Monthly Archives: April 2011

Give Yourself a Raise

I believe wholeheartedly in the “do for self” philosophy.

I further believe that if there is something you want–anything–there is a three-step process you must do that will GUARANTEE success. Would you like to learn it? Take note of the following, and commit it to memory, because it is failproof:

  1. Pray to God for guidance and blessings
  2. Make it happen
  3. Pray to God for praise and thanks

Now if you do that–begin your problem solving by asking the Creator for assistance, you endeavor to make it happen (as opposed to asking someone else for help), and then thank God for the outcome… You can’t fail. It’s simple.

Note that I said this is the process for success. I did not say that you would get what you want–I just said that you will be successful. Remember that God answers all prayers. You just may not get the answer you were asking for. Regardless of what level of spirituality you believe you are on, or how much sinning you’ve done, or how many good deeds you’ve done, everything we are granted in life comes from the One who created the Heavens and the Earth, and He does His will…. like it or not. The three answers you might get?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Wait

Simple enough. So, for you to pray to God for guidance on whatever problem you have, but then turn away from that prayer and ask a human being to give it to you, isn’t that hypocritical? I mean, regardless of how much money this person has, or how much power they have, yada yada yada, it is God who makes things happen.

Well, let’s rephrase that: It is God who ALLOWS things to happen. No effort you embark will succeed without His blessings, and no effort will fail with it. No plan is complete without this step, and nothing I tell you will work without it. So there.

And I told you all of that to tell you this.

When the issue of not having enough money comes up, we have different kinds of people. One group just goes without. They don’t have enough money and they don’t see a way out. So they do nothing but allow their bills to not get paid, they go through life without the things they want, and they struggle just to have the things they need. The second group get what they want, but through ill-gotten means. These folks lie, cheat and steal to get it. This is the woman who sleeps with men who disgust her to have enough money to feed her kids. The man who pretends to fall in love with women he has no interest in to keep a roof over his head. The guy who coaxes his parents into loaning him money from their hard-earned savings account to start that pressure washing business he read about in the magazines or the Amway account. Finally, you have the go-getters. They are not always skilled laborers or highly educated, but they hustle and find a way to make that cake and get the bills up to date. Let’s talk about this guy.

In a nutshell, everyone reading this article can increase their income just by getting a second job or getting some sort of side hustle. But I’d like to dig a little deeper. It’s not just getting a second job that will do this for you but it is a process of life-changing moves in your life that will improve your standard of living. I’d like to sum this system up and I hope you will find something useful…

  • The quick path to prosperity is not so much taking in more money, as it is decreasing the amount you spend. If you make $10k more per year, but you are the kind of guy who lives paycheck to paycheck, you will have no choice but to spend more money as your income increases. As a result, you will still live paycheck to paycheck–it’s just bigger paycheck to bigger paycheck. Learn to track what you are spending and give yourself a weekly spending limit. And when you reach this spending limit, consider yourself broke. By doing this, you will always have extra money to spend, and won’t end up broke without noticing it.
  • You must pay yourself. People start savings accounts where they put money in, and then when the checking account reaches zero, they withdraw from savings. Treat your savings account as an employee. Imagine cashing your paycheck and then a few days before payday, your boss comes to you and asks to borrow some of that money back. Yeah, it’s like that.
  • Extra jobs are not a regular part of your life. So don’t think of them like that. Extra jobs are like the friend of out of town who comes to stay with you for a limited amount of time, and while he’s there, he will pay you a few bucks to stay with you. Don’t treat the job like it will always be there; and save and spend accordingly. I use to get a part time second job every Christmas season because there is a lot of money to be made during this time. And by the time the holiday season is over, I have a few extra thousand in the bank. The rest of the year I work my normal hours, give or take a few times that I needed extra money for something.
  • Instead of taking a loan when you want something, work extra–extra hours, a part time job, etc.–to be your own bank account… to give yourself a raise.
  • Remember to bank the money until it’s over to see the true fruit of your labor.
  • Learn how to hustle extra money or–as some would put it–start a small business. The easiest ones are service-related: babysitting, cutting lawns, washing cars, doing taxes, hauling, cleaning. I will do an article or two on some ideas. But service related businesses cost very little to start, and if you don’t get customers you don’t lose money, you just don’t make money. When you sell products, your money is tied up in the products, and you lose money to manufacturing and overhead. We’ll talk more about that later.
  • Finally, there is no reason for anyone reading this article to ever be broke, period. There is too much opportunity. If you have time to surf Facebook, read blogs and watch TV or go to the club, you can be making money.

Hope I’ve given you food for thought. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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Memories of My Father

First, before I begin, I would like you to play the following video. This will set the mood for this article. I want to take you back to my childhood:

When I listen to this song–as well as some others–I remember my early childhood with my father. My dad was the only English-speaking member of my household, and growing up in the Philippines and Taiwan, was my first peep into what was America. Earth Wind and Fire, the O’Jays, The Temptations, baby you name it. My parent split was I was only 6, but attempted to reconcile several times until I was 10, when a divorce finally severed them forever (but they are still friends–and check this:  Facebook friend). But all of my positive memories of my father overshadowed my negative ones. What I remember of my Dad? He was loving, he was strong, he was handsome and told me I was handsome, he was smart and seemed to know everything. My father taught us about the world:  He kept a globe in the living room, an endless collection of National Geographic, even had a huge map of the world in the hallway of our homes. He was a linguist; and even as a kid, I knew how to greet someone in German, Spanish, Tagalog, Korean, Thai, and Mandarin. My dad played with us, taught us how to box, even took his encyclopedia and told us where babies really came from. (We didn’t do storks in the Westray household) My father was an early follower of Elijah Muhammad/Malcolm X (gave me my first copy of the Autobiography too) from the first res, and was into history, politics, and education in general, so he educated us in the real stuff at an early age.

When we lived in Taiwan, my father insisted that we attended Taiwanese schools in order to get the full living abroad experience. We learned to speak Mandarin within that first school year (in fact, I don’t remember a time when I did not speak Chinese, we just knew how), and got the standard Taiwanese education:  politics, history, calligraphy, even martial arts. For years, I would refer to China as “RED” China (Hong Jung Guo) and called Taiwan the “People’s Republic”. My dad drove us all around the island and to this day, we know the Taiwanese map as well as we know the American map.

My dad cooked and cleaned, despite that our mother was the kind of woman who woke up before our maid did. He taught us how to wash dishes and scale and clean fish. He taught us to let women walk through doors first (“so we could see their behinds”, he use to say). He taught us that our mother was the most beautiful woman in the world and that her cooking was superior to McDonald’s. Once, when I said that I would grow up and marry Marie Osmand–he chastised me for bypassing a beautiful Black woman like Jayne Kennedy. I said my mother wasn’t a Black woman, and he pointed out that my mom was built like a Black woman, so she was even better. Sex ed at an early age!

My point of all this is that I did not have my father for a good portion of my childhood due to divorce and the military, as he PCSed to Korea shortly after the divorce. But my image of my father–that handsome, Black Superman that he was, who could sing and dance, who told me and my brother that we were smart, good looking boys, who told us that our mother was the most beautiful women he had ever seen–even after their divorce–who not only told us about the world, he showed us the world himself, who mailed my mother a check every single month throughout our childhood, who called from Korea at 3 a.m. to jump on me for talking back to my mother (when she was remarried to my stepfather), who flew from Korea for my 8th grade graduation and sat next to my stepfather with a smile on his face, who rewarded me for good grades with anything I asked for:  martial arts weapons from Japan, custom-tailored suits in high school, a huge collection of music for my dorm room in college–my father is a real man (yes, he is still alive). He gave me the best memories a kid could have, and no amount of nagging from him at could bother me enough at 41 years old that I won’t call my father weekly to get his advice. The music he listens to is the same music my children hear me play in my car (along with MY music). The same crude humor and lewd jokes he tells me, I repeat to all my Facebook friends. The antagonizing of the White man he used is the same stuff I use on the job to stand my ground. The lessons he taught me in the form of advice, lessons, or just by imitation are invaluable. Every boy and girl should have these kinds of memories of their father. If you are a Dad, get to work. If you are a mother, please don’t stand in the way of their fathers trying to pass these memories to your children. If your kids’ father is not this kind of man, then it would behoove you to find a real man to have over your children, because good stepfathers are the next best thing to good fathers.

A father’s number one job is to raise and support his family. But his second job–and just as important–is to teach his sons what kind of man they should be, and to teach his daughters what kind of man they should look for. I have to put out this shameless plug: My father, James Addison Westray Jr., did a hell of a job. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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Message to THIS Black Man: RW

Sometimes, I can get so heavy-handed with my words, the people I have my message for will close their ears and their minds… and my message won’t get heard.

So at times like this–when I REALLY need for my message to reach somebody–I find myself having to baby somebody and dumb down my message so that it may find its way through the noise and reach someone’s brain. And here we go, babies…

My young brother. I am writing this for you, because I love you like my own son and I want you to break the cycle your father set in place when it comes to your life. I don’t want your child to grow up fatherless as you have. I want you to hold your head up and join the elite of men who can say, “I don’t owe nobody shit, because I did everything I was supposed to do.” I want you to be the object of desire for women around you, because there aren’t many like you. I want your child to be proud to claim you as a father, and I want your mother to be proud to claim you as a son. I want your sisters to use you as an example when jumping on their sorry ass baby daddies, and wish, “Why can’t this fool be more like my brother?” I want racists who want to dog out Black men to see you and wonder if perhaps they are wrong about Black men. I want you to stop being a Nigger–a boy (like they use to call all Black men)–and stand and be a man. A real man.

First, let’s define what a real man is:

  • The buck stops with him. His woman, his baby momma, his children look to HIM for provision. No male can call himself a “man” if somebody else is feeding his children:  another man, the new boyfriend, a husband (that isn’t you), the child’s mother, or the American government that has dogged out Black people since the birth of this nation. Fail to be the one who provides, then I don’t want to hear shit when they execute your son for capitol murder, or a cops whips his ass cause he don’t know how to act, or the judge sentences him to the maximum for something a white boy would have gotten probation for. You be the bottom line.
  • You are the leader of not just your child, but your child’s mother’s family. Be the man who your baby momma compares all her future men to, and regret not having you. Don’t be that nigger that she looks down on because you aren’t worth a shit. Be the one she respects. Be the man that her mother tells her she should be trying to find someone like. Be the one that got away.
  • You are the wisest of your circle. Even your exes will ask for your advice. You can’t lead a family if people around you think you’re a clown. No bs.
  • There is no doubt about it, YOU are the head of the household. And if you are single, women want you to lead their households.

That said, my question for you is this:

You have a baby on the way. Why on earth are you spending money in the club when you have no job? Why aren’t you working? Why are you wasting time in the club chilling with people who are not going to feed your child when you could be doing something constructive?

(Getting off the soapbox)

The most basic thing a man can do is provide for his children. You cannot call yourself a man, when your child’s mother has to turn to other people to buy diapers, food, milk, health insurance, rides to the doctor, help with the bills, rent, or a place to stay. Are you not capable of doing these things?

Another question. What do you call a man who sleeps on couches, lives in a house that is not in his name, is not the source of everything his child and baby momma needs? A boy. Don’t get mad at it, I’m only speaking the truth. Women generally do not disrespect men who are handling their business. Mothers and sisters will not dog out a male family member who is handling business. When a male who is supposed to be a man is not handling business, they call him a boy and they treat him like a boy. Nobody will diss a grown man who pays his bills, feeds his child, breaks off his baby momma more than the judge says he should, and is in a position to help out when it’s needed.

But they will completely wear you out when you don’t own anything. When a man don’t own shit, women will say he ain’t worth shit. And the truth is, a man is worth what he has to offer. It’s nothing to do with gold diggers; it’s just the way it is.

If this task seems like it’s too hard, then ask another man for assistance. But don’t do what children do and throw your hands up and just say “fuck it!” Because in the real world (and you do live in the real world), you don’t get to quit or give up. See, the problem with Black boys is that we make children, and when the stress of not being a provider hits us hard (because when you fail a woman she is not obligated to sugar-coat her frustration–it’s not in her nature), we will cuss her out, walk away and pretend like the responsibility went out the door with the relationship. But it doesn’t. ALL men have to eventually pay the piper. All men will lose tax refunds, driver’s licenses, respect, full paychecks, even the chance to form a meaningful relationship with our kids–if we don’t earn the right to keep those things. It has nothing to do with our baby momma being a good woman. Remember, player–you wanted to hit it, didn’t you? She wasn’t all that bad when you was trying to get the bootie, was she? Don’t blame her because you aren’t handling your business.

So my goal today is not to kick you when you’re down. It is simply to tell you that the racist white man is waiting for you to fail, so he can add you to the statistic that proves that Black men ain’t worth a damn. Are you going to let that happen? The Black family is counting on you. The Black community is waiting to see if you will break the cycle of man-make-baby-man-runs-away-from-responsibility-and-becomes-a-sorry-nigga. It’s simple, but it’s not hard. I have a short list of tips:

  1. Work. Doesn’t have to be a good paying job, but you need to work. Take two jobs if you aren’t making enough money. Don’t sweat it if you’re working at McDonald’s or if it’s Walmart. It’s money. But you need to spend all your free time either working or resting. Save having fun for the party you will throw when that baby arrives safely. Because we are not guaranteed that your baby will live to see his first sunrise.
  2. Put a portion of your money in the bank. Money IS tight. But there will always be a time when you will need more money than what your paycheck will give. The question is, will you be your OWN bank account, or will you be like a boy and ask someone else to pay for your needs? You absolutely must live within your means and put money aside for those things that come up… cause they will come up.
  3. Repair your relationship with your child’s mother. Who cares that she is banging the next man. Aren’t YOU boning somebody else? But you need to keep that relationship harmonious. That way, you can keep your son whenever you want. Other than that–by keeping the relationship bad, you will have to go to court to see your baby. Do YOU have money for a lawyer? It will go a long way, trust me.
  4. Educate yourself. Nobody wants an idiot for a father. Read books. Go to school. Read the newspaper. It’s a better way to spend your time than going to the club.
  5. Speaking of the club, nigga, get the hell out of the club. You are spending money you don’t have. You are meeting women who will not feed your child. (not to mention might be the next one to have your baby) You are drinking alcohol which will shorten your life. Instead of spending money, you could be at another job MAKING money. Want to be real baller instead of acting like one? Work instead.
  6. Do you have your own place? Well, you need to get one. You cannot call yourself a man when you live with someone else, unless that someone else is your wife. And you best be paying the rent, or you are actually HER “wife”.
  7. Put the video games away. At least until the baby arrives. Remember what we said about men versus boys. Men work. Boys play games, player. Stop “playing” like you a man, and be one.
  8. Get some health insurance. Your baby will need to stay healthy. And I sure hope you aren’t planning to let the government maintain YOUR child, are you?

RW, you are a good brother. But you need to grow up. You are too old to play games now. You have a baby on the way, and you don’t have a pot to piss in. Your baby momma, your sisters, your mother all love you, but they don’t respect you, because they aren’t supposed to respect you. You are a grown man living the life of a grown boy. You don’t have a lot of time left, and you must act fast. If you want help, let me know, I will break my neck to get my little nephew or niece into this world safely, and into the arms of a father–a real man–who comes from a good family, who is handsome, smart, and needs to use that brain that God gave him. This country doesn’t love you because you have three strikes against you. First, you are Black. Second, you are poor. Third, the world does not benefit with you in it or out of it. You have too much potential to just be another nigga from the street. You’re too smart for that. Why allow the White man to keep his foot up your behind and do nothing to better your situation? Stop talking shit and do something!  Brother, you need money. You need guidance. You need a plan. And you need motivation. Because this baby will be raised, with you or without you. We have enough niggers in this world. You need to be a Black MAN. Right now, you have got some growing to do. I’ll help. Call me.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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About This Section: Message to the Black Man

I have created a section entitled “Message to the Black Man”. It is named for one of my favorite books of all time, Message to the Black Man, by Elijah Muhammad. It is a MUST READ for especially young black men and boys.

So, I am currently writing a book entitled “My Message to the Black Man”, along the same lines. I originally wanted to entitle it “The Solution”. But I realize–after repeatedly referring back to Elijah Muhammad’s writings and teachings–that I am more than influenced by this man and his organization; I am guided by it.

We will discuss any number of things from love to sex and marriage to entreprenuership to economics to religion to rearing children to recipes. And they are all contained within the pages of my book. I guarantee that this book will be life-changing for you and those whom you gift this book to.

Please check back with me regularly, and I will take you on a mental and spiritual journey to success in your lives. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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Why Good Men Become Captains

So, I’m having a conversation with a female friend of mine about one of her girlfriends I nicknamed “Perky Titties”. She is a good girl, a little flirtatious, single mom, and likes thugs. Naturally, she has been raising her teen daughters alone with no financial input from either baby daddy. Recently, she met a brother–a college graduate with a good job–who has stepped up to the plate and helps her with her bills. He wines and dines her, and some of their dates even include her kids. He attends a different church from her, which is a new experience for her–as this is the first guy she’s ever dated that even attends religious services of any kind. For all we know about this brother, he is a good man.

Black men, 1 point. Bullcrap statistic, zero.

Now, here’s the problem. After only a few months of acquaintance, the brother has expressed an interest in her as a possible mate for marriage. I like that. My friend doesn’t. Despite the fact that my friend has never been married and I believe there is a tinge of jealousy in her opinion, my friend thinks there is something is wrong with the brother. One, Perky Titties is a white girl. My friend is a sister. Okay, so the white girls are good enough to be your homegirl, even fornicate with a brother, just don’t talk of marrying one? Doesn’t make any sense. Two, how do we know he is not a child molester? Well, you don’t. You can know a man for 20 years and not know that he is a molester. So what are you going to do? Fornicate until the girls are grown? Come on. Three–and this is the thing that got me out of my chair–dude just wants somebody to support. In other words, she called him a “Captain Save a Ho”. Sister, you have GOT to be kidding, right?

First of all, babi all I ever hear from you is how Black men ain’t nothing and there aren’t but a few good men left. So when you actually find one, you have a derogatory name for him… A “Captain”? Spoken like a true female, Sambo-ish Nigger. Um, pardon me, but can you define exactly what you consider a “HO”? A sister who is struggling to make ends meet? A single mother? A woman who doesn’t own property or a husband? Wouldn’t that include YOU, my sister? Are you trying to imply that struggling single mothers don’t deserve a good man? Or if that good man chooses a woman who is not well-off, there is something wrong with him? What is that saying about what you believe you are worth?

Let me introduce you to this revolutionary, yet old school, concept:  Good men yearn to be providers. The role that God Himself placed upon men in these words from the Quran (English translation from verse 4:34):

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard.

The most basic thing a man does for his wife and children is to provide for them. Where there is no wife or child, a man will feel a void–believe it or not, whether he realizes it or not. A man with no family will find something to support–hobbies, pets, causes, relatives, friends, or his own selfish leanings. Where a man does not feel this need, then there is something fundamentally wrong with him and you should be able to spot him a mile away. Like what, you ask? Consider the following:

  • he is extremely vain. he spends tons of money on himself, his clothes, his car, on “stuff” (video games, computers, collectibles)
  • he is not a man. not only does he not support a family, he probably doesn’t even support himself. he lives off women, off parents, family and friends… basically, he is a grown BOY. he probably can’t pee straight, his health and his hygiene is poor, he can’t hold a job to save his life. he has none of the characteristics of a responsible adult
  • he is ultra selfish. he never pays his bills, he will use people, he can’t stand on his own feet–or if he can, any responsibility that comes his way subtracts from him. child support, for example, is seen as invasive and unfair and the mother doesn’t deserve it because of X, Y, Z

Sisters, I am just saying that it is natural for a man to want to have mouths to feed, people to guide and teach and be relied upon, to feel needed. When a man encounters a woman–especially a desirable woman–who is not being taken care of, he thinks to himself, “shoot, if she was MY woman, she wouldn’t have those problems…”  He sees her driving the hooptie and wants to put her in a nice ride. He sees her penny pinching at the grocery store, and wants to throw the roast in her cart and pick up the tab. He sees her shopping for her kids at the KMart and want to take her to Nordstrom. He heard about her lights getting cut off, and knows it would never happen if she were with him instead. When a woman and her children suffer, on Yomo Qiyyam, the Day of Judgment, God will ask her man to explain himself. A real man would be ashamed that his children are wearing old clothes and he’s flossing a nice ride. Wait… a real man would never let that happen. In that event–a woman going without–if he were to come across her, the real man picks up the pieces and starts to put this picture together, the way it is supposed to look.

Hopefully, the next time you see a guy like this, you won’t chalk him up as some type of sucker. His soul has heard the message God puts in all our hearts, and it listened. So the question is, will YOU listen?

Baby, this kind of full service don’t come without a price.

A real man who knows what time it is will guide you and your children to success if you follow him. He will pay for the food if you make sure it’s hot and waiting on him when he comes home from work. He will love your kids as if they were his own, if you allow him to be the man and give him the respect that he so rightfully deserves. No, it isn’t sex-for-money, but it is love-and-loyalty-for-provision. The same way God don’t bless mess, you get what you want when He gets what He wants. A good man will be a “Captain” for a woman who deserves it, and he won’t be a Captain long for a woman who doesn’t. Trust this, that most men know what they are bargaining with when they meet you. If you wear a hooker’s uniform and talk her talk, you will get pimps. If you carry yourself with dignity and Godliness, you get God’s gift. And that gift, regardless of what you may call him, is a good man.

Or–as they call him in the ghetto–a Captain. But don’t take him for granted. The older you get, the fewer unclaimed good men there are left.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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