Duplicity, Deception, and Dolezal

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She may have had the best of intentions, or she could have been solely self-serving. It doesn’t matter. I’ve tried to consider all sides of her possible purposes, tried to empathize, tried to sympathize. In some ways, I believed as an Asian-American, I did not have the justifiable claim to be choleric about what Rachel Dolezal did. But I am. I’m aggrieved.

I found myself resentful of her ethnic larceny. Though, I refrained from making any judgements, waiting for further developments and detained details. However, it wasn’t her intentions with which I was most disturbed, it was her duplicity, her deceptiveness for vainglorious gain.

I am married to the first Caucasian minister hired at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. He served in that esteemed church for many years. He is committed to dialogue about race relations and advocates for causes in honor of African-Americans. He is also white.

He has never attempted to perm his hair or darken his skin. He has never attempted to mimic vernaculars or fabricate a history. There is no pretense, just passion. He came as a guest, and it was the graciousness and love of friends that embraced him as a brother, a son, a member of the family.

I also found it affronting that Dolezal may have supposed her work would not be taken seriously if she wasn’t in disguise. That may be true. Who knows? As with all races, some are opposed to anyone outside their ethnic ensemble. However, the African-American friends we have would embrace brothers and sisters, no matter what race, to stand by their side. We would be bereft of extraordinary friendships if we remained behind the blockade of fear and assumptions.

I have also realized that what I feel most for Dolezal is pity. I’m sure she had empirical knowledge of many who respected persons, adopted passions, and extolled strength. I feel sad that she didn’t trust them. I feel woeful that she chose to hide behind her twisted reality. Most of all, I feel disappointed, because I believe the greatest crime Dolezal committed was pocketing the opportunity for many to offer her the acceptance and inclusion that she obviously desperately wanted.


A Little Positive Rant


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all people.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;and listen to all
even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story. 

Avoid loud and aggressive people, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself to others you will become vain and bitter;
there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself. 

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let not this blind you to the virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. 

Be yourself especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. 

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle with yourself. 

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have the right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. 

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. 

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy. 

~ Max Ehrman


Rules, Renegades, and Time Outs

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My youngest is a force to be reckoned with, and I have the bruises on my noggin from the many times we’ve butted heads. Mind you. I’m just as stubborn, if not more. No matter how tenacious and precocious my kids are, they aren’t brats. However, they are fierce.

So back to my youngest…she has her rules. It doesn’t matter if you agree. It doesn’t matter if you understand. You just need to know them and follow them. That’s our diva’s declaration.


"You Need To Use Your Inside Voice"

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When my oldest was about three years old, we sat in church, listening to a very passionate preacher. That man loved alliterations like Peter and Paul prancing from a pauper's penny profit. They should have passed out those Gallagher raincoats for the front row. It was the equivalent of a sprinkling baptism. As he became more and more riled up about his homily, the decibels increased. The man got LOUD. 

After the service, he unfortunately asked us what we thought of the preaching, and without missing a beat, my kid proclaims, "You need to use your inside voice!" Insert the awkward chuckling from the adults who thought she was cute but knew she was right.


Share Some Good Advice

Image from Jeremy Simon
"Hey! Whatcha got for me? Share some good advice!"

Great greeting! It was motivating, challenging, and engaging. I was asked to share some good advice. 

I just came from church where my husband preached about blessing God, seeking Him, and trusting Him when we are in the midst of struggles and trials. We sang in church about glorifying God in our lives, our church, and our hearts. I intended to have something sage that would bring a zen-like explosion of epiphany to his and my day. I intended to use a profound quote that I have read or at least pinned on my Pinterest account. I intended a lot of things. Unfortunately, what came out of my mouth was: "Try not to punch anyone in the face." 

Yes. That, my friends, was my wise advice. 

"Try not to punch anyone in the face."