His Purple Reign Is Over…

Prince SymbolI’m heartbroken.

Yeah, I’m a Prince fan. I wasn’t always. When I was 14, I had a girlfriend who loved Prince. She talked about him, wore the buttons, wrote in that easily recognizable 80s-Prince-style shorthand, even dressed like him. As a self-respecting ghetto boy, I couldn’t get with the program. I liked Hip Hop and DC GoGo music, and his Royal Sweetness was too effeminate for my taste. I liked 1999 and some of his earlier albums–but after seeing the video, I was cool off of Prince.

But then, I had my first date.

Purple Rain hit the theaters, and Mustafa Akamo’s first date was that movie–with my Grandfather sitting between us. Hey, it was a different time then! I went, griping about the theater she chose–I sure as hell didn’t want none of my homeboys to see me coming out of that theater. Hell, it was not much different than getting caught coming out of the porn theater! Anyway, by the end of the first song and scene of the movie, I was a fan. And have been ever since.

I don’t know about you, but I was a fan in the biggest way. Being a fan of Prince’s music was something I couldn’t share with my friends. We were ghetto kids, we did manly things like play streetball, football, and boxed. We fought kids from rival neighborhoods. This was DC, we wore lumberjack jackets, Adidas tennis shoes, our hats backwards, and if you liked something strange like David Bowie, Culture Club, or Duran Duran–you’d better keep that shit to yourself. Not that I was a closet fan… It was just something I enjoyed by myself. I owned all his albums, all the 45s, collected magazines with articles and song lyrics (but no posters–I drew the line there–this was an admiration of the music, not a damned crush lol). I even started writing in the shorthand. I wore trench coats, loved purple, let my hair grow long. I had a lot in common with him. We were both biracial Black men (so I thought, turns out–both his parents are Black), loved motorcycles, rock music, identified ourselves as “brothers”. Except I liked my women chocolate and dark, but he liked mixed women. No biggie.

I had four girls during my Prince stage that I was crazy about, but they were older and liked me as a friend and didn’t reciprocate:  Lauren Kelly-Washington (who went to Georgetown Prep), Kamalah Lucas (either Duke Ellington or GP), Lisa Ponder and Bernadette Brandon (who both went to Eastern High). I wrote love letters. I called them (during my time knowing them) daily, incessantly. I befriended them and learned how to talk to girls. Prince was there all the time, telling me what to say, even when I might as well have been listening to Chinese Arithmetic, because I had no clue what he was talking about. He accompanied me on dates. He was in the background when I daydreamed about them. By the time I made it to the University of Maryland, I was a well-seasoned Playboy. armed with my ambiguous bilingual ghetto-boy/intellect/poetry-writing street kid persona–and women found me to be an irresistible bitch. I could be romantic, intriguing, and fight two niggas at the same time. Articulate-as-hell-but-carried-a-gun type of interesting. Prince seduced the nation, and he taught me to seduce those I came in contact with, simply by being different, being exotic, being strange and peculiar, and being myself. At a time I was struggling to fit in, I learned through him, that fitting in isn’t always where it’s at. They laugh at me for being different; I learned to laugh at them because they are all the same. There’s power in standing out.

I used to say that three things pulled me back from becoming just another brother on the street:  my mother insisting that I was Filipino, my Cuban stepfather who taught me to dress and dance, cook and speak some Spanish, and Prince’s music–which balanced the pull of DC calling me out my racial mixture to join the rest of the brothers. Those who know me know that I am equally Afrocentric and exotic. Many don’t like it; they want me to choose sides. Prince was all about not choosing sides. Shit, that fool wouldn’t even make it known that he was decidedly straight, riding the fence and staying in the gray area is what made this brother stand out. Everybody loved him. Black folks knew he was Black. Latinos loved him because he gave nods to Latin rhythms and music. White folks thought his momma was White, and considered him to have “transcended race” (which happens to be White people’s way of saying “He can’t be Black, we like that nigga too!”).

The brother didn’t leave the race; he wasn’t bisexual. He was just Prince. That’s all. He was who he was, and the place he loved to hang out was right there in the middle. And in the middle where everybody could identify with him and appreciate him. He was kinda White, kinda Black, kinda Latin, kinda Hip Hop, kinda Rock, even kinda Country, kinda straight, kinda gay. He taught those who loved him to get past their own limited tastes and biases and just appreciate him for who he was:  an awesome musician.

There are people who are “fans of Prince’s music”, but then there are “Prince fans”. Prince fans got into more than just the music; we learned as much as we could about him. We still bought all his albums, even though he hadn’t had a #1 hit since 1989–and went to his concerts religiously. We dressed differently, we talked differently, we wrote differently. We enjoyed his music, then studied the lyrics asking, “What did he actually mean by that?”  We categorized dates and life events by whatever Prince songs we were jamming to at the time. He wasn’t just making albums we loved; his music was literally the soundtrack to our lives. And now, he’s gone.

There was a joke about his Royal Badness–that he was the only guy who could wear a headwrap and eyeliner, and STILL take your woman from you–and it’s true. He is probably the only guy a very straight man, even homophobic ones, would admit comfortably was a Sexy Mother Fucker and still feel masculine. Like I said, there will never be another.

This was our Elvis, the Black man’s 9/11. He taught us to say screw the mainstream, screw status quo and do your own thing. For that, I’m honored I had the pleasure of being a Prince fan.

June 7, 1958 - April 21, 2016

June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016

From Him we came, to Him we return. Till we meet again, Prince Rogers Nelson. Rest in peace, my brother.

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10 Things I Wished More Black Folks Knew….

What a year it has been!

Dang, I’ve been off for at least a year. Working my behind off, getting ready for the next phase of my life–which I will be financing myself, so it requires me to work 13 hours a day, 7 days a week. Stay tuned for that story, which you will find here. Right now, it’s just a landing page, but check back regularly; you’ll find a ton of stuff by the summertime.

And being the busy-body schitzo type, I digress…

So I belong to a few Afro-centric, Black power, and Pan-African groups. Funny thing about that crowd. Within the “Conscious Community”, you will find many aware, eyes-open-wide folks. However, you will also find many close-minded people who are just as ignorant as they were before becoming self-aware–armed with not much more than a few pieces of trivia and plenty of rhetoric. As usual, I am prone to argument, going up against the grain. It’s because, I don’t know… I’m a thinker and an independent-minded guy. I rarely follow the crowd and I always question my teachers. “Question” as in “challenge”; I’m the kind of student many teachers dislike, but self-assured, confident teachers welcome. In the martial arts, I’m the guy who spars with my seniors.

In my 46 years, I’ve learned a few things and I love teaching and sharing. Many who haven’t learned these things will often automatically disagree, while others will be skeptical. That’s fine, don’t take my word for it; do your research and see if I’m telling the truth! Here is a list of things I wish could go viral in the Black community. There is a lot of finger-pointing in the conscious community, but not very much in the way of solutions. I have compiled a list of useful information that all Black people need to know–which I believe will help improve our situation. I throw it out like political talking points, but they are so much more valuable than that. If only, huh. Well… It needs to go viral. Let’s see if social media can make it happen…

  1. Regardless of who is the blame of our second-class status in America, no one will get us out of it but OURSELVES. Yes, it is unfair to cripple a man and then expect him to pull himself up by his bootstraps. Yes, America owes us reparations. But you are expecting a man with no conscience to right his wrong, when he mostly denies his wrongdoing; you are expecting a thief to repay his debt. IT WON’T HAPPEN. So, what’s next? Wait for him to realize the err of his ways? Hell no. No one will solve this for us. We have the means and the numbers to fix our own situation, but more on that later. Just know this:  No other group is going to work harder to fix the Black man’s problem than the Black man himself. When you’re done marching and begging, let me know. There’s work to be done.
  2. The opposite of racism is prestige. You cannot change a hateful man’s mind. You cannot make your enemy love you. But if you raise yourself to a level of prestige, you can erase all power his hate has over you. How does racism affect Black people? It prevents us from feeding our families and getting jobs, it prevents us from finding decent housing, it fails our children in education or sends them to special education, it gets us killed during traffic stops, it causes entire political parties to IGNORE our community’s needs. Now, elevate our people to a higher level of prestige. Pool all our money together. Did you realize that the Black community has $1.1 Trillion in spending power? That’s more than most of the nations on Earth! But the money means nothing if we do not wield it to our advantage. If we could somehow keep all of that money in the Black community and never let the money out, it give us power. Companies will have to beg for Black customers. Politicians will ask for donations and votes. Those Asian and Indian stores run by rude people will go bankrupt unless Black folks decide to patronize. Even banks who deny Black people credit will have to beg our people to store our money with them. But guess what? All those people get our votes, get our money, get our business despite that they treat you bad, refuse to hire your people or support your causes. Raise your esteem and prestige, you erase the effects of racism.
  3. The greatest thing you’ve ever done is make those babies you’ve got. Regardless of whether or not you’ve done right by them, you will discover one day that the greatest thing you’ve ever done is have children. To be able to look at your legacy one day, and see little people who look like you… they have your facial features, your walk, your temper, your voice… You will finally see what your purpose in life was all about. Stop what you’re doing, and go and love those kids and cherish them. Chances are that right now you’re young and preoccupied by whatever. Well when you make it to your 40s and 50s, you will look back and your children and your children’s children will be the most memorable of them all–the most everlasting of them all. Don’t worry about what you’ve done up to this point. From here forward, I want you to bring it back to the middle and cherish all you have left of it. Even if you have to break bread, make apologies and beg forgiveness, listen to a bunch of chastizing–don’t let this major part of who you are slip away. The older you get, the more you will realize, you don’t have much else of value besides your children and grandchildren. Your gift to the world…
  4. Getting married is the key to prosperity. But only if you stay together. Two people working together have double the income, double the companionship, double the wisdom, but only half the headache and half the burden. Even if you both only make $10/hr, as a couple you have a $20/hr job. You’re bringing double the income into the household, that means your thousand dollar rent is only $500. $160 in groceries is only $80. You don’t have to drive nowhere to get sex; it’s right across the bed (ZERO spent on motels, unless y’all go out of town lol). No trips to child support, no battles in family court, no headache over who’s weekend it is to keep the kids. Life is so much better if you’d just do what you gotta do to make this family thing work. And here’s the kicker:  The chances of your children being a disappointment are so much lower; you’ll be raising happier, more well-grounded kids who do not have separation anxiety or emotional issues. They know what love looks like and will be less prone to bad relationships because you and your spouse have taught them what a successful couple looks like. Single parenting is NOT the business. Black folks, we are the only people in America being told that marriage ain’t shit. Don’t believe it. Your enemies want to see you fail; keep those families together
  5. A complete “education” need not necessarily be a *College* education. We should be encouraging our children to finish their education by pursuing any vocation or career that makes them happy or piques their interest. It does not have to be through a university! Trade schools and unions are just as good in keeping our people employed and on the road to prosperity. They say that with a trade, you’ll never go hungry; so much wisdom in that. The world may not always need expertise in history or philosophy, but it will always need mechanics, construction workers, folks in the medical field. And if our children struggled through high school and show that they are not cut out for academics, pushing them towards the university is just rushing them to fail. Understand that what they want for themselves, what they are gifted in, may not match what we want them to do. Perhaps your daughter is an artisan and wants to work with her hands. Maybe your son liked basketball but lacks the discipline to train every day; perhaps he wants to help heal the sick. Find out what makes our children tick, and help them chart a plan to get there!
  6. Keep your dollars Black. Your community depends on your income and everyone else’s income to keep it going. Why are you patronizing businesses that care nothing about your people? Can’t you find a black business that offers the same product? No grocery store owned by Black people nearby? Sounds like a need to me… (read on!)
  7. Every Black community needs: Day care for its children, food and grocery, laundry facilities, auto shops, insurance, recreation for the children, tutoring for the children, clothing, medical treatments, convenience stores, housing, and forms of media…  How many Black people have children in the community? How many Black people eat? How many Black families clothe their children? How many Black folks wash in a wash house? How many Black folks need health care? Dental care? Prescriptions filled? How many cars are in the Black community? How many need insurance?  Then why are we waiting on KOREANS and CHINESE to open such businesses in our own communities? If you were to open one of these essential businesses, you should automatically have clientele, am I right? So tell me, why are you working that job you hate so much? Pool your money with two good friends and start rebuilding a Black Wall Street, pronto. You can’t fail, it’s 2016!!!
  8. The world is huge; YOU’RE FREE!!! There is a reason that Black people ended up sharecropping for the same masters they served as slaves when we were free. That reason explains why, at the height of Jim Crow and the KKK were killing our people nightly, Black folks didn’t leave the South. It also explains why, with all the warnings our people had before Hurricaine Katrina, we refused to leave. It explains why Marcus Garvey couldn’t fill his ship with Black people willing to return to Africa and leave this horrible HELL we were living in under stress, torture and hate. Most of us are still in a slave mentality. We can’t imagine life without White people. We can’t imagine life away from America. We can’t imagine life off the plantation. Talk to a Black man about returning to Africa, he will give you all kinds of excuses:  This is MY country, my forefathers built this place, America owes me, you want me to live in a HUT?, there’s despair and malaria over there, blah blah blah, quack quack quack. All of that boils down to this:  We believe that the only way we can live good is to live in a Westernized society. We haven’t seen Lagos or Abuja, Johannesburg or Addis Ababa. We think everyone in Africa is living in the bush because we believe the propaganda. Either that, or we feel almost as American as White Americans… just, maybe–one step down from them. If we knew how much good living there was out there —-> Outside America’s borders, we’d leave in a heartbeat.
  9. The dollar bill is worth so much more outside of America. Could you budget your lifestyle to save $250 a pay period? If you can, you could rebuild your life in five years and live like a king. Saving $500 a month, you would have $30,000 in five years. This would enable you to expatriate to almost any nation on Earth–to Africa, Latin America or Asia, where your $30K would have 2, maybe 3 times the spending power it has here in the States–and live that life you’ve always dreamed. Start a business. Buy a beautiful home. Let your children know what it feels like to live away from racism and second class citizenship. Remember, you are an American. This fact alone gives you prestige around the world. They won’t see you as a Negro or Nigger. Most countries don’t even have slurs for Black people! But your money is worth more abroad, and this puts you in a place where you could possibly live any dream you want. You just have to work for it, and know that it’s possible. And be daring enough to pursue it.
  10. Bad credit and criminal records in America don’t affect you abroad. Honestly. I had met a couple in Tijuna, Mexico, years ago with my ex-wife. The husband had a criminal record here in the US, but had a prosperous business with a friend in Mexico. He told me that he relocated because living in LA, he was rejected from all possible employment routes, while in Mexico he was just an expat with a business plan. Ditto that for personal credit. If you’ve run into obstacles here in the States, like so many of us do–these records are meaningless if you relocate. Start your life over and do it RIGHT this time!

I actually have at least ten more, but we will revisit this topic another day. In the meantime, please share!!! And comment below…

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The New Colossus (The Power of a Poem)

Poetry has power.

The Bible is a long collection of poems. Even though much of it appears to be written somewhat in a prosaic form–it is broken down into verses, much like the seemingly endless epics of the ancient world. And Proverbs? Pure poetry. Psalms? Poetry. Exodus 15, the Song of Miriam and Moses? Song of Solomon? Bitch, please. This isn’t just some idle pastime. Then ask any Muslim; the Quran is one long, rhythmic, rhyme of God-recited poem. And between the Bible, the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (the Gospels), and the Quran–you have a collection of poems that darn near fueled every movement of modern, recorded history of mankind.

Here in America, the inspiration of this nation is carried on the back of a little known poem entitled “The Defence of Fort McHenry“. (By the way, that wasn’t misspelled)  You may not know the poem, but every red-blooded American knows the first stanza. Go ahead, take a look

Then there are the two most beautiful, most defining sentences ever written about and for Americans–the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble–which guides and states what this nation is all about (or supposed to be), as wonderfully worded as they are, as poweful as their meaning, as enduring as their purpose, as memorable as they are, and as easily as they flow from the tongue… I would strongly argue that they read like a poem:

The Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident

That all men are created equal

That they are endowed by their Creator

Certain inalieable rights

That among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

–Thomas Jefferson

The Preamble

We the People of the United States

In order to form a more perfect union

Establish justice

Insure domestic tranquility

Provide for common defense

Promote the general warfare

and secure the blessings of liberty

To ourselves and our posterity

Do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America

–Senator Gouveneur Morris

Poets may not seem to be in a very lucrative field of work. As an English major at my alma mater, I once mentioned to my mother that I might try and become a poet–she laughed. but some of the most influential writers we read and quote today were poets. Monarchs and Generals alike of yesteryear valued poets. Most wealthy families of ancient times employed or commissioned poets. Even in America, each U.S. President appoints a Poet Laureate–the offical Poet of the nation–a highly prestigious post for any academic, and many state governors appoint their state’s Poet Laureate. Sure, you don’t make much money–but long after some random millionaire is dead and gone, people will remember and live by the words of a poet.

Statue-of-Liberty-Chains31Which brings me to the purpose of today’s entry. The Statue of Liberty (interesting bio, by the way–make sure to watch it) was brought to America to symbolize the Republic and as a symbol of America’s independence. However, an art fund that took part in raising money to construct the foundation of the statue–which was a gift to America from France–a Jewish poet named Emma Lazarus, born to Portuguese immigrants, donated a poem to be read at a fundraiser. It was well-loved but soon forgotten about until a decade after her death, when the poem was engraved and placed at the pedastal of the statue until 1986 when it was removed. The poem, entitled “The New Colossus”, was named for one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Greek Colossus of Rhodes. Lazarus’s poem was an ode to the Statue, which stood taller than the original Colossus, but welcomed ships at the harbor to the “twin cities” (New York and Brooklyn were known at the time, since they were originally two separate cities)–as well as the poor immigrants aboard those ships.

statue-liberty

Our nation’s leaders argued and fought over what would be on the Statue of Liberty. She was originally to bear a broken chain, symbolizing the end of slavery–but no one wanted a national symbol to be abolitionist. She was to wear a hat given to emancipated Roman slaves, but they didn’t want that either and chose to give her a halo/crown symbolizing the seven seas. Then there was the tablet she holds in her left hand–and they chose to simply inscribe the date “July IV MDCCLXXVI”, the date of our independence. The artist, a supporter of Abolition, decided to keep the chain, but half-hid it under her robe and placed it at her feet where it could not be seen from afar. Despite what our Congress intended the Statue to represent, the inscription on the plaque and the fact that the Statue was the first piece of America new immigrants would see, the Statue of Liberty for over a century has represented immigration and America’s willingness to receive them. This is a nation of poor, lowly and downtrodden immigrants. Together we make a rich and powerful nation stronger than the original Colossus ever was. And we are held together by the lyrics of a poet’s work.

Enjoy.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

–Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)

The Colossus of Rhodes

The Colossus of Rhodes

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Please Stop Trying to Psychoanalyze Me!!

Yeah, I am not a normal person. I have short, passion-filled, exciting relationships–more like flings. I get it. The sex will be good, we’ll become good friends, but in the end, you will either want to screw me for life (even when you get your new man) or you will hate my guts. Seemingly intelligent, rational women will turn psycho on my ass. They will stalk me. They will call my mother. I, in turn, depending on how we break up–will whip your new man’s ass every time I see y’all together. It’s the nature of dealing with the type of guy that I am.

No, I am not a cheater. I don’t scream at or mistreat my women. I won’t use you or invade your space, nor will I accuse you of sleeping with other men or go through your phone. When you threaten to leave me, I will actually breathe a sigh of relief. It’s almost like I expect my relationships not to work, so when they don’t–they don’t hurt.

There are many like us, people who are strongly desired who will crave you back. We are often accused of things we don’t do and thoughts we don’t have. No, I am not checking out your sister. No, my client has zero chance of sleeping with me. At the same time, the more you get angry at me, and make me (quietly) angry at you, you’re going to seal our doom. I live off adrenaline, I make bad decision, and this is just how I am. My old ass is 45 and I’ll probably always be this way. What will it take to hold me down? I wish I knew. But I know that there are some things that will send me away, and I always communicate what they are. One of the worst things you can do with a guy who’s been married 7 times is threaten to break up with me and think it will make our relationship stronger. Let’s start with that one thing.

All I ask for is reciprocation.

So, I had a lady from years back I was dating. Strangely enough, she was my pediatrician when I was a child and I ran into her as an adult at the gym and we dated for a few years. I took this test and she used the results against me every chance she had. That shit was not fun. Recently, I dated another medical professional who asked me to do the same test. Again, she kept referring to the test to tell me what I was going to do, what I was thinking, and what I wanted to do. We didn’t last nearly as long as the last one. Today, a friend of mine asked me to take this damn test again lol (no, we’re not dating) I have no idea if the results are the same as the last two times I took it…

I thought I would share the results with my readers. Maybe whatever is within these lines will help you understand the stuff that’s in my articles and my poetry. Enjoy! And that’s for visiting my blog!

ENFJ Description

by Joe Butt

ENFJs are the benevolent ‘pedagogues’ of humanity. They have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage and/or grand schemes. Many ENFJs have tremendous power to manipulate others with their phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship. But it’s usually not meant as manipulation — ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are.

ENFJs are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously. Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial ability.

ENFJs are, by definition, Js, with whom we associate organization and decisiveness. But they don’t resemble the SJs or even the NTJs in organization of the environment nor occasional recalcitrance. ENFJs are organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs. Their offices may or may not be cluttered, but their conclusions (reached through feelings) about people and motives are drawn much more quickly and are more resilient than those of their NFP counterparts.

ENFJs know and appreciate people. Like most NFs, (and Feelers in general), they are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others. They have thinner psychological boundaries than most, and are at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people. ENFJs often take on more of the burdens of others than they can bear.

TRADEMARK: “The first shall be last”

This refers to the open-door policy of ENFJs.One ENFJ colleague always welcomes me into his office regardless of his own circumstances. If another person comes to the door, he allows them to interrupt our conversation with their need. While discussing that need, the phone rings and he stops to answer it. Others drop in with a ‘quick question.’ I finally get up, go to my office and use the call waiting feature on the telephone. When he hangs up, I have his undivided attention!

(ENFJ stands for Extravert, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging and represents individual’s preferences in four dimensions characterising personality type, according to Jung’s and Briggs Myers’ theories of personality type.)

Your Type Preferences

Extravert(1%) iNtuitive(62%) Feeling(25%) Judging(1%)

Because you appear to have marginal or no (1%) preference of Extraversion over Introversion, marginal or no (1%) preference of Judging over Perceiving, characteristics of more than one personality type may apply to you:
ENFJ, INFJ, ENFP and INFP.

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Functional Analysis Of The ENFJ

Based on Jung’s framework of mental functions – by Joe Butt

Extraverted Feeling

Extraverted Feeling rules the ENFJ’s psyche. In the sway of this rational function, these folks are predisposed to closure in matters pertaining to people, and especially on behalf of their beloved. As extraverts, their contacts are wide ranging. Face-to-face relationships are intense, personable and warm, though they may be so infrequently achieved that intimate friendships are rare.

Introverted iNtuition

Like their INFJ cousins, ENFJs are blessed through introverted intuition with clarity of perception in the inner, unconscious world. Dominant Feeling prefers to find the silver lining in even the most beggarly perceptions of those in their expanding circle of friends and, of course, in themselves. In less balanced individuals, such mitigation of the unseemly eventually undermines the ENFJ’s integrity and frequently their good name. In healthier individuals, deft use of this awareness of the inner needs and desires of others enables this astute type to win friends, influence people, and avoid compromising entanglements.

The dynamic nature of their intuition moves ENFJs from one project to another with the assurance that the next one will be perfect, or much more nearly so than the last. ENFJs are continually looking for newer and better solutions to benefit their extensive family, staff, or organization.

Extraverted Sensing

Sensing is extraverted. ENFJs can manage details, particularly those necessary to implement the prevailing vision. These data have, however, a magical flexible quality. Something to be bought can be had for a song; the same something is invaluable when it’s time to sell. (We are not certain, but we suspect that such is the influence of the primary function.) This wavering of sensory perception is made possible by the weaker and less mature status with which the tertiary is endowed.

Introverted Thinking

Introverted Thinking is least apparent and most enigmatic in this type. In fact, it often appears only when summoned by Feeling. At times only in jest, but in earnest if need be, Thinking entertains as logical only those conclusions which support Feeling’s values. Other scenarios can be shown invalid or at best significantly inferior. Such “Thinking in the service of Feeling” has the appearance of logic, but somehow it never quite adds up.

Introverted Thinking is frequently the focus of the spiritual quest of ENFJs. David’s lengthiest psalm, 119, pays it homage. “Law,” “precept,” “commandment,” “statute:” these essences of inner thinking are the mysteries of Deity for which this great Feeler’s soul searched.

Famous ENFJs

by Joe Butt

David, King of Israel
U.S. Presidents:

  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Barack Obama

William Cullen Bryant, poet
Abraham Maslow, psychologist and proponent of self-actualization
Ross Perot
Sean Connery
Elizabeth Dole
Francois Mitterand
Dick Van Dyke
Andy Griffith
James Garner
William Aramony, former president of United Way
Gene Hackman (Superman, Antz)
Dennis Hopper (Speed)
Brenda Vaccaro
Craig T. Nelson (Coach)
Diane Sawyer (Good Morning America)
Randy Quaid (Bye Bye, Love; Independence Day)
Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive)
Kirstie Alley (“Cheers,” Look Who’s Talking movies)
Michael Jordan, NBA basketball player
Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean)
Oprah Winfrey
Bob Saget America’s Funniest Home Videos, Full House
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Seinfeld”)
Ben Stiller (The Royal Tenenbaums)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts quarterback
Matthew McConaughey (The Wedding Planner)
Pete Sampras, Tennis Champion
Lauren Graham (“Gilmore Girls”)
Ben Affleck (The Sum Of All Fears)
John Cusack (High Fidelity)

Fictional ENFJs:

Joe Hackett, Wings

Typology of Westeros: personality types of the characters from A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novel series (you may have seen its Game of Thrones TV adaptation).

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Filed under Marriage + Love

Blacks Aren’t the ONLY Ones Who Need Help…

There is a separation of colored people from white people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/einstein.asp#M8piyxVDEkBD7UQ8.99

There is a separation of colored people from white people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/einstein.asp#M8piyxVDEkBD7UQ8.99

There is a separation of colored people from white people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/einstein.asp#M8piyxVDEkBD7UQ8.99

There is a separation of colored people from White people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of White people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.

–Albert Einstein, 1946 (speech at Lincoln University)

Ole Dr. Einstein was much smarter than we give him credit for. I’d like to make the argument that this is not an outdated idea…

I contend that racism is not a thing of the past in America. While it is no longer in-your-face and obvious–for aware people of color, it is all around us. And racism is not just for skinheads and extremists in the Midwest and Southern states–it exists among you, even some of you reading this article today. Racism in America is like a disease that no longer hurts or shows up on the outside:  Often, those afflicted either are in denial that it exists (within you or among you), or you believe you are in remission from it. That is, until some event arises that pulls it out of you:

  • Your daughter dates a Black boy
  • You witness Black people acting ignorant
  • You see a crime committed by Black people
  • Someone Black pisses you off
  • Someone you trust and respect brings your own actions and words to your attention

Like all diseases that go untreated or ignored, racism will fester like an infected sore until it erupts in some embarrassing, uncharacteristic outburst or action. You may end up like one of these White men on the job, now labeled a “racist”, when you know damn well you aren’t racist–although you may have allowed something to come up you barely realized was there… Or failed to recognize that it was, in fact, racist.

I would like to tell you about two experiences I had that may sound familiar. Actually, it’s something I experience a lot. My name is not a common name. My first name is Muslim, my last name is Filipino Muslim in origin. I have sent résumés to companies with my name that have received no response at all. I occasionally will send a second resume with a race-neutral name that at least gets me an interview. When I returned from deployment–and I tell this story often–I had done exactly this. Same resume and experience, different name. Guess which one got the interview? Well, it was over the phone, and by the time I had received a job offer, no one in the company had seen my face. I stayed there 7 years, promoting several people of color into a previously all-white management team. And I received the Jackie Robinson/Obama treatment:  people refusing to call me “Mr. Gatdula”, complaints or reverse racism–although I still promoted mostly White males and very few Latinos and Blacks, it was just too much color for my counterparts and subordinates. The only friends I had was our COO and our Vice President–the latter of whom helped me land my first VP position when I left 7 years later. Well, even then, I was only seen as a Filipino and not Black. I doubt my Black ass would have survived 7 years in this company, and barely in the industry. Today, I work for myself and I only work with minority-owned companies (that’s not by choice) as a consultant.

The second, and the reason for this article:  Today I was cold calling in Fair Oaks, CA. Fair Oaks is a majority White area of a predominantly Latino and Asian city, and it’s a mostly upper middle class area. I walked into a lumber yard with a guard shack and barbed wire, while wearing a shirt and tie. As soon as I walk in, the staff is all over me, thinking I might be a customer. When I present my card and introduce myself as a salesman for a security guard company, one man is shaking his head “No”, while his friend proceeds to lie to me about whether they use a guard (they do), whether they have experienced a loss due to theft or burglary, and that his boss is NOT interested in discussing their security. Both men, in fact, refuse to accept my card and both lied and said they have no card. While one was simply hostile, the other (the one who told all those lies) smiled at me the whole time with that “I-don’t-hate-people-of-color-but-I’ll-never-do-business-with-you” look. Black people know what I’m talking about. Asians and Latinos, not so much because they are mostly in denial about their level of (un)acceptance…

On the way out a nice man (and HE is the reason I am not giving the name of this facility) stops me to ask if they had taken care of me. No, I answered, and I gave my spiel all over again. Not only was he in need of guard service, he was interested in what I had to say and impressed that I was familiar with his business. You see, before I walked in, I had read about his burglaries and had seen the damage done to his fence. People of color know this, because we have to:  We must be three times more qualified and prepared than the next guy because we already have a strike against us. I cold call constantly because 50% of those I meet will never do business with me simply because I am a man of color. So I work twice as hard to yield the same benefits as the next guy.

This was not about the fact that some guys can disguise their treatment of me as “I don’t like solicitors”, however. It’s about the denial of what is really going on inside their heads, the smile on the face, the passive aggressive door slammed in the face of any applicant with dark skin, or a “ghetto name” whose resume is thrown in the trash, the boy your daughter likes that you disapprove of, because something (oh no, not race!) about him makes you uncomfortable. It is no longer socially acceptable to harbor certain feelings about race, so you must deny that you even OWN those feelings.

^^ And this, my White brothers, is why you are still sick with racism. You cannot cure a disease until you first acknowledge that it exists. No one will lash and flog you. Hell, every BLACK man in America has some level of ill feelings toward White people; that is, especially until you have proven yourself to not be an enemy. But we understand that we are this way, and that is why we aren’t crippled by it. You must admit that when you look at large workforces with people of color but only White managers, it looks strange. You are seeing the world through eyes that have no color man’s filter. You think anytime someone claims he sees racism, he is being unreasonable. You believe that George Zimmerman just might not be crazy, and that Trayvon Martin really was menacing. You don’t want to admit that the thought of mixed grandbabies enrages you. You honestly believe that your company’s Black Vice President is unqualified, and that he got his position by sucking someone’s dick or because of the evil rule called Affirmative Action is taking jobs from White men. If we are ever to truly be ONE America, you must see what we see, or at least understand why we see what we see. And you will have to look in the mirror, and understand that a second pair of eyes is needed to see the man within.

Racism, regardless of how slight it may be, is a disease that America really needs to cure. It’s like cancer; it won’t go away. It is also like a hereditary disease as well–if you aren’t careful, you will pass it on to your children.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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Filed under Message to the White Man

Looking for….

One of the cool things about the internet:  When you’re bored, and run out of productive stuff to do–the mind wanders. So you start thinking of things, places, people, events…. Like many people, I will Google old friends and family members. Not in a weird, stalky, rapist kinda way. Just a “I wonder what so-n-so is up to” type of way.

The great thing about Facebook is that you can find damn near anyone, but you also find a whole bunch of people whom you don’t know but they share your old friend’s name. No one wants to come across as creepy, so I tend not to add folks or message them to ask “Hey is this Jeffery Tsai, the kid who use to attend Taipei Elementary in the 70s in Taiwan?” And stuff.

So occasionally I find them. Old classmates, second girlfriend, one of my favorite school teachers (right before he died). And then I have sort of “found” them, but can’t break through some website, or comment buried under 900 comments that my old buddy wrote in 2003.  People have found me this way. I once reunited with an old flame from HIGH school when she ran into a good friend of mine in DC and got the correct spelling of my name and then searched me and found my business’s website. That shit was hot.

That’s one of the cool things about having a strong web presence; old friends will pop up, and I am easy to find. However, when I am trying to find someone, it’s not always easy. See I lived in other countries, some of these friends don’t speak English, are not on the American web (yes, search engines pick up sites by country, region and language) so that makes it difficult. I once sat in the infirmary in Texas next to my old next door neighbor (we were around 8 or 9 years old when we did) when I lived in Taiwan and that quickly we lost contact. I’ve looked for her a few times without success…

Well I decided to dedicate an article to my old friends. Within a few days, this article will come up on the search engines and just in case my friends or someone close to them does a web search of their names–this article will come up. If I am right, I should be getting in touch with some old childhood and college friends before we know it. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  • Gwynn Barrigher (Clinton, MD)
  • David McGowan (Taiwan)
  • Hans and Eddie (Taiwan)
  • Melissa and Tammy/Tammie Gibson (Taiwan)
  • Richard Kozicki/Kazicki (Taiwan/Australia)
  • “Cabbage Patch”/Elizabeth Yao/Liz Yao (Baltimore, MD)
  • Philip Knight (Buffalo, New York)
  • Calvin with the one eye (lol) member of Phi Beta Sigma
  • Stephanie and David Dea (Washington DC)
  • Michael and Leah (Taiwan)
  • Jeffery Tsai (Taiwan)
  • Jep Tucker (Taiwan/Thailand)

 

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Filed under General

Invictus, Lesson in Life

I’m going to be selfish today. The Quran 29:2… “Do the people think they will say “I believe” and they will not be tried?”

God tells us that he will no put more on the soul than it can bear.

If you want to make glass stronger, you heat it up to the point that it is about to melt and then pressure it while it cools.

For my martial arts students, I make them stronger by training them until their muscles give out. The will go home night after night, exhausted and in pain. But over time, a sculptured, rock solid body is the result of all that punishment.

When you were a baby, your parents probably punished you or popped you to teach you obedience.

We could go on for days. The people of Mindanao, Philippines, have the same culture, religion and language they had for centuries. It is in spite of the many dominating cultures who invaded the Philippines and colonized it in recent years–from the Spanish in the 1800s, to America, to Japan. They also happen to have the strongest martial arts. This indomitable spirit is the result of a millennium of fighting off invaders. Toughness is rarely something we are born with. It is the result of a tempering from being attacked and standing strong. We all pray for resilience, but we often do not understand that the problems we endure gives us that resilience.

The prophet Ayyub (Job, for my Jewish and Christian readers) was known for his unshakable faith and obedience to God, even after being attacked with affliction and misfortune. When you pray for strength, pray for the strength of Ayyub–that you do not allow set backs to cause you to backslide or join the non-believers. There is always a reward at the end of struggle. If you know this, your struggle will be much easier to take. Don’t complain or whine, just pray for guidance and strength–and then get to work.

We all have our issues. Things don’t go our way. We get disappointed. We get let down. We don’t get what we want. We lose who and what we love. We bust our behinds for something, and sometimes it doesn’t work in our favor. We pray for God to give us something or to do something for us, and He answers “No” or “Wait”. It happens; just keep at it.

Muslims have a dua (supplication) we say when we encounter someone who is struggling:  May Allah make it easy for you. Pray for other people, and He will protect you as well. The more you invoke this dua, the more He will have your back. Stay positive while you endure, and may His will be done.

By the way, you all… I didn’t write this article for you–I wrote it for me. (That’s why I said I was going to be selfish today)  I am picking myself up today, I thought I would let you hear me talk to myself. Maybe someone will hear what I need to hear.

I read this poem years ago, and it had stuck with me all this time, because I could hear William Ernest Henley talking to me as I recall its lines–and it describes many people that I love and admire. It originally had no title, but was given the title “Invictus” (latin for unconquered) when it was included in an anthology. Enjoy! And thank you for visiting my blog.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

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Filed under Inspiration, Poetry