By WBDanney

ground zero

Ground Zero

When global powers such as the United States go into war, weapons of mass destruction are utilized. Big guns and heavy machinery is deployed and bombs are dropped. In times of war, a country makes several efforts to insure only militarized targets are bombed or destroyed. The powers that be, attempt to avoid hurting or killing civilians, innocent people, women and children. However and unfortunately, in war hospitals and schools are sometimes hit and innocent people are murdered. They call this collateral damage.

Crack cocaine hit Black communities like a bomb. Crime and violence experienced by some of the residents of Black neighborhoods is collateral damage.

Black Americans are at war, we need to begin setting off some bombs. However not bombs of mass destruction more so bombs of mass creation. We need to set up and set off behavior and businesses that explode within Black communities and shell out additional creativity and opportunities. These explosive devices need to be engineered by us for us. We know what happens when a bomb that was not engineered by Black people is set off in Black communities. The bomb is usually something like “Crack” or some other illegal enterprise that is contained and controlled by people who are not residents of those communities.

Again, Black Americans need to engineer and build the type of social and economic explosive devices and products that we have complete control over. And when we set off these explosive mechanisms, the areas affected should look like a bomb went off. Meaning, the areas should be very noticeably different.

To be certain this point is understood in the correct way, picture a neighbor hood that is ridden with crime. A neighborhood that is host to an open drug market where the streets are dirty with drug paraphernalia, the sidewalks are filthy with garbage and trash left by the drug dealers and drug addicts and where seemingly, nobody cares how this looks and feels. In these types of environments we as Black Americans need to set off a bomb.

A bomb meaning explosive action that when activated changes the negative structure of the environment. In this scenario, that explosive action can be one individual who decides to begin cleaning the sidewalks, sweeping the streets and disposing of the trash and garbage left behind by the drug dealers as well as their customers. As community leaders, one of the first initiatives we undertook was cleaning up the neighborhood and keeping the sidewalks and streets clean.

Implementing Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory and understanding that people learn and develop behavior patterns from watching other people as well as being exposed to certain visual stimuli, we decided to create new modeling constructs for Black American communities. This translated into cleaning the sidewalks and keeping the streets clean.

This action proved to be explosive. We didn’t see immediate effects. Life is not a reality T.V. show, real progress takes time. However, after about two months, other residents, young people and even some of the drug dealers began to emulate and imitate the more positive behavior of cleaning the sidewalks and keeping the streets free of trash and garbage.

As Black Americans we must establish a philosophy of Black Nationalism. Black Nationalism will change the mentality of Black people in the United States. Once you change your mentality your attitude will be different. This will change your behavior. After your behavior has been altered, your actions will reflect your mentality.

kung fu

I Know Kung Fu – My GSS Family

Someone asked me yesterday, “What’s your greatest take away from your time at Good Shepherd”? I told her. “I know Kung Fu”. She looked at me like, “”Ohhh K” and what does that even mean?” Because she asked and also due to the very confused look on her face, I felt obligated to offer an explanation of my answer.

So I told her…..At some point in time there was a young woman that was employed at the center who studied Kung Fu. She was actually an advanced student having achieved all the various belts, progressed to the level of instructor and ultimately became a Kung Fu master. That’s when I met her. Like many of GSS employees, she held a full time position at the center and occasionally she would fill in on the residential units providing care for clients and kids.
One day we got to talking about this and that. So I asked her, “When you find yourself in close quarters with a client who may be acting aggressive or even threatening, are you ever tempted to use your Kung Fu?” She said, “Tempted, ha. I use my Kung Fu here all day everyday”.
So of course I was surprised by her answer. I said to her, “Isn’t that dangerous? What if you throw a punch or a kick and somebody gets injured?” I was thinking, I can empathize with the situation however practicing Kung Fu on kids seems like something that could turn bad real quick.
That’s when she said to me, “Will, one the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in Kung Fu is the power of restraint. Restraint is more effective, more efficient and a much more powerful tool than excessive force. Utilizing mental powers over physical force, exercising restraint to keep my cool as well as my composure and communicating with the kids is the best Kung Fu.  I use my Kung Fu everyday with these kids. If I didn’t have the martial arts training that I do then I might really lose it and start throwing punches.”
After I understood how she implemented her Kung Fu at the center, I was ready to learn. I became aware that sometimes the most useful Kung Fu is practiced with coworkers and team members. At times dealing with staff members can be just as challenging if not more difficult than dealing with our kids. I don’t think that’s a secret. However like any big family we work things out. This is where good Kung Fu is again so helpful.
Many things have changed in the past 12 years, procedures, policies, people, etc. However the mission has been consistently and persistently carried on by all GSS team members. From my perspective, all the people who have walked through the doors of Good Shepherd have contributed to maintaining the mission. I’m not just speaking about the senior management team who give great guidance and direction for our facility, our policies, and our people as well as the mission. Nor am I only speaking of direct care team members who are on the front lines everyday providing care that our kids need as well as the respect that they deserve.  I’m also speaking about the folks with whom I work most closely both in proximity as well as in procedures and processes. My “IT Crowd” as well as our team members in Finance, PI, Facilities, Training, Housekeeping, etc. At times it may seem that what we do as non-direct care people may not have a direct impact on our clients and students however I can assure you that every action we took as members of the GSS team had an impact on our kids. Over 12 years, I have learned so much Kung Fu in how to deal with people and situations and how to understand that every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow. It is my pleasure and honor to have worked with so many talented, dedicated and beautiful people.
Thank you,
William Danney
buy a book

Weeds in the Garden

At times, my view point of life is as follows;

for me to be angry about how my life is presently is equatable to me being angry about spinach not growing in a garden I created and cultivated where I only planted collard greens. It’s my garden, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” If I only planted collard greens then only collard greens will grow. If I want spinach, I will need to plant spinach. I cannot borrow or keep borrowing someone else’s spinach. I will need to plant my own. So even if I need to “dig the whole thing up” in order to redo my garden to grow my spinach that is what I must do.

While going through the redo process I may need to chop some stuff down and pull some things up. Some of us have weeds in our gardens. I know I have a few. In a flower garden sometimes the most beautiful of flowers are accompanied by weeds. Weeds are a menace; they like to create havoc and destruction among our beauty. This is why we cannot just remove weeds. Weeds need to be extracted and pulled out from the ground by the root so to be certain they have been dealt with effectively. In fact after the weed extraction, we need to discard the extracted root immediately. For If we lay the root on the ground, its seeds will likely drop and germinate; developing into an entirely new weed. I’m not sure if you knew, pulling up weeds is hard work. I didn’t know how challenging it would be until I had to start pulling them up myself. No one can pull the weeds up from my garden but me. This is a task I must perform myself. I’m not a big bible quoting person however I understand now what Paul meant when he said,

“I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”

–1 Corinthians 9:27 NLT

So now that I know what produce I would like my garden to yield, I will proceed accordingly. As we all must maintain, cultivate and sometimes redo our own gardens, I urge everyone to offer some guidance to younger generations so they may learn early to take good care of their gardens.

Thank you,

William Danney

buy a book

It’s Friday, Buy a Book

A lot of us got paid today. It’s weekend. Many are off from work Monday for the King holiday. Buy a book and celebrate your awakening to reading and knowledge.  Of course I would appreciate you patronage. With that said, they’re many authors, traditional and self published from whom you can purchase book. So yeah, I’m officially declaring Friday, “Buy a Book Day”.

 

1111111111

Keeping it 100, we did it my N3RD.

Perhaps “good and evil” are illusions of society. Labels used as part of a narrative which was created to simplify human beings into stereotypes. Thereby making people easier to manipulate and control. So now we have “sheeple” and mindless automatons that are under the influence of those who have ceased power to create and proliferate narratives built upon negative connotations.

We do not fit in a box of someone else’s design and making. The perceptions of others do not define who we are. Perhaps there is no true “evil” however the forcing of a people into a particular paradigm will no longer be allowed.

For that purpose, we will control the narrative of our own story. This is our true power. In fact, this is the essence of power. Humans perceive and interpret the reality of living through stories. So within the stories that are told, taught and propagated by others, we need to critically think about where we have been positioned. Not only that, we need to take ownership of our stories in order and in chaos to create and control our own narratives. We must tell our own stories. We cannot depend on someone’s, anyone’s single story to describe us. We are more than monolithic.  We are a beautiful collection of complexities and characteristics that continue to stretch the boundaries of being. We are A Company of N3RDS.

blessed

Blessed

 “Blessed” –  seeing the fruit of your own labor and bearing witness to how your own persistence and determination yields to actualization of your own thoughts and ideas.

This requires great focus and often some sacrifice however due to the immense desire to acquire and attain that which you seek, sacrifice is nothing because nothing is more important, than that which you are focused on and your focus is as your breathing, natural.

This is the manifestation of “God”, and power through you. This flows through you. This positive energy radiates from you and then out to the rest of humanity. You radiantly glow and shine to encourage us all.

 

4545454545455545454544