Support the Arts by Supporting Mahogany

Mahogany

you what today is? Today is a day to support the Mahogany Urban Poetry Series 15th Anniversary celebration by donating to and sharing information about the Indiegogo campaign. Today is a great day to enter the Mahogany Urban Poetry Series 15th Anniversary Poetry Contest. Today is a day to support something that’s positive and worthwhile.

Why? Poetry saves lives. Poetry helps people get on the good foot. Poetry influences people and the people in their life for the better.

Question: How would you feel if you found out you had a Maya Angelou, or a Langston Hughes, or a Nikki Giovanni, or a Sonia Sanchez, or another amazing poet that would change the world right there in your local city; and you never found out about them because you chose not to support the arts? Let’s make sure it doesn’t happen; these young beautiful voices need a platform. Mahogany Urban Poetry Series gives them this platform.

Donate to the IndieGoGo Campaign. Enter the Mahogany Fifth Poetry Contest. Spread the Word to Others.

Go to:  www.mahoganypoetry.com

 

A Shot Out

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Let me take a moment to give a shot out to all of the people I know that overachieved after being told that you couldn’t do it, to the fatherless children who became outstanding fathers, to the gang bangers who are doing the heavy lifting in the community, to the drug addicts who are clean and doing the work of saving lives, to my sisters who have broke through the glass ceiling without selling their souls,to the ministers that used to run the streets with me, and to the mothers who are raising young men in spite of the belief that women can’t raise men – to that I call bullshit, I am one.

Yes, today I am giving a shot out to every kid that was born in hell and have still found a way to live in the light, to be consumed with love, and to move past anger even though they have every right to be pissed. Today I am dedicating my post to the “I never thought they could/would be successful, yes, I’m doing the damn thang success stories”.

It’s impossible to name you all by name, but know that I am in your corner, got your back, believe in your hustle, in love with your soul, and walking the damn walk right there with you. We are the true American dream. Good day and keep pushing forward. ~ Sean King

Happy Mother’s Day (2014)

 

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Wishing a Happy Mother’s day to the amazing woman who birthed me, raised me, taught me to navigate these crazy shark infested waters as a young black man, showed me how to live with integrity even when doing the right thing goes against the grain, and served as a constant reminder that love is always there even when you find yourself in the middle of hell. You are appreciated, loved, and still greatly missed… but knowing that you have found peace is better than having you suffering here with us.

Happy Mother’s Day to all my grandmas that have found peace and to grandma that is still here blessing us with her love and wisdom. Happy Mother’s day to all my mamas that have embraced, loved, and treated me as their son. Happy Mother’s day to all my sisters who are raising the next generation of Kings and Queens; you are amazing. Happy Mother’s day to all of my Aunt’s, cousins, friends, and every other amazing woman out there making big contributions to the world by selflessly serving the role as our mothers.

Happy Mother’s Day to my angel, my Queen, my wife, the love of my life, the mother of my little King’s, and the amazing woman who I have vowed to spend my eternity with. Everyday with you I am reminded of God’s eternal grace.

Thank you to you all…. I am, we are, it is all because of you… ~ Sean King

Maybe Then

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…maybe then…maybe after you’re done obeying all the rules, dressing in all the right clothes, going to all the right schools, chasing all the right jobs, networking with all the right people, and doing everything they told you that you need to do to be successful all the way down to eating Sushi, drinking Starbucks, and disowning all of your family and friends who aren’t career oriented because them being in your life ain’t — excuse me, is not a good look with the people you’re trying to impress… and then you realize that you’re not happy…

…maybe then you’ll flip your middle finger to peer pressure, quit worrying about everyone’s opinion of you, go back to drinking red Kool-Aid, eating chicken, and being happy to see your not so perfectly mannered family members that will rob an armored truck to give you an opportunity to be successful because they genuinely love you instead of spending all your time trying to brown nose those stiffs for a promotion…

…maybe then you will dust off your dreams, your ambitions, your purpose, and fight to become the person you are supposed to be… not the one that sounds good to everyone else, but the invisible you that’s being murdered a little bit everyday in your prison of self inflicted mediocrity of wanting to look good in the eyes of everyone else, the one that’s fighting from deep down in your soul to liberate you from the rat race…

…maybe then you will get off your ass and say what you have to say, do what you need to do, be who you want to be…

…maybe then you will remember what it means to be genuinely happy….

…maybe then you’ll do “That Thing”… ~ Sean King

Light, Life, Love

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You don’t owe me anything. I don’t owe you anything. If I give, it’s because I want to and not because of what I might get in return. If I receive, I give thanks because what was given wasn’t owed to me. Your praise of my accomplishments, though greatly appreciated, is not necessary because I’m driven by purpose. Everyday I want to be a better man than I was the day before. Some days I succeed. Some days I fall short. No matter which side of the fence I fall on, I keep trying. If I wake up that means I must keep marching forward; no excuses.

One day, this earthly body will be unable to hold my heavenly spirit. When that day comes, smile for me because I have lived.  I have bathed in the beautiful rays of the sun and smiled.  I have danced on cliffs overlooking an endless ocean to the rhythmic sound of waves slapping against rocks.  I have sang the morning glory with God’s songbirds to usher in a new day.  I have enjoyed fellowship, and drank, and told tall tales under the midnight sky to the backdrop of a grizzly bear’s growl and the roar of a hunting pack of lions.  I have been touched and I’d like to believe I have touched others.  Most importantly, I have made love under the twinkle of the star filled sky and gave birth to happiness.

What more would I dare ask for? There are no regrets here. There is no desire to go backwards or to apologize for the steps I have taken. There is no worry over how I will be remembered. My legacy is the least of my concerns. I am too busy trying to walk the path I have been chosen to walk to worry about what tall tales will be told about me after I’ve transitioned to the next step in my infinity.  Live Life in the rays of the Light.  Project Love from the deepest depths of your Heart.  Let your Soul be the map you use to navigate to your Purpose.   ~ Sean King

Sweet Smiles and Big Dreams

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I met the cutest little girl yesterday who told me she wants to be a doctor so she can help people. How beautiful is that?

I’m going to say a prayer for her and her dreams; because I know the way the society we live in and the people in it can kidnap, rape, beat, and even murder the worthy dreams of our kids under the guise of doing what’s practical, of making money, and yes, even under the pretense of love.

Should you come across my new friend, the kid with the sweet as red kool-aid smile and bigger than life dreams, or any other hopeful child that dreams of someday making a difference in this world; I beg of you to forget about your own failures, to ignore that inner voice telling you that what these kids dream of is impossible, to step out of the box of your broken realities, and to refrain from speaking to them about all of the obstacles that will prevent them from ever achieving the dreams they seek.

Instead, offer a word of encouragement, let them know that you believe in them and that they can do it, tell them that there is nothing in this world that can stop them if they work hard, are determined, put their mind to it, and map out a plan.

Whatever you do, don’t be the reaper ushering another child’s dream into the graveyard where the broken dreams of those who never had the courage to pursue their dreams go to die… ~ Sean King

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Rest In Peace Nef

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When I first got the news that my good friend had passed away today, it hit me like a ton of bricks… That is until I took a deep breath and remembered her for the beautiful person that she is. Then I gave thanks to God for allowing such a beautiful angel to find her way into my life.

It’s crazy how a brief encounter at a stepshow all the way back in 1995 could turn into a lifelong friendship. How influential a bright smile and a fighter’s heart could be on my perspective. How much more beautiful the world seemed after a heartfelt conversation with her, my sister. The way she lived, her always positive attitude, and her passion for doing for others was a constant reminder that I simply do not have the right to feel sorry for myself.

The kind of woman that she is was never more evident than when I spoke to her while she was waiting for a Liver transplant and the odds started to appear to be stacked against her. What did she say? She told me that no matter what that she was blessed, thankful, praying for the other patients in the hospital who she felt had it worse than her, and going to continue fighting and fighting and fighting….

No matter the circumstance her message was always consistent – Get Up!! Keep Fighting!! Keep Smiling!! Keep Loving!!

Nef, I will miss you dearly and already look forward to having our next conversation on the other side. I am thankful that you have found peace and finally found a place big enough to hold that beautiful smile of yours. Love you always, your brother… ~ Sean King

Greatness

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I’m black and haven’t watched 12 years a slave. I didn’t watch the Help or the Butler either. In fact, I didn’t and had no intentions on watching the Oscars… but I do congratulate them on their award, on obtaining a slice of their dreams, on the confidence that so many young brothers and sisters will have who are struggling with believing in themselves in a world that is constantly telling them they are nothing.

To my young brothers and sisters who are looking at their dreams and wondering if they are capable, if they are worthy, if they can. I will simply say; Yes!!! You can, you are worthy, you are more capable and amazing than you will ever know, and you are and have always been beautiful even if society refuses to validate you. I say those things to you in hopes that you never give your power to anyone else. In hopes that you understand that even though it’s nice to be recognized for your effort, it is not a requirement for you to achieve your greatness; do not allow them to have that kind of power over your dreams. Keep moving forward, keep grinding, keep pushing toward your dreams even if it seems you are the only one who believes in them. Above all else – believe in and love yourself. I love you; I believe in you; I wish the best for you today and always. ~ Sean King

Happy Black History Month

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Happy Black History Month to all of my brothers and sisters that descended from Africa . As my brother Gilbert Richards always reminds us, Black History didn’t start with Slavery and is more than the history of African-American/Black people in America.

This month, let’s celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of our ancestors by paying homage to their legacy and putting in the work to build on it.

No matter what your knowledge of our history is, learn more. No matter what your accomplishments and achievements are, do more. No matter how many people you uplift with the wonderful community service you do, strive to do more. No matter how many people you greet and smile at, smile and greet more.

Envision yourself helping your people escape from the Pharaoh. Think about what it would be like to conquer Rome. Can you see yourself leading forces in the French Revolution? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take Edison’s inventions and make them better. What about creating an Almanac and designing the streets of our nation’s Capitol. When you make Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches do you say Ashe in honor of our ancestors? Do you ever wonder how all that food is transported across the country without spoiling? Have you read the Three Musketeers or the Count of Monte Cristo? When you thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing the slaves do you also thank Frederick Douglas? Do you yell Yele and Amandla Awethu in your sleep? What would it have been like to stand at the steps of the Lincoln memorial and to deliver one of the most important speeches ever delivered? What are the Souls of Black Folk saying to you now? How did Superman become Man?… and while I’m at it, why does Black History month even exist?

No matter who you are, no matter where you are in life… Dream Big, Give Thanks, and Go Forth on building the history of tomorrow through your hard work today. ~ Sean King

Dr. King the Revolutionary

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Kill the man. Sanitize the cause. Make him an American hero. Give the people a holiday. Let the people have their sanctioned marches and rhetorical speeches on his dream… But whatever you do, never let it be known that King was killed, not for his stance on race but for his position on war. For his desire to see equity across humanity. For his work to build coalitions with other non-black groups who stood for the same things he stood for. For his push to ensure every citizen in this rich nation had guaranteed income levels so they too could compete for this dream of ours.

Dr. King was not just a Civil Rights leader who wanted little black boys and little white girls to be able to hold hands without fear of persecution. Dr. King was a revolutionary that questioned America at its very core.

I too celebrate the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The problem is, I’m not sure we’re talking about the same King or the same dream. We’ve made progress, but we’re no where near where we need to be; meaning we still have work to do. ~ Sean King

Thoughts on Beauty

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Being beautiful is our God given right. Don’t allow these superficial perceptions that man pushes lead us to believe that being beautiful is something that’s reserved for those other people, or something that we need to spend money on to be. Dark skin, light skin, short, tall, old, young, curly hair, straight hair, blue eyes, hazel eyes, deep dark brown eyes, or whatever other permutation you can think of; you have the right and capability of being beautiful as long as you understand that beauty is not a product you buy, but something that starts from inside you… something that you are. So gon’ head with your bad self; own it, be it, let it resonate in your actions and with every breath you take… Beauty becomes you. ~ Sean King

Dr. King

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Happy birthday Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; today we celebrate you as an activist, as a revolutionary, as a leader, as a humanitarian, and as a man who believed in something so much that he willingly gave his life for it. Even though we continue to sanitize and in some cases bastardize your message, your impact continues to be felt all across the world today.

Was Dr. King a Civil Rights activist fighting for the rights of Black People? Absolutely. But let’s not forget that he was also a man who stood against violence, who stood against war, who stood against poverty, and who stood in front of the world and declared that America had failed to deliver on its promise to the people. He was also a humanitarian and a coalition builder who fought for people at home and abroad.

So while you’re at your day of service, while you’re repping your organization on the MLK march,while you’re doing your staged sit-ins and protest before going back home to your nice comfortable life; take a moment to reflect on who Dr. King was and what he ultimately stood for; and then ask yourself – Have you ever believed in a cause so much that you would be willing to lay your life down for it?

Dr. King the man is no more; but his work has not been completed yet.

You can not assassinate a spirit, you can only kill a man. Long Live the King… ~ Sean King

Go Crazy and Touch the Stars

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Walk alone when you need to.
Dance by yourself if the urge hits you.
Let the music play in your head and sing it out loud.
Talk to yourself and listen.
Listen to the advice of others but trust in you.
Seek success on your own terms.
Create your own currency to measure your life.
Don’t be afraid to believe something your soul knows that your mind can’t comprehend.
Go crazy and leave sanity to those who seek mediocrity.
Break free, stand up, run forward….. Jump!!!

So what if you fall…
You can never reach the stars if your feet never leave the earth. ~ Sean King

Eye Candy

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In our society, every time we see a girl, a young lady, or a woman who fits the societal accepted standards of pretty… we usually focus on their physical characteristics and say things like, “You are so pretty that you should be a super model”…

Honestly, I’m sick of it and want to shift the paradigm in a way that lifts our Queens up and gives them real confidence… How about the next time you see a girl, young lady, or a woman that you think is pretty, you give her a different kind of compliment.

For example, “You are so beautiful that you should be an Engineer, or a Doctor, or a Teacher, or a Philanthropist. I think you have what it takes to change the world.”

My point is we should encourage our women to be more than eye candy. Good morning beautiful people. ~ Sean King

Reflections and Thoughts

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Here are a few thoughts that I like to reflect on periodically.  Some that are mine, and others that I ran across that really resonated with me.

If you want to do something courageous, try love. ~ Sean King

The word for today is love. Find it inside you. Be it with every particle in your body and every piece of your soul. Project it so that everyone who stands in your vicinity feels the spirit of God moving in and through you. ~ Sean King

Don’t love someone and think you have tomorrow to tell them. Don’t be mad at somebody and think you have tomorrow to make it right. Don’t hold it in.. What am I saying? I’m telling you to treat every encounter with every person like it’s going to be the last time you will see them. Life gives opportunities but does not make guarantees. Right now is all we have. ~ Sean King

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me”. — Erma Bombeck

The supreme prayer of my heart is not to be learned, rich, famous, powerful, or good, but simply to be radiant. I desire to radiate health, cheerfulness, calm courage, and good will. I wish to live without hate, whim, jealousy, envy, fear. I wish to be simple, honest, frank, natural, clean in mind and clean in body, unaffected, as ready to say I do not know, if it be so, and to meet all men on an absolute equality, to face any obstacle and meet every difficulty unabashed and unafraid. I wish others to live their lives, too – up to their highest, fullest, and best. To that end I pray that I may never meddle, interfere, dictate, give advice that is not wanted, or assist when my services are not needed. If I can help people, I’ll do it by giving them a chance to help themselves; and if I can uplift or inspire, let it be by example, inference, and suggestion, rather than by injunction and dictation. That is to say, I desire to be radiant – to radiate life. – Elbert Hubbard

Good night family… Wake up rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready to be a miracle. I love and thank God for your presence in my life. I may not know the reason, but I know there is a reason and that’s good enough for me. ~ Sean King

To My Queen

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Who knew, that on this day 37 years ago that a woman would be born who would tame my wild heart, elevate my soul into the Universe of love, teach me how to dance on the clouds, and open my eyes to the grace of God in ways that I had never saw before.

Who knew, that the love of my life, my Soulmate, my Boo, my Queen, and the mother of my lil’ Kings would lasso my heart with a love so beautiful that it would melt away all of my anger and hate, and leave me naked in front of God with three possessions: my love, my family, and the work of uplifting humanity.

Who knew? God knew, when he molded Adam from the clay of earth and created Eve from a rib at his side that you and I would be standing together on this day with a love as perfect as any love that has ever existed. Through God all things are possible, with your love my heart is unconquerable.

Happy birthday Boo, I am thankful for you sashaying your love into my life. Today we celebrate you, my Queen… ~ Sean King

Sean King Gives Thanks To You

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I’ll save my diatribe on the origins of Thanksgiving and all the other questionable history of America for another day, and will simply say…

I give thanks to the Creator for blessing me with another day of life. I give thanks to my ancestors for providing the shoulders that I now stand on. I give thanks to you, my family and friends, for providing the backbone for who I am and giving me the constant push I needed to keep me moving 4-ward. I give thanks to every situation I’ve encountered and every person that God has allowed me to cross paths with, even for a brief moment, because I have faith that it all has meaning. I say prayers for every one of my brothers and sisters across the globe who are alone, depressed, ill, incarcerated, missing someone special, oppressed, or in need of uplift for any reason… Insha’Allah/God Willing, my prayers will reach you and give you what you need. I stand with you in solidarity; as a father, as a man, as a human being, and as a child of God with a smile and a faithful belief that we will collectively find a way to make this world better. I greet you with love and a smile on this beautiful day. I hope you are standing with me and smiling back… ~ Sean King

Late Night Musings

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Only if I am willing to give it all in an effort to save you can I claim to walk the path of Jesus… but right now, I am still too inwardly focused to recognize your pain. I am still too worried about receiving the blessings I deserve to sacrifice for you. I am too afraid of the unknown to embrace the after life. I’ve heard it’s beautiful, yet I fear death because I don’t know anyone who can confirm its beauty. The willingness to step into the unknown is where my faith is weakest. I claim Christianity, yet demand that you meet me half way before I sacrifice anything for you. Did the people meet Jesus half way before he took the cross? Were they deserving of his love? Are we worthy enough to call ourselves faithful followers?

In time we will all discover truth, for now we ponder. ~ Sean King

Amazing Happenings

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I’ve learned that something amazing happens everyday; you just have to learn to see it. It can be something as simple as a smile, a hug, a conversation with a friend, or even the reality of your dreams manifesting. It can be a kind word to a stranger or being on the receiving end of a timely blessing. Today I experienced all of the above and then this…

I called AT&T to report an issue with my UVerse. The lady on the phone had an accent that I knew was from a place far away from me. In between her going through her script, we exchanged pleasantries and I learned she was from the Philippines. I asked how her family was doing and how she was holding up? She appreciated the concern. I could tell from her response that the tragedy was taking its toll on her, but she was proud and determined to keep pushing forward. We talked about the United States, her desire to pursue her dreams of coming here, her Aunt in California, and the differences in culture. I needed my TV fixed and she needed someone to have an off script conversation with. She was able to resolve the issue and I was able to offer kind words and prayers to someone in an area in need of healing. It was only one person, but it felt meaningful. It never ceases to amaze me, all the creative ways that we are moved around in and out of each other’s lives.

I will continue to pray for my brothers and sisters in the Philippines. Love… ~ Sean King

Naked

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I’m determined to learn about the you that sits behind the veil you use to hide everything about yourself that society has deemed different.
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I want to hear your real story. I want to understand your pain and to help you overcome your doubts.
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I want to have an open conversation with you where its okay to discuss our fears, our dreams, our happiness, our unique experiences, and our different beliefs.
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I want to accept you for who you are, and not the public you that you wear like a costume.
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I want to become less ignorant because you are in my life.
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I want to be honest with you without either of us feeling the need to sugarcoat our words because we both know there is no ill intent.
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I want you to feel comfortable sitting with me, unguarded and unafraid.
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I want to build the kind of friendship with you that’s built for an eternity.
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I’m determined to learn about the you that sits behind the veil you use to cover everything about yourself that society has deemed different.
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Will you undress with me? ~ Sean King

Reflections on Truth

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Regarding writing, I would only encourage you to focus on the truth that your soul is trying to get out, and not to worry about how it comes out. Truth is beautiful, not because of how pretty the words sound or well it’s written, it’s beautiful because it is a piece of our authenticity. Truth speaks to our hearts and souls in ways the mind is incapable of comprehending.

What I’m saying is you should never compare your writing to what others write, simply continue to document your truth, to bask in the glow of love, and to be as consistently authentic as you can be. ~ Sean King

My Story

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Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Friend, Humanitarian, and Believer… If there was a biography written about me, those would be the most important 7 words in the book. At least in my eyes. ~ Sean King

Don’t Miss It

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Don’t miss it… 
The good things going on in your life
The reasons to be thankful
The opportunities to smile
The blessings that are unfolding for you right now… 

Happiness may not be screaming for your attention in the same way that negativity does, but it’s there, quietly waiting for you to see and embrace it… 

Don’t miss it!!! ~ Sean King

You Are Beautiful

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You are beautiful. The whole world is in front of you waiting to be conquered. Sure, there will be some bumps and rough patches, but don’t let it discourage you. Don’t lose sight of your blessings because of a few unfortunate circumstances. Get up, dust it off, take a step forward and then another and then another until you reach your destination. Know in your heart that nothing can stop you but your fear. Who are you? You are a King if you choose to be. You are a Queen if you believe it’s so. You are a work of art created by the most high… Act like it. Know it. Believe it… Believe it… You are beautiful… You are beautiful… You are beautiful… ~ Sean King

Reflections (10/5/2013)

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This morning, like a lot of other mornings, I woke up and wanted to talk to my loved ones that have already passed on. To be honest, this is not something that makes me sad or angry, just a reality for someone that has said goodbye to a lot of people over a relatively short life. It’s a reality that has taught me about mortality, dreams, friendship, appreciating the here and now, and the importance of not wasting moments. Through this reality, I have learned the importance of every single breath, of every interaction, of passionately pursuing my dreams from the time I wake up (God Willing/Insha’Allah) until I rest my head at night, and of you. This reality has helped me to move away from the idea of the American dream and toward God’s purpose. It has taught me to stop counting on tomorrow’s and to quit assuming I’ll have another chance to make it right. Most importantly, it has taught me passion.

When you sit down with me, when we communicate in passing, when you read what I’ve written or watch how I’m living, I hope the thing you see is someone who is passionate about friendship, about using my gifts to help someone, about life, and about love.

Why do I share this? I share this so that you can understand what I’ve come to understand. We have been given but a few ticks on the clock of eternity to achieve an infinite amount of dreams and to express an infinite amount of love; we don’t have a single breath to waste on the bullshit.

The Cliff

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..you’re standing on the edge of a cliff, are you worried about falling or thinking about soaring?

Crawl
through the suffocating inside of hell’s furnace

Walk barefoot
over broken boards littered with the poison of old rusted nails

Wrestle
With fire breathing dragons while simultaneously siphoning Satan’s venom
from your soul

Swim
From the bottom of the Atlantic through a school of Great Whites covered in blood to get to the famed shores of hope

Jump
Over lakes of quicksand into bushes of poison ivy with the shackles of incarceration on your ankles and wrist

Swing
From southern branches like ripe apples waiting to be picked for the autumn harvest

Escape
From the throngs of slavery only to be stabbed by the slithering scales of Justice

Survive
The mind altering trauma of mass incarceration and run

Run
Away from the barking dogs chasing you through the enchanted forest

Run
Barefoot through the sizzling desert staying hydrated by drinking the venom of the Sidewinder

Run
Past the pack of wolves and around the the bear protecting her precious offspring before engaging in a brutal death match with a hungry Mountain Lion and then climb,

Climb
Over the the slippery rocks, through the thick vegetation, and around the gaseous pockets of poisonous air

Fight
Through the frost bite, through the avalanches, through the shortness of breathe caused by the lack of oxygen as you ascend to the place that only the great ones go

Stand
At the summit of your life, at the edge of the cliff of all the struggle you have been through to get to this point, looking at the breath taking views of destiny, taking deep breaths of purpose…

…are you worried about falling or thinking about soaring? ~ Sean King

The Lost Art of Conversation

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Someday, I hope to sit down with you, to look in your eyes, to hear your voice, to converse using the full array of tools we’ve been given; voice fluctuations, hand gestures, body language, pace, facial expressions, and eye movement.

Someday, I hope to have an honest and open dialogue with you, without interruptions, without being defensive, without misunderstanding; our souls harmonically synchronized to the rhythm of each other’s beat.

Someday, I hope to share a space with you at a time when we are present in the moment, both mentally and physically; where the words coming out of our mouths and the unspoken language of our souls are just as necessary as the oxygen we use to feed our lungs, our heart, and our mind.

Someday, I hope to meet you in a place that sits just beyond the reach of our internet connections, of our cell phone towers, of our satellite feeds, and out of the range of all the other distractions that we’ve allowed to impede something that used to come so naturally to us.

Someday, I hope to converse with you in a place so beautifully peaceful that I can hear the blood flowing through your veins and the thump of your heart.

Someday, I hope to sit down and talk with you, to have the kind of dialogue that 60 years of marriage is built on, the kind of discussion that is necessary to establish lifelong friendships, to have the kind of dialogue that leaves you longing… for the next conversation.

Whenever you’re ready, I’ll be waiting for you…

Know Thyself

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Surround yourself with people who know your worth and don’t accept anything less. Fall in love with you and treat yourself accordingly. Work like someone who has a million things to do that knows tomorrow isn’t promised. Pray like someone that believes in God and not like someone that was taught a ritual in a church. Chase your dreams with the endurance and determination of a pack of Hyenas stalking their pray, and not in the short all out sprint of the Cheetah. Praise God (Alhamdulillah), and be thankful for who you are, where you’ve come from, where you’re going, and what you’re about to do with the gifts God has given you. Good morning beautiful people. ~ Sean King

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Together we have the ability to bring life into this world. Do you understand how big of a responsibility it is to be a vessel of God’s love? … and all we can think about is money and sex… That’s the part that bothers me most; our selfishness, our inability to respond to our calling, our carelessness with the most important task God will call us to serve… I pray for your awakening. For those that are already awake, I pray the darkness never steals your love. ~ Sean King

Be Willing

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Love
and be willing
to fight for it
-
be willing
to live for it
-
be willing
to give all that you are
for it
-
Just be willing,
to love… 

Through My Eyes

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Cover to my First Book of Poetry – Designed in 1994

Through My Eyes (circa 1993)

I carefully maneuver
my way through the streets of this nation
With the hood of my sweatshirt
always covering my head

Wearing a pair of black gloves and some dark glasses
to cover a pair of eyes
which always remain red

Not red
from smoking marijuana
or drinking

Not red
from staying up late
or not getting enough sleep

Red
representing the rage of a people
Who have been oppressed by a racist society

If you look in my eyes
you can see hurt and pain
you can see strong determination, will, and desire
you can see the explosion of a rebellious mind
If you stand too close
you can feel the heat of the fire

If you look deeper
you can see compassion and love
you can see formerly oppressed people on the rise
you can see the destruction of a racist society
you can see the past, present, and future
if you look through my eyes


Through My Eyes 7/14/2013

I was happy.  A young boy taking daily walks with my grandmother.  Excited about starting school because I had been told I would learn to read or write there.  I was 4, and my days were spent playing with the kids in my neighborhood.

I was 5 when my sister caught me on the porch kissing the girl from across the street.  Me, my best friend, and the girl across the street used to love playing Dukes of Hazard.  I can’t remember if I was Bo or Luke, but she was Daisy.  We would tongue kiss, we would hump, and I would try to put my pee-pee in her.  When I got caught, I remember the intensity of the conversation.  I remember the whipping I got, it was the worst whipping I had ever had.  The whipping was my first message that race mattered.  Her dad was racist, we lived in Bakersfield, my parents and neighbors were concerned about what would happen if we were caught messing with that little white girl.  They remember Emmitt Till, and they didn’t want me to be him.

I was in 2nd grade when I saw the graffiti at my elementary school.  It read, “The South Will Rise Again”, “Long Live the KKK”.  That same year, I caught my first glimpse of people covered in white sheets and hoods.  I didn’t know who they were, but the kids were talking.  Later that day I would ask my mother what is the KKK?  She told me to look it up.  I opened an encyclopedia and saw images of people covered in sheets, bodies hanging from trees, crosses burning in people’s front yards.  I didn’t understand it all, but I was terrified.

I was in the 7th grade the first time I was called a Nigger.  It was that same year that I started to become painfully aware of the racial disparities.  I still didn’t understand it, but I could sense there was something different.  That was the year I became aware of the whites against the blacks fights.  Even still, Race wasn’t a major theme in my life at that time, because my Junior High was attached to a continuation school, sat across from a park where the Bloods hung out, my friends were starting to become young Crips, and there were fights, violence, and Narcs at my school.  I had bigger things to worry about than Race and I still had friends of all ethnicities; including white people… but looking back, that’s about the age where the lines started to become more pronounced, where the separations started to become more obvious, where the people began to form cliques based on neighborhoods, race, and class.

I was in 9th grade the first time racism hit me in the face.  I was at a school where the mascot was a Rebel, where there were confederate flags hanging in the yards of the people who lived across the street from the school, where confederate flags were proudly displayed on license plates, and the racist tones started to become more pronounced.  The blacks against the whites fights continued, the gang banging became more serious, and I became aware of areas of Bakersfield that were off limits to us.  But what I remember most is the teacher who told me I wouldn’t amount to anything and told my friends they should stay away from me because I was bad influence on them.  I was hurt, I hated her, and that was the first time I ever failed a class.  Not because she failed me, but because I refused to accommodate a racist teacher by doing the work.

The day I turned 16 I got my license and shortly after my first bucket.  Finally, we were growing up, getting our first taste of freedom, gas was cheap, and for the first time we had the means to learn more about the world we lived in.  I was becoming a black man; a gifted student, great friendships, confident and determined, and for the first in my life I began to be treated like a threat.  It was when I turned 16 that I began to get profiled by the cops.  Started getting stopped randomly, being questioned about my whereabouts, followed through the streets of my city for no reason, pushed and ticketed for non-offenses, and even had police that would stop and simply stare at me while I would wash my car in my front yard.  This was the age I first started to become angrily aware of my city and the America I lived in.  I was infuriated, but I refused to live in fear.  This was also the year my mother decided to begin pushing me away from Bakersfield.  She feared that I would be murdered in the city I call home like so many of the young black men that had come before me; simply because I didn’t know my place.

I had just turned 18 when I left for college.  Free from the grips of racism.  No longer exposed to the drug selling, the gang banging, the racist cops, the overt racism, and the city that would try to destroy me.  But I had already been wounded deeply.  I had already experienced racism and I had already studied my history.  I was familiar with the slave trade, the torture, the black codes, the Jim Crow, the Reconstruction, the KKK, the lynchings, the boys who were murdered by cops for being black.  I was still angry, a walking time bomb ready to blow up at the first hint of trouble.  It was reflected in my writing, in my friendships, in my attitude, and in my speech.  America had become black and white in my mind.

So when the cop followed me all the way through my college campus before stopping me and accusing me of running a stop sign, I was barely able to contain my anger… and when 5 officers pulled their guns on me as I was attempting to return a video, ran my license, and then let me go after telling me they stopped me because I had a tail light that was out; my anger was almost uncontrollable… and when I was given a citation at the airport while picking up a friend because I had a fraternity license plate on my car instead of a California plate, I couldn’t take it any more; especially after realizing this cop walked right past another car who was also missing a front license plate to get to me…  and when I was asked to speak to the students and the media at a Convocation at my college campus because of a bomb threat issued to the Ethnic Studies department; I understood clearly who I was.

Fortunately, I had writing as an outlet to my emotions.  Writing as a way to keep my mind in check just enough to keep fighting the battle intelligently.  I was becoming smarter and more understanding of my environment.  The anger was starting to be replaced with cold contemplation and the work of change.  I was growing, and even though the racism wasn’t going anywhere, I was finally learning how to not let it control me.  Through this growth, I was starting to learn to embrace people again, not based on race, but based on God, based on humanity.  I was beginning to find happiness even in the mist of inequality.  For the first time in my life, I was learning to fight with love, and for something instead of against something.

But I must tell you, even after nearly 40 years on this earth,  my anger is not completely gone and I’m not completely healed.  I am still triggered by racist cops and the accepted indiscriminate acts of violence against our youth.  I am still angered by the knowledge that my sons, my pride and joys, will be forced to fight the same battle with racism that I spent most of my life fighting.   Even as I try to define my life solely on the foundation of love, my heart hurts because I know my sons may one day be the new Emmett Till, the new Amadou Diallo, the new Tyisha Miller, the new Oscar Grant, or the new Trayvon Martin.  I know that one day my wife and I may be forced to bury our sons because of some senseless nonsense in the land of the free.  My soul is in pain, because I am aware that the life of my sons, beautiful and innocent as they are, does not hold the same value as the life of the scum of the earth in America…

So today, as I have for most of my life, I fight for our soul, our freedom, and our youth.  I am not raising kids, I am raising warriors, in the same way our ancestors raised us.  I am not begging for your help or your justice, I am building the future in spite of your wickedness.  I will not have my sons praise your flag, my sons will only praise God… because only the love of God can deliver us from the Belly of this Beast.

Hugs

 

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Today I hug my boys knowing that that there will be a day that I can no longer protect them from the cruelty of our world.

Today I hug my boys with the knowledge that for all of their dreams and aspirations, for all of their hard work and integrity, for all of their education and success, that they will face times in their lives where they will be treated as second class citizens, if not like animals.

Today I hug my boys holding back tears, knowing that one day I might have to bury them just like Trayvon’s parents buried him; because this is still America, we are still black, and they are still suspects susceptible of having their human rights violated without provocation or reason.

Today I hug my boys the way my mother and my grandmother hugged me; with the knowledge that justice was never intended to apply to the darker complected Americans.

Today I hug my boys… because I know we live in the land of the free lie, the place that enslaved my ancestors and broke my grandparents back, the place that blackened my mother’s heart and tainted her hope, the place that taught me at the most inappropriate age about racism and class, the place that has shown me time and time again that it’s more likely that this empire will crumble like the empires before it rather than evolve into the dream it pretends to be.

Today I hug my boys, because I want to see their innocent smiles illuminate hope for as long as they possibly can; but I know it’s a matter of days before those beautiful smiles are attacked by the atrocity of our American injustice.

My country tis of thee
Where is the liberty?
From trees we swing? ~ Sean King

Just Around the Corner

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…now that my birthday is less than a month away, I’m officially open to accept invitations for breakfast, lunch, dinner, good conversation over tea, thought provoking books, warm smiles, unsolicited acts of kindness, free love with no conditions, and to be in the presence of the kind of happiness that makes unhappy people sick… ~ Sean King

Random Thoughts

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Half of America will see a white man, shooting a black monster out of fear for his life… Half of America will see a young black boy, defending himself against an overzealous wannabe cop before being shot in cold blood…

…but who will see how ratchet we’ve become? Kids, unfulfilled dreams senselessly murdered while politicians debate the right to bear arms. First world women quietly being trafficked through American caves for profit. Drugs abused to take our mind off the pain of being privileged. Homeless arrested for trying to eat the scraps of unused food that is wasted rather than put to good use. Religious discrimination in the land that was supposedly created by people seeking religious freedom. Pro-life, pro death penalty. Made up fear created to create made up reasons for war to create made up reasons to kill to spread a made up myth of Democracy by a country that’s a made up Republic; made up because the people in power quit caring about the people they represent years ago…

Are we hopeless? No, but we’re definitely insane because we keep doing the same thing over and over again while hoping for different results. Do we?… hope for different results?

…when the bullets fly
and the kids die
who will cry and
who will close their eyes
to keep from seeing…

…who will close their mind
and who will close their heart
to keep from bleeding…
~ Sean King

Learn to Love

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Know this, if your happiness has been arrested by anger, doubt, fear, jealousy, or self-hate; it’s only because you’ve willingly chose to allow your happiness to fade away.

Learn to control your anger, and you will unlock the chains that have shackled your joy.

Learn to push through your doubt, and you’ll find the possibilities to be infinite and your limitations to be nothing more than figments of your imagination.

Learn to face your fears, and they’ll never again be able to use mind manipulation to make you fall short of your dreams.

Learn to defeat the insecurity of jealousy, and find the power to work together in harmony to lift humanity out of the bucket of despair.

Learn to love yourself and bask in the glow of the the blue skies. Bathe on the clouds of your dreams. Soar with the grace of an Eagle with its wings spread. Know that your dreams are within reach. Fill your lungs with the air of freedom. Never again look back to that dark place that anchored you to futility, burned your dreams alive, and shackled your life to hopelessness.

Learn to love yourself, and unconditionally loving others will come with ease. ~ Sean King

You Are Beautiful

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Last night, my wife and I started watching the documentary “Dark Girls”. In a word it was “painful”. No matter how long I’ve witnessed and been a part of this issue, it’s always sad to be reminded about how deep the issues with skin color run in the Black (African-American/African) community.

That being said, I am very aware of how Colonialism and Imperialism have nearly impacted the view of the entire world when it comes to skin pigmentation and melanin. White Jesus, darker people all over the globe treated like second class citizens or in some cases animals, negative stigmatization, self hate, classicism, and a myriad of other issues stemming from the continuous attempts to whiten our society through art, the selective retelling of history, law, religion, and the negative portrayal in the media.

With that in mind, I will say this: If you don’t read or listen to anything else I say, I need you to know that God made you “Beautifully Perfect” just the way you are… Dark skin, light skin, white skin, brown skin, caramel skin, mocha skin, red skin, freckled skin, spotty skin, or whatever you’ve been blessed with. If it’s the way God made you, then you are beautiful and you shouldn’t listen to anyone trying to tell you otherwise. I Love You.

California Plum (Haiku)

Ripe, sweet, juicy plum
Nectar dripping from my lips
Tasty wet fingers.

~ Sean King

Saturday Morning Thoughts

Either you are..or you're not

Either you are..or you’re not

When someone ask you,
Who are you?
What will be the first words out of your mouth?
my name is …
I work at …
I’m a manager at …
I’m a lawyer,
a doctor,
a teacher,
I run a …
I do …
I’m a …
I am

When you ask yourself,
Who am I?”
What are the first words that come to your mind?
mother
father
Christian
Muslim
black man
gay woman
activist
student
failure
prisoner
work in progress
I’m a …
I am

When someone ask you
How would you describe yourself?
What will you say?
I’m tall
I’m short
I’m dark
I’m light
I have long hair
I’m skinny
I’m Cuban
I’m Indian
I’m West African
I’m American
I’m a poet
I’m a …
I am

When your time is over,
What will they say about you?
How will you be remembered?
What will your legacy be?
What mark will you leave?
What will be your story?

When your creator ask you,
What are you doing with the life I gave you?

Do you think you’ll still be able to hide behind your labels?
…Muslim
…Christian
…Hindu
…American
…Indian
…Black

Do you think you’ll still be able to speak about your surface
…gay woman
…student
…skinny
…tall
…long hair
…dark skin
…doctor
…lawyer
…poet

Do you think you’ll still be able to hide,
…from who you are?
…from what you were called to do?
…from what you were sent to be?
Do you think your words will matter,

Who are you?
What is your purpose?
Why are you here?

I Am…

Me and You

I Do

I Do

Even in my perceived success
I choose to stand by you
How can I be successful
Unless you are too
How can I fly high
Unless you do to
Happiness isn’t in the destination
Happiness is me and you. ~ Sean King

Be

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Be tenacious in pursuit of your dreams. 
Be persevering when obstacles are placed in your way. 
Be truthful in your speech and actions. 
Be kind to those you meet on your journey. 
Be honorable on your path to success. 
Be humble when success opens its arms to you. 
Be helpful without worrying about whether or not someone deserves your help. 
Be forgiving even when you’re hurt. 
Be loving even when you feel unloved. 
Be understanding even when you’re misunderstood. 
Be thankful for where you’ve been. 
Be thankful for where you’re going. 
Be thankful for the beauty of who you are.
Be prayerful, loving, and kind with every breath you take. ~ Sean King

Happy Father’s Day

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Father’s Day Reflections: How can I feel blessed, be happy with my life, and be thankful with the path God has chosen for me while at the same time being upset that I didn’t have the perfect father?

How can I appreciate the fact that my life has brought me more happiness than I could have ever imagined and accept the fact that my dreams pale in comparison to the life I’m living, while being ungrateful because I think my father should have done more?

How can I stand here calling my father out for his inability to live up to my expectations while looking in the mirror dripping with my own imperfections, flaws, and with the knowledge that there are many things I can do to improve both as a man and as a father?

I can’t, because that’s not the way this thing works. If you’re happy with your life and your journey, and I am, then you also have to be thankful for all of the steps that it took to get there.

What I know today is God gave me the father I needed to become the person that I was called to be. My daddy loved me, he was imperfect, I am imperfect, and he is the father I was given.

It doesn’t need to be complicated: Happy Father’s Day to my dad, Leon King (RIP), and all the other brothers out there doing the best they can. It’s not for me to judge you, so I will simply say, if you keep getting knocked down, then keep getting up. If you keep falling short, then keep reaching forward. If the world keeps feeding you hate, keep spititng it out and fighting back with love. Whatever you’re struggling with, just do your best and know that I Love You and pray that one day you will be able to celebrate Father’s Day without all of the halfass Father’s Day wishes and backhanded compliments… Be blessed my brothers… ~ Sean King

Dumb

Sometimes you have to be dumb enough to keep trying even when logic is begging you to give up. Let’s be honest; logic is based on reality, reality is based on what the mind can comprehend, and the mind can only comprehend a small fraction of our infinite possibilities. So instead of focusing on our reality, or being handcuffed by our doubt and fear, we have to learn to focus on our truth. Our truth is, we can always go just beyond the furthest place that we can imagine; if we are dumb enough to keep trying even when our logic is begging us to give up. ~ Sean King

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Dare To Be You

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Because history is a lie
and most of what is written is untrue
and most heroes never get their due
don’t worry about what they say about you
live your life the way God called you to
do the things that you’re supposed to do
stay out of the shadows and live your truth
forget about their boxes and dare to be you
dare to soar like the birds, and like the flowers dare to bloom
dare to be kind and to give instead of to consume
dare to smile when the world has the audacity to frown at you
dare to throw off the shackles that they use to control you
dare to speak up when they try to silence you
dare to die for your beliefs, but do it being you
dare to confront the fear they use to stifle you
dare to Love them, but first dare to Love you…
dare to Love them, but first dare to Love you…
and when they greet you with their hateful words
greet their hateful words with the retort of I Love You…

40′s Coming Quick

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I had a conversation with a young woman who said she’s about to turn 30 and not looking forward to it…

Shit, I’m about to turn 40 and embracing every second of it. Life is all about perspective, and as a young black boy I was told about the high dropout rate at my high school, then the high murder rate for the brothers that looked like me, and then about the high likelihood that I would  either be in jail or killed by the time I turned 25… Throw in some crack slanging/gang banging friends, a touch of poverty, and a heavy dose of exposure to some racist police trying to catch me slipping every step of the way…   Let’s just say growing older is a gift.

I’m saying, if you don’t know how good life is then sit down with someone who’s been able to keep moving forward in spite of being exposed to a few real things along the way. Am I excited about getting older? That would be a resounding YES!!!!  I truly believe every second is a blessing…

On a side note, my New Year’s Resolution was to sit down and catch up with as many of my friends and family members (new or old) as I could. I love how Social Media has kept us aware of one another, but I’m old school, and think we need to venture out of cyberspace and do some real interacting with one another. So, if I haven’t seen you in some time, let’s start making plans to cross each other’s paths in the near future… because I ain’t coming to your funeral to boohoo over missed opportunities.  That just ain’t me.

Keep It Simple

Keep It Simple

Keep it simple. Keep your mind clear of the unnecessary distraction. Keep the noise levels in your life at a minimal. Keep your worries in check. Keep loving. Keep moving forward. Keep praising and giving thanks.

Keep it simple. Keep your mind clear of the unnecessary distraction. Keep the noise levels in your life at a minimal. Keep your worries in check. Keep loving. Keep moving forward. Keep praising and giving thanks.

Keep it simple. Keep your mind clear of the unnecessary distraction. Keep the noise levels in your life at a minimal. Keep your worries in check. Keep loving. Keep moving forward. Keep praising and giving thanks.

Keep it simple. Keep your mind clear of the unnecessary distraction. Keep the noise levels in your life at a minimal. Keep your worries in check. Keep loving. Keep moving forward. Keep praising and giving thanks. ~ Sean King

p.s. A special shot out to all the people defying the odds and proving the doubters wrong.  Keep doing it and don’t ever let anyone make you doubt yourself or tell you what you’ll never be. 

Sons and Dreams

Be

If my sons ever tell me their dream is to be the President of the United States, I’ll tell them to strive for something bigger. To think broader and more globally. To dream of becoming someone that lives with integrity without needing to sell an ounce of their soul.

I’ll tell them to dream not of positions of status, nor wealth, nor the types of possessions they’ll have, but to dream of what they will do to save a soul, to uplift a heart, to educate a mind, and to embrace a brother or sister in need regardless of country of origin, sexual orientation, or religion.

I’ll tell them to dream of being humble no matter how much success life grants them. To dream of being empathetic for those that are struggling no matter how much they believe success and failure is calculated based on one’s merit.  To dream of being both grateful and appreciative at all times.

I’ll tell them to dream of waking up and going to bed happy. To dream of having a life where their biggest source of pride is being surrounded by love, and people of good character.

Most importantly, I’ll tell them to fight for their dreams. To resist the urge to cut corners. To understand that even the means need to be approached with integrity or the ends lose value. To be faithful and God loving at all times, and to be as worthy as they possibly can considering the fact they will be men…

…and if they still want to be something as ordinary as the President of the United States, I’ll support that too – even though I know this life has so many more rewarding things to offer. ~ Sean King

Mirror Mirror

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When you learn to accept the person you see in the mirror. When you learn to see your beauty beyond all of the doubt, fear, self hate, insecuriy, and past mistakes. When you learn to like and even love the person you see…

You will no longer have a need to be accepted by everyone else. You will no longer have a need to spend all of your money trying to buy beauty nor happiness. You will no longer be vulnerable to everyone’s negative perceptions of you nor susceptible to all of the false advertisement and BS telling you that you would be better off if you bought this product, if you made X amount of money, if you had such and such career title, if you lived in this house, or drove that car…

No, if you learn to love the person you see you will simply radiate everywhere you go. You will repel all of the BS trying to put it’s hands on you and pull you down. You would feel like a King or a Queen in every situation in life, up or down…

You would be in control of how you lived your life, and they will hate you for your confidence…

…and you know what?  You won’t care because you’ll look in the mirror and say I’m Beautiful, I love myself, I love the way God made me, I am the Sun… ~ Sean King

Integrity and Purpose

Don’t go anywhere that requires you to leave your soul behind to get there. Know your worth and take every step with integrity and an understanding of your purpose. ~ Sean King

Different

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I’m different, and I won’t change who I am to fit into your box, to appease your taste, or to make you feel comfortable when I’m around. I won’t sacrifice my values or my purpose to be more patriotic or to follow your lead. I won’t turn my back on people because we share a different belief system, we’re in different places in our class system,  or we’re considered to be different in our man-made race system.  I won’t give Obama or any other politician a pass because they’re black, gay, a woman, or a Christian…… and I won’t be quiet or toe the line with all of my people who think I shouldn’t have anything critical to say about our leaders as long as our country continues turning its back on its people.

I’m different, and I won’t bullshit you, sacrifice my happiness to be more like you, or deviate from God’s plan to agree with you when I know my soul is telling me to go a different direction.

I’m different, and I’m comfortable with who I am and looking forward to being the final product of who I was called to be.

I’m Sean King, and that’s good enough for me.

Us (Freewrite)

Me?
Me is a myth
there is no me, there is only us,
us

Me, smiling at you,
you, coyly grinning at me,
us, holding hands in the rain,
us.

Me lifting you up when you get knocked down,
you standing by my side when no one else is around,
us, dancing under the moon graciously thanking God for his favor,
us.

Me, fighting for the soul of mankind,
you, whispering encouragement in my ear when the thought of failure creeps in,
us, rescuing young souls from the grips of hopelessness,
us.

Me, in love with you,
you in love with me,
us, smiling at each other
laughing with each other
standing with each other
respecting each other
working with each other
helping each other
supporting each other
living for each other
loving each other,
us

Me?
Me is a myth
there is no me, there is only us,
Only US… ~ Sean King

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