"Americans used to say where there's a will, there's a way. Nowadays, it's where there's a pill, there's a way out." - - Burnt Toast

Tuesday Ghetto. . .

Congratulations, you made it to Tuesday.

Our Tuesday started well with an early morning breakdown. However, when organized properly and with the right tools, minor obstacles can be overcome easily.

So what may look bleak and overwhelming becomes easy like warm butter.

I was lamenting in an email to a friend about the priorities of life and using the example of a young black man who approached us as we lounged in the shade during lunch last week. This guy was about 20 and wearing a pair of long, oversized shorts that he had to hold up with his free hand as he walked, which is pretty common over here in the hood, and when he arrived at our pow wow he asked very politely for two dollars to get something to eat. I don't carry any cash normally, but one of the foundation crew from Kentucky forked over a few dollars and the guy strode away, hanging onto his shorts that were under the powerful influence of gravity.

It wasn't until the guy turned to leave that I realized he was wearing a brand new Miami Heat LeBron James basketball jersey that I am sure must have been quite expensive.

One could make many assumptions about the guy and the jersey. I suppose it could have been a gift from an auntee or his girlfriend, but in light of the panhandling and the fact that he seemed perfectly capable of doing a hard day's work led me to think about the priorities of life.

I have worked. Always. And other than a few months of vacationing between job changes I have always been doing something constructive to earn a living. In my current capacity under the yoke of the family biz I am working harder than I ever have before and although I share the name on the building, I am an employee just like everyone else.

My dad taught me an incredible amount of things. He instilled a good work ethic, generosity, taught honesty and virtue, imbued me with a wonderful gift of communication and a love and appreciation for history and politics. He also, whether through genetics or teaching, gave me the ability to make people feel comfortable and wanted even though we both share a 9000 yard blue-eyed stare that can worry the quills off a porcupine. Yet, it just takes a few minutes to get past that "fear" and people learn quickly the depth of a man.

He also taught me about priorities. And therefore I have never been a leech on society, looking for a handout, and rarely have I ever had to ask for help, financially or otherwise.

The last few years have been a struggle as I have recovered from a catastrophic breakup of a marriage that left me saddled with enormous debt and the breakup of a business relationship which left a large sum of money in a strange, clouded limbo which neither the law nor negotiation have been able to pierce.

Yet, I keep moving, keep working, keep paying the piper for all sins past. I am paying the last of those debts and am nearing the end of the financial prison that my business partners have locked me inside of and I will proudly say soon that I won the battle and I did it with my head held high, never breaking under the pressure and stress of it all. And I have managed to do this while trying to satisfy the wants and needs of others, just as I learned from dad.

And who is there to blame for it all but me? No one. I made decisions and decisions have consequences. I accept them all equally.

I read an article this morning about the "vacation" that Michelle Obama and her daughters will take to Spain. 30 rooms in a 5-star hotel won't be cheap and we lucky ones, the cogs of the great economic engine, will be picking up the tab. And shortly thereafter, another vacation in Martha's Vineyard with the president. Granted, there are certain perks associated with being on the top, but the hypocrisy lies in the past statements of "sacrifice" and "everyone must give up a little" that drags my sharp mind into a state of frustration.


I am working my knuckles to the bone so I can escape for a few days in September for my birthday. I contrast that with seemingly work-capable panhandlers living in government housing and people at the top who ramrod social guilt down our throats while sucking the collective titty dry and I am not so sure if I can swallow that bitter pill without a fight.

I guess in the end the debt of the society will always be greater than the debt of the self and I don't think it's possible that societal debt will ever be paid in full. It is debt that can only be serviced by the hard work of the Everyman who is willing to own up to both at the same time and doing so with a closed mouth and open mind and a short memory of the consequences of poor decision-making.

- Sent from my iPhone

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