3 Ways to Handle Racist People

Even though we live in the 21st century, racism is an issue that many people still face. Although it may not be as obvious as back when apartheid was acceptable and widely practiced, it still is weaved in a lot of people’s views and beliefs which ultimately manifest in the way they approach you. I’ve had my own share of racism, one of which particularly stayed in my mind to this day and it occurred when I was growing up in my old home as a child.

I was bouncing my ball out in the front yard, not realizing that the kick I was about to give it would send it sprawling into my neighbors backyard. The townhomes in my neighborhood were easy to maneuver through and this particular home didn’t have a gate in the back since it was the house located at the far end of its row. I made my way to it, passing the side and entering into the unfamiliar backyard. I found my ball planted neatly between 2 bushes and ran towards the plants to retrieve it. I halted at the sound of an angry woman’s voice yelling “Hey nigga, what are you doing in my backyard without permission?!” I was more startled by the anger in the voice than the actual statement because at that time I didn’t know what the word ‘nigga’ meant. Later in life I came to realize that it was a racist term targeted towards people of darker complexions or black people.

Its rough knowing that someone has the power to limit your opportunities or look down on you or despise you simply due to your outer shell, your coating, your unique and beautiful skin colour. Unfortunately it can’t be avoided, you can’t control how someone looks at you but you can choose to recognize your value even in the midst of this. The choice to remain stable, positive and proactive is the best solution when it comes to dealing with racist people. Here are 3 ways to not allow racist people to get under your skin and deal with them professionally.

 

  1. Cope with Racism in a proactive way

 

Proactive vs Reactive

Proactive coping, is characterized by how well someone can prepare for anticipated stressors in their daily lives. It’s a coping approach designed to minimize the onset of stress before it begins. Literature (albeit limited) demonstrates that stigmatized groups (including African Americans) utilize proactive coping to ‘effectively’ manage stigma-based stress. One way to practice proactive coping is to have self-control when faced with any form of racism. Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by the person and give into telling them too much. Many racists like to look for information and you may feel the need to defend yourself and speak up or debate with them but this, in many cases, will only fuel them further and can even make you turn out to be the bad guy. It is better to just keep your cool, recognize that the person is ignorant or insecure about something in their own lives and preserve your energy for things that are more important. One thing that is becoming more common is exposing bullies and racists alike. Having them join a conversation while you are in a public setting is one way to expose. I know of people who encountered racism and wrote about it in their blogs or social media page, choosing to either keep the individual anonymous or not. Either way it’s good to let others know and have that social support you need. If the racism continues to accelerate, informing higher authorities is definitely an option too.

 

  1. Differentiate between racist actions and racist people

True racist people are fueled by their hate of other races, prejudice and bigotry and they tend to not budge even when confronted by it. On the other hand, racist actions are often mistakes or a result of growing up in a culture where racist terms and behaviours are accepted. Understanding and differentiating between racist people and racist terms is important because many people are genuinely good hearted people, but they just need some education on what is appropriate and not appropriate to say. Educating someone you trust or care about on race can be beneficial because you are not only educating them about race, you are also teaching them about your boundaries, what and that you deserve to be respected as well. Deciding to educate someone is entirely up to you. It’s not a requirement that you must tell people what not to say and tell them about your history and why a word is offensive due to its origin. You need to have the right judgement when it comes to deciding who you want to confront and those that you prefer to distance yourself from.

 

  1. Practice good self-care

Always tend to yourself when you are in a stressful situation. Stress from coping with racism can affect every area of your life, including your mental well-being, performance in school, and can even serve as risk factors for major diseases. If you are a person of color, you can join a student association with other students of color, political organizations, or other affinity groups to meet and network with. Talk to your family members about stressful events and how to cope. Studies show that having people with whom you can discuss shared negative experiences with is an important factor in coping with related stress. Ensure that you have resources and the required aid you need when feeling overwhelmed by racism and the like.

 

Thank you for being reading this weeks blog. Unfortunately, I may not be able to post as often as before because I am entering into a new school term and will be a full time student within a weeks time. I will try my best to post whenever I can on topics that are of interest. Im thinking of writing my next weeks topic on the impact social media can have on real relationships. Don’t forget to comment your thoughts and opinions in the comments section down below. To what extent does social media affect your relationship? Is it in a bad or good way? Let me know your thoughts down below. For now have a great and blessed week!

 

 

 

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Growing Up With A Mentally Ill Sibling: My Narrative

Upon glancing down at the old photos representing my childhood, I recalled the many adventures I had experienced with my friends and family. They weren’t huge adventures, we actually never really left the city often, but just being outside in the warm summers heat or being exposed to a chilled winters breeze was all I ever wanted in life. In my mind I had the largest backyard, probably the biggest in the world with measurements equaling that of your average garage; I didn’t know it was small, I just knew that it was where my imagination came to life. I would invite my brothers to join me in my expeditions, gathering the village in preparation of a brave African-American girls speech and climbing rocks that I believe would keep us from things unknown, away from the common dangers lurking on the ground. I wanted everyone to experience this, to join me and to have fun creating the memories and stories derived from my backyard… but one person that I cared about always preferred to stay indoors.

Gaston couldn’t relate to me, heck he had little sense of the world around him. Fast forward to present day and he still maintains a characteristic of being anti-social and keeping primarily to himself, more so in his mind than physically. My experiences growing up with Gaston are sometimes difficult to describe because it entails so many emotions, with the continuous ups and downs and changes in his behavior, it feels like a daily roller-coaster ride. Regardless of this, I love my older brother Gaston to infinite and I feel free sharing my thoughts and experiences to those of you who can relate and may be in similar situations dealing with an autistic or mentally handicapped sibling. This weeks blog post will be a short narrative of how I grew up with Gaston, my autistic older brother.

In my own experience, I found that I would at times blame myself for the suffering my brother faced. I felt that I couldn’t find ways to include him during interactions so as a result he would usually end up being isolated. His lack of communication and inability to verbalize his needs made me frustrated and ashamed that he couldn’t relate to other people; and, like a cycle, my frustrations only further fueled his desire to keep off. I blamed him and myself for a lot of his behaviors because I needed an answer for why he couldn’t act normal. I slowly began to feel embarrassed to even be associated with him and seldom mentioned him when describing who I was in social gatherings. With time and maturation I have learned to accept my brother and his disability. I have learned ways to love him in spite of his unpredictable thinking/ behaviours and lack of communication. I realize that he is more of a treasure than a burden because he has taught me to be empathetic and gain insight on those with mentally illnesses; serving as an asset in my nursing career. I am still learning him more and more every day, but I am blessed to have the privileges and opportunities he created by him being himself in my life.

Nowadays I, along with Gaston’s caregiving team and family, are planning ways to optimize Gaston’s care and give him the best quality of life. Presently, he goes out and delivers packages with one of his male caregivers which he completes in the morning. This is just one of his many activities which includes cooking, swimming, sports, movies, walks, gym and the like. Gaston is not the highest functioning autistic individual that is why we as a team set forth ideas to try and help him blend better into society. Lately He has been showing more efforts to speak and verbalize his thoughts and feelings. He knows more of what is appropriate and what is not appropriate behaviour (like walking around without pants or pouring his food in the trash while no one is looking) and tries to act the best he can. He can perform simple maths and engage in light chit chat. He is a genius in paying attention to gossip and he can remember all the birthdays of all his brothers, sister, aunties and uncles. He is a bright autistic boy, with a promising future and like I said earlier, I have grown to love and accept him just the way he is. He was given to me by God for a reason and although I felt upset earlier with his situation. I now know that all things are made for good for those who believe and that includes Gaston, who deserves the best the world has to offer. He is my ray of sunshine and my sign of hope. Watching him discover new things and be reminded of our love for each other is truly a blessing I wouldn’t change for the world. He is my brother Gaston, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thank you for joining me this week and reading my blog post. Next week I will be discussing ways to deal with racism. Let me know in the comments section your thoughts and if you also have experience dealing with a relative or friend with special needs. Thanks and see ya in my next weeks post!

 

3 Ways To Increase Your Financial Success

If you were present at my last week’s blog, then you already know that this week we will be covering part 2 of our topic on financial education. Part 2 for this week will be about increasing your financial success, the how to in achieving financial stability and prosperity. Today, with the help of my special guest, we desire to educate and encourage you to add and/or change certain habits in how you regularly handle your money expenditures. I’ll be honest with you, I am no guru on finances, I don’t know all the answers but I happen to have a well-educated and experienced “rich mom” who has taught me a lot about utilizing money so I thought I would ricochet my understanding and her knowledge your way. (I cant be the only one to have access to this goldmine of information). Again just to remind you, the theme for my blogging page is to learn, grow and prosper. Let me know what you learned or already knew but want to apply now in your life in the comments section down below.

~Brief summary of topic~

1. The dreaded B word…B*dget:

10%, 10%, 10% and 70% rule by my mom Janepher  – 10 for self which can be saved for retirement and compounded as time goes if you start young, 10 for tithe (paying your most important success partner), and 10 for personal investments. The remaining 70% can be budgeted for your daily needs including saving for a 6 month emergency fund.

*An emergency fund is an amount you save per month that can enable you to live comfortably if an emergency occurred. (lets say you can live comfortably with $2,000 a month, that means you need $12,000 saved aside in your emergency fund if something were to happen to you). 

2.  Make assets your friend and liabilities your enemy:

Know the difference between an asset, which place money into your pocket vs liabilities, which takes away money from your pocket. The goal is to acquire more assets while decreasing your liabilities. That simply means focusing on paying off your debt and increasing your cash flowing assets.

*If it’s difficult for 70% to cover your needs, then that means you gotta get up and start thinking about ways you can expand your means. For example a small business on the side that serves as an asset can increase the amount in your 70% and enable you to live comfortably in that bracket

3. Take care of your health:

your health is not only physical but it also includes financial health as well as spiritual, mental, emotional, and social. According to my mentor (mom) I have learned that all of these work together and affect how you acquire and manage your wealth. Do not ignore these pillars of health and your financial success will become both stable and enjoyable.

Additional to this podcast, please also remember to keep track of what you spend. To start you may write down a record of your expenditures, this way you can accurately determine where your money is going and encourage you to stay in control of your expenses. Writing things down has been proven to help enforce change and aid as a reminder to get things done. So keep writing!

Now, let’s not waste any time so lets get listening! Here, in an audio-interview format, are 3 vital ways to increase your financial success!

https://www.podbean.com/media/player/bdkry-6f4925?from=yiiadmin&vjs=1&skin=1&fonts=Verdana&auto=0&download=1&rtl=0

3 ways to increase your financial success podcast!

5 Ways to Increase your Financial IQ

This is definitely one of the most important topics to discuss In this day and age but sadly it probably was vaguely or never taught in school as you were growing up. That’s why I chose this topic for this week, I had to write about it at some point! It sucks to be ignorant about money because it practically determines your quality of life as you move forward. If you’re dumb with how you get and utilize it, say your money has control over you instead of you controlling your money, then you will find yourself living a very stressful life. I want you to have more flexibility and insight with your financial endeavors so that you can maximize your money to the fullest. Increasing your financial IQ and staying educated is the way to go to achieve this.

Let’s quickly define Financial IQ first, like what the heck does it even mean? Take a second to remind yourself that IQ is the measure of an individual’s intelligence so financial IQ is simply a measure of someone’s financial smarts (well Duh that’s easy). In order to get money to work in your favor, you must continue to gain and have financial knowledge. This means lifelong learning in whichever ways you can find that work for you. Here are 5 ways to increase your financial IQ.

 

  1. Read, Read, and more Reading

 

Sounds cliche but seriously this is one of the surest ways that you will increase your financial IQ, I mean how else are you going to know the difference between an asset and a liability? I challenge you to pass by the library by the end of this week and instead of picking up a manga book (my personal weakness) or a romantic Sci-fi fiction type book (kind of funky but would make a great story line), pick up a book on finances. Find something that you’re genuinely interested in learning more about and make a goal to have it read within a set period of time. Afterwards, write a reflective journal on it and have a section discussing material you learned that you didn’t know before and can now teach someone else about. Take a snap of your journal entry (doesn’t have to be long) and post it in the comments section below, I really want to know what you’re interested in learning so if you could take some time to do this, that would be awesome and much appreciated! I recommend any of Robert Kiyosaki’s books to start for your financial learning journey.

 

  1. Learn about your Money Habits

If you know why you make the financial choices you do then you can determine what you might want to change in your life and get educated on. This will increase your money IQ by increasing your insight and awareness. Your personality affects your saving and spending habits, you need to know whether you are a saver or a spender so you can look into changing your habits and utilize your money to work for you.  Habits are created through consistent practice; doing the same thing over and over till its second nature. Financial habits are hard to break because they’re so engraved into us and many times even started at a young age, with your parent’s lack of knowledge on handling money. If you can recognize your habits and look into changing them for the better, you will start to see fruit in your finances and you will develop an open mind with learning and dealing with money.

 

  1. Listen to Audio Tapes and Podcasts 

Get into the habit of listening to audiotapes and podcasts whenever you can. This can be done on the go or while your hands are occupied. One of the best places to listen to an audio is in your car! It’s perfect because you’re already committed to sitting down, and as you go you can get that last chapter or two in without breaking a sweat. It’s a classroom on wheels and it’s a great way to complete a book or tape in a short amount of time. Actually this is something I learned from observing my mom who started off with minimal knowledge in finances. She always had an appetite to grow and expand in her financial IQ and she managed to do this by listening to tons of audiotapes for free borrowed through her public library. Fast forward to present day and she’s doing alright, owning real estate property as a business and getting called to give financial speeches to women, people of color and the general population in and around her community. She also has access to investment groups who combine large sums of money (like talking 6 or more digits each) in order to invest in real estate and other projects. Its pretty cool what a little investment like listening to audio tapes and podcasts can earn you later on in life! Thanks mom <3.

 

Ps. Find out what channel Dave Ramsey plays on your radio, listening to him can really boost your financial intellect and get you going with better habits in handling your money. He has a system in place which he created called financial peace university which follows a series of steps to get out of debt and be financially free.

 

  1. Attend Seminars, Webinars & Workshops

Attending seminars, webinars and workshops is not only educational but also places you in an environment of people with similar interests. This can be very encouraging in itself because in it you may be able to meet people who are in similar financial situations or have similar financial goals. A group of like-minded people creates synergy which motivates individuals to take action and make changes in their lives. Webinars are groups that meet online to discuss a topic. They’re convenient because you don’t have to leave your house, just need a decent laptop and… Voila! Alternatively there are Seminars and workshops which generally provide information that is, in my personal experience, interesting and inclusive of the people attending. The speakers usually find captivating ways to catch the audience’s attention by playing games and/or having small group discussions, so it leaves a good impact on a person once it’s done. To find some local group meetings just search up group meetings in your city and choose from the variety that’s available, if you click on a link it should take you to the description, location and meeting times for that group.

 

  1. Ask the Gurus

The more you educate yourself in finances, the more you have questions on it; the more questions you have, the more you will yearn for education, and the cycle continues. Education and the curiosity to ask questions go hand in hand. If you’re really serious about growing in your financial smarts then talking and being mentored by people who are where you want to be can be beneficial. Talking to stock brokers, real estate agents, investment advisers, personal finance advisers, etc. can help you boost your financial intellect and improve your habits in how you use your money.

 

That’s it! Thank you for taking the time to read this weeks blog! Thanks ahead to those who attempt the challenge discussed earlier in this post which was about writing a journal and taking a snap of it to post in the comments section. typing in your phone is fine too, then you can just take a screen shot after and post it in the comments section below. Next week I will be discussing part 2 of this post which will be on ways to set yourself up for financial success! We covered the education part (what) so next week we gotta cover the application part (how) as well. See you in my next weeks post! ❤

Redeeming The Time {First podcast (^.^)}

I am in love with the versatility and options I have discovered through my blogging journey and I am more than excited to present my first ever podcast. Today, with the help of my special guest, I will be sharing ways to redeem your time. I hope you enjoy it (getting it converted, transferred and read was challenging and its not perfect but I’m hella proud of it! :D). Because I do not have a self hosted blog site yet, I cant upload the podcast straight from my computer files, instead I have to settle with planting the url code HERE(to download episode, right click and save). Otherwise as we progress through the learning curves, as the theme of this blog site goes, Ill probably improve with the presentation and content of my blog.

Let me know in the comments section if there is anything you would critique, add or subtract, and your own thoughts and opinions about redeeming your time. Also let me know if you like podcasting or prefer reading in a more journal like form. If you haven’t subscribed yet please feel free to do so and stay updated for future blog posts.

Guess what…Next week I’m thinking $$$ money!! I will be discussing ways to increase your financial IQ and prioritize investing your money other than saving/spending it carelessly on unnecessary things. See you in next weeks blog!