Yale and Harvard graduates: George H.W. Bush (Yale), Bill Clinton (Yale), George W. Bush (Yale and Harvard), and Barack Obama (Harvard). Greene's Democratic opponent, Vic Rawl, has a law school education. We reserve politics for the wealthy and for those from elite educational backgrounds.

Greene is not uneducated though, having received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of South Carolina in 2000.

But he is, ultimately, the total opposite of those things we've come to expect from our politicians. He's poor, unemployed, black, average. Add to all that his less than clean criminal background, and we can see why the Democrats are so outraged.

As a result of this controversy, I've developed a new slogan for the Democratic Party: a party that stands for “the people” but which refuses to let any of the “the people” stand for themselves. In my view, Alvin Greene is one of the people, ostensibly trying to stand for himself and the people. Yeah, he may not be the most articulate. Yeah, he may not have a squeaky clean background or a fancy education. But the man is an average American. Shouldn’t average Americans have a chance to represent themselves, to enter the world of politics and make a difference?

What are your thoughts on Greene? Are folks just hating on him because he doesn't fit the typical politician profile? Or, do you think folks have a legitimate reason to be concerned?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It Ain't Trickin' If You Got It

It seems our culture is obsessed with glitz and glam, which leaves people (especially young adults) constantly wanting more and more. If it's not buying a new fit, it's an insanely priced Louis Vuitton accessory, a new lacefront, the latest smartphone, or custom rims for the whip. All for what...appearances? Careful, careful 'cause I know your momma told you things aren't always as they seem. Think about it; what does having things really mean, if your bank account is overdrawn, your credit card is maxed out, your child support is late, or the rent is two weeks past due?

Sadly, far too many young adults are chasing a lifestyle instead of chasing their dreams and aspirations. We’re allowing others to define what success means for us with materialism and digging ourselves into holes, living check to check, and repeatedly missing the mark. And tell me just what does society tell you to do in case of an emergency or some unexpected bill emerges, charge it. As the song goes, “It ain’t trickin’ if you got it,” but using credit is a clear indication that you AIN’T got it. As young adults, we’re at critical stages of our lives that will ultimately shape our future. Accumulating debt and spending unnecessarily will only hinder our growth and the opportunities available to us. For instance, more jobs are looking at how we manage our credit, and finance companies bill us more interest for poor credit history. In addition, you can be denied for a higher credit line if you have a negative credit rating.

Well, I am striving for what promoter Langston Carr calls "The Good Life" by pursuing my goals and living within my means in the process. I’d like to think all strivers, including myself, can elevate and live the lifestyles of our choosing as we grow professionally and our wealth increases. In the meantime, I hope our readers here at JuneBug Talk aren’t so fixated and consumed with fantasy and quantifying their existence with things they cannot afford.

Having said all of that, here's lesson #1 for young strivers:

While we're flossin', stuntin', boppin', or whatever you wanna call it these days, let's be certain we're not trickin' ourselves into debt and robbing ourselves of a future.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I Can Do Bad....

I Can do BAD…….. well… you know the rest.

Independence? …… CHECK! …… Strong enough to walk away from a bad situation?....... CHECK! Got a job and can support yourself?..... CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK! Congratulations! You are the ideal, qualified, modern-day woman living in America and have probably proclaimed the phrase “ I Can Do Bad all by Myself."

Now, I know that just about everyone has either used this saying or heard of it before (if it was Tyler Perry’s movies or that song by Changing Faces back in ‘99). Maybe you’re a single mother, just trying to make it on your own with little or no help; maybe your situation with your current guy is going south and you feel that that you’re just better off alone; or maybe you’re so used to being independent and strong on your own, no one else quite fits the bill. Either way you flip this double entendre. Women have adopted it, became empowered by it and will publicly and privately proclaim it.


Ooops.. Ahha ladies… that never occurred to us now did it? While we are so busy ranting and chanting, we sometimes fail to hear how this “women empowered saying” can come across to our men. Well, I’ve gone ahead and gathered a few thoughts from the fellas:

1. Negativity

2. Male Bashing

3. Feminism

4. “ I don’t need a man/ better off without you”

5. You’re probably bad either way/ need to upgrade yourself

6. Bitter old single woman

7. Selfishness

Wow!! Big difference compared to what we are really trying to express to the world huh? But yep it's true: to some men, when they hear this phrase that “aww heck $&#T, here we go” goes up and they are ready to defend and debate you. I know some of you are wondering, “How can a man get THAT impression?” Well, let me break it down for you.

Feminist/I don’t need a man/Male Bashing

I decided to group most of them together due to the nature of each being so similar. At times we tend to express our independence so much that it comes across very sexist. Ladies now let’s take a minute to think about that one. We don’t like it when men act sexist…well ,the fellas feel the same way. They don’t condone feminist ways just as we don’t condone the male chauvinist. Plain and simple as that.

Negative Outlook/ Selfishness/ you probably need an upgrade yourself

It takes two to tangle ladies! Most of the issues within a relationship are not one-sided. A lot of the time when a woman starts to tell her man more and more that she doesn’t need him it appears that she is overlooking/ excusing her part of the wrongdoing and placing all fault on her man! That can be a lot of stress for one person to take, which will bring forth a negative view from both sides of this party. When one party fails to realize his/her faults, no one learns or grows

Single Bitter Old Woman

I had to create a category for this one all its own. Being that I couldn’t decide whether this was more a negative or a feminist case scenario. Bitterness…. Ummmm … well, to put it boldly I believe that bitterness in ANYONE but especially women is one of the Seven Deadly Sins in LIFE let alone a relationship. Point blank period: if you suffer from this you won’t be able to move forward in any of your future endeavors… not to mention relating to a man.

A double entendre this statement is indeed. I’m not saying we women don’t have to the right to proclaim it… shoot…. I feel that if you earned it, then you do have the right to flaunt it. However, we must be mindful of HOW we express our independence…if we are truly strong women… it should do more showing and probably less telling. And fellas, contrary to popular belief, this phrase isn’t supposed to be understood as male bashing or negative as you may feel it can come across. I guess the bigger picture would be that both men and women should communicate with each other better. We would probably have less confusion with this phrase that is supposed to be a show of strength, independence, and empowerment for both men and women.