Finally Finished, I’m Overwhelmed

Clarence Thomas

I finally finished Clarence Thomas’s memoir today and I’m overwhelmed.  I’m overwhelmed with understanding, knowledge, compassion, and wisdom.

This book has reaffirmed my love for biographies.  We have a tendency to marvel and awe at those in top position without considering for one moment what ‘hell’ they may have had to go through to get there.

Additionally, we’re quick to become critical and judgmental of those in top positions.  We critique their way of doing things, their beliefs, and even their political party so much that we tend to forget that they are merely a human being, just like us.

I’m so thankful to Clarence for going into such great detail on his life.  He dove right into his harsh upbringing as a poor, black boy in the south.  He shared details on his most self-destructing moments; he shared those moments where he even questioned the point of living.  You know those moments we’ve all had at one time or another.

He was genuine and direct regarding his failures as a man and as a husband in his first marriage.  He expressed his ignorance of not embracing the only man that loved him like his own.  He admitted to pride, he admitted to turning his back on God, he admitted to making mistakes.

This book walks you through his life and the even more challenging climb to the Supreme Court.  I would have never imagined the extent of his difficulties.  I admire him for telling his story with detail and emotion.

At times I was saddened in my gut at the pressure he had to withstand.  His story clearly shows that the higher you climb, the more pain you may have to endure.

Clarence’s grandfather told him “Son, you have to stand up for what you believe in.”   This was a driving force in his life and one he stood firm on even when the going got tough.

In closing, I must share this.  When Virginia, Clarence’s wife, advised him that he had been confirmed to the Supreme Court his reply was “Whoop-dee-damn-doo”.

His soul and spirit had been tested so severely that one of the biggest moments in his life seemed insignificant.

As I read this I thought of how when God elevates us he may also allow other situations to simultaneously humble us.

I must say, and I’m sure Clarence would agree, that there is no way he would have made it to the Supreme Court without the Lord.

Angelina Jolie: “We come to love…”

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“We come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” – Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is one of my favorite celebrities because of her substance. There is much more to her than her beauty and I’ve enjoyed watching her blossom and evolve over time.

I’m not saying that she’s perfect; I’m only saying that she has substance and I like her style. I just love the way she handles her business.

Now, regarding this quote. I just love it because it is a reminder that we will not find a perfect person! At one point or another I’m sure we’ve all had an unreasonable list of qualities that we wanted in our mate, but this quote helps us to be balanced.

She reminds us that our mate will not be perfect, but he or she will be perfect for us. The world may not understand our mate, but we will understand him or her perfectly. Everyone may not get him or her, but we will get him or her and will support them 100%.

This quote simply reminds me that in order to find love I must be realistic and not critical.

Jones: Versatility & Strength

I sat and chatted with Jones yesterday over lunch, and I quickly learned the 3 things that have shaped who he is today:

1- His father. His father was a strong, positive force in his life that kept him on the right track.
2- Failed relationships. He learned early on that relationships can be a distraction.
3- His son Nehemiah. Having his son slowed him down a lot.

I easily identified that he has had some struggles in his life, yet he is determined to progress and be successful. He requested no pity, he showed determination and strength.

He is versatile- He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, he’s a 6th grade tutor, he sings, and he has an insurance business. He’s also a single father raising his son.

As far as love goes, he believes he will get married one day when he meets the right one. He feels that its hard to find someone that will be loyal and committed.

When I asked him about a life philosophy, he replied “Don’t stop. Work hard.”

Another Great Person: Michael Bloomberg

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In the spirit of focusing on great people, I must share something I just read.  It’s a Katie Couric interview with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The interview focused on education, particularly charter schools, and even gun control.  Bloomberg is a strong proponent for charter schools; while his successor Bill de Blasio is not.

Bloomberg also discussed his concerns on Obama’s efforts to increase minimum wage.  He feels that increasing minimum wage will hurt the poor.

The most impressive part of this interview for me was when he was discussing his rights to support candidates and issues.

He said “I think shame on me if I didn’t use the money I was lucky enough to make to make the world a better place.”

WOW!  I’m seeing a trend here.  Great people are focused on things other than themselves. 

By the way, Bloomberg is worth an estimated $33 billion.

Click here to read the full article.

Great People Don’t Brag

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Yesterday I almost posted something on Facebook about myself, but something stopped me. I then thought about Oprah and how I’ve never one time heard her brag about herself.

I then thought about Michelle Obama (Yes I love Oprah and Michelle.  Oh, and Condoleeza.)  Again, I’ve never heard them brag on themselves.  This got me thinking.

It seems that great people are so focused on helping people and solving problems that they don’t discuss themselves.  We know they live fascinating lives, but they don’t discuss it.  They don’t brag about the amount of money they have, or the tropical vacation they just took.

They talk about issues, concepts, and ideas.  They are gaining attention for important causes.  They do not call attention to themselves by sporting shiny jewelry or blatant designer labels.  They focus our attention toward things that matter.

They don’t call attention to the fact that they’re important.  We just know it.  They do important things.  Their work speaks for them.

That’s how I want to be.  I want to just do great things, not talk about it.  I don’t want to brag on myself.

“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips. “  – Proverbs 27:2

We should all just focus on doing worthy things, and let other people discuss us.

Good People Make The World Good

Good people do good things, speak good words, they make other people feel good. They do good jobs, they are good listeners, they have good conversation.

Today I’ve interacted with several good people and I’m so thankful. Their goodness has caused me to have a good day. So often we underestimate the power that we can have on someone else’s day, or even their life.

I am so thankful for my good associations. I have said it before and I will say it again: I’d much rather have a few good people around me vs. a large crowd of people with questionable characters. I need good people in my circle.

Good, solid people are definitely something to cherish. When we interact with good people it should cause us to examine ourselves to ensure that we are doing good.

Good people see the good in others and they naturally just pull it out. They make us aware of the goodness within ourselves that we often overlook. Good people are leaders- leading others to do good.

We should all strive to do good to ourselves, others, and the world. Good people make the world good.

We all have the ability to make the world a better place. Just do good.

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I met another Margo!

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Yesterday while shopping at Coach I met another Margo! She’s a Leo and was an attorney at one point! She stopped working so she could care for her son- She’s also compassionate.

This was my first time actually meeting another Margo. This has been quite an interesting trip!

We’re both fashionable, too. Wearing sweaters over button-ups and pearls in our ears.

I guess Margo is a good name. 🙂