NOBRO

FEED FOR YOUR SEED

Let Me Introduce Myself

Why a blog?  Why me?  So... I have been contemplating for years about putting my words on the net.  Before I go any deeper allow me to say - I am old school.  Yes, that's right.  Give me some Vaughan Mason and Crew, Gap Band, E U, Motown, Michael Jackson, Prince and I am floating.  Yes!  Old school!  We are talking pen to paper.  Throw back.  I have been sitting on my notepads upon notepads for years.  Waiting and writing information that I find viable to pass down one day to my son(s) and then it hit me!  The net.  I get it.  I had to accept and understand the way of modern times.

No matter what my personal preferences were, I had to adapt to certain changes.  Which leads me back to my second original question - WHY ME?  Why am I worth reading or listening to in comparison to another guy?  Perhaps I have gifts that are abnormal?  Not really.  Is it because at birth I was a silver-spoon fed kid who has all the answers? Definitely not true.  Maybe I'm special?  Yeah that must be it.  I'm special.  Let me think for a moment.  Let's see... I'm 6'1, 170 pounds, athletic, love my family and friends... Hmmm sounds like a lot of other males I know.  I guess I don't really know “why me” and not knowing? - That's ok.  However, I do believe in timing and seasons, so this must be mine. Other than my belief in God's favor and my spiritually vigorous faith, I am the average guy who's trying to keep death at a distance like everyone else.

It appears that somewhere in our fast-paced life, we have lost the thing that allows us to live a copious and fulfilled life amongst family and friends.  As we make the left turn cruising down ELECTRONIC AVENUE, stop at the red light on REALITY STREET, then turn on “DO ANYTHING TO BE FAMOUS” road, allow me to make a U-turn and go back to the beginning.  Back when it took a community to raise kids, fathers and mothers woke up side by side, stadiums were packed with fans looking at the ball game and not their cell phones, living rooms during holidays were filled with multiple crescendos of laughter, and the community could write the eulogy about their neighbors.  Those were the days!!!

So what happened?  Better yet, let me be more specific about the breakdown of the family question: What happened to the fathers?  Barak Obama, the former President of the United States, spoke in great detail about the breakdown.  This colossal question has yet to truly be answered, and unfortunately it is not showing a positive upward trend.  Sure, we give opinions in barber shops, group chats, conference calls and Uber rides... but how many of us actually sacrifice and make the changes for the better?  I may be wrong, but it seems as if we wait for some celebrity or athlete to provide or be the answer, and have forgotten that we too have a platform.  The “#wetoo” movement can and does have an impact in our surrounding circles to make the difference.  Yes.  Me.  You.  Him.  We.  With one pivot in the right direction - who knows?

Years ago in my initial inception of this writing (2010), I was called many things: a professional athlete, college graduate, brother, a businessman, son, but a father?  Not at all.  I had no children.  My thoughts concerning the fatherless topic?  Umm... yeah, that's not my problem.  Then I was illuminated with the question: Does a father need kids?  Think about it.  How many men with no blood relation have we ran across in our lives that played the father role for us?  Was he not a father who offered his time, heart, wisdom to help steer us to our calling and became instrumental in our growth?  Perhaps that is the difference that could separate me from another person?  Instead of waiting, wishing, and wondering; I have made the choice by taking action, applying and giving my words to those that may not have fathers.  My words or collective thoughts of influential men from my life's travels, could provide others with simple guidelines that ultimately helped direct my own journey.  This is my priority, my passion, and my goal... To pass them on - in my own way.

For the young men who may be searching for breadcrumbs of wisdom, I hope you enjoy teaming up with me.  While I may not be able to sit and talk in person as I would wish in my “old school” ways, allow me to connect with you on this platform, in this time.  I promise to be the example of the change I wish to see, provide insight to those who want to hear, inspire hope to those who need it, give love to those that never received it and impart knowledge to those who have yet to read it.  Remember, we all have a part to play in the game of life and YOU are an essential piece.

Stay Lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Boot Up Waze

From my soul, mind and fingertips... I am FOREVER grateful.  🙏

My quest is to respect your time. By giving you a quick toilet read, coffee sip, uh-huh or a meditating thought - to pause, reflect and enjoy whatever voyage you are on.

“The destination is the aim, the target.  The JOURNEY is a bit by bit procedure, gradually and carefully sculpting the brilliance already inside of you.”

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Mute Button

Dream: a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person's mind during sleep.

Goal: the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.

“Let your words be few, for a goal comes from much activity.”

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Tailor Made

Life is disruptive.  No matter what, we will have peaks and valleys.  Seasons come and go.  A season of increased earnings.  A season of economic crisis.  A season of hardship.  A season of good fortune.  A season of sorrow.  A season of joy.  There's no avoidance.  All too frequently we invest in things we can not govern.

Don't MAJOR in MINOR things by trying to change the season... change your outfit and dress accordingly.

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

To Thyself Be True

There's no need to search any further.  The sauce is not secret.

Everything you need, you have.  It comes from within.

Find it...
Discover it...
Live... being true to you!


Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

The Brevity of Life

Life is but a blink.  The faster this is realized - the more intentional with time we become.

With 24 hours daily, a typical healthy adult will sleep and labor a sum of 16.  After consuming 3 meals, an approximate 2.5 hours passes leaving a total of 5.5 hours.

But wait, we must stay young, so don't forget, “leg day” which costs us another 1 hour for fitness + health along with another 0.5 hours for commuting.

Compute: 24 - 16 - 2.5 - 1 - 0.5 = 4 daily hours left for meaningful participation.

It would be “Penny wise.  Pound foolish” spending it head down glancing at a mobile phone.

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Optical Illusions

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Prolific scholars have stated...
“There are only two fears present at birth.  The rest are learned.”

In a time such as this, consider the intellectuals.

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Footnote: “Focus Enough.  Opportunities Exist In Choas”

What's Your Handle?

Connectivity is at peak levels.  As a nation, we are connected so much yet feel so little, driving us down avenues of internal quarantine... seclusion.

Compare us to other wealthy countries, we (Americans) spend more on healthcare but live shorter lives.  Interesting... investing more to receive less is not the win-win.

In an era where connectivity and medicine are on an incline, remember... pills and scrolling come with a price.

Life is still spiritual; smiling is still the cheapest medicine; being present is still a present (gift); and love is still spelled T.I.M.E.

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Distinctive Dimensions

Four vital measurements for advancement: Length, Weight, Temperature, and Time.

Length: One doesn't drive staring into the rear-view mirror.  What's ahead is more important than what has passed.  The past is just that...

Weight: The heftiness of life is unmeasurable.  Become braver than you believe.

Temperature: “Without wood, a fire goes out [use with caution]”. (Proverbs 26:20)

Time: Choices in life today become our life tomorrow.

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Lost In Translation

Life is an introspection.  Two subtle nuance languages are concealed in our core (consciousness).  The language of burden or blessing.

Two people...  Same issues...  Two outlooks.

“Argh!  It's awful!  I have to work from home while watching my kid(s)... no sports are on, and to make things worse... I can't go anywhere.”

“Working from home has allowed me to save money on gas, while spending more time with my kid(s).  With no sports on I'm free to do the things I couldn't before... I can now clean out my closet, pick up a new skill-set and even pull out my guitar.”

We become more fluent dependent on which language we nourish.

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

DNA

Reason... Season... Lifetime

The reason is simple... We are who we are.  Born this way.  Unique.

Each season of life, polishes the purpose of birth - a lifetime of beneficial impact for the greater good.

Limiting this understanding limits the world.

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

No Sequel

“They say the first time ain't the greatest, [however life is not a sequel]”.  (Prince, Raspberry Beret)

While one is healthy - missing and making are on opposite sides of the coin, but are still synonymous... equal.

The more we learn, the less we know.  Life is not mastered.  It's a personal evolution of achievement to understand, “If we participate in the cause (failure), it's impossible to not participate in the effect (growth)”.

To grow, failure is not optional.  It's a must.

#Descansa en paz Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 - April 21, 2016)

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Mountaineer Motto

Truth be told, once upon a time we couldn't see our picture standing inside the frame... until the 'selfie'.

The selfie exploits supreme confidence externally; however sifting through exposes opposite emotions internally.

One can learn a lot from fluffing pillows.  Although the outside surface (of the pillow) passes the test, experience has shown us something's not quite right on the inside... the reason for using filters... I mean 'fluffing' in the first place.

As an alumni of App State, my school's motto is “Esse quam videri”, meaning “To be, rather than to seem”.  No matter the trend, the motto remains the same.

Strive to make sure the external 'Selfie Filter' (pillow fluffing) aligns with the internal truth (who we really are).

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Combing Top to Bottom

Our family, period of birth, culture, childhood habitat, etc... are gifted to us and unavoidably, we must accept - without choice.

When uncertainty appears, healing by humility takes the wheel.  Before the 13th of March 2020, the general population moved at rapid speed, forcing us to run treadmill style... “getting nowhere fast”.

What a difference shutdown makes.  Stopping the world allows transferable healing to those who choose it.  A soul colonoscopy - screening to determine if particles inside could potentially produce vital harm.

Occasionally, during storms like this, the sweetest rain falls from the darkest cloud - a cleansing for the soul... combing 'top to bottom'.

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Tool of all Tools

It's true, the eyes are windows to the soul, but how can we connect to souls if our eyes are consistently glancing at devices?

My words are not contemptuous towards modern communication, but to pull back the curtains on my understanding... things change.  Nothing is permanent, so why swim up stream, tussling against a current way of life...

King Solomon said, “Nothing is new under the sun.”  Agree or not, here's the conflict, in life... No one gets out alive.  One mind, one body to render good deeds - by one set of hands; and as Aristotle stated, “Our hand[s] are the tool of all tools”.

Look how expressive your hands are.  Symbolic.  Whether a pat to the back, cooking, hugging, praying or greeting one another; communication is transported without a word being said.

Throughout history... one set of fingerprints, never duplicated.  We are exceptional and how we communicate strength, power, skill, generosity, love or protection with our hands to others, lasts a lifetime.

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Sample Size

In moments...

No matter how smart (intelligent)... how beautiful (attractive)... how curvy (volumptuous)... how well spoken (articulate)...

“Less is More.” (Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe)

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Gratis

Precept by precept; bound by bound...

Serendipity satisfies the courageous individual who doesn't hesitate to leap and purchase life's valuable assets; air, energy, compassion, forgiveness, salvation, faith, hope, and love... all free of charge.

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Moment of Clarity

In the genesis of adulthood, most - if not all, pursue what 'self' has passions for... what 'self' has talents in... what 'self' has values with... what 'self' has motivations to do...

Starting with self-examination and ending with self-consumption (fulfillment) might not be the right mantra.

Maybe the ask should be, “What does life want from me?”  “What circumstances are calling me to stop ignoring them?”  “What assignment has life given me to make this world whole?”

The metaphor 'melting pot' has been our societies staple since I can remember.  Sounds good, but the reality is... one pan with a combination of ingredients; boiling in scorching water to create a single unit, will continue to drive societies sentiment into what we are currently witnessing.  This nation's alarm clock is going off and with each snooze...  It will only get worse.

A resolution will be rendered when each individual shifts from 'melting pot' paradigm to 'salad bowl' theory; that we as a multicultural society can integrate different cultures, while maintaining separate identities - once we become authentically frank on how we feel.

Yes... there is institutionalized racism.
Yes... there is white privilege.
Yes... there is discrimination.
Yes... Michael Vick was de-humanized for dog fighting.
Yes... we as black men are frightened of police officers.
Yes... there is black privilege.
Yes... most Caucasians are unaware of these experiences.
Yes... it's embarrassing, unethical and dejecting to watch looters dismantle and rob a person's establishment, that provides products, services and employment.
Yes... there is too much black on black crime.
Yes... media outlets no longer tell all truths.
Yes... it's okay to be vexed.
No... burning down our own community is not the answer.
No... a Black American is not a sell out if he/she has different views.
No... not all rich Caucasian men are racist.
No... we don't have to always wait on the facts.
Yes... most Caucasians are innocent until proven guilty.
Yes... most Black Americans are guilty until proven innocent.
Yes... this nation as proud as we are of it, was built on racism and violence.

This is who we are.  Our truths.  Our feelings.  Now what do we do with it...

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Knee Deep

Intimacy comes from the Latin word intimare, which means “make familiar,” which derives from intimus, meaning “inmost.”

For 'us' to manufacture intimacy we must “make familiar” subject matters beyond our outward associations.  Intimacy and love cannot become fruitful until we know each other from inside out instead of outside in... eventually becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Check the temperature of your neighboring affiliations... Democrat vs Republican, Male vs Female, Christian vs Muslim, 'have' vs 'have not' and ask, “Are my actions building or destroying?

One can only hope, that one day a future generation will get to witness life where we are defined accurately by our deep seated, inward, personal, masked... innermost traits.  The proof of who we are... not the stereotype.

Worth mirroring today...

Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence.  There's no better rule.”

(Great Expectations by Charles Dickens)

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

The Hand of Faith

Certain dates in our personal history are monumental.  Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays...  Within time, most realize each day is truly a gift taken for granted.

Eventually, days and moments are no longer a coincidence, they birth orchestrated happenings compactly; igniting a massive purpose, deeper than we know.

Two weeks ago, I wanted to share my post-demise date (June 1, 2002) and sprinkle in some blessings from the 'Hands of Faith', however current circumstances veered my thoughts instead...

At the tender age of 20, my life should have expired.  One night... one moment... one decision... would have crushed my loved ones; if not for God sending a shadow of a man without a face, to give me one more chance, seconds before my car wreck.

I rode in the ambulance that night with 4 essential conclusions...

Every choice has consequences... I fastened the belt.

Be careful what you pray for... I prayed for a sign to transfer.

Every prayer has answers... the answer might be “no”.

Statistics are not absolute...

Professionals said, “your hand needs to be amputated...”

Prayer said, “it's healed.”

Professionals said, “you will need skin grafts...”

Prayer said, “the scars are the message.”

Professionals said, “your left hand will not be useful...”

Prayer said, “type and call the fingertips Lucky Lefty.”

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Eyes Wide Shut

What we see; confirms the little we know, perception is not always reality.

“Wow, he's towering.”

“They are training tirelessly.”

“So much brotherhood.”

“Triumph from playing basketball.”

These optics are widely accepted, shaping our appetite for thought... until our perception is challenged.

Beyond the apparent affirmations, above are variations of talent, language and cultures.

- One NBA performer

- Five current/former professional overseas participants

- One former NFL sportsman

- Multiple college scholarship recipients

- JV and Varsity bound contenders

- First languages of Portuguese, Spanish, Greek, and English

- Coming from Angola, Canada, United States and Greece

All mastering unconventional pinpoint skills for repeated goals... unification and growth.

Considering the social fabric of today's present circumstances, I challenge all to inverse the method media projects; by seeing through the eyes - instead of only with them.

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Winning Hand

'The Dealer' deals talents accordingly and by good fortune, twenty-four hours is the only equal opportunity given.  Exercising the option is your picking.

Both young and old' a quantity of individuals inherit the gift of 'head starts', such as vigorous athleticism, flair for numerical data, aesthetically visible countenance, swift fluency of language, a high class of innovative intelligence, or highly skilled virtuoso, to mention a few.  To avail oneself is of great gain.

The game of Spades... Big Joker, Little Joker, Deuce, Ace of Spades, King, Queen are your apparent 'head starts' for triumph.  Your hand is your hand... given from 'The Dealer' at the start; to complain would be futile - considering a broken clock is right two times a day.

In essence, it's not about what cards you lack; it's about winning with what you were dealt. Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Greatest Gift

The miseducation from children...

In the process of parenting, without notice, one attains an accumulation of degrees consisting of...

A specified culinary license realizing a child's taste buds and appetite erratically fluctuates... “Just one more bite.”

A full service dental hygienist... “Open up.” “Brush your teeth.” “Stop eating the toothpaste.”

A keen orator with serene unclouded precepts... “I said no.” “Lie down.”

An austere approach during cross examination with said child... “How many shummies did you eat?” “Do you want to go to timeout?”

A private enterprise owner collecting and disposing all solid waste... “You pooped again?” “What did you eat?”

An Architectural Certification on geometrical efficiency in order to sleep, due to kid(s) moving about during the night... “Move over, please.”

...and with all that being said, circumstances may not align with the fundamental blueprint; nonetheless, only God can give life.  A child is a blessing from above.

Despite your age, kiss your Mom and hug your Dad... Never pass up a moment to tell them, you love them.  They were elected for you.  Irreplaceable.  Their time has wings.  No one lives endlessly...

For those with kid(s), parenting will be the “hardest job you will ever love...” the “longest days and shortest years of your life...” (Perry Bodine) the finest schooling no one can prepare for.  And yet, value every minute.  Relish.

As the twig is bent so grows the tree...” (Steven Robles)

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Miseducation

“Well if it's so easy how come everybody's not doing it?”  Great question... the reply: “Because it's easy not to do it.”

The simple things separate us from the pack.  The worker who greets customers with a smile... that's easy, but it's also easy not to smile.  The individual who puts their shoes on and goes for a workout... that's easy, but it's also easy to say; next time.

The ask is... are we unwilling or are we unable...

Rules, regulations, disabilities, handicappedness; limits abilities, thus, making one, unable.  Prayers and thoughts to those that do not have an option.  As for those that do, but are unwilling... please reconsider.

Reading is simple.  Life is problematic.  For every thought and tribulation, someone has written a book; a response; to be unwilling and yet wonder why, would make us lack good sense; unwise.

Like Mark Twain said, “A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read.”

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Robert Frost

Aspire to reach for the highest and best use of your talents, resources, and time...

More times than not, the objective involves sacrifices along with a season of walking and praying alone.

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

-

Too often, “Tomorrow” is the repetitive answer - even though she's not promised.

“What will people say about me when I'm gone...” remains a consistent theme of thought as we come of age.  Truth be told... it won't matter then - you'll be gone.

What matters is what you say about yourself while you are living.  Your lease of life is still active...  Are you proud of your current state?  If not, what has been put off for “tomorrow” that needs to be addressed “today...”

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Encore

If the trainer does not perform their finest... the player does not amplify their skills.  Injuries, fatigue, and the need for accuracy has set everyone back.

If the photographer does not have a keen eye and seek pinpoint angles to freeze time... the moment has been missed.  The player cannot recycle that movement in time.

If the speaker's content doesn't attach to the listener's ears, mind and soul... the opportunity to enhance knowledge evaporates.  The message has been lost.  Words without meaning.

If the system for developing does not bridge time, ability, and comprehension... momentum halts and may become obsolete.  On to the next we go.

If the cook skips over a few ingredients and burns pieces of the entrée... someone eats less.  Never hired again.

In essence, it's all art; poetry in motion.  Anything less than the best, robs the gift.

A rising tide, lifts all boats.” [JFK]

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Asset Allocation

No matter if it's brick and mortar or online, value added propositions remain a consistent theme evaluated amongst business aficionados.  Speaking from an entrepreneurial perspective; customers, employees and partnerships are crucial in order to create improvement for all those aligned with the business's mission statement, i.e. the company's purpose of existence.

Not all partnerships, vendors, employees and customers are suitable to reach the overall goal, thus leaving the decision-makers dazed, as if he/she has received a blow to the head needing to determine who, when, and what to let go.

FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google) stocks pre-Covid were and still are hot equity picks for many investors.  Many received their recommendations from their broker or financial adviser, and if they chose to hold on during the turbulent Coronavirus stock market plunge, they are more than likely in possession of more money than what they initially invested.  Simply put, during Covid and after, we still use Facebook and Instagram to keep up with family and friends; orders will continue to get dropped off at our front door by Amazon that we purchased via our Apple phone, while watching a recommended Netflix series from a close companion; and lastly if anything comes up we do not understand, we Google it.  I have yet to hear anyone say, 'Yahoo it.'

With that being said, what are the things in life that have plummeted pre and post this pandemic that may need a reset, re-balance or maybe time to be a decision-maker and take the loss?  Why keep holding on to an investment when it's clear the company is showing you they do not want to make a change for the future?

Although being direct is not recommended in our current society's fabric, euphemisms are blurry and they leave many in a drunken stupor.  For this moment, let's take it back to the good ol' days where no translator was needed.  Like a business, each individual has a purpose for existence. 'Some well defined and some in process, but nevertheless, trust you me - there is a reason why we have been created.  Each friend, vocation, hobby, habit, or support we choose in our lives, we pick for a reason ' they bolster our own personal mission statement.  In any event, the saying still remains undefeated, “Show me your friends and I will show you your future.” “We are the sum of the 5 people we hangout with.

As we continue post-Covid, re-balancing the portfolio of life and friendships is a must.  Do like many investors have done, make the decision to let go of the stocks (persons, places, things) that are nosediving and re-evaluate what's worth holding on to and what's not; Pregnant Pause - don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Life's Blessings

Ordinary people do extraordinary things.  Need proof?  Sit with someone who doesn't have a lamp shade covering their light and get to know them through their words, not your personal thoughts.  We can't walk in their shoes, but knowing how the laces were ripped 'better than an open mic night in the 3-1-3' (Detroit shout out); can build up mistiness in most eyes.

Ordinary people do extraordinary things.  Better yet, ask how their shoes received the indentations on the external surface, splitting through durable leather, due to repetitive usage.  Although the soles look depleted; the inside is still protected, holding up for another day.

Ordinary people do extraordinary things.  Take time to sit and listen.  Their story will warm your heart more than a cup of coffee, giving glow to our challenging moments.

Ordinary people do extraordinary things.  True story.  Four years before the summer of the year 2000, a young teen by the name of Rufus Leach wanted to play Division - 1 Basketball; however he did not receive any scholarship offers at the level he desired by the time he graduated high school in 1997.  He worked and worked.  Eventually, by 1999 - 2000 he was the leading scorer on a Division-1 team.  A team at a university in Boone, North Carolina.  That day to remember, started out like most days for athletes on a college campus; summer school classes for a few hours and then off to the field house for weights and conditioning.  Afterwards, Rufus and a few of his teammates went to a lake to relax on a boat at the lake.  By the end of the day he decided to jump out of the boat and swim back to shore as his teammates rode in.  While swimming, he caught a cramp and while fighting for his life to stay afloat, the boat was too far away to help quick enough.  As the boat picked up steam, Rufus disappeared, never to be seen again, alive.  Yes it;s true, “bad things happen to good people,” but remember - ordinary people do extraordinary things.

By Rufus' and his families pain, was another families gain.  His death, opened up a scholarship and his scholarship was transferred to a young teen, who since 1995 had a vision to play Division - 1 Basketball in North Carolina.  The dream was impossible by the standards of the 5,000 population town, mainly because no one had ever done it.  Unbeknownst to the teen, he never saw a young man giving him the gift of a scholarship by way of losing his life... and because of that it saddens me to say - “I, Noah Brown, am forever grateful for Rufus Leach, a young man I never met, but the reason for my scholarship blessings, that I will never forget.&rqduo;

Ordinary people do extraordinary things...

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Ninja Turtle

The Late Great Alex Haley, was a world - renowned American writer, and in his latter years of life, a photo of a turtle sitting on a fence resided on his office wall.  Put a pin in that for now.

Throughout the development of language, semantic change is known as a phenomenon due to the fact, a meaning of a word can either be slightly altered, or evolve greatly.  As humans, we strive to do the same.  Becoming fully aware of how impactful our words are, is a study of manifestation alongside harmony.  Laziness with language is not a brag to hashtag about on IG and if we do not utilize lyrical exercises consistently, a disaster will be potentially hovering around the corner, impatiently waiting to knock on the door.  Essentially, words can be equivalent to a liquid sword; our tongue can be sharper than a razor blade.  An ingredient to build or destroy.

Study great lyricists of our time and it's easy to notice those who have mastered the English language.  A good lyricist, can use words to juxtapose and drive a clear and deeper meaning, intentionally contrasting two ideas. 'To illustrate, listen to the song, 'Oceans,' by hip-hop artist Jay-Z, “I'm anti Santa Maria/Only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace/I don't even like Washingtons in my pocket/Black card go hard when I'm shopping/Boat docked in front of Hermes picking cotton.”  Feel free to call me for translation, LOL ...  Another skill an astute wordsmith possesses, is the use of double entendres.  “I father, I Brooklyn-Dodger them, I jack, I rob, I sin.”

Words, like the weather dressed properly, feel better in season than out.  Specifically, the words 'I' and 'my.' They are consistently present, sitting in attendance, protruding daily - stirring the boiling pot for those that are in relationships.  Whether spouses, exclusively dating, siblings, parents, friends, co-workers, partners, teammates we have all been guilty of statements such as, “I do all of... My money... My place... My team... I did it on my... My dream... My room... My stats... I take care of... My ball/toy... My car... My food... My coke... My program...” etc...

The take home is this... We don't have to be a profound literary writer nor a lyricist in the music hall of fame to understand the concept of the words 'I' and 'my,' nor a genius to comprehend the meaning of the turtle on the fence portrait, hanging on the writer's wall.  For Alex Haley, as it should be for us, it was a daily reminder that he (the turtle) didn't get there on his own.  We all need help.  We all are in this together.  No one has done it alone.

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

AA Wingnut

“Noah, I'm in hospice.  You have to come see me, bud.”  This past Monday, I got a call that I didn't want to hear, but I knew one day it could come, sooner rather than later.  As I heard the voice amongst tears, I became speechless and Lukas Graham's '7 Years' song lyric became clearer; “Remember life and then your life becomes a better one.

And so I remembered; as my thoughts replayed the respect and love I developed for the man over the phone who is 20 plus years my senior, I realized, 'in life, if lived long enough, only a handful of moments bring it full circle.  'In those moments; life becomes more understood.'  This phone call (moment), like a few others, did just that.

Without knowing exactly what it was at the time, I experienced discrimination at birth.  Being born a mixed race baby in the South was rare in 1981, because society as a whole was either black or white.  My brother, Jermaine and myself were anomalies and very distinctive in our environment which made others treat us in a non-native type manner.  This challenge, IE 'school of life', forced me to come about discernment quickly; thus grooming me for my future potential.

My first witness to racism bewildered me.  I didn't understand as I watched two white men stab my father (who is a Black American) multiple times due to the fact, they saw my mother (who is Mexican and French), as a white woman, and didn't approve of her being in my father's car, leading to a full on brawl.  While egos flared, this was my introduction to race relations and once again, my 'school of life,' sculpting my mind.  Those two experiences along with many other instances shaped my belief pertaining to White American Males in the 'land of the free, home of the brave' and I am sure you can draw your own conclusion.  All thanks to God, if it were not for Jim Woodard, Kenny Bodine, Sean Kilmartin and Robert Clyburn my conviction of white males would have remained the same.

As fate would have it, Jim Woodard, ended up playing the role of a grandfather in my 20's since I never had one active in my life.

Kenny Bodine, taught me 'life' in a classroom better known as a weight room.  He was my Cus D'Amato.

Sean Kilmartin, taught me economics and Wall Street in his office from 9:30am - 9:30pm for two straight years.  I consistently say, 'I graduated from Sean Kilmartin University.'

Robert Clyburn, was one of the deciding factors why I pursued a career path to work in finance.  He was an International pilot for American Airlines, he met me in a gym, took me under his wing; pun intended, and encouraged me to go after the career with Sean; eventually becoming my very first client to manage his money.  That verbal contract changed my life and gave me more confirmation that it was time to rethink my convictions of White American males.  And my return on my investment?  I realized, all the years of society stereotyping and generalizing 'me' based on my external features, more times than not, it was due to their life experiences or lack of with people who looked like me and in return, simultaneously, I was stereotyping and generalizing 'them' the same way.  My mind had to become more like a parachute; 'it can only work when it's open.'

And here we are... He, Robert Clyburn, is the voice I heard over the phone and now I am sitting with him as his time of life is expiring.  As Jay Z stated, “You could be anywhere in the world, but you are here with me.”  This is true.  I could be anywhere at this moment, but as a friend he called for me to spend some limited moments with him and I am honored.  Who would have thought, a 50 plus year old white guy and a 30 plus year old mixed race guy would bring life full circle?  He, like those other three, changed my perception, my thoughts, and love towards those that do not resemble me on the outside and gave me the true grasp to, “Judge not on looks; decide on evidence.  There's no better guideline.”

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Lamp Shade

If the money is where the love is, the love will eventually burn out, quickly.  The work will become too tedious to continue... the sprints will not be worth it... snoozing will be normal... arriving late is on time... and blaming others for the morsel allotment will be proof from those with similar precepts.  I say, money is the final destination, not the journey and the person who leads their life by way of vision, passion, and service, more times than not; 'money follows.'

I told my wife recently, “I am in a season where I am fast asleep to wake up quickly.”  What deed(s) makes you feel that way?  Think of moments where a random stranger casually strolled up to you and asked, “Have you ever considered doing such and such?”  “You should pursue this career because you have a natural gift in...”  If these happenings have occurred, that breadcrumb, by way of a question, could potentially be the confirmation of your vision or lack thereof.  That person sees your 'light' even though unknowingly you might not; in return, it has not yet been lit (pun intended).

The great prophet, P Funk aka George Clinton stated, “Everybody's got a little light under the sun.”  And 'everybody' in the dictionary, the last time I checked, means EVERY PERSON.

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

Green Thumb

A felony is a crime that involves imprisonment for more than one year or death.  Interesting enough, if you talk to most, they will be the first to tell you, “I'm not a felon.” “I've never committed a crime, nor have I served time.”  On the contrary, it's a crime to not know, you don't have to be in jail, to be doing time.  We are all behind bars - whether visible or not.  What we do serving our duration determines how 'lucky' we get... i.e. the quote “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

This year, hosting player development courses for current and aspiring professional basketball players, remained a consistent vibration of thought as I danced to the tune of 'Candy' by Cameo (top 5 wedding song of all time).  I was fortunate to have had a successful basketball career and my way to pay it forward to the next generation was constructed by an easel; sketching an outline of training, a mentorship of refining young men alongside building their awareness towards the 'basketball business'  Who would trust the idea?  Who would trust the trainers?  Only time will tell; nevertheless, the benefits of this process have been more transformational for me, than the players and trainers, to say the least.

What I have noticed in the process has confirmed what I already knew - manifestation.  The 'shield' says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  The sessions have proven to me, there are more compassionate hearts than what outlets portray.  Unpacked all week were altruistic individuals.  People who are experts in their field, have volunteered their time to part with data they have collected throughout their period of life, by speaking for countless minutes - if not hours, to the 'next man up'.  Throughout the progression of the last week, an out of town General Manager/Head Coach of a new professional team walked in the gym... manifestation.  He returned the next day and verbally committed to sign 3 of the players in the gym.  Whether players are faith-based or not, the Universe (God) rewards those that invest in themselves.  God is humorous to watch.  Those that decided to get on Interstate 85, American Airlines, Air Canada, etc... and trust the 'Hands of Faith' received confirmation; “Don't worry about growing the tree... just plant the seed.”

Stay lifted,

Lucky Lefty

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