Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Crazy Talk!

I once heard it said that every family has a crazy person in it and if you don't know who it is... it is probably YOU!

The conversation of mental health has really been at the forefront of news and discussions with all of the recent shooting sprees around the country.  What really got my attention of the issue is the search for Teleka Patrick.  Every new piece of information hints that she may have had some undetected mental issues.

Here's what bothers me... no one close to her knew.  Granted, it was her ex-husband that finally said something.  But by this time most of us had already watched the videos that were discovered. Videos that caused you to tilt your head to the side for understanding.  Then we learned that she was stalking Marvin Sapp, and did so under additional questionable circumstances  (He and his body guards were later cleared of any association with her missing), but the whispers continue.  Whispers that she may have been crazy... or to be politically correct, "mentally disturbed."

This got me thinking about my own sanity. Because this could be me.  So, "Am I crazy?  Is there a chance that I'm mentally disturbed and don't know it?"  The answer really depends on who you ask.  Seriously.  Who among us has not done, said, or thought about some questionable things then wondered if we were losing our minds?

The questions to family members are always, "Did you see any signs?"  "Did you know something was wrong?"  Asking neighbors, "Did you see anything unusual going on."  Most of the answers give nothing away.  Or someone random will mention something that sounds crazy but is really very normal.  "Well, he always did mow his lawn after the sun went down."  Is that crazy?  Or smart, because he didn't want to work in the heat?

What are the signs?  Do I have them?  Are they detectable?  Is there a list somewhere for me to check? Who wrote that list?  Can any of us really distinguish between doing something sane from insane?  We all know that common sense is no longer common; so what makes sense to you might not make sense to me.

I'm saying all of this to say... regardless of Teleka Patrick's mental state... crazy, disturbed, or totally sane... we want her found.  Let's stop questioning what she was thinking or why.  Let's just look for and find her!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

THUGS Among Us!

Who are these THUGS?

Over the last 12 months I've heard the adjective "thug" used more and more.  I hadn't really heard the word much since college or maybe even high school (more than 20 years ago).

The word re-entered my life when I heard people using this word to describe Trayvon Martin, which angered me.  I found myself drawn into an argument with a stranger on a mutual friend's Facebook post.  We battled over this.  I finally asked him to define "thug."  After receiving his definition, I bidded him farewell.

This man shared that Trayvon was a thug because he, a 17-year-old boy, had videos of fighting on his phone, referenced pot on his social page, and had been suspended from school. WOW!  That makes him a thug?  I shook my head literally.  I was wasting my time.  There is no way for me to win this argument if that's the basis of his perspective.

So I went to Dictionary.com to see a somewhat official definition.

"Thug:  a cruel or vicious ruffian, robber, or murderer."

The World English Dictionary defines it as

"a tough, violent man esp a criminal."

At its origin, it was used to describe a person who was part of a gang that robbed or murdered people.

So Zimmerman, the person with a gun who followed, chased, confronted, shot and killed the boy, was a good person, but the boy was the thug.  I give up.

Now, months later, there's a new Thug in town, or so they say.

Enter Mr. Richard Sherman.  This one really, really has me scratching my head.

This time we have a grown, educated man being called a thug because his adrenaline was at 100% after making a game winning play in one of the most physical, professional games in our country.  The argument this time... he yelled at the camera when a reporter stuck a microphone in his face seconds after the play.  An otherwise very articulate guy raised his voice about the opponent that he had just defeated one-on-one.  WOW!

Here's my sarcasm... to ensure that you don't miss it...  Who cares how articulate he is; who cares that he graduated at the top of his high school class; who cares that he earned two degrees from one of the top colleges in the country with an A average; the fact remains that he raised his voice and yelled... HE IS A THUG.  End sarcasm.

What in the world is going on here?  Why are people all of a sudden obsessed with using this word?  I don't like it.  I don't like it at all! Surely I'm not the only person with access to the definition.

Maybe there is some truth to what Mr. Sherman stated in his response.  Maybe the word "thug" is a replacement for another word that we are not supposed to use... in public, out loud.  I mean really, Mr. Martin and Mr. Sherman really only have one thing in common.  Hmmm.

As much as this would be a great opportunity to play that "card" I refuse.  But I will say, STOP IT!